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Mindfulness Based Meditation Essay

2279 words - 9 pages

This paper is about my experience with mindfulness based meditation and scientific inquiry of these experiences. Mindfulness based meditation is describes as technique used to cultivate nonreactive, non-judgmental and stable awareness of the present moment (Garland and Gaylord, 2009). The end goal is to sustain this meta-cognitive state for a long period of time. I practiced non-denominational form of mindfulness based meditation for the first time in my psychology class, which was devoted towards intellectual and experiential examination of meditation. The practice was conducted in a group it was instructed by our own professor and it begun at the end of class. There was one sessions per week and each session was structured meaning it was timed and the focus was on the out breath.

I experienced numerous emotions, sensations and mental states while I practiced meditation. During my practice the focus was on the out breath and by doing so the idea was to have non-judgmental and non reactive awareness of emotions, thoughts and sensations that arise in my mind while I practiced meditation. Firstly, for me meditation served as a tool for self awakening, by ‘’awakening’’ I mean meditation made me realize the existence and dominance of mind wandering and ignorance. In a scientific study it was shown that mind wandering was the majority of the conscious experience (Hasenkamp et al., 2012). Before I practiced meditation I was unaware of the effects of mind wandering not only on performance towards certain task but also towards sustaining attention to the present moment. For example on my very first session of meditation I realized how I completely zoned out for the first few minutes until we took a break and that made me further realize how I always zone out in my day to day task such as driving, I could get from point A to point B and not remember a single thing because I was engaged in deep mind wandering state. These effects of mind wandering has been shown to be inefficient towards learning and this is due to the fact that while we are engaged in mind wandering our attention is on our internal thoughts and feelings therefore mind wandering impairs the ability to integrate any new information from the external environment (Smallwood et al., 2007). Relating this principle to myself it was clearly evident to me that meditation serves as an antidote for a wandering mind it is beneficial in gaining wisdom about oneself, experiencing positive emotions and improving day to day learning (Moneyham and Schooler, 2013).

For the amount of time that I was engaged in anchoring my mind to the current moment I noticed that there was a constant battle between myself and my mind, meaning there was strong urge to latch onto the thoughts and find meaning in them rather than just allowing myself to observe these thoughts. According to Chodron (2013) there are five reasons to meditate and one of the reasons is to cultivate attention towards every moment in our...

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