I could quote Willoughby Britton all day, because she’s a fresh voice in a sea of hype. I think there’s fairly strong support for benefits in practicing meditation — but this lecture given at the 2012 Buddhist Geeks Conference, presents some very down-to-earth insight. The inteview is so pithy and remarkable — if you like the excerpt I strongly suggest you check out the whole thing. Here’s some of her speech:
And they say as a whole firm conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in health care cannot be drawn based on the available evidence. Basically, there’s no effect in meditation. The central problem: confusion over what constitutes meditation. So how can this be the case? I think for a lot of people we think that there’s so much proof that science is proving that meditation works and all these things. That’s way over hyped compared to the actual reality of the situation.
So how could this have happened. And I think that it’s not all our fault as scientists. I think there’s a deeper cultural phenomenon going on which I’m going to try to illustrate with what I call the Blobology effect. The Blobology effect very simply said is that when you show people….when people see colorful blobs on a brain scan, they can be convinced of anything. They can be convinced of anything even if what you’re saying makes no sense or if it’s absolutly preposterous. And even further people will believe brain scans over their own experience.
If you do check it out, you might as well check out the Buddhist Geeks website, it’s a treasure trove.