Research on the Buddhist Practice of EmptinesswithWilliam Van Gordon

Books Mentioned In This Interview

William Van Gordon, PhD, is a Chartered Psychologist who lectures and conducts research in psychology at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom. He sits on the editorial board for various academic journals including Mindfulness and Mindfulness and Compassion.

He is also co-editor of two academic anthologies: Mindfulness and Buddhist-derived Approaches in Mental Health and Addiction, and The Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness. William has over 100 academic publications relating to the scientific study of meditation. Prior to joining academia, William was a Buddhist monk for ten years.

Here he describes a multi-year research project involving advanced Buddhist meditators who were able to enter into a particular state of consciousness known as emptiness. This is something of a paradoxical state involving an investigation of the nature of the “self”. A year was spent selecting and recruiting meditators who were skilled in this practice. Detailed descriptions were collected of this unusual state of consciousness. A battery of psychometric tests revealed that “emptiness” produced more profound changes in these meditators than did “mindfulness”.

(Recorded on September 26, 2019)

To order Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness, edited by William Van Gordon, click here:

Published on October 1, 2019


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