Meditation Works in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Daoist Traditions
- About the Book
Meditation is the inward focus of attention in a state of mind where ego-related concerns and critical evaluations are suspended in favor of perceiving a deeper, subtler, and possibly divine flow of consciousness. Usually accompanied by muscle relaxation, it has an overall beneficial and often healing effect. As such, it has made major inroads in Western society, aiding in stress relief, pain management, and various psychiatric conditions.
Research in meditation tends to focus on the concrete healing effects of the practice, working either with a single form or using an indeterminate mixture of practices. So far studies work with minimal typologies often poorly defined and tend to neglect historical and cultural aspects.
Meditation Works remedies this shortcoming. Based on extensive cultural studies and long years of practice, the author creates a new typology of meditation based on six distinct ways of access to the subconscious. In a special chapter on each type, she then outlines the physiology, worldview, and traditional practice as well as its modern medical adaptations and organizational settings. In each case, she substantiates her presentation with examples from the Daoist, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions. Providing a thorough theoretical framework combined with a comprehensive, analytical overview, the book greatly advances our understanding of meditation.
- About the Author(s)
Livia Kohn, AuthorLivia Kohn, Ph.D., is professor emerita of Religion and East Asian Studies at Boston University. The author or editor of over 40 books, she now lives in Florida, serves as the executive editor of the Journal of Daoist Studies, and runs various workshops and conferences. Her specialty is medieval Daoism and the study of Chinese longevity practices. She has written and edited numerous books and is a long-term practitioner of taiji quan, qigong, yoga, and meditation.