Shaner, L., Kelly, L., Rockwell, D., & Curtis, D. (2015). Calm Abiding The Lived Experience of the Practice of Long-Term Meditation. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 0022167815594556.
Abstract. Various aspects of meditation have been studied for more than 50 years, but little research has explored the lived experience of meditation in long-term meditators and examined what meaning this practice holds for the meditators. This interpretative phenomenological study examined the lived experience of the practice of meditation in the lives of six women who have practiced meditation daily for more than 10 years.
This study addressed the questions of how the long-term practice of meditation is experienced and adhered to, how long-term meditators are motivated, what benefits practitioners receive, and what meaning they attribute to their practice. Data were gathered using telephone interviews and analyzed using the interpretative phenomenological process.
Eight superordinate themes arose including (a) consistent and mindful adherence to ritual and technique; (b) role of a teacher/mentor; (c) cultivation of self-awareness; (d) increased equanimity, compassion, and acceptance of self and others; (e) transcendent, peak experiences; (f) cultivation and deepening of personal spirituality; (g) life purpose and meaning; and (h) challenges and barriers to meditation.
This study provides descriptions of the challenges and benefits of maintaining a long-term meditation practice. It points toward the potential of regular, long-term meditation to serve as a complementary healing modality.
George, S. (2015). The Cure for the Distracted Mind: Why Law Schools Should Teach Mindfulness. Duquesne University Law Review, 53, 14-23. Full text (click on Download This Paper).
Abstract. Building on scientific evidence that mindfulness meditation can improve attention, learning, working memory capacity, academic achievement, empathy, self-compassion, and creativity, and that it can reduce stress and anxiety, this article proposes that mindfulness should be an essential element in law school curriculum.
Part I discusses how distractedness has impacted attention and learning. Part II describes the last decade of research showing the cognitive and physical benefits of mindfulness. Part III discusses the critique of the traditional law school format and advocates that law schools should follow medicine and industry in using mindfulness training to address these issues.
Excerpt from ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2012). A compassion-based meditation program can significantly improve a person’s ability to read the facial expressions of others, finds a study published by Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. This boost in empathic accuracy was detected through both behavioral testing of the study participants and through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of their brain activity.
… The meditation protocol, known as Cognitively-Based Compassion Training, or CBCT, … [is] derived from ancient Tibetan Buddhist practices, [but] secular in content and presentation. … When most people think of meditation, they think of a style known as “mindfulness,” in which practitioners seek to improve their ability to concentrate and to be non-judgmentally aware of their thoughts and feelings. While CBCT includes these mindfulness elements, the practice focuses more specifically on training people to analyze and reinterpret their relationships with others.
[Abstract]. While organizations have addressed these challenges with a variety of stress-management solutions, until recently meditation was not among them. It still had a reputation for being flaky and unfit for corporate consumption. However, scientific studies that have proven the value of meditation in changing the brain point to meditation’s practical application in the workplace. Meditation is now gaining acceptance and being used in established American companies such as General Mills, Google, and Prentice Hall.
Source: Institute of Noetic Sciences, February 2012. Read more.
Wallmark, E., et al (2012). Promoting Altruism Through Meditation: An 8-Week Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. [Abstract]. Mindfulness. Published online, June 12, Springer.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a Buddhist meditation intervention on empathy, perceived stress, mindfulness, self-compassion, and of particular interest, the dispositional tendency to feel empathic concern rather than personal distress when perceiving another as in need, termed altruistic orientation.
Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 20) or a waiting list control group (n = 22). Results indicated a trend towards increases in altruistic orientation in the intervention group—an increase that significantly correlated with meditation time, decreases in perceived stress, and increases in self-compassion and mindfulness.
Additionally, compared to the controls, significant increases in mindfulness and self-compassion and a significant decrease in perceived stress were obtained for the intervention group.