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Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 135–154 | Cite as

Voices of Experienced Meditators: The Impact of Meditation Practice on Intimate Relationships

  • Irene T. Pruitt
  • Eric E. McCollum
Original Paper

Abstract

Using a qualitative methodology, we explored advanced meditators’ understandings of the effect of the meditation traits on close relationships. Seven participants were interviewed. The meditative traits that the participants identified were (1) awareness of body sensations and emotions; (2) disidentification from emotions and thoughts; (3) acceptance of situations, oneself, and others; and (4) compassion and loving kindness for oneself and others. The relational effects of these traits were (1) less reactivity in relationships; (2) greater freedom and safety in relationships; and (3) a new understanding of the nature of connection between people, marked by unity, separation, intimacy and independence. Implications for further research and for clinical practice are proposed.

Keywords

Meditation Intimate relationships Meditative traits 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and the Centering Prayer Group of Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church for their support of this study and their help in recruiting participants.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Human DevelopmentVirginia Tech-Northern Virginia CenterFalls ChurchUSA
  2. 2.Northwest Center for Community Mental HealthFairfax-Falls Church Community Services BoardRestonUSA

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