Tania Singer and colleagues in Germany conducted an evaluation of a 9-month mental training program called the ReSource Project. Participants included 229 adults who provided daily reports before and after meditation practice. Participants received training in three successive types of meditation: the first included breathing meditation and the body scan, the second included loving-kindness meditation, and the third included observing-thought meditation. They found that the body scan led to the greatest increase awareness of bodily sensations (interoception) and the greatest decrease in thought content, loving-kindness meditation led to the greatest increase in feelings of warmth and positive thoughts about others, and observing-thought meditation led to the greatest increase in meta-cognitive awareness. All practices, including breathing meditation, increased positivity of affect, energy, and present focus and decreased thought distraction. Their findings suggest that, although different meditation practices may have common beneficial effects, each practice can also be characterized by distinct short-term psychological effects.
Kok BE, Singer T. Phenomenological Fingerprints of Four Meditations: Differential State Changes in Affect, Mind-Wandering, Meta-Cognition, and Interoception Before and After Daily Practice Across 9 Months of Training. Mindfulness 2017;8:218-31.
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