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Mindfulness Meditation with Undergraduates in Face-to-Face and Digital Practice: a Formative Analysis

Abstract

This paper describes the experience of a group of undergraduate students’ (n = 40) experience learning mindfulness meditation. The practice of mindfulness meditation can help individuals to self-calm, focus on the present moment, and experience physical and mental health benefits. This skill is of particular importance to undergraduate students, who often experience stress, anxiety, or depression. Participants were led by the author in a 15-min face-to-face exercise in which they focused attention on specific body parts in a progressive fashion. Participants were also provided a digital (mp3/podcast) version of the session so that they could listen to it at their convenience and learn to perform the technique on their own. About a quarter of the student participants preferred the digital practice, citing its privacy and ability to repeat the practice as benefits. Well over half of the students preferred the face-to-face session, citing the value of having a leader and colleagues; this preference provides support for the notion of the sangha, or community, in spiritual practice. The study outlines the benefits and challenges of face-to-face and digital meditation practice and emphasizes the importance of learning the practice via both delivery methods.

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Correspondence to Sharon Lauricella.

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Lauricella, S. Mindfulness Meditation with Undergraduates in Face-to-Face and Digital Practice: a Formative Analysis. Mindfulness 5, 682–688 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-013-0222-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-013-0222-x

Keywords

  • Meditation
  • Undergraduates
  • Collaborative learning
  • Spiritual education
  • Sangha