One of the features of realised human life is ‘embodiment’ – a sense of being fully situated within one’s bodily experience. This can be contrasted with different degrees of ‘dis-embodiment’ – a psychological dissociation from the body as the site of pain, trauma and suffering, which, in an existential analysis, can be seen as being driven by the fear of death, of the body’s impermanence.
It is this ‘situatedness in the body’ or the lack of it, that radically changes in the process of dying and death. The meditations that I will undertake can be seen from the perspective of awareness practices – key to meditation training – contemplation of death both as the impermanence of the body, and as the change in the relationship of one’s awareness of one’s body.
Our research explores changes in functional connectivity patterns in the areas of the brain known to process body awareness and sense of oneself as an embodied subject, and considers how these changes affect the dynamics between the two major networks, intrinsic and extrinsic, in the brain.
For more on this and related research, please see Zoran Josipovic’s site with links his papers.