Psychology of Meditation

By Loriliai Biernacki

Loriliai Biernacki charts the evolution of the nondual sense of self through the historical sweep of meditation practices that engender inner experiences:  self-reflection, introspection and a bodily-felt sense of wonder, which opens out to "an innate subjectivity that transcends our habitual subject-object distinctions." 

A cogent tour of the philosophy and development of subjectivity from the Vedic period through the rise of Jainism, Buddhism, Vedantic monism to non-dual Tantra, Biernacki points to a psychology of meditation in which the sense of self-focus is balanced with a profound relational sense of "the other" within the fullness of the world. The article concludes with a discussion about the cultivation of wonder as a meditative practice - rooted historically in 10th and 11th century CE writing - where through aesthetic concentration and sensate appreciation of the world, we are bathed in "a kind of metaphorical immersion in the sap of beauty” that "involves a melting and an opening of the heart …comparable to the state of the highest bliss, the supreme Brahman.”  

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