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Second symposium on meditation “The Effects of Meditation on Spirituality”, 3rd Unit

Second symposium on meditation “The Effects of Meditation on Spirituality”, 3rd Unit

                    On October 3, 2015, Unit 3 of the Toyo University International Research Center for Philosophy (IRCP) held its second symposium on meditation at the Toyo University Hakusan Campus (Sky Hall, 16th floor, Building 2). Titled “The Effects of Meditation on Spirituality,” the symposium led off with opening remarks by IRCP researcher Watanabe Shogo followed by talks from three presenters. (For details regarding the first symposium, please see Journal of International PhilosophySupplement No. 6, “Toward a Philosophy of Coexistence: The Realities and Issues of Coexistence Among Religions” [February 2015].) Professor Haya Tatsuo (Aomori Public University) began with a paper titled, “The Objectives of Meditation and Its Utility.” He touched on topics such as Gautama Buddha having meditated to resolve suffering rather than to obtain a certain desired emotional state, as well as how to use meditation with its various functions depending on

us. Mr. Phrapongsak Kongkarattanaruk (visiting instructor, Ryukoku University) spoke next on “Meditation Methods in Thai Buddhism: Clearing Shadows in the Soul and Restoring the Original Inner Light.” Phrapongsak outlined the meditation techniques handed down in Theravada Buddhism that started in the early years of the Buddhist tradition, as well as the techniques used in Thai Buddhism today. His presentation included 10 minutes of actual meditation practice. Finally, Professor Nagasawa Tetsu (Kyoto Bunkyo University) presented some of the latest findings from neuroscience regarding the effects of meditation and their implication to the modern culture and education in a paper titled “The Neuroscience of Meditation and the Paradigm of Self-Transformation in the 21st Century.”  Meanwhile, he also pointed out the incapability

of modern science in explaining such phenomena as "thug dam" and the manifestaiton of relics found in theTibetan Buddhist tradition.

                   In the general discussion session that followed, visitors to the symposium offered enthusiastic questions on such topics as the effects of meditation and the significance of meditating in groups, which were thoroughly answered by the presenters. With some 60 people on hand, the event was an overall success.

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