Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

Synopsis

In a world of continuing stress and nonstop sensory input, the one thing that seems increasingly elusive is peace of mind. Pharmaceuticals and other potentially harmful measures provide relief for some people.

Excerpt

There has been a remarkable amount of interest in the relationship between science, faith, and contemplative practices such as meditation for centuries and perhaps especially in most recent years as new scientifically based research and clinical findings have appeared in the professional and popular press. In addition to the publication of high-quality scholarly articles and books, the popular news weeklies such as Time and Newsweek have published cover stories on this topic on multiple occasions in recent months and years. The professional, medical, and psychological community has responded with numerous conferences, articles, and scholarly activities that have greatly helped move this area of research and practice forward. In fact, our Spirituality and Health Institute (SHI) group here at Santa Clara University recently published an edited book on spirituality and health entitled Spirit, Science, and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (2007, Greenwood). In this book, we examined a broad range of topics that highlight both research and practice in spirituality and health integration. In this book project, we would like to focus our attention on contemplative practices such as meditation among the various religious and spiritual traditions in efforts to improve health and well-being. Contemplative practices such as mindfulness meditation have become very popular both in the general population as well as among health care professionals. However, mindfulness is just one of many contemplative practices that have been successfully used in various professional and nonprofessional health care outlets that also have adequate research support for their use in improving both psychological and physical health. Other contemplative approaches generally . . .

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