In the chapter, we explore the "training" of attention in the Zen Buddhist practice of sitting meditation (zazen) from the perspectives of cognitive psycholgy and cognitive neuroscience. In doing so, we integrate three propositions: 1. zazen cultivates present-centered awareness or sustained selective attention to one's moment-by-moment experience; 2. the practice of sustained selective attention in zazen interacts with executive processes in order to regulate attention; 3. as the ability to sustain present-centered awareness increases, the need for attentional regulation decreases, and more cognitive resources are available for "simply noticing" whatever occurs in one's moment-by-moment experience.
Contribution to Book
Where neurocognition meets the master: Attention and metacognition in ZenPsychology
Document TypeBook Chapter
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan US
Chapter ofSoul, Psyche, & Brain
Citation InformationKahan, T. L., & Simone, P. (2005). Where neurocognition meets the master: Attention and metacognition in Zen. Chapter to appear in K. Bulkeley (Ed.), Soul, Psyche, & Brain (pp. 113-137), New York: Palgrave.