Meditation types

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Chapter 9 endnote 41, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

Key regions in the interoceptive and control networks are larger for meditators, and connections between these regions are stronger.

Several types of meditation practice have been studied in the lab:

  • Techniques that help you concentrate better, using breath, a mantra (a spiritually meaning word or phrase), or a picture or physical experience to focus your attention. Meditators train their ability to rest their attention on this object and disengage their consciousness from everything else going on.
  • Mindfulness meditation emphases staying present in the moment and maintaining an alert, present, nonjudgmental state. It is important not to let the mind wander to the past or future, not to ruminate on anything, and not to let the mind associate to other topics. The goal is to deconstruct mental states to their most basic experiential elements and observe them in a deep state of equanimity.
  • Guided meditation involves using a chant, a mandala (a complex picture of religious significance) or feelings of loving kindness or compassion to guide attention to a particular content.