Meditation and Modern Psychology:Meditation and Modern Psychology: East Meets West

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Sep 01, 2006

“The history of science is rich in the example of the fruitfulness of bringing two sets of techniques, two sets of ideas, developed in separate contexts for the pursuit of new truth, into touch with one another.”

—J. Robert Oppenheimer

“The Meeting of Meditative Disciplines and Western Psychology,” published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, American Psychologist (2006; 61 [3], 227–39), examines the possibilities for creating a new holistic conceptual framework that would embrace the dual disciplines of meditation and psychology to improve understanding of human potential. Authors Roger Walsh and Shauna Shapiro suggest that meditation offers the opportunity for new approaches to, and new areas for research in, the science of psychology.

Walsh and Shapiro recommend that investigators take advantage of the opportunity to study the unusual psychological capacities of advanced meditators to learn more about mental processes. Authors are optimistic that a partnership in which members of both disciplines work together can lead to further “exploration, understanding, healing and enhancement of the human mind.”

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at