Studying the experience of meditation through micro-phenomenology

Claire Petitmengin, Martijn van Beek, Michel Bitbol, Jean-Michel Nissou, Andreas Roepstorff

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Abstract

Numerous scientific studies are conducted on the neurophysiological effects of meditation practices and on the neural correlates of meditative states. However, very few studies have been conducted on the experience associated with contemplative practice: what it is like to meditate — from moment to moment, at different stages of different forms of practice — remains almost invisible in contemporary contemplative science. Recently, ‘micro-phenomenological’ interview methods have been developed to help us become aware of lived experience and describe it with rigor and precision. This article presents the results of a pilot project aiming at applying these methods to the description of meditative experience, and highlights the interest of such descriptions for understanding, practicing and teaching meditation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Volume28
IssueAugust
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
ISSN2352-250X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • meditation
  • phenomenology
  • micro-phenomenology
  • elicitation
  • experience
  • First-person methods
  • ISSUES
  • PREVENTION
  • MINDFULNESS

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