Much of what I have written about derives from my own personal experience with meditation and other activities associated with spiritual states. A hallmark of understanding the workings of meditation is the experiential aspect. One cannot truly understand it just through the intellect. One must experience it directly to comprehend fully. The authors of the recently published book Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, all seasoned psychologists, wrote about this issue. In attempting to incorporate Jon Kabat-Zinn's time-tested Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program into their own cognitive approaches in treating depression, they realized that hearing and thinking about the methods were not enough. They needed to be deeply engaged in the Mindfulness practices themselves before they had a true comprehension. They also realized in order to effectively treat depressed people with this technique, during teaching, they needed to remain in a mindful state themselves for the students to gain maximal understanding. When one has a direct experience, it can have powerful effects on belief. Such was my own as it pertains to spirituality and might explain why, as a scientist, I felt the need to search for clearer understanding of it.
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