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Compared the ability of meditation and relaxation to reduce stress reactions in a laboratory threat situation. 60 18-31 yr old Ss, 30 experienced mediators and 30 controls, either mediated or relaxed with eyes closed or open and then watched a stressor film. Stress response was assessed by phasic skin conductance, heart rate, self-report, and personality scale (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Affect Adjective Check List, and Activity Preference Questionnaire). Meditators and the meditation condition habituated heart rate and phasic skin conductance responses more quickly to the stressor impacts and experienced less subjective anxiety. Meditation can produce a psychophysiological configuration in stress situations opposite to that seen in stress-related syndromes. Research is indicated on clinical applications and on the process whereby meditation state effects may become meditator traits.