Encounters between Tibetan Monks and Western Scientists: a Talk with Dr. Marieke van Vugt
“[The purpose of meditation] is transforming your mind, making it more adaptive… and cultivating wisdom.””
Today we have with us Dr. Marieke van Vugt, a Neuroscientist from the University of Groeningen. In this episode of Science & Wisdom LIVE, Dr. van Vugt introduces the practices of analytical meditation and debate. She describes her experience with Tibetan Monks from Sera Jay Monastic University and the challenges of studying these practices scientifically. The last part of the podcast is a conversation between Dr. van Vugt and our audience which took place after her recent webinar. The evidence she presents shows that analytical meditation induces brain states associated with attention and focus and improves emotional regulation, validating scientifically the transformative potential of these ancient contemplative practices.
0:00 Introduction: Encounters between Tibetan Monks and Western Scientists
1:49 Meditation: familiarising your mind with wholesome habits
3:15 An Introduction to Analytical Meditation
8:21 The ‘rules’ of Monastic Debate
13:03 How can we study analytic meditation and debate scientifically?
15:14 Debate increases theta brain-waves, associated with attention and focus
18:02 Does monastic training improve emotion regulation?
21:03 The challenges and the fruits of doing science in the monastery