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(p. 311) How meditation changes lives: Practice, research, and personal journeys 

(p. 311) How meditation changes lives: Practice, research, and personal journeys
(p. 311) How meditation changes lives: Practice, research, and personal journeys

Michael A. West

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date: 19 January 2021

This final chapter offers a reflection on how the contributions in this volume have advanced our understanding of the psychology of meditation in relation to both research and practice. The chapter explores themes from the analysis of the process and practice of meditation. It then reviews the literature on neuroscience investigations to determine whether these themes are reinforced by studies of brain structure and processes. The chapters on therapeutic and social applications are then considered in order to determine the extent to which meditation and mindfulness appear potent interventions (in the context of widespread claims for extensive benefits). The accounts of the personal journeys with meditation of the contributors are reviewed to reveal the extent to which the themes that emerged throughout the book are replicated in these highly personal accounts. Finally, directions for future research and the value of research being guided by practice are suggested.

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