Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body

Author: Daniel Goleman, Richard J. Davidson
This Month Reddit 3


by squizzlebizzle   2019-08-24

this is one of the most comprehensive books on your topic

by hlinha   2019-08-24

Two suggestions:

- Most of the science behind meditation, including effects in long-term practitioners - some of whom, presumably have attained stream entry - has been very well researched and reviewed in the book Altered Traits.

- Musings on awakening is a nice essay by pragmatic Dharma, TMI teacher Tucker Peck that includes his views on the "real life" effects of stream entry and 2nd path.

by hlinha   2019-08-24

OP appears quite happy with his current situation but FWIW it is always nice to refer back to this very short essay by Thanissaro Bikkhi: No-self or not-self?There are too many great points he makes in that essay so I'll just mention two:

- The Buddha categorically refused to answer the question of whether or not there is a self. Not-self/Anatta is a practice, its purpose is to outgrow itself. It is not a teaching on "ultimate truth".

- A unitive state (being identified as "everything") is still a self to cling to. If one is to realize complete liberation in the Buddhist sense, the Buddha suggests there's still work to be done.


I am all for scientific research related to meditation (I'd recommend Altered Traits for a summary of what has been done so far), but we have to recognize the limitations involved. A big one is the degree to which the researchers themselves the phenomena they are studying. The above excerpt is a good example of completely uncalled for speculation.

by Florin_Andrei   2018-03-04
> I think it is safe to assume that Long Term Happiness changes the brain "permanently" in the same manner.

Good intuition, and now we have hard scientific data to support it:

Please note I am using a somewhat more general meaning of the word "happiness" than usually understood.

Also, in your statement I would replace "same manner" with "similar manner, opposite direction" or something like that.