Imaginary or real. This is possibly our final expectation.
Baja California, Mexico 2007
The oceanside panels were lantern-lit in front of our little boat.
The uniform noise of crowd whooped into the little wolf-like children that came running towards our house, and they waved as I came out into their view. One paced behind them, an unnervingly serious kid.
I joined them atop the old wooden dock. A girl with messy hair neatly told me that she liked how I played. “From the first moment you took the ball.”
I told her that I couldn’t let her down now. She said she would appreciate it if I didn’t and then she probably said some other thing but by then I was against another kid’s Batman jacket. He said “Que onda wey,” with a particular accentuation that made me feel welcome and included. “Well I’m ready,” I said, too slow to catch my accidental pride. “You’re Miguel’s nephew! I knew you were going to be good!” One kid skated besides me and a dirty-tawny haired one had trouble holding up his pants, but he nonetheless orbited me like like a little ball, flickering in and out from the cluster of the rest.
Then a girl that made gestures with her tiny ankles asked me if I was going to do that trick shot this time. “Well, only if I get a chance.” “You should do it. Do a bicycle kick.” She stretched her words, conveying a longing to exalt that defined grace in my ears.
I was still riding my ego smoothly on the waves of praise when the disconcertingly darkness-shrouded boy said in close proximity, as if he’d thought for hours and hours how to send chills down my spine, “Whatever happens, you will remember me forever.”
I didn’t get a chance to process his words, only to feel the jet-black gravity of his existence fall and bear down on the mundane.
Now, one of the girls was jokingly suggesting I give everyone an autograph.
But wait, had that boy just threatened me and walked away? No, I sensed something extraterrestrial not something threatening. He was trying to be profound, and he succeeded because I felt him, and now I felt myself beyond these transitory good vibes, in a void of time that has no behind. He had been in this plane all along and tried to press the ‘save’ function.
I’ll tell you about my childhood. My past was… Hold on. If I am to attempt to describe my past, then my goal would have to be to list the totality of spacetime points that occurred before now. That is, if the word “past” is to stay true to its meaning. The location of spacetime points is sensory information that is not available to me, and it would be a bore to read. Then, to get a handle on who I was, I must let go of the sure embrace of physics, of science. Maybe if I define my past, not as the stream of spacetime points before now, but as the stream of my perceptions… No, then I run into a graver problem because I am only ever now. There is no perception that happens more than once. A recollection is now. It is a new birth.
Homo sapiens, the current iteration of a jawless fish from the universe expanding itself into eternal separation, started to suspect there was something wrong with their condition. ‘It is not us humans who have been endowed with the natural ability to see into the farthest stretches, to see in near-infrared light. Actually, we had to wait 200,000 years for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to make “the deepest image of the universe ever taken in near-infrared light.” (HubbleSite.org).
And this raft, I’m starting to think it wasn’t designed to carry us through because the “proteins and other constituents of our cells are all eventually damaged as the result of biochemical accidents that occur during normal metabolism.”’ (SENS Research Foundation).
And for a time they said: ‘We can’t see the truth behind the veil, so let’s rot while watching Netflix. I can’t save your life so I’ll imagine that this is the way it should be.’ During this lapse of nihilism, of forgetting to honor the sheer will-to-live of our ancestors, we died and died again, to the mocking tune of pop music. But a few courageous ones said, ‘No, I will make sure our cells can “clear garbage out of the way and reuse the raw materials.”’ (SENS Research Foundation).
“Can you do this?” He attempted a rainbow flick and got the ball only half up in the air. “arghh” with a smile. “Yeah. No problem, that’s easy.” One of the other boys, a younger one, looked to be lost deep in genuine analysis of how I did it. “Let me try!” “Alright.” “Hey, I want to try too!” They ran into each other and into the somewhat deflated ball in the way that poor, humble Mexican children do. I felt a sudden big-brother instinct, though I was only ten, and wished I could tell them to take it easy, but the Spanish version of that sentiment didn’t come to me.
“Your boat is cool. Will you let me go inside next time?”
I ignored him by heightening my engagement with the boy in front of me, who was hard to teach. In the midst of having his attention, this boy half-darted away, retraced his dust and said “score lots of goals.” The traditional ‘cascarita’ was about to begin, a soccer match between the local kids. And I was to take part, center-stage actually, though I was not a local.
I was a tourist. Not one budging in as an alien desecrator, but rather as an apparition, whose value lay in the fact that I could be seen for only a brief time. So they honored me in a way that they wouldn’t if they got to know me long enough to see that I missed my rainbow flicks too. Then I too would be one in the many. Someone who could not possibly deserve to be the recipient basket of veneration. I would be someone who could be pushed in the heat of the game.
The younger ones left the stage, to enthrall their eyes behind the fence. “Now Mario is going to show us how to play for real.” -It would be unreasonable to expect that there weren’t a few jealous moments, even then. But for all I can remember, they all enjoyed themselves to be carried away along their virtual, make-believe cult worship.- “Okay, cheer for me.” And without fail, they plugged in my name to the standard soccer cheer in the culture. “A la bim bom ba. Mario, Mario. Ra, ra, ra!”
We are products of evolution, not of benevolent design. Hence, we don’t have a biological program that we can fully trust. This manifests on two levels, but here it may be easier to talk at the level of the molecular flesh. Consider “the lysosome, a kind of cellular ‘incinerator’ that contains the most powerful enzymes in the cell for breaking mangled molecules down into manageable pieces.” (SENS Research Foundation). These lysosomes are rarely-appreciated particles of grace that are integral to the sustenance of everything we value, but they are not all-powerful: “sometimes these constituents are so badly fused together that not even the lysosome is able to tear them apart.” (SENS Research Foundation). One may argue all that one wants about how good and powerful they are, so long as these little warriors trudge along. But I feel no need to partake in that debate, the blood clot born of their incompetence can conjure up truer syntax.
Just as it was beyond our control that there was anything to be grateful for, so out of our control has it been for there to be nothing for which we can be thankful for: “if something can’t be broken down in the lysosome, there’s nowhere else for it to go: it just stays there until either the lysosome disastrously ruptures, or the cell itself is destroyed.” (SENS Research Foundation).
Maybe there is an enemy. Not a mere Jinn, an unrecognized accomplice who is ultimately part of the plan, but one who has been slowly machinating his final victory all along: “Over time, the material that the lysosome has been unable to break down accumulates inside of it, and eventually the rising buildup of such material begins to interfere with the lysosome’s function.” (SENS Research Foundation).
I am talking of that which is invisible. So I cannot expect to be believed, or rather, I couldn’t have in the past. But now, it is possible to see these occult devices and gears on Google Images, what a wonderful achievement. And if you just gaze into the dye, open to the careful tints of crystal violet stains and India inks, you may just enter into that esoteric plane of consciousness that pours with iodine gratitude for peptidoglycans. And then, transhumanism might make more sense, life might make more sense.
The word transhumanism, is underlined red as I type this on the text editor, so I can’t expect everyone to have heard of it. Essentially, the thesis is that humans ought to have the freedom to become posthuman: Longer health-spans because we may be missing out on something, more sensory modalities because they are not as highly developed as they could be, more intellectual capacity because we’ve all had moments were we wished we were a little smarter, etc; with no respect for the injunction that there is something wrong with ‘tampering with nature.’
But of course, it is clear that we are currently struggling to keep our basic bodily functionalities running properly. “This is an especially big problem for cells that have to last for a lifetime in our bodies, such as the cells that make up heart, the back of the eye, and nerve cells in the brain and elsewhere.” (SENS Research Foundation). What is always here, what is close and vital, is what stiffens from sickness. Not that which automatically renews itself. It is us, who must now give these elements our care, and will them anew.
“How can that creepy boy do that to me? Why me?” I thought.
“I have to live up to these kids right now.” But the hurtful ghost of empathy lingered. “Your mind has to analyze his psyche. Become distorted, become one with him, meld into him, you are the same.”
And the day after, we were leaving. Many of these children were family members, in so far as nameless people who you will never see again can be family members. And I don’t remember them, all these distant cousins and random street kids, their images are tattered approximations, fantasies really. And the boy who seemed a messenger from beyond the matrix… I may have held on to his true words, but you could say they are still here, wishing to be fulfilled.
To define my past is growing difficult. It might help if I define the present and the future. Press this against a dark contrast and reveal the outline. But this present is all there is. There is nowhere to go, nothing to define and make sense of. Thoughts can arise, carrying the suggestion of time, but they are here and now.
Is it possible to be so not mindful that an entire day forms one unit of perception? Is it possible to be so mindful that consciousness zooms in to the precise non-moment of zero? It seems that this the option available in consciousness: to zoom in and zoom out. But I cannot slide back and forwards.
To believe the memory by failing to notice that it is a manifestation of now, is to be swallowed, to forsake my true being for a narrative arc. A narrative that only a lost child can think he needs. But I can’t exorcise him quite so easily. He is not real, but his reverberation is.
Why tell a story about myself at all? Well if I had free will, I would choose not to. But here I am and there I was, I say. If I am to be the helpless marionette creating his own cannibalistic dream shadow, then I’ll see what silhouettes I can cut myself into against this blinding light I’ve found. Say it creatively, give it artistic sensibility, entertain them, entertain you. I will likely never be this near to you again.
Guanajuato, Mexico 2012
I could hear the monotone, rapid-patter rosary shoot-out between three old ladies in the sloped graveyard below. I kept walking along, smelling high-octane so strong that it penetrated the wood posts and seemed single substance with the waves of heat. The crammed Mestiz-ery of tiles and peeling paints became a narrower and dirtier street. My head turned in the Deja-vu way that it sometimes did, as if something in my subconscious had been looking for something.
Jesus. There was a crucified Jesus right on that Spanish-style pink cement house. I immediately got a Dawkins knot in my stomach. Even though Catholic iconography was very common everywhere in Mexico and even back home in my mom’s house, I couldn’t get used to it. Partially, it was immaturity, but I was also justified because I was on my forced way to church. And I was carrying some of that oppressive, uncomfortable discord that comes with being an atheist teen around religious family members.
So I sat down on a corner tortilla store. They had a loud radio like these warm-food smelling places always did. And there it was again. In the obnoxious reminiscing emanating from the waves of singed maize. “I was in a cafe, lost and set apart from my own parents when I heard the word of God. [Insert religious blabber here.]… ‘Jose,’ I said to myself, ‘What are you doing with your life?’ And I went back home in that very moment to ask forgiveness. And me and my dad talked all night about what really matters, which is our salvation. Our Lord in heaven allowed us to connect in the way that a father and son should.” Then the programming went on about soccer. And I had the thought that soccer could have served the specific function that religion served for that man and his father, given the appropriate preceding neuropsychological factors. Due to the bonding inherent in talking about something which is greater than the individual and the such. But I also realized that there was one crucial variable missing even if the indoctrination in some secular entertainment was on par: the promise of survival after death.
My mom guilt-tripped me to meet them at the church. It wasn’t a satisfying reason to go to church, but I got up and tried to think under the pervasive merchant pneuma surrounding me.
My emotional responses, I was just beginning to grasp, were like that turn of the head in that moment. Completely and absolutely predetermined by the previous instant. It is one thing to understand that libertarian free-will is an illusion from an intellectual perspective, but it is quite another to directly perceive that destabilizing and yet liberating truth, even for brief, unmistakable moments.
If I cannot honestly say that I created or chose how I felt, then why should that emotion be entitled to belong to me? Why should I hold and fan the flame of annoyance? I’ll just let it wilt. And if it comes up again. I’ll notice that it wasn’t my intention, and let it wilt again.
Chewing on a dead rabbi never bothered me so little.
Although I don’t know if the potential of gaining or losing something of value is generally greater within a certain age in the human lifespan. There is something I know…
Someone can say that at age ten I was x, and then at age fifteen I was y. Or even say that from the entire interval past a number, I became “this”. But the attempt to define a variable of that magnitude conveys a naive and gross overestimate of one’s capabilities in the present moment.
But this doesn’t mean there aren’t real or useful things we can say in regard to human age. There are legal, biological, and social definitions of what is a child and what is an adult. And this leads me to reconsider my previous conclusion on the topic of past and storytelling. Maybe I shouldn’t only seek to create something entertaining and artistic, like a romanticist disenchanted with the yet unfulfilled promises of the Enlightenment. I should also seek truth and usefulness.
I can suffuse my story with expressions like, “I was neither a child nor an adult.” And this might incite, however inadequately, a feeling that the reader can relate to. But it is also an untrue statement within the context of the scientific worldview, and also within any legal system. So just how much should I tear and mangle the fabric of what is real and socially useful? I think it depends on the circumstances. If I am living in a post-scarcity society, then it would make sense to enrich people’s lives with the best tools of creation, simply for its own sake. By then, writing would probably be obsolete, as we would be able to directly transfer emotions and moods to other people.
But in our current situation, great art is not intrinsically useful. A van Gogh hardly constitutes a shield against a charging rhinoceros. Neither is it a shield against cardiovascular disease and poverty. Let’s admit that we live in a world of suffering and death. The cure is clearly scientific progress. Or rather more specifically, and quite strictly, responsible deployment of new technology under the commitment to well-calibrated moral sentiments. Since I doubt this essay will be useful to the advancement of science, the ideal of this essay would be that it has moral value.
The changing rate of work of every constituent of every physical thing was set in motion by the Big Bang. It may be user-friendly for conscious beings like ourselves to think that a film moved us to tears. Actually, the manifestation of a predetermined set of equations set itself to tears through your eyes. You may think that you get up in the morning because you love your work and family. But actually you get up because the Big Bang said so. If you do feel love for some precious moment and another person feels a sadomasochistic necrophilic urge, it is also because the Big Bang said so. So why is it trying to live through us, and in such an inconsiderate manner? Who are we? The Hubble squints, but “The faintest and reddest objects in the image are galaxies that formed 600 million years after the Big Bang.” (HubbleSite.org). We cannot retrieve the truest, furthest memory, only phantom reverberations.
Self-control is real, but not really real… you exaggerated. Of course the brain sometimes causes it’s body to override its habitual response in order to set in motion adaptive, more useful behaviors. Its what I did when I learned to unclench my fist in the church. Nothing in that fact about the brain’s evolution even minutely, diminutively, infinitesimally suggests that the laws of physics are violated. What we mean by control is actually luck. There are those whose lives is a constant crashing into the waves of social reflex, the brain has the felt emotional response cocked-and-loaded and the subject continuously identifies with whatever is churned out. And then there are some of us who have been lead, for whatever reason, to cultivate a watch-dog constancy in the mind.
“The human desire to acquire new capacities is as ancient as our species itself.” (Bostrom). So try to modify yourself in that spirit. See if you can hold a half-smile for an entire day. No faltering. No giving in to social pressure. No giving in to rumination. Keep a slight smile no matter what thoughts or sensations or sights arise. If you succeed, you can congratulate yourself at night.
From this corner of the Big Bang’s untwining, to yours.
Only three periods later, I would be in the final round of the debate tournament. Each member of the AP History class had been tasked with embodying a historical figure, and arguing for one’s greatness.
There had been an Attila the Hun, an Otto von Bismarck, and a Genghis Khan I had to stab my way through on my mercenary road to assassinate who would be the last to defy my superiority… and it appeared to be Mao.
Clearly, Mao wasn’t a good character. I had read scientific papers evaluating mortality rates across the world, and they often omit the Chinese Great Leap Forward, because the millions of rural peasants starved to death skew the trend.
I, on the other hand, was guilty of no such thing. Many barbarians were fended off from taking the seed of what would become Western Civilization, sure. “Almost no one can be expected to feel empathy for barbarians that died two thousand years ago,” I thought. “A month is named after me.”
But the very fact that she was my opponent and that Gandhi lost early, proved that success wasn’t contingent on the soul being embodied, but rather how the machine was working its ghost. She was a smart girl. Straight A’s in all her AP classes. Finally, a challenge that I could feel. Someone who felt threatening.
I sprinted full-speed up the stairs like I always did. Obsessed with competing at almost everything I could get away with. All the failed challengers were there, some impartial, but none on my side. Those who had made the brackets and betted for me were in the other class period.
I took out my notes, so executively prepared that Augustus would have adopted me had he seen them.
Then the real executive reared his head and commanded a change of rules. “You are no longer to debate each other. Instead, half the class will join one leader, and the other half will join the other. Then you are to compose a short speech that serves to…”
Needless to say, if you knew me at the time, I did poorly. I stammered the words of the collective in a defeated way. But I won. Though she pulled through almost perfectly regardless of the change, she forgot a crucial part of the instructions. And that was the end. She conceded defeat in the professional way she did, and I lost.
I had been in the halls too much. The marauders dealing doses of hatred. All these cliques throwing a rag over their cave. “We’ll turn on this oven and if its ghetto fumes don’t protect us from the cold, we’ll grow delirious unto this haze of conjured shadows.”
I had been around my teammates too much. Ignorant of their piety to those unclean necessities that are but collected power-ups for the genes playing the game under the lineages of time.
“Damn these underfunded locker-rooms and the inept teachers who couldn’t manage to get into the rich suburbs. May the earth shake and crumble these prison walls. All this bravado without foundations. Stop cornering me. Everyone is like this. The rest are cowards who will be eaten alive.
Now I’m in the College Studies Program. With these cocky smart people. They’re no different. Just whiter and over-achieving. Why have you made me into this? A narcissist who is forbidden from winning by virtue of his essence. I can’t befriend those who will not let down their spears in my presence.”
Could I send him a message, it would be to ask himself again, this time more profoundly, “Well then what do I carry mine for?”
The things I have written, I have deleted. If there is a quality of mind that I believe should be cultivated, should be unforgotten, it is equanimity. From this refined state, other “wholesome”, as the Buddhists call it, mindstates arise.
I hope that my future achievements in science become obsolete, having been a few little of the myriad enzymes that catalyzed the unraveling of the butterfly from the cocoon. To imagine that there could be an answer, cast of transience like any other, that could so fully mean something, is to not understand consciousness. When those not familiar with a lived philosophy like contemplative Buddhism look into these works, they make the mistake of searching for conceptual claims of the form they have come to expect from other traditions. But as Chogyam Trungpa explains in regard to The Tibetan Book of the Dead, “comparing it with “The Egyptian Book of the Dead in terms of mythology and lore of the dead person seems to miss the point, which is the fundamental principle of birth and death recurring constantly in this life.” (Chogyam Trungpa).
The language and conceptualization arising in my mind has grown more beautiful since I learned to witness it with a smile. The shift from concerning myself with it’s meaning, like the misguided academic, to concerning myself with the mere fact that it exists for a moment, allows me to flow along with greater ease along this life.
Impermanence is one of the three marks of existence in Buddhism, and is the one we can all agree on wether Buddhists or not. But what is sometimes, and I say should always be sought, is constancy. We should rebel against nature. Even if a Buddhist trains her mind day in and day out to accept and become one with the transiency, she is developing a constancy of recognition. She has faith in the constant recognition of transiency, and thus summons for that unnatural entity to be the witness from her purple salmon wake to her evening tea.
“So much to do, so little time.” It’s a phrase from a video game I played when I was ten. The video game began with a young boy having a hauntingly beautiful dream, in which he descended into an abyss, standing on what seemed like a large stained-glass church window. Unlike Sora, who can be reborn many times by children everywhere turning on their consoles around the world, the phrase had remained true for me, even paralyzingly so sometimes. But then the voice said, “Take your time. Don’t be afraid.”
The aesthetic there might have helped inscribe something of value into my neurons because I remembered that phrase when my mind was complaining about a homework assignment. The mind will find a way to take issue with something if you let it. “It’s too restrictive of creativity. Why can’t they let me express myself?” or “It’s too open-ended. There are no answers here. I want something concrete.” No. It’s okay. Take your time. Don’t be afraid.
But in another sense, it is important to really understand that first part. “So much to do, so little time.”
This will conserve the continuity of volitional intent to overcome idleness and boredom. And also to bring clarity to life’s choices. Even at the oft neglected, more nuanced, level of life choices. Like, should I replay my past. Again and again rewatch these images to see if I have missed something that could be crucial for understanding the movie. Or are we living in a world where:
a. watching movies in solitude is not the most morally appropriate thing we can muster ourselves to do
b. watching “The Birth of a Nation” no matter how good a critic you think you are, does not lead to the truth beyond our senses, that which science catches glimmers of
c. watching movies, especially the same movie again and again, doesn’t lead to my own happiness
There are moral insights that can come from film, or unintentionally from a video game played as a child. Likewise, something important may arise if one clearly contemplates something that just happened. But it is important to take the insight, once retrieved, and run onward as fast as possible, returning to the present. Lest we turn from the light and into the cyclic chasm of our own Samsaric dissatisfaction.
The dictionary can’t even make up it’s mind on what is the correct way to regard something. Something that seems so crucial to understand. It says that consciousness is “The quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself.” (Merriam-Webster). But then it has entry b. which says that consciousness is “The state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact” (Merriam-Webster).
Well consciousness is the only thing that I can truly be sure is real in this moment. Every appearance, suggestion of order, could hypothetically be an illusion. But the fact that I’m conscious is the truth. And am I to believe that we cannot yet conclusively prove that we are conscious of an external world as opposed to everything being an inner dream? The question is genuinely intriguing to me, the so-called “hard problem of consciousness”: Why should it feel like something to be an arrangement of atoms? I have honestly no clue how that is possible. I am agnostic about the whole question of materialism vs. some kind of well-thought out (in so far as any of this can be “well-thought out”) dualism or panpsychism. But maybe given, “so much to do, so little time,” the dichotomy between the two dictionary definitions should be taken differently, less literally, but possibly more meaningfully: Am I a being who will live for myself? Do what is interesting to me in this short life. Or is there really a world out there. Is it not ridiculous to deceive myself into thinking there’s not, when evidence is abundant in the tolls of the diseases, the aging, and the choice-less death? If I am to accept the “external fact” then I must abide by its implications.
A mind-state I assume most value, is what some may call love, which I here describe as: A pleasurable affection, compatible with the image of your own mother, which arises partially as an intangible mood-tinge but also in the body, head, the face. Such an appearance in consciousness, I would argue, is as convincingly superior to a feeling of judgement or self-doubt or physical pain, as the color of the clear daytime sky is blue. And this is why I have no patience for moral relativism. It seeks to say that colors are a lie because blind people exist. Sure, colors are actually just a simulated experience of different sized wavelengths which carry no intrinsic color-essence. But that says nothing to the fact that most of us see the sky as blue, most agree which crayon is which. And that is because our retinas are working properly and perceiving different sized wavelengths. The crests and troughs really span different nanometer lengths. And someone like Sam Harris makes the great point that we never feel tempted to undermine the objectivity of medicine, of health-science. I remember him saying something along the lines of, “If someone said they consider constant vomiting and being in constant fever as synonymous with being healthy, researchers and doctors wouldn’t suddenly throw up their hands in defeat, the scam finally having been revealed.”
It is just a fact that we have to contend with that our trying to scientifically tap into the different states of consciousness, and which are better than others, is going to be difficult.
Meditation is unarguably the most clever thing you can do in the absence of medicine, it is a technology in its own right. We can’t say things quite as precisely about such a technology as we can about any given man-made gadget or drug. But increasingly, more scientists try. And they come up with somewhat ambiguous definitions like this:
“Meditation is conceptualized here as a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes developed for various ends, including the cultivation of well-being and emotional balance.” (Lutz et. al).
But we must continue honestly sifting through the mind, through the world, through the world which happens to only manifest it’s presumed existence in our minds, through whatever this is, with constancy.
From endeavoring into the past, I have found shards scattered. Only some of these shards were worthy of picking up. Upon holding them close, having somewhat heedfully evaluated their potential, positive energies were stirred and I now can hold too, without forsaking my more dire interpretation of the story, that not only can we not see into the depths of who was, but also that “no galaxies have been seen before at such early times” (HubbleSite.org). I cannot discern absolute darkness or a light too blinding. There is always something there, something behind it all, that justifies a smile. There will one day be a “new deep view” and maybe it won’t fall as short of our expectations as a tardy “600 million years after the Big Bang.” (HubbleSite.org). I’ll live a simple life, donate most of my money and hope that maybe someday someone, somewhere, having traversed from Australopithecus to space-faring god, will see who he truly was all along.
Karma-gliṅ-pa; Chogyam Trungpa; Francesca Fremantle (2000). The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo. Shambhala Publications.
Lehar, Steve. (2000). The Function of Conscious Experience: An Analogical Paradigm of Perception and Behavior, Consciousness and Cognition.
“Hubble’s Deepest View of Universe Unveils Never-Before-Seen Galaxies”. HubbleSite.org.
Bostrom, Nick (2005). “A history of transhumanist thought” (PDF). Journal of Evolution and Technology.
“LysoSENS”. SENS Research Foundation.
Lutz et. al; Slagter, HA; Dunne, JD; Davidson, RJ (2008). “Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.