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Brain Res Brain Res Protoc. 2004 Nov;14(1):58-60.

Meditation in health: an operational definition.

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Department of Obstetrics of Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)-Escola Paulista de Medicina, Rua Pedro de Toledo, 541/72-Vila Clementino, 04039-031 São Paulo SP, Brazil.


Despite its evergrowing use in health-related areas, procedures characterized as meditation have been little or not at all defined operationally, which hinders its use in a standardized manner. In the present study, the authors present a possible operational definition of meditation, which has been used in social and academic projects, developed in Universidade Federal de São Paulo. In this proposal, it is emphasized that, in order to be characterized as meditation, the procedure should encompass the following requirements: (1) the use of a specific technique (clearly defined), (2) muscle relaxation in some moment of the process and (3) "logic relaxation"; (4) it must necessarily be a self-induced state, and (5) use of "self-focus" skill (coined "anchor").

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