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New Beginnings: Evidence That the Meditational Regimen Can Lead to Optimization of Perception, Attention, Cognition, and Other Functions

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A “framework” is presented for understanding empirically confirmed and unconfirmed phenomena in the Indo-Tibetan meditation system, from an integrative perspective, and providing evidence that certain meditative practices enable meditators to realize the innate human potential to perceive light “at the limits imposed by quantum mechanics,” on the level of individual photons. This is part of a larger Buddhist agenda to meditatitively develop perceptual/attentional capacities to achieve penetrating insight into the nature of phenomena. Such capacities may also allow advanced meditators to perceive changes in natural scenes that are “hidden” from persons with “normal” attentional capacities, according to research on “change blindness,” and to enhance their visual system functioning akin to high-speed and time-lapse photography, in toto allowing for the perception, as well as sophisticated understanding, of the “moment to moment change or impermanence” universally characteristic of the phenomenal world but normally outside untrained attention and perception according to Buddhist doctrine.
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Keywords: Indo-Tibetan meditation system; cognition; perception

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Anthropology Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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