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Applied Yoga Psychology Studies of Neurophysiology of Meditation

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Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali is a foundational psychological text that organizes, codifies, and systematically presents in s_tra form the psychology as practised in India around second century BCE. Its theme is to help humans free themselves from their congenital bondage due to conditioned existence and consequent suffering. The goal is to restore the person to her inherent unconditioned blissful being. The quintessence of Yoga is meditation. Meditation consists of dharana (concentration, focused attention) and dhyana, a contemplative state of passive attention precipitated by a prolonged practice of concentration. Dhy_na practice leads to sam_dhi, a stand-still altered state in which the mind is controlled and restrained from habitual cognitive processing. This paper provides a theoretical background of Patanjali Yoga and a select review of empirical research on the neurophysiological correlates of meditation, highlighting on the one hand some of its methodological shortcomings and conceptual problems and suggesting on the other hand the areas of promise for further research on meditation
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Keywords: Indian psychology; Yoga; meditation; neurophysiology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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