Tibetan Buddhist monastic debate: Psychological and neuroscientific analysis of a reasoning-based analytical meditation practicevan Vugt, M. K., Moye, A., Pollock, J., Johnson, B., Bonn-Miller, M. O., Gyatso, K., Thakchoe, J., Phuntsok, L., Norbu, N., Tenzin, L., Lodroe, T., Lobsang, J., Gyaltsen, J., Khechok, J., Gyaltsen, T. & Fresco, D. M., 3-Jan-2019, Imagining the Brain: Episodes in the History of Brain Research. Elsevier, (Progress in brain research).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › Academic › peer-review
Analytical meditation and monastic debate are contemplative practices engaged in by Tibetan Buddhist monastics that have up to now been largely unexplored in Western contemplative science. The highly physical form of contemplative debating plays an important role in the monastic curriculum. Based on discussions and recorded interviews Tibetan monastic teachers and senior students at Sera Jey Monastic University and preliminary experiments, we outline an initial theory that elucidates the psychological mechanisms underlying this practice. We then make predictions about the potential effects of this form of debating on cognition and emotion. On the basis of initial observations, we propose that successful debating requires skills that include reasoning and critical thinking, attentional focus, working memory, emotion regulation, confidence in your own reasoning skills, and social connectedness. It is therefore likely that the many cumulative hours of debate practice over 20 + years of monastic training helps to cultivate these very skills. Scientific research is needed to examine these hypotheses and determine the role that monastic debate may play in terms of both psychological wellbeing and educational achievement.
|Title of host publication||Imagining the Brain|
|Subtitle of host publication||Episodes in the History of Brain Research|
|Publication status||Published - 3-Jan-2019|
|Name||Progress in brain research|
- Contemplative practice, Emotion regulation, Meditation, Monastic debate, contemplative education, Buddhist, critical thinking