ABSTRACT. An impressive number of neuroscientific research, qualitative studies and longitudinal explorations, behavioural investigations highlight the multiple cognitive, emotional or medical benefits obtained from various meditative practices. It is also worth noting the scarcity of studies that explore the beneficial effects of meditation or prayer in the tradition of Orthodox Christianity. On the one hand, we can see in this absence of studies concerning the beneficial effects of the Christian-Orthodox spiritual life the sign of an adequate understanding of the Christian faith that, in its authentic form, does not seek empirical evidence. On the other hand, the abundance of studies regarding the medical and psychotherapeutic effects of various meditation techniques proposed by other spiritual or religious traditions could create the impression that the spiritual life of the Christian-Orthodox tradition is medically or psycho-emotionally irrelevant.

Keywords: Orthodox Christianity; mindfulness; spiritual life; brain; meditative exercises; neuroscience

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PhD; Associate Professor at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology;
Executive director, Center for Research on Medicine and Christian Spirituality,
Providența Hospital;
Iași, Romania

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