Measuring a Journey without Goal: Meditation, Spirituality and Physiology (2015) Heather Buttle


Measuring a Journey without Goal:  Meditation, Spirituality, and Physiology by Heather Buttle (2015),  BioMed Research INternational,  Article ID 891671

1.0 hours of CE credit                                          Cost = $10.00 (post-test only, article is free)

Journal Article.  6 pages of text, 2+ pages of references

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Intermediate level

From the Abstract:  The secular practice of meditation is associated with a range of physiological and cognitive effects, including lower blood pressure, lower cortisol, cortical thickening, and activation of areas of the brain associated with attention and emotion regulation.  However, in the context of spiritual practice these benefits are secondary gains...  

This review starts by considering meditation in the form of the relaxaiton response... before contrasting mindfulness research that emphasizes the role of attention and alertness in meditiation.  This contrast demonstrates how reference to tradtional spiritual texts ... can be used to guide research questions.

Course Objectives

After reading this paper the reader will be able to

1.  Contrast the Relaxation Response with mindfulness meditation, noting similarities and differences

2.  Give at least one example of how knowledge of the spiritual aspects of meditation has been used to guide and expand research

3.  Discuss at least one criticism of mindfulness interventions.

Author affliliations

Heather Buttle -  (1) School of Psychology, Massey University, Aukland, New Zealand and (2) Mind and Life Institute, Amherst College, Amherst, MA