Though mindfulness and other forms of meditation are receiving an increasing amount of attention from the scientific community, there is limited understanding of how experiential models of traditional meditation practices map onto frameworks common to psychology and neuroscience. Center researchers and collaborators are building new approaches to understand the links between traditional contemplative perspectives and scientific theory to form better hypotheses about the scientific effects of meditation training on the brain, body, mind and behavior.
In this project, we are modeling different forms of meditation practice and grouping them into "families." We discuss the traditional role that these families play in training the mind as well as in corresponding scientific models, theories and data. These efforts will guide future research on contemplative practices and provide new insights into how such practices might alleviate suffering and promote well-being.