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The Field Study of Long-Term Meditation Practitioners

Photo courtesy iStock

We all aspire to live well, but little is understood about how to die well. We’re studying an ancient meditation practiced by present-day expert Tibetan Buddhists and how such a practice might offer insight into the death process, both for the dying and for their support community.

People Working on This Study

Richard J. Davidson
Founder, Center for Healthy Minds & Healthy Minds Innovations, William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry
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Svyatoslav Medvedev
Co-PI, Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; Full Member, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Biomedical Problems
Dr Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang headshot BW
Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang
Co-PI, Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; Chief Medical Officer, Delek Hospital
Tsewang Tamdin headshot
Tsewang Tamdin
Co-PI, Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; Chief Medical Officer, Men-Tsee-Khang
John D. Dunne
Core Faculty at the Center for Healthy Minds, Distinguished Chair in Contemplative Humanities, Professor of Asian Languages & Cultures
Leslie Eisenberg
Senior Research Fellow, Center for Healthy Minds
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Alexander Fedotov
Forensic medical expert of Russian team, Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; Ryazan Bureau of Forensic Expertise
Robin Goldman
Robin Goldman
Director of the Research Support Core, Center for Healthy Minds
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Julia Boytsova
Scientist of Russian team, Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; Institute for Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences
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Tawni Tidwell
Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds
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Elena Kokurina
Coordinator of Russian team, Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; CEO and Academician, N.P. Bekhtereva Foundation for Brain Research Support
Geshe Norbu
Geshe Ngawang Norbu
Field Supervisor of Unit A of Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; Director, Sera Jey Modern Education Department
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Geshe Lodoe Sangpo
Field Supervisor of Unit B of Tukdam Study, CHM Collaboration; Science Teacher and Coordinator, Gaden Gangtse Monastic University, Mundgod, India
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Kristin Blake
Research Assistant, Center for Healthy Minds & Psychiatry Resident, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch
Research Software Developer, Center for Healthy Minds

Media Related to this Project

Study: Brain Activity Can Surge at Time of Death
Jun 02, 2023
New research shows that the dying may experience a spike in consciousness.
Review: “Tukdam: Between Worlds” by Donagh Coleman
Mar 27, 2023
A documentary explores the unique death state of Tibetan Buddhist meditators.
'Tukdam: Between Worlds' Film Review
Jan 13, 2023
A new film investigates tukdam, the Tibetan Buddhist phenomenon of postmortem meditation, and the subtle space between life and death.
The Thukdam Project
Jul 28, 2021
Center Founder and Director Richard Davidson and Postdoctoral Research Associate Tawni Tidwell discuss the Tukum research project, the first-ever scientific study of post-mortem meditation.
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