Category Archives: Research Blog

A great meditation master cremated today

Today, on the 31 July 2014, one of the greatest meditation masters of our days, Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, was cremated in Nepal; 49 days after he died in Germany. Contemplating his death, I read the following passage composed by Shamar Rinpoche. In simple words he conveys some of the key points of meditation for us, who are just starting with it: A primary benefit experienced by the practitioner of meditation… Read More »

First Mind & Life European Summer Research Institute

European Summer Research Institute The application process for the first Mind and Life European Summer Research Institute has recently opened. After the success of ten Mind and Life Summer Research Institutes in the US Mind & Life Europe now convenes the first European Summer Research Institute to take place from 23rd – 29th August 2014 in the South of Germany.  For more information visit esri.mindandlife-europe.org Note that the application deadline is… Read More »

Meditation and Neuroplasticity: Five key articles

Meditation not only changes our mind but also our brain – this is what more and more neuroscientific research suggests. Neuroplasticity – the change of brain structures as a result of experience – is considered to be one of the most important discoveries of neuroscience. Over the last 10 years evidence has been growing that not only the acquisition of navigational knowledge by London Taxi drivers (see video) or learning… Read More »

Mindfulness research –where are we here and now?

Let me share a few thoughts regarding the state of mindfulness research and also reflecting on mindfulness-based applications that, at least partially, justify their use by referring to scientific evidence of their effectiveness. A recently published analysis of the available research regarding the effectiveness of meditation programmes for psychological stress and wellbeing inspired me to jot down some of the thoughts I have been carrying around for a while. This… Read More »

Compassion – an emerging topic in meditation research

An extremely busy period of the academic year has come to an end and after a brief X-massy respite I finally find a bit of time to return to this blog. Instead of commenting on one particular study I start here by discussing a topic that is emerging strongly within meditation research: compassion and the effects of developing it through meditation practice. This new focus deviates quite significantly from the… Read More »

2014 Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Conference – Call for research abstracts

Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness: State of the Field and Recommendations for Future Research The call for research abstract submissions is STILL OPEN – EXTENDED DEADLINE 15 JANUARY 2014. 14 & 15 April 2014 Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales, UK This scientific conference follows three days of events on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness for the general public and for practitioners.  The conference will provide researchers… Read More »

Advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice raises body temperature – Part 2

The first part of this post talked about a study that confirmed centuries old reports that through the advanced Vajrayana meditation practice Tummo the core body temperature can be raised significantly. When the forceful breathing practice was combined with the related meditation exercise (as would be the case during this type of meditation), the yogis increased their core temperature by several degrees into the slightly feverish range. As mentioned in… Read More »

Advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice raises body temperature

Studying ten meditators of Tibetan Buddhism, a recent international research project provides solid evidence for centuries-old reports that through the advanced meditation practice Tummo, often referred to as “Inner Heat” or “Psychic Heat”, the core body temperature can be raised significantly. The Tummo (also “g-Tummo”) meditation practice is an advanced form of meditation that has been transmitted in the Vajrayana (or Diamond Way) traditions of Tibetan Buddhism for the last… Read More »

The Liverpool Mindfulness Model

In my recent review paper on attentional control mechanisms in mindfulness meditation I also presented our Liverpool Mindfulness Model. The main purpose of this model is to serve as a structuring aid for our own meditation research.  It is thus more of an outline of the different aspects that should be considered when studying mindfulness practice – or, if you want, even a wish list of all the things we… Read More »

Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation

Published a few days ago: In this focused review article I consider three main points: First, I present the general framework or skeleton (the Liverpool Mindfulness Model) my group uses as guidance for our meditation/mindfulness work . Second, I present a model that summarises the basic principles of a simple mindful breathing meditation, considering the levels of subjective/phenomenological experience of the meditator during the practice, the cognitive processes we assume… Read More »