One in four who meditate regularly have a bad experience, study suggests

Independent 10 May 2019
Family First Comment: So should we be concerned about Mindfulness and its effect on children? Seems so.

More than a quarter of people who regularly meditate have had a “particularly unpleasant” psychological experienced as a result, a new survey suggests.

The study, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, involved 1,232 participants who had at least two months’ meditation experience answering an international online survey.

Participants were asked to answer the question “Have you ever had any particularly unpleasant experiences (e.g. anxiety, fear, distorted emotions or thoughts, altered sense of self or the world), which you think may have been caused by your meditation practice?”.

In the survey, meditators also reported how long they had been practicing meditation, the frequency of practice, whether they had ever attended a meditation retreat, and what form of meditation they practiced (attentional, constructive, or deconstructive). They also completed measures of repetitive negative thinking and self-compassion.

The study was conducted by researchers at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany, and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The results from the survey showed that more than one in four respondents (25.6 per cent) said that they had previously encountered “particularly unpleasant” meditation-related experiences.

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