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We will be provided with an authorization token (please note: passwords are not shared with us) and will sync your accounts for you. The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge.
Recent years have seen a burgeoning interest in mindfulness-based approaches, primarily driven by growing evidence of their beneficial effects on physical and mental well-being.
To consolidate these largely theoretical propositions, it will be crucial to advance our understanding of the underlying cognitive, emotional, and neural processes.
While significant differences exist between Buddhist views of mindfulness and modern psychological adaptations, there is broad agreement that a clearly formulated mental training, usually referred to as meditation, is required for developing and improving levels of mindfulness (Chiesa and Malinowski, 2011).
The Liverpool Mindfulness Model presented in Figure 1 aims to capture and integrate the core components that are involved in mindfulness practice and to provide a framework for directing future research (Malinowski, 2012).
The model structures the process into five main tiers: the driving motivational factors (tier 1) determine whether and how an individual engages in the mind training (tier 2).
Training and refining attention skills are central to most psychological and Buddhist conceptualizations of mindfulness practices (Lutz et al., 2008) and are the main concern of this review. Of particular interest to this review are the attentional processes that constitute the backbone of these practices. Figure 2A summarizes the assumed process of focused meditation by considering three layers: the phenomenological experience of the meditator, the underlying attentional processes, and the brain networks subserving these processes.
Evidence gained with a variety of methodological approaches clearly indicates that mindfulness meditation increases the efficiency of attentional functions, reflected in performance increases as well as changes in neural activity and underlying neural architecture.
As Figure 2 schematically outlines, sustaining focused attention over extended periods of time requires the interplay of several attentional processes.
Employing cross-sectional comparisons, several studies reported significantly better performance for meditators than non-meditators on this task (see Figure 3A) and found that task performance was also related to lifetime meditation experience (Chan and Woollacott, 2007; Teper and Inzlicht, 2013) and levels of self-reported mindfulness (Moore and Malinowski, 2009).
However, to gain an understanding of the cognitive and neurophysiological processes that are reflected in performance changes on attentional control tasks, it is important to study the underlying mechanisms in a purer and more detailed fashion. A recently published study offers a further explanation for the lack of meditation-specific behavioral effects. Meditation is a universal process that brings you from gross, to subtle, to the subtlest aspect of your being and beyond.
Also, at first the meditation practice may look complicated, or extensive, and a simplicity in the sequence of the meditation practice is not directly discovered, even though you might intuit the simplicity, you might intuit a logic in the order and steps of the practice. There are three layers or obstacles you will have to dive through; these are body, breath, and mind. Later on in the process you get so familiar with letting thoughts come and you’re not getting disturbed by the thoughts that also latent impressions from the unconscious mind can come forward. Allowing the thoughts to come and go, to not be disturbed by them and holding the mind in a space will after some time exhausted the mind in bringing forward more thoughts. The more the mind sees the simplicity of the process and thereby also the profundity of the simple meditation practice, the more the mind is able to do the simple meditation practice. From this point you sit in the silence and darkness without an object, holding the awareness in the space between the breasts listening for the inner sounds or in between the eyebrows looking for a tiny black circle. Only after you have done all you can, meaning have come to this point of practice (where you couldn’t do anything anymore but sit and wait in stillness and darkness) so much that you are exhausted, then grace will pull you in and lead you the rest of the way, all the way until the Non-dual Reality is experienced.
Do not move your body, whatever urge may come forward to want to move the body; do not give into it, DON’T MOVE is the first thing you pay attention to when you start your meditation practice. You move your awareness through the body, is this way you make the body the first object of your meditation. After reading these words and the mind understands it, or most of it…it is time to start practicing it! This site is an offering to those who deeply long to experience Pure Consciousness that is known as Divine Mother or Tripura (‘Tri’ means three, and ‘pura’ means city); She is the one that lives in the three cities of Waking, Dreaming and Deep Sleep.
On this site the teachings of Yoga, Vedanta, and Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra are offered to guide you in learning to meditate directly on Tripura by using modern ways of communication such as through animations, while preserving the ancient wisdom.
Ko Im is a certified 200-hour vinyasa yoga instructor who has facilitated meditation overseas and leads workshops. Sudden Loss - Impact of a grief-crisis intervention immediately after a sudden violent death on the survivor's ability to cope. In 1995 I collaborated to write Compassion Fatigue: Coping with secondary Traumatic stress Disorder in Those Who Treat the Traumatized (Figley, 1995). The concept of Compassion Fatigue has been around only since 1992 when Joinson used the term in a nursing magazine. Yet, most systematic studies of the effectiveness of therapy point to the therapeutic alliance between client and clinician, the ability to empathize to understand and help clients (Figley & Nelson, 1989).
Compassion Fatigue is the latest in an evolving concept that is known in the field of Traumatology as Secondary traumatic stress. The American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic disorders manual (DSM IV (APA, 1994) notes that Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is only possible when one is traumatized either directly (in harm's way) or indirectly, as a parent. Compassion Fatigue is a more user friendly term for Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is nearly identical to PSTD, except it affects those emotionally affected by the trauma of another (usually a client or a family member).
Compassion Fatigue, however, is related to the cognitive schema of the therapist (social and interpersonal perceptions or morale). A recent book focuses on both the secondary traumatic stress and burnout found among modern families (Figley, 1997).
A recent study (Barnes, 1997) of emergency medical personnel, for example, found that parents are traumatized out of caring for their injured child. This volume reports on five research projects that investigated the incidence and prevalence of compassion fatigue among professionals working with the suffering.
In a doctoral dissertation, Lee (1995), based on the data analysis of 132 Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT), drawn from those listed in their national association's directory, found a statistically significant relationship (r=.20) between and Compassion Fatigue scores and caseload dissatisfaction. The study predicted and found a strong relationship between Compassion Fatigue and various cognitions associated with general morale in one's personal and professional life (Cognitive Schema).
The results show that a measure of Cognitive Schemas was significantly correlated (r = .34) with a measure of Compassion Fatigue. Another recent report of an unpublished study (Pelkowitz, 1997) notes that nurses working in a Trauma Unit in South Africa with prisoners were especially vulnerable to compassion fatigue. In an exhaustive review of the professional literature, Beaton and Murphy (1995) assert that emergency or first responders and crisis workers absorb the traumatic stress of those they help. One central question in future studies should be: Who is most vulnerable to Compassion Fatigue in what type of work setting, under what types of conditions, and, once developed, how can it be treated and return the worker back to good morale. Moreover, since research suggests that there is a significant overlap in effectiveness of various PTSD treatment methods found useful for clients suffering from PTSD and the methods found useful for professionals suffering from Compassion Fatigue.
In the years since Compassion Fatigue: Coping with Secondary Traumatic stress Disorder in Those Who Treat the Traumatized (Figley, 1995), an impressive number of books, chapters, and articles were published. This means that you will not need to remember your user name and password in the future and you will be able to login with the account you choose to sync, with the click of a button. This page doesn't support Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8.Please upgrade your browser or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. In parallel to research evaluating the effectiveness of these approaches, a second line of investigation concentrates on unraveling the psychological and neurophysiological processes involved. The refinement of attention regulation skills features centrally in all conceptualizations of mindfulness training and recent neurophysiological evidence shows that regular, brief engagement in a simple mindfulness meditation significantly improves attentional control processes (Moore et al., 2012). Regular engagement in mindfulness practice develops and refines the mental core processes (tier 3), primarily based on the refinement of attentional functions that interact with and facilitate regulatory processes of emotions and cognitions. As outlined in Figure 1, the training of attention skills is thought to underpin emotional and cognitive flexibility, bringing about the ability to maintain non-judging awareness of one's own thoughts, feelings, and experiences in more general terms.
Within cognitive neuroscience attention is commonly thought of in terms of three main functions: (1) the modulation of arousal, alertness, and attentional engagement, (2) the function of stimulus selection, and (3) the function of attentional control processes. On the phenomenological level the meditator will engage with the practice by focusing on the relevant meditation object, for instance, the somatosensory sensation accompanying ones breathing.
Similarly, compared to an active control condition, significant improvements in Stroop performance were observed when mindfulness was induced by means of three 20-minute mindfulness sessions, delivered via audio-recording (Wenk-Sormaz, 2005). Improvements in Stroop performance from T1 to T3 were as large in the control group as they were in the meditators. Teper and Inzlicht (2013) investigated attentional control mechanisms in the Stroop task by focusing on the neural processes involved during the response phase, rather than on the stimulus processing stage discussed so far. This perspective highlights the close link between attention regulation and emotion regulation skills (also see Figure 1) and raises a question concerning their refinement: do improvements in emotional regulation skills precede those in cognitive processing or vice versa and are executive control processes the basis for improved emotion regulation skills? The sages of the Himalayas have given us a method of systematic meditation, that guides you through all the appearing layers of your being, to experience the Non-dual Reality that seems to lie behind those layers, although there is actually nothing but the Non-dual Reality. So you can witness the whole of the mind and come to know that there is something beyond the mind.
A one-pointed mind supports the process of subsiding as it is less or no more distracted by the movements and entanglements that float around in the mind-field, but is willing to concentrate on the object you want it to concentrate upon.
When you persist to explore, to deepen and to grow into the practice, simply by keep doing them, the simplicity will reveal itself. Or in different words there are three tools you will have to utilize to their maximum capacity or three doors you‘ll have to go through to go to the ‘beyond‘; again these are body, breath, and mind.
Make the body still and comfortable, with a straight spine, then the body will not be an obstacle, and you can you beyond.
Make the breath diaphragmatic, with no pauses and slow, still, smooth, so that sushumna opens, which is called sushumna awakening. During this rising and falling away of thoughts you are able to stay undisturbed and unaffected by the whole stream of thoughts, and do not get uninvolved with it.
Then you can continue to hold the mind in the space and allow the mantra to come forward and lead you from its words, to its feeling, to its awareness, to its source.
The mind will understand when to do what during your meditation practice, and the mind also come to know when it is time to stop trying to do anything.

Because if you would do something it would be in the realm of body, breath, or mind, meaning it would bring you back outward into the levels of mind, breath, and body. The asanas will also make the muscles around the spine stronger, this will help you to sit straight. This release of tension is done in savasana, corpse posture (see relaxation posture), by doing a systematic relaxation. First be aware of your breath and slowly and gently allow the breath to become as breath describe above, and meets the five qualities. These vigorous pranayama exercises will also purify your subtle body and will support opening sushumna or keeping sushumna open if it already opened during relaxation or yogasana.
Temporary leaving behind the three cities and residing only in Pure Consciousness is called Self-realization. These teaching have been given to us by an ancient lineage of meditation masters, lovingly called the Tradition of the Himalayan masters. There are things you cannot control and impending changes that have a tendency to affect our moods.
The more we want certain situations, the more we find ourself in situations we do not want. Also, the purpose is to encourage collaboration toward building a sound theory and research base that will lead to effective programs for preventing and treating compassion fatigue encourage collaboration toward building a sound theory and research base that will lead to effective programs for preventing and treating compassion fatigue.
Indeed, my recent book on burnout in families (Figley, 1997) emphasizes the full extent of the negative impact of the family system. Table 1 provide a useful contrast between the symptom criteria for PTSD and Compassion Fatigue. Among the conclusions was that families both breed and destroy stress among its members and that PTSD spreads in the family like a virus unless families have ways to cope. The consensus among these experts: Families need more attention to both heal themselves and the member most physically injured. The picture that emerges is clear: Those who work with the suffering suffer themselves because of the work. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. A more precise understanding of these processes will facilitate the refinement of mindfulness-based interventions and will allow the development and fine-tuning of programs that account for specific psychological or physiological conditions and cater for individual circumstances and predispositions. These results provide important insights into the development of core processes of mindfulness and establish a useful reference point when investigating the effects of more elaborate or expanded practices, or when considering the interactions between attention and emotion regulation skills. This general understanding is echoed by other authors who explain mindfulness as being “characterized by dispassionate, non-evaluative, and sustained moment-to-moment awareness of perceptible mental states and processes. Improvements in these core processes result in a changed and more balanced mental stance or attitude (tier 4), that will result in a positive outcome (tier 5) in terms of physical and mental well-being, and the quality of behavior.
The majority of the employed paradigms discussed so far were not geared toward separating out the involvement of the different attentional functions or networks. Reflecting these behavioral outcomes, meditators and controls did not differ regarding a typical neural signature of response conflict, a negative ERP deflection peaking between 400 and 600 ms post stimulus, which is usually correlated with task performance (Liotti et al., 2000). If you see the universal process of meditation that is contained within this systematic method it will make the method more logical and understandable, which then hopefully has the effect of making both the process and the method appear more simple and doable. To then direct all you effort to that beyond the mind, by first using a mantra and then to directly meditate on the non-dual reality that lies beyond the mind. In the beginning the mind will even search for the complexity as it is still entangled in the one end of manifestation dealing with duality, multiplicity and complexity.
Increasing mastery over the mind will gradually transform you from imbalance, contraction and ignorance –> to equilibrium, expansion, and all-knowing, as it is able to dive deeper into the layers of your being. You also need to understand the whole process first before you can actually start doing the meditation practice.
Your true nature, the Non-dual Reality, no matter what name you like to give it; peace, happiness, joy, love, or Brahman, is beyond these three (body, breath, and mind). Then you can allow the conscious mind to do what it always does; allow it to move, by allowing it to present thought after thought after thought. If you add to this process to hold your awareness in a space, either in the space between the breasts or in the space between the eyebrows, the mind will not be an obstacle, and you can gradually move through the mind.
The mind will come to see that Reality lies beyond itself and therefore it is in itself an obstacle to the experience of the Non-dual Reality, so eventually it has to voluntarily step aside.
These practices lead us to a space of stillness and silence where Yoga meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer converge into deep devotion and constant awareness of Tripura.
The more we control our mind, the more our inner peace increases and the happier we become. That same year Jeffrey Kottler (1992), in his book, Compassionate Therapy, emphasize the importance of compassion in dealing with extremely difficult and resistant patients. Some would argue that it is wrong for a practitioner to have deep feelings of sympathy and sorrow for their client's suffering.
The most important ingredients in building a therapeutic alliance include the client liking and trusting her or his therapist.
In the years since its publication, an impressive number of books, chapters, and articles were published.
It is obvious that we can be traumatized by helping suffering people in harm's way as well as being in harm's way ourselves. Indeed, the trend in the 1990s has been toward greater support for the American family to cure many social ills.
The results also indicated that MFT professionals experienced Compassion Fatigue that was higher than medical students did but lower than PTSD stress clients did. Among the negative consequences that are often not linked to their work include substance abuse and relationship conflicts. The treatment ad prevention of long-term effects and intergenerational transmission of victimization: A lesson from Holocaust survivors and their children.
This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills.
Each tier and component of this model, as well as the interactions and assumed causal relationships between them, warrant further detailed research and render the model a suitable roadmap in this endeavor.
Figure 2B provides a schematic presentation of the brain areas associated with these networks. The inner circle outlines the phenomenological layer, presenting the typical sequence (clockwise) a meditator will go through.
In the moment the mind loses the focus on the object and mind wandering occurs, the default mode network will become more active. This definition captures the central features of mindfulness practice and indicates the relevance of sustained attention in this process.
Importantly, most tasks tapping sustained attention will also recruit attentional control functions, such as the monitoring and updating of information, mental set shifting, and the inhibition of proponent, but non-relevant responses (Miyake et al., 2000). Participants new to meditation practice engaged in daily 10-minute sessions of mindful breathing meditation over a period of 16 weeks and performed the Stroop task before (T1), half-way through (T2), and after completion of the 16-week meditation period (T3).
Thus, although clear evidence for better Stroop performance of meditators than non-meditators has been found in cross-sectional comparisons, it did not emerge in the same way in a longitudinal study.
It is conceivable that with extended task exposure this anticipatory regulation was perfected in both groups, possibly resulting in the observed ceiling effect. The authors found enhanced ERN amplitudes in meditators compared to controls after a Stroop error was committed.
This may sounds like a paradox; you will have to do the meditation practice to understand it better but you have to understand the whole process first to be able to do the practice. Its beyond the appearance of multiplicity, duality, form, sound, movement, entanglement, moving outward, gross, subtle, subtlest, words, feelings, awareness, imbalance, contraction, ignorance, and complexity. The mind will first show you impressions of today, of the last week, of stuff you’ll have to do in near future. Some might think of Tripura as an anthropomorphic being but She is not, She is the Non-dual Reality in which all appearing manifestation seems to exist.
Emptiness is not nothingness but is the real nature of phenomena; it is the way things really are as opposed to the way they appear. And certainly practitioners must understand their limitations in helping alleviate the pain suffered by their clients. And these feelings are directly related to the degree to which the therapist utilizes and expresses empathy and compassion.
This book is an effort to further clarify the concept of compassion fatigue through theory, research, and treatment.
In a recent interview, Figley (Peeples, 2000), discusses this and other studies of family burnout and the role of family specialists in helping families cope. MFT professionals in the sample had an average of 63% of their client load was traumatized.
Further speculations about the implications of these findings are risky until other studies confirm the relationship.
This is consistent with the finding of McCammon and Jackson (1995) who reviewed the emergency medical professionals.
Visit the Academy of Traumatology web site for information on training opportunities for certification in compassion fatigue prevention. Keynote presentation at the Conference, Families and close relationships: Individuals in social interaction, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, February. Compassion fatigue: Coping with secondary traumatic stress disorder in those who treat the traumatized. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. For example, neurobiological processes of wanting and liking may be of great importance when supporting people with addictions or binge eating disorders (Kristeller and Wolever, 2011), while the monitoring and self-regulation of cognitive and emotional states may be emphasized in programs tailored to the needs of individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Zylowska et al., 2008). These two forms of training have been explained as Focused Attention (FA) and Open Monitoring (OM) meditation practices (Lutz et al., 2008), respectively.

The right frontal and right parietal cortex and the thalamus are involved in alerting functions. The middle circle relates the attentional processes that lie underneath, while the outer circle represents the different brain networks that are involved in carrying out these functions. Sooner or later the meditator will recognize the mind wandering by means of the attention monitoring function and the involvement of the salience network.
ERPs were recorded concurrently to study the neuronal changes of attentional control processes. A possible explanation might be that the repeated administration of the same task mandated by the longitudinal design lead to a performance ceiling. Further analysis revealed that meditation experience improved attentional control primarily in an indirect way, by fostering the acceptance of emotional states, an aspect of mindful emotion regulation abilities that was assessed by self-report (Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale, Cardaciotto et al., 2008).
It’s not a process of attaining, gaining, or going somewhere where you have never been before, therefore its not a process of figuring out something new by thinking or analyzing your way to it. It simply means that by doing the meditation practice it will help you to understand the meditation practice and a better understanding of the meditation practice will support and improve your meditation practice.
First you direct your attention through body, breath and mind, then you surrender into the mantra and into the Non-dual Reality. This is known as shaktipata, through which the final barrier is removed, which is the piercing of the bindu, and leads to the direct experience of Non-dual Reality. However, based on secondary data and theory analysis, Burnout, Countertransference, worker dissatisfaction, and other related concepts may have masked this common problem (Figley, 1995). However, MFT professionals, as a group, are experiencing only a moderate level of Compassion Fatigue, as measured by the IES.
However, there is growing, indirect evidence that perceptions about self worth (personally and professionally) and the value of family, friends, community, and other social resources are closely related to general morale. Paper presented at the First World Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Amsterdam, June.
The returned prisoner of war and his children: Evidence for the origin of second generational effects of captivity.
Treating therapists with vicarious traumatization and secondary traumatic stress disorders. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. Programs addressing recurrent depression may focus on recognizing and stepping out of automatic modes of thinking and feeling (Kuyken et al., 2008) and the development of self-determination and resilience has been suggested for the treatment of severe mental illness (Davis and Kurzban, 2012). Although conceptually FA and OM can be separated, even simple forms of mindfulness training will entail both components. The superior parietal cortex, temporal parietal junction, frontal eye fields, and superior colliculus are involved in orienting. When mind wandering is detected, the meditator lets go of the distracting train of thought or experience by means of attentional disengagement and the involvement of the executive network.
The glass brain slices show activation differences between T1 and T3 for each group and congruency. The results showed that meditation practice influenced the neuronal responses to the Stroop stimuli in two important ways. This suggestion is supported by the fact that performance did not improve in either group after T2 and that accuracy was above 95% for incongruent trials. Further analysis revealed that the socio-emotional functioning was influenced by enhancement of response inhibition skills, lending support to the hypothesis that attentional control skills may underpin the development of emotion regulation skills. Its not a process of doing, but rather to support the natural process that occurs when you stop doing or in other words you allow this natural process to happen. There will come a point where you will see and understand the profundity of the simplicity of the meditation practice and come to understand the whole process, and that moment may feel like; now I can really start practicing meditation! To keep inviting thoughts to come forward, the mind does not have time to get involved with them or get engaged or entangled with them, because a new thought is already coming, therefore the mind will create a new habit; to let go. This finally reveals an unimaginable Joy from knowing the Non-dual Reality or Pure Consciousness! The test helps you determine the degree to which that were at risk of burnout and compassion fatigue. This book will attempt to advance our knowledge and applications of compassion fatigue assessment, prevention, research, and treatment.
Vicarious traumatization, for example, refers to a transformation in the therapist's (or other trauma worker's) inner experience resulting from empathic engagement with clients' trauma material. Vicarious traumatization: A framework for understanding the psychological effects of working with victims. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Initially a practitioner will engage more with the FA component to develop attentional stability, clarity, and awareness of the current mental state.
The subsequent return to the meditation object is achieved by shifting the focus back to the object, a function of attention involving the executive and the orienting network. Similarly, Moore and Malinowski (2009) reported a positive correlation between self-reported mindfulness and performance on the d2-test of attention (Brickenkamp and Zilmer, 1998).
The task requires participants to rapidly name or indicate the color of the font a word is presented in (see Figure 3B).
Salmon-colored areas indicate a decrease in activation and green areas indicate activation increase. Nevertheless the study highlights the need for purer designs that do not conflate too many components. Firstly, it led to a relative increase of lateral posterior N2 amplitudes (160–240 ms) over both hemispheres, irrespective of stimulus congruency (Figure 3C).
A new measure also includes a satisfaction scale in addition to burnout and compassion fatigue. However, the concept is encased in an elaborate theoretical context that is difficult to measure and traumatic issues from all others in the client-therapist transactions.
Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Only then will it be possible to engage in a meaningful way in OM practice, which entails a moment by moment attentiveness to anything that occurs in experience. Recent neuroimaging evidence further subdivides the function of the latter network, suggesting that the dorsal ACC, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and the neighboring anterior insula constitute a salience network. This process can unfold within a few brief moments or can extend over longer periods of time. Furthermore, mindfulness practitioners performed significantly better on this test than their matched non-meditating controls (Moore and Malinowski, 2009).
On the right hand side ERPs (line graphs) and ERP-component amplitudes (bar graphs) are depicted for left and right posterior sites (C) and for posterior central sites (D). These changes in the meditation group were primarily driven by increased activity in the left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for congruent stimuli, which was contrasted by decreased activity in similar brain areas in the control group. The finding that performance on executive control tasks was affected by emotion regulation abilities might explain why cross-sectional studies tend to find performance differences, whereas the longitudinal study did not.
Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed.
With increasing experience, OM practice will become less reliant on FA and can eventually be maintained without focusing on any explicit object.
With increasing levels of expertise, periods of sustained focus and attentional stability may become more and more extensive (Wallace, 2006), whereas for a beginner, even longer periods of mind wandering may pass unnoticed. Similarly, Valentine and Sweet (1999) and Pagnoni and Cekic (2007) reported better performance of meditators in sustained attention tasks.
High proficiency in this task is thus thought to indicate good attentional control and relatively low automaticity or impulsivity of one's responses.
The second difference between meditators and controls was observed in the P3 component, peaking between 310 and 380 ms, primarily for incongruent stimuli. For the latest version, visit Beth Stamm's excellent web site, which has information on many measures. These effects are cumulative and permanent, and evident in both a therapist's professional and personal life (Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995, p. Although described as separate, these processes and brain network activations may indeed overlap and occur in parallel, expressed in Figure 2A by rendering the components of the middle and outer circle as partially overlapping. In other studies the attentional blink paradigm was employed to investigate how a three-month intensive meditation retreat improves meditators ability to sustain the focus of attention, as compared to a non-meditating matched control group (Slagter et al., 2007, 2009). While the participants in the control group exhibited an increase of the P3 amplitude for incongruent stimuli, a decrease was observed for the meditation group, attributed to reduced activity in lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal regions of the right hemisphere (Figure 3D).
For instance, evidence from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) indicates sustained activity in the salience network during meditation (Baron Short et al., 2010). Performance to the second target in the stream typically suffers if it appears within 500 ms after the first target, the so-called attentional blink effect (Shapiro et al., 1997). This performance detriment was significantly reduced after the meditators had completed their meditation retreat. In parallel, the amplitude of the P3b event-related potential (ERP) elicited by the first target stimulus, was decreased in meditators. The participants with the greatest decrease of the P3b amplitude also showed the largest decrease in attentional blink size (Slagter et al., 2007). Because the P3b component is considered to index the allocation of attentional resources, these results suggest that the meditation training improved the meditators ability to sustain attentional engagement in a more balanced and continuous fashion. An additional analysis of the phase of oscillatory theta activity following successfully detected second targets showed a reduced variability across trials, a signature of more consistent deployment of attention in meditators (Slagter et al., 2009).

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