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Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice

Abstract : Scientific research highlights the central role of specific psychological processes, in particular those related to the self, in various forms of human suffering and flourishing. This view is shared by Buddhism and other contemplative and humanistic traditions, which have developed meditation practices to regulate these processes. Building on a previous paper in this journal, we propose a novel classification system that categorizes specific styles of meditation into attentional, constructive, and deconstructive families based on their primary cognitive mechanisms. We suggest that meta-awareness, perspective taking and cognitive reappraisal, and self-inquiry may be important mechanisms in specific families of meditation and that alterations in these processes may be used to target states of experiential fusion, maladaptive self-schema, and cognitive reification. Cognitive Mechanisms of Meditation Practice Well-being is a complex phenomenon that is related to a variety of factors, including cultural differences, socioeconomic status, health, the quality of interpersonal relationships, and specific psychological processes [1,2]. While mindfulness (see Glossary), compassion, and other forms of meditation are increasingly being studied as interventions to alleviate suffering and promote well-being [3–10], it is not yet clear how different styles of
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Cortland Dahl, Antoine Lutz, Richard J. Davidson. Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2015, 19 (9), pp.515 - 523. ⟨10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.001⟩. ⟨hal-01599345⟩



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