Petaluma, Calif. (PRWEB) October 11, 2011
Stress, anxiety, sleep problems, hormone imbalance, and heart disease are a few of the many medical issues increasingly treated with meditation as scientific research over the last 80 years progressively revealed more of its health benefits. Additionally, research has shown that people who strive to make significant life changes are more successful when their transformation is supported by meditative practice. As a leading organization advancing the practice of meditation and the science of consciousness research, the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) this week launched the most comprehensive, up-to-date bibliography of meditation research. Available on IONS’ website, noetic.org, to medical professionals, therapists, researchers, and academics, the meditation bibliography offers new features to also ease accessibility and search functions for a growing population of the public incorporating meditation into their lives, work, families, and communities.
With the demand for scientific data on the benefits of meditation continuously increasing, the number of meditation studies published each year has shown steady growth since 1965, when 15 reports were available, according to IONS. IONS’ bibliography now contains nearly 6000 references.
Based on the largest known centralized meditation bibliography assembled by Esalen co-founder, Michael Murphy and psychologists Steven Donovan and Eugene Taylor, the bibliography incorporates a keyword search engine and provides downloadable abstracts and citations. When available, links to full text articles are provided. The database contains early meditation research from obscure publications through current research and is updated quarterly from PUBMED, PsychINFO, and other scholarly databases. While IONS meditation bibliography offers free access to all of its resources, the non-profit organization accepts donations to support the cost of updating and maintaining the site.
Easing Access to Research
To increase widespread understanding and application of meditation, IONS also has included several tools into its meditation bibliography website page. These include videos explaining the bibliography and how to navigate it; an audio recording offering tips on reading research articles; and meditation resources available from IONS' comprehensive archive of consciousness-related media, including articles, recorded talks, interviews, and guided meditations.
IONS makes its meditation bibliography search engine easy to use, serving important real-world applications and simplifying research efforts. For example, a general practitioner may be interested in the benefits of meditation for patients with hypertension and stress. A prison psychologist might want to investigate the efficacy of meditation for an inmate population. And a new mother with anxiety may wish to know if and how meditation might help her.
History of the Meditation Bibliography
The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation was originally published in 1988 by the Esalen Institute under the direction of Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan as a part of Esalen’s Institute for Exceptional Functioning. IONS published the second edition in 1999 with a comprehensive bibliography covering meditation research from 1931 to 1996. An insert with additional references to accompany the book was completed in September 2002, and the entire bibliography was uploaded to the IONS website.
IONS now updates the bibliography several times a year and has widened its search of keywords to include contemplation, contemplative prayer, mindfulness, mindful awareness, nondual, meditative, centering prayer, Zen, Vipassana, TM/Transcendental Meditation, acceptance-based, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
Credit for the publication of the meditation bibliography goes to:
Original authors, Michael Murphy, Steven Donovan; Eugene Taylor, original foreword writer;
Marius Robinson, Jim & Christina Grote of The Esalen Institute for visionary support, principal researchers, Cassandra Vieten, Dean Radin, and Marilyn Schlitz; formatting and uploading, Ann Wilmott Andersson of Lunar Halo Studios, and contributors Ingrid Ammondson, Ted Esser, Jonathan Kiritharan, Ethan Hay, Mark Krigbaum, Blake Ohlig.
About the Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Institute of Noetic Sciences is an international non-profit organization advancing consciousness research to benefit education, health care, personal growth, and social good. Its three program areas offer potential for positive change in the world: consciousness and healing, worldview transformation, and the science of interconnectedness. IONS also operates EarthRise at IONS, a 120-bed conference center on a 194-acre campus in Petaluma, CA.