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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an overview of the intricate connections between meditation and emotion. It begins by outlining a framework for understanding meditation, whereby practices can be classified according to four key parameters: behaviors of mind; object; attitude; and form. It also introduces some basic ideas around the nature of emotions, and affective experience more broadly. After that, the chapter has two main sections. The first explores direct interactions between meditation and emotion, where practices specifically target or elicit certain emotions. We shall look at four clusters of emotions: dysphoric; compassionate; reverential; and ambivalent. The second part then examines indirect interactions, in which the emotional effects of meditation are mediated by other processes. There we consider three such processes: physiology; cognition; and self-transcendence. Although the presentation is necessarily brief, the chapter gives an indication of the ways in which meditation may impact upon emotional experience. The chapter concludes by outlining directions for future research.

Keywords: meditation, mindfulness, emotion, qualia, Buddhism

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