Translating the meditation research

There isn’t nearly enough time in life for all the useful things you could do. I always have far more fantasy projects going than real ones. In moments of undirected creativity or sudden enthusiasm, I tinker with the fantasies. I take notes, draw sketches, rant about them to friends. Most stay fantasies;  after years of gestation, some burst into reality.

Naljorma gZa’tsal and I have a shared fantasy project: explaining current neuroscience research on meditation in a way that could be useful to meditators.

This research is wildly exciting because it confirms that meditation actually works the way it is supposed to. Maybe that doesn’t seem like such a big deal… For example, I’ve been meditating for decades, and it has certainly seemed to me that it works as advertised.

The problem is, it’s extremely easy to fool yourself about things like this. Many of my friends have spend decades practicing “alternative therapies,” and are totally confident—based on experience—that they work. I’m totally confident that they don’t work. There are so many ways to convince yourself something is working that doesn’t—unless you can actually measure it.

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