Meditation and enlightenment

Fundamental well-being, nondual medidation, non-symbolic experience, samadhi, socially-approved zoning out, YOL∞

January 5, 2016 — December 21, 2022

Figure 1: Taming the mind

Meditation. Feels like it might do something useful. Not quite as hip as LSD microdosing but much cheaper.

Questions: Can it help with life? With productivity? How much of it do you need to actually help? What kind?

2 Biofeedback

Curious about empirical verification of benefits of EEG-type feedback. Certainly the hardware is getting affordable-ish.

3 Connection to canalization

See Canalization.

4 Incoming

Gwern, 2013 Lewis meditation results:

A small group of Quantified Selfers tested themselves daily on arithmetic and engaged in a month of meditation. I analyze their scores with a multilevel model with per-subject grouping, and find the expected result: a small decrease in arithmetic errors which is not statistically-significant, with practice & time-of-day effects (but not day-of-week or weekend effects). This suggests a longer experiment by twice as many experimenters in order to detect this effect.

Scott Alexander reviews a bunch of books and theories. e.g. The Mind Illuminated, Mastering the core teachings of the Buddha, and seems to come out saying… words.

Jhanas and the Dark Room Problem is his attempt to put this in the context of predictive coding.

5 Retreats

6 References

Benson, Beary, and Carol. 1974. The relaxation response.” Psychiatry.
Dodds. 2017. Slightly Generalized Generalized Contagion: Unifying Simple Models of Biological and Social Spreading.” arXiv:1708.09697 [Physics].
Doran. 2017. A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism: Reclaiming the Mindful Commons. Routledge Studies in Sustainability.
Dunn, Hartigan, and Mikulas. 1999. Concentration and Mindfulness Meditations: Unique Forms of Consciousness? Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.
Echenhofer, and Coombs. 1987. A Brief Review of Research and Controversies in EEG Biofeedback and Meditation.” J Transpersonal Psychol.
Glueck, and Stroebel. 1975. Biofeedback and Meditation in the Treatment of Psychiatric Illnesses.” Comprehensive Psychiatry.
Hölzel, Carmody, Vangel, et al. 2011. Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density.” Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.
Jha, Stanley, Kiyonaga, et al. 2010. Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience.” Emotion (Washington, D.C.).
Levy, Wobbrock, Kaszniak, et al. 2012. The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Multitasking in a High-Stress Information Environment.” In Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2012. GI ’12.
Mackenzie, Poulin, and Seidman-Carlson. 2006. A Brief Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention for Nurses and Nurse Aides.” Applied Nursing Research.
MacLean, Ferrer, Aichele, et al. 2010. Intensive Meditation Training Improves Perceptual Discrimination and Sustained Attention.” Psychological Science.
Martin, Ericson, Berwaldt, et al. 2023. Effects of Two Online Positive Psychology and Meditation Programs on Persistent Self-Transcendence. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice.
Moore. 2000. A Review of EEG Biofeedback Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.” Clinical Electroencephalography.
Salminen, Järvelä, Ruonala, et al. 2022. Evoking Physiological Synchrony and Empathy Using Social VR With Biofeedback.” IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing.
Tang, Lu, Geng, et al. 2010. Short-Term Meditation Induces White Matter Changes in the Anterior Cingulate.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Zeidan, Johnson, Diamond, et al. 2010. Mindfulness Meditation Improves Cognition: Evidence of Brief Mental Training.” Consciousness and Cognition.