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PresenceHow Mindfulness and Meditation Shape Your Brain, Mind, and Life$
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Paul Verhaeghen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199395606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199395606.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 May 2021

The Meditating Brain in Action

The Meditating Brain in Action

Attention, Body, and Self

(p.39) 3 The Meditating Brain in Action

Paul Verhaeghen

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of studies on functional imaging of the meditating brain, under the three themes identified earlier: changes in attention, changes in body awareness and the sense of embodiment, and changes in the sense of self. This includes looking at the dynamics of attention over the course of a meditation session (a cycle going from the wandering mind to the detection of mind-wandering to settling back on the object of meditation), the quieting of the mind, the neural correlates of depth of meditation, what happens in open-awareness meditation, and the question of joy in meditation (theme 1); awareness of the body in space and time, visual experiences, working with sounds and noise, and pain (theme 2); moving from the self-as-story to the self-of-momentary-awareness and forgetting the self altogether (theme 3). The heart practices and the effects of long-term expertise on brain activation during meditation are also discussed.

Keywords:   meditation, attention, self, body awareness, embodiment

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