Buddhist meditation, meditation, emotion control


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Buddhist Studies | Religion


Dr. Brent A. Smith


There has been a surge in popularity of meditation in medical research. Meditation is being considered an alternative to pharmacotherapy or a supplement to treatment of both mental and physical ailments. Two popular forms of meditation practices are being studied. This includes mindful meditation which finds it roots in Buddhist meditation techniques and the meditation practice of Zen Buddhism. Both forms outline a specific activity of meditation in order to achieve a goal. Mindful meditation and Zen Buddhism similarly partake in a sitting meditation with focus on breath and present awareness. Mindful meditation challenges the practitioner to become aware of any present feelings or thoughts with a non-judgmental attitude (Hanh 138). Zen Buddhism’s activity, called zazen, allows the practitioner to have control over the minds movement (Suzuki 33-46). One outcome of these meditations is the increase in emotional control and this is where the medical field takes interest. Recent medical research has studied the effects of this activity on the emotion centers of the brain. By analyzing the activity of zazen and mindful meditation and their effects on the brain, one can understand how they cause the practitioner to gain emotional control.


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