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Trends Cogn Sci. 2015 Sep;19(9):515-23. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.001. Epub 2015 Jul 28.

Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice.

Author information

  • 1Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA; Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA.
  • 2Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA; Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA; Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, INSERM U1028, CNRS UMR5292, Lyon, France; Lyon 1 University, Lyon, France.
  • 3Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA; Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA; Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA. Electronic address: rjdavids@wisc.edu.

Abstract

Scientific research highlights the central role of specific psychological processes, in particular those related to the self, in various forms of human suffering and flourishing. This view is shared by Buddhism and other contemplative and humanistic traditions, which have developed meditation practices to regulate these processes. Building on a previous paper in this journal, we propose a novel classification system that categorizes specific styles of meditation into attentional, constructive, and deconstructive families based on their primary cognitive mechanisms. We suggest that meta-awareness, perspective taking and cognitive reappraisal, and self-inquiry may be important mechanisms in specific families of meditation and that alterations in these processes may be used to target states of experiential fusion, maladaptive self-schema, and cognitive reification.

KEYWORDS:

experiential fusion; insight; meditation; meta-awareness; mindfulness; self-inquiry

PMID:
26231761
PMCID:
PMC4595910
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.001
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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