In this guest blog for Scientific American, John Yates explores the ways that many meditation practices qualify as science.
“In the history of meditation practices that qualify as scientific, meditation masters have used models of the mind generated by meditation to modify meditation techniques for increased efficacy. Such modifications can be viewed as hypotheses, and their implementation as experiments. When these modifications are subsequently preserved because they are effective, the experimental results have passed the tests of replicability and falsifiability required by the scientific method. The picture of meditation as science is complete. The hypotheses generated in response to observation and analysis have been tested, validated, and incorporated into the expanding body of knowledge. Such meditation practices are justifiably described as an evolving science, and the laboratory in which this science is carried out is the mind.”