Meditators know the most about meditation, if science ignores them they miss a trick.
(The research is now complete, thanks to all who participated)
Do you meditate or practice mindfulness?
I am currently undertaking an academic survey into meditation and wellbeing. I would like to ask meditators over the age of 18 to complete a short anonymous questionnaire about their practice (it should take around ten minutes). The research has been ethically approved and conforms to all the usual academic norms.
This important research seeks to capture the meditation and mindfulness experience of practitioners of different levels of experience and backgrounds. Based on meditators self reported insights, this projects follows recent signposts in contemplative science putting greater emphasis on the experiential nature of mindfulness and meditation.
How to think about the research of contemplative science
Title: Conceptual and methodological issues in research on mindfulness and meditation.
Authors: Davidson, Richard J.; Kaszniak, Alfred W.
Summary: Notwithstanding over 45 years of research into meditation there are growing concerns about conceptual and methodological challenges in this field. There are both similar and different issues facing meditation and mindfulness but three particular questions this paper discusses are:
- How can the first person experience be understood and studied in contemplative science?
- Is there a reliable and consistent understanding of terms within meditation and mindfulness research?
- What tools can be used to overcome conceptual and methodological challenges to gathering and interpreting data?
Perspective: Cognitive psychology, social psychology
A critical perspective of mindfulness. Understanding the contemporary mindfulness movement in a wider perspective.
Author: Steven Stanley
Title: Mindfulness: Towards A Critical Relational Perspective
Summary: This research acknowledges the increasing role of mindfulness in the west; enabling people to engage with new approaches to cope with issues connected to subjective wellbeing such as stress, depression and anxiety. It also discusses the appropriation of ‘mindfulness’ by psychology and the potential for conflict between its role in traditional and modern westernised meditation movements. A social critique, exposing the failure (and thus the potential opportunity) of psychology to integrate mindfulness as a personal and social practice.
Perspective: Social psychology, discursive psychology
Authors: Brown KW, Ryan RM
Title: The Benefits of Being Present: Mindfulness and Its Role in Psychological Well-being
Summary: Research assessing mindfulness practice from empirical and theoretical perspectives. In conclusion a clinical intervention study indicates a relationship between increasing mindfulness and reduced stress in cancer patients.
Perspective: Social psychology, health psychology
Authors: Barbara L. Fredrickson, Michael A. Cohn, Kimberly A. Coffe, Jolynn Pek and Sandra M. Finkel.
Title: Open Hearts Build Lives: Positive Emotions, Induced Through Loving-Kindness Meditation, Build Consequential Personal Resources
Summary: Does meditation practice produce a cumulative effect? Is there a relationship between meditation and positive emotions, which, in turn produce increased personal resources connected to life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms.
Perspective: Social Psychology, Positive Psychology