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Self-Transcendence: Discovering One Kind of Awareness by Losing Another

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Join A Healthier U and the Drexel Meditation Group for a special lecture related to the Science of Meditation. Religious beliefs and mystical experiences can be found in human societies across the globe and throughout history. Self-transcendence - a state characterized by the dissolution of boundaries between self and other and a feeling of connectedness to the universe as a whole - is a primary feature of such spiritual experiences and is commonly reported in various contemplative practices, including meditation. However, little is known about how this uniquely human and often profound state arises. One possibility is that self-transcendence emerges, in part, from a disruption to body awareness in states of intense concentration. This lecture will discuss Buddhist texts as well as psychological and neural studies supporting this embodied basis of self-transcendence, and how such a low-level physical alteration might drive such lofty and mysterious experiences.


Our speaker Eileen Cardillo received her doctorate in experimental psychology while a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Pennsylvania. She currently coordinates the participation of brain-injured patients in neuropsychological research at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and teaches in the Applied Meditation Studies program at the Won Institute of Graduate Studies. In her own research, she combines behavioral and neural studies to understand the neural basis of language, verbal creativity, and the cognitive changes associated with meditation. 


For more information, please contact Monica Fauble:


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Monica Fauble

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Sky View Room, MacAlister Hall, RSVP Required


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