Meditation is the art and practice of inducing a beneficial state of mind. When we can control our thoughts and emotions, with loving kindness toward ourselves and others, we create the internal conditions for openness and creativity, grounded in an attitude of peacefulness.
- B. Alan Wallace, Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism and Christianity (Columbia University Press, 2009).
- B. Alan Wallace, Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge (Columbia University Press, 2007).
- B. Alan Wallace, Genuine Happiness: Meditation as the Path to Fulfillment (Wiley, 2005).
- Mary Carruthers, The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric and the Creation of Images, 400-1200 (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
- Joanna Cook, Meditation in Modern Buddhism: Renunciation and Change in Thai Monastic Life (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
- William Johnston, Silent Music: The Science of Meditation (Harper & Row, 1974).
- Donald A. Sulmasey, A Balm for Gilead: Meditations on Spirituality and the Healing Arts (Georgetown University Press, 2006).
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Tulku Thondup, Healing Meditations: Simple Exercises for Health, Peace, and Well-Being (Shambhala, 1998).
- Chögyam Trungpa, The Myth of Freedomand the Way of Meditation (Shambhala, 2005).
- Thomas Cleary, Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body (Shambhala, 2000).
- Stephen Snyder, Tina Rasmussen and Pa Auk Sayadaw, Practicing the Jhanas: Traditional Concentraion Meditation as Presented by the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw (Shambhala, 2009).
- Shaila Catherine, Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity (Wisdom Publications, 2008 ).
- Richard Shankman, The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation (Shambhala, 2008).
- Larry Rosenberg, Breath by Breath: the Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation (Shambhala, 1998).
- Eihei Dogen, Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation (Shambhala, 2004).
- Rob Nairn, Dimond Mind: A Psychology of Meditation (Shambhala, 1999).
- Ezra Bayda, Being Zen: Bringing Meditation to Life (Shambhala, 2002).
- Dalai Lama, Stages of Meditation: Training the Mind for Wisdom (Snow Lion Publications, 2001).
- Thich Nhat Hanh, The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion (Parallax Press, 2010).
- Robert Wright, Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment (Simon & Schuster, 2017): “The goal of ‘Why Buddhism Is True’ is ambitious: to demonstrate ‘that Buddhism’s diagnosis of the human predicament is fundamentally correct, and that its prescription is deeply valid and urgently important.’”
Here are some articles from medical journals:
- J. Ong and D. Sholtes, "A mindfulness-based approach to the treatment of insomnia," Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2010 Sep. 17.
- A.Chiesa and A. Serretti, "Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Psychiatry Research, 2010 Sep. 14.
- M. Merkes, "Mindfulness-based stress reduction for people with chronic diseases," Australian Journal of Primary Health, 2010;16(3):200-10.
- L. Fortney and M. Taylor, "Meditation in medical practice: a review of the evidence and practice," Primary Care, 2010 Mar;37(1):81-90.
- Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, "Support from neurobiology for spiritual techniques for anxiety: a brief review," 2009;16(1-2):53-7.
- J.M. Greeson, "Mindfulness Research Update: 2008," Complementary Health Practice Review, 2009 Jan 1;14(1):10-18.
- A. Chiesa and A. Serretti, "A systematic review of neurobiological and clinical features of mindfulness meditations," Psychological Medicine, 2010 Aug;40(8):1239-52. Epub 2009 Nov 27.
- A. Zgierska, D. Rabago, N. Chawla, K. Kushner, R. Koehler and A. Marlatt, "Mindfulness meditation for substance use disorders: a systematic review," Substance Abuse, 2009 Oct-Dec;30(4):266-94.
- R.P. Brown and P.L. Gerbarg, "Yoga breathing, meditation, and longevity," Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 2009 Aug;1172:54-62.
- E. Epel, J. Daubenmier, J.T. Moskowitz, S. Folkman and E. Blackburn, "Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres," Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 2009 Aug;1172:34-53.
- W.C. Bushell, "Longevity: potential life span and health span enhancement through practice of the basic yoga meditation regimen," Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 2009 Aug;1172:20-7.
- E. Dakwar and F.R. Levin, “The emerging role of meditation in addressing psychiatric illness, with a focus on substance use disorders,” Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 2009;17(4):254-67.
- K. Rubia, “The neurobiology of Meditation and its clinical effectiveness in psychiatric disorders,” Biological Psychology, 2009 Sep;82(1):1-11. Epub 2009 Apr 23.
Meditation can be active.
- Hasegawa-Ohira M, Toda M, DEN R, Morimoto K., Effects of tai chi exercise on physical and mental health, Nippon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2010 Jul;65(4):500-5.
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Meditative music is popular today. Much of it is formulaic but here are a few artists who have transcended that, a bit.
- The bamboo flute, used in traditional Japanese music, is a natural instrument for meditative music. Stan Richardson captures this on his “Shakuhachi Meditation Music”.
- Steven Halpern, “Om Zone” (2017) (67’) and “In the Om Zone 2.0” (2008) (75’) albums
- Steven Halpern, “Tonal Alchemy” (2005) (71') album
- Steven Halpern, “Deep Theta: High Coherence Soundscapes for Meditation and Healing” (2011) (80’) and “Deep Theta 2.0: Brainwave Entertainment Music for Meditation and Healing” (2012) (74’) albums
- Steven Halpern, “Music for Savasana” (2001) (60’)
- Tony Scott was a jazz clarinetist until he left for the Far East in 1959. He has recorded “Music for Zen Meditation and Other Joys” (1964) and “Music for Yoga Meditation and Other Joys” (1968) and “Meditation” (1977).
- Imee Ooi, Om Mani Padme Hum (Beautiful Chanting)
- Nawang Khechog, “Tibetan Meditation Music” album
- Tibetan monks, “Om Chanting” album
- Klaus Wiese, “Meditation, Volume 2”
- Arooj Aftab, “Siren Islands”: “While working on the project, Aftab spent many winter nights in a very deep musical meditation, experimenting with analog synthesizers, loop pedals, electric guitar, and her own deeply enchanting voice. It is an immersive work filled with 'spiraling soundscapes for lo-fi dreaming.'”
Arnaoudov, piano works:
- Incarnation Dans La Lumière, Ritual II (Incarnation in the Light) (1992)
- Un Pan De Ciel Au Milieu Du Silence (A Piece of Sky Amid the Silence) (1991-1994)
- Svarog Rituel, Ritual I (1991)
- Raga Bairagi, a Hindustani classical raag for morning (performances by Chaurasia, Banerjee and Sharma)
- Puckett, “I Enter the Earth” (2015), “sets words, spoken by shaman Kxao =Oah of northwestern Botswana in 1971, in a meditative work connecting body and soul with vocal swells, wide-pitched lead lines and static reflective held notes.”
- Fagerlund, String Quartet No. 1, “Verso l'interno” (2007): as per the title, this evokes turing inward.
- Eugène Ysaÿe, Meditation-Poème for Cello and Piano, or Cello and Orchestra, Op. 16 (1910)
- Tenebrae, Christian Forshaw & Nigel Short, “When Sleep Comes: Evening Meditations for Voices and Saxophone” (2022): “Exploring the distinctive sound world of voices and saxophone, When Sleep Comes juxtaposes ancient and modern, bringing new context and colours to sacred music by Orlando Gibbons, Hildegard von Bingen and Thomas Tallis. Also featuring a number of original works, the album as a whole invites you to a place of quiet reflection and contemplation.”