From an academic rather than a popular vantage, the volume takes the claims and counterclaims about meditation to a deeper analytical level by including studies from clinical psychology and psychiatry, neuroscience, psychophysiology, and biochemistry. Each selection is a contribution to the field, either as a classic of research, or by being methodologically elegant, heuristically interesting, or creative. Original articles cover such topics as the effects of meditation in the treatment of stress, hypertension, and addictions; the comparison of meditation with other self-regulation strategies; the adverse effects of meditation; and meditation-induced altered states of consciousness.
Concluding with a major bibliography of related works, Meditation offers the reader a valuable overview of the state and possible future directions of meditation research. Today, in the popular media and elsewhere, debate continues: Is meditation an effective technique for spiritual and physical healing, or is it quackery? Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives weighs in on this debate by presenting what continues to be the most complete collection of scholarly articles ever amassed on the subject of meditation.