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First 'Advances in Meditation Research' conference in NYC brings together researchers from many traditions
by Global Good News staff writer
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29 January 2013
At a recent scientific conference on meditation in New York City, at which Maharishi University of Management faculty and brain research expert Dr Fred Travis presented, many different meditation techniques and traditions were respected and fully represented, he said.
Dr Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, said, 'Last week I was in New York at an ''Advances in Meditation Research'' conference. It was a unique conference because there were meditation researchers from all different meditation techniques', all in the same room in a harmonious gathering. This was the first event of its kind, Dr Travis said.
The full title of the conference was Advances in Meditation Research: Neuroscience and Clinical Applications; it was hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences.
What made the conference unique, and also exciting, Dr Travis said, is that 'typically conferences are very focussed on just one technique, for instance mindfulness or contemplative meditation or compassion meditation'. The conference programme showed the wide range of its goals and topics, addressing:
∙ Emerging scientific understanding of the effect of meditation on biomarkers of stress.
∙ How meditation is linked to neural correlates of mind, emotions, and indices of biological aging.
∙ How researcher-practitioners of meditation are probing mind and consciousness.
∙ Commonalities and differences between meditation practices from different traditions.
∙ How meditation is being applied in diverse clinical contexts and the future direction of the field to address the challenges of healthcare.
Dr Travis spoke of the collaborative and cooperative atmosphere at the conference.
'We sat together and it's the first time we met face-to-face,' he said. Participants appreciated 'the value of looking at meditations overall and seeing how meditations give different angles into consciousness; each one gives some different view into consciousness.'
At the conference, Dr Travis described his research findings on three different categories of meditation, delineated according to differences in EEG brain wave activity; and on brain functioning in higher states of consciousness in practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique. His presentation was received with great interest and appreciation, he said.
Dr Travis noted a new trend of 'a real openness to question and interchange. I think over the next year, there will be many [new] things we can report.'
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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