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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Margarita Plotkina
Transformation of Consciousness through Zen Practices in Terms of Eastern Tradition and Western Science
Asian Studies
(Bachelor’s programme)
10
2018
Contemplative neuroscience explores physiological processes that occur during meditation and attracts more and more attention in a scientific world. Zen investigations continue in the West, the varieties of its use boost along with the discovery of new brain`s possibilities and psychotechnics that lie on the basis of Zen practices.

The goal of this work is to match Eastern tradition and recent scientific investigations, to reveal common conceptions and algorithms that construct brain`s work in a usual condition and in a condition of meditation. Scientists just have started to explain different psychotechnics that lead to the transformation of consciousness. Mindful meditation helps to improve cognitive capacity, to improve concentration of attention, to strengthen intuition, empathy and prosocial behavior. Moreover, constant meditation gives a sense of satisfaction and pleasure.

The first section is dedicated to Eastern tradition – Buddhist religious and philosophical system, the history of Zen and types of Zen practices – koans, zazen, work and art. The second section includes Western approach to the study of Zen-Buddhism. The first chapter consists of comparative analysis of Buddhist and Western philosophy with the aim to find key diversities and some resemblances. In the next chapter Zen practices are considered through the synergic anthropology. Subsequently is given a review of neurophysiological studies and common information about brain functions. The next chapter provides information on how outcomes of scientific works are used in everyday life through the activity of Zen-centers and research centers, working on treatment programs.

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