Especially in Vajrayana (Engl.: Diamond Way) Buddhism, which was primarily transmitted in Tibet and Himalayan countries like Bhutan, meditation on various buddha forms, often confusingly referred to as ‘deities’, plays an important role in formal meditation practice.
In a recent study carried out by researchers in the US, it was shown that meditating on buddha forms as the one seen on the right, enhances visuospatial processing efficiency. Compared to a group of meditators who engaged in a meditation of ‘open presence’, where high levels of distributed attention are maintained without a particular object of attention, meditators who focused on an internally generated visual image of a buddha form, demonstrated a dramatic performance increase in a computerised mental imagery task they completed prior and directly after a meditation session.
Reference: Kozhevnikov M., Louchakova O., Josipovic Z. & Motes M.A. (2009). The enhancement of visuospatial processing efficiency through Buddhist deity meditation. Psychological Science, 20 (5), 645 – 653. [access article online]
© 2009 – 2014, Peter Malinowski. All rights reserved. You may republish this post in unaltered form – On republishing it you must provide the link to this original post.