The Psychology of Meditation

Varieties, Effects, Theories, and Perspectives

by Peter Sedlmeier

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Print edition
The Psychology of Meditation (PDF & EPUB)
ISBN: 9781616765767
2022, xii/294 pages
Print edition
The Psychology of Meditation
ISBN: 9780889375765
2022, xii/294 pages
The Psychology of Meditation

All you need to know about the scientific psychology of meditation:

  • Written by an expert in the field
  • Provides unique theories of meditation approaches
  • Explores traditional and Western approaches
  • Recommends how to improve future research
  • Explores new topics, e.g., negative effects

More about the book

What is meditation? What do people hope to get from practicing it and what do they really get? How can the effects of meditation be explained? And what are the best approaches to researching the psychology of meditation so we can understand more? This volume provides state-of-the-art answers to these questions. Contrary to commonly accepted wisdom, meditation comes in huge varieties and the reasons why people begin to meditate (and stay with it) are also numerous and diverse. Even mindfulness, which is often (wrongly) used as a synonym for meditation, comes in many forms.

This book first describes the varieties of meditation in detail and then succinctly summarizes the beneficial effects found in the avalanche of studies available, especially in clinical contexts, and also explores recently emerging topics such as negative effects and the impact of ethics and spirituality. The author expertly provides theories of four main traditional meditation approaches, which has never been done before in this form, and gives a critical overview of Western approaches to explain the effects of meditation. In conclusion, he makes recommendations on how to improve future meditation research. This book is of interest to meditation researchers, mental health practitioners, students interested in meditation and mindfulness, and to everybody who seriously wants to know more about the topic.

From the reviews

“Appreciating the immense work behind such a great product, I believe that Sedlmeier’s work has the potential to stand as a high-profile resource for studies in the realm of meditation in psychology. Throughout the book, the author’s expertise is evident. This book liberally offers definitions, conceptual theories, and common measurement tools in mediation and mindfulness [and] provides a middle ground between the scientific and traditional approaches to meditation … a unique and balanced endeavor.”
Faly Golshan, Brain Health Lab, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, in British Journal of Psychology, 114 (2023)

“Readers will receive succinct, articulate, well-written supportive data (cited) to help them create an expansive picture of meditation – its forms/types, timeline, and most significantly clinically and scientifically based perspectives and information that I have not seen gathered in one place before.”
Nancy Eichhorn, PhD, in Somatic Therapy Today, December 2022

Praise for the book

“Drawing on a rare combination of personal experience and scientific expertise, Sedlmeier has provided an invaluable introduction to the science of meditation. Readable, rigorous, and well-researched, this book reveals where the field is at today and lays out a roadmap for the research of tomorrow.”
Kieran C. R. Fox, PhD, School of Medicine, Stanford University, CA, USA

“Comprehensive and beautifully written, this is the book we always hoped some inspired meditation practitioner and researcher would write on the state-of-the-art of the varieties, effects, and theories of meditation. It presents the science of meditation and its practice with refreshing insights that will be of interest to novice and seasoned meditators as well as to skeptics.”
Nirbhay N. Singh, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Mindfulness, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, GA, USA

“Lucid and likely to become a classic, this marvelous new book does double-duty as a valuable inclusive reference for researchers, and a surprisingly readable, integrated, and jargon-free tour of scientific research and traditional perspectives on the effects and modes of operation of major meditative practices for everyone.”
Doug Oman, PhD, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA; former President of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

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