Wednesday, 3 June 2015
What of Meditation Research
I am fully immersed in new studies at the moment .. excitedly undertaking teachings in a new meditation practice plus meditation teaching program, and loving every minute!
But today I felt I had reached a tipping point in my accumulation of documents, and I really needed to take some time to get organised. Alongside the mountain of books, I have a box of additional reading material, examinations and half-worked journal articles which need to be reviewed and finished or filed.
Way too much 'stuff' floating around in little piles on my office floor.
So - organisation required.
I decided to set up a new online journal today (using Blogger) which will be the repository for the hundred (or so) research articles that I need to sort into some order. Being an online journal means I can (a) reduce printing and paper and ink costs (b) easily link and cut/paste documents and articles (c) collate and label for future referencing (d) sneak in time throughout the day while at the computer to move things around .. and its is prettier and massageable and flexible to my needs.
So I started filing everything away today .. and in the process refresh with some of the great literature and research done to date.
And then I came across this lovely little article from the Chopra Centre:
99 Reasons to Start Meditating
And felt this would be a good starting point for my ongoing research into published studies. This list of 99 'touted' benefits of meditation could guide me in ensuring I have all the necessary primary and published data.
And yet .. I am very aware of the lag between science and the individual experience. Cognizant of what Kelly McGonigal articulated in a recent Mindful.org article:
"Indeed, it will take time for science to catch up to the wisdom of the great meditation teachers. And even with the advances in brain technology, there are changes both subtle and profound transmitted only through direct experience. Fortunately, all you need to get started is the willingness to sit and be with your own body, breath, and mind".
We started our new Exploring Meditation course last night, and I am very clear that you can hope, dream, read, write, discuss and attend all the meditation training you like .. but there will be no benefits unless you
Meditation is experiential .. and therein lies the complexity in researching the unique individual practice of meditation.