The Effectiveness of a Meditation Course on Mindfulness and Meaning in Life

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This study examined the effectiveness of a meditation intervention on increasing mindfulness and meaning in life within a population of college students. Participants (N = 205) took part in a semester-long lecture/lab-style course titled Buddhist Meditation and Modernity. The course (a) taught secular contemplative practices, (b) provided a scientific background on the impact and mechanisms of meditation, and (c) reviewed the historical roots of meditative practice. All 5 facets of mindfulness assessed, except for observing and nonjudging, correlated with each other. Additionally, all 5 facets showed positive correlations with the presence of meaning in life, and there was a significant negative correlation between the nonjudging facet of mindfulness and search for meaning in life. Participants, who were measured pre-, post-, and midsemester, reported positive changes over time on all 5 facets of mindfulness and presence of meaning in life. This study provides additional evidence for the connection between meditation, mindfulness, and meaning in life. We conclude by discussing limitations and areas for future research.

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