Friday, May 25, 2018 | ePaper

Can meditation make us better individuals?

These studies used meditation techniques derived from Buddhism, such as mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation, but not other related activities, like yoga or Tai-Chi

  • Print


Weekend Plus Desk :
Disputing popular claims that meditation can change how people behave towards others and make them more compassionate, new research suggests this is not the case.
Meditation plays no significant role in reducing aggression or prejudice or improving how socially-connected someone is, said the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“The popularisation of meditation techniques, like mindfulness, despite being taught without religious beliefs, still seem to offer the hope of a better self and a better world to many,” said Miguel Farias from Coventry University in England.
“We wanted to investigate how powerful these techniques were in affecting one’s feelings and behaviours towards others,” Farias said.
The researchers reviewed more than 20 studies that investigated the effect of various types of meditation, such as mindfulness and loving-kindness, on pro-social feelings and behaviours.
Initial analysis indicated that meditation did have an overall positive impact.
The researchers said meditation made people feel moderately more compassionate or empathic, compared to if they had done no other new emotionally-engaging activity.
However, further analysis revealed that meditation actually played no significant role in reducing aggression or improving how socially-connected someone was.
The most unexpected result of this study was that the more positive results found for compassion had important methodological flaws - compassion levels in some studies only increased if the meditation teacher was also an author of the published report.
Overall, these results suggest that the moderate improvements reported by psychologists in previous studies may be the result of methodological weaknesses and biases, said the researchers.
Their research only included studies where meditators were compared to other individuals that did not meditate.
All these studies used meditation techniques derived from Buddhism, such as mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation, but not other related activities, like yoga or Tai-Chi.
“None of this, of course, invalidates Buddhism or other religions' claims about the moral value and eventually life changing potential of its beliefs and practices. But our research findings are a far cry from many popular claims made by meditators and some psychologists,” Farias said. n

More News For this Category

Opting for Goa, Jaipur this summer

Opting for Goa, Jaipur this summer

Weekend Plus Desk :Despite the scorching heat, Goa remains the most popular Indian holiday destination, followed by Jaipur, according to a study conducted by a leading travel portal. Thanks

Try korma, keema recipes to   impress at Iftar party

Try korma, keema recipes to impress at Iftar party

Weekend Plus Desk :During this Ramzan, impress your family and friends with self-made gosht badam korma or keema with recipes lent by experts. Ramzan is the ninth month of

Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker Prize 2018: Other novels by the Polish author

Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker Prize 2018: Other novels by the Polish author

Weekend Plus Desk :Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk has won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for fiction on for her novel Flights. The novel, translated by Jennifer Croft, narrates

Tribute to Professor Momen Sir

Tribute to Professor Momen Sir

Md Shafiul Alam :It is hard to believe that Professor Momen sir is no more with us. He left us on 10 May 2016. Professor Momen was a wonderful

The Poet’s song

-TennysonThe rain had fallen, the Poet arose He pass'd by the town and out of the street, A light wind blew from the gates of the sun,And waves of

By the moribund river

By the moribund river

Original: Bengali: Mritopray Noditir MukhomukhiI make me little by little better every day Then I think how far better I would beEvery day I go to flowers little by

I was born in the festivity of human

I was born in the festivity of human

Original Bengali: Jonmechhi Manusher UtsobeI was born in the festive of mankindIt may be in ritual, or in religious gatheringMay be in hottest Baishakh’s sunshine,On lip of peasant-bride’s soil

Keep your mind carefully

Original Bengali: Mon Jotne RakhoKeep your mind cagily  Moving around not wise Keep your eyes careful Surely interview will entice.  Keep fingers careful Not wise to be fidgetyKeep hands

Poems of Sheikh Nazrul

Poet Sheikh Nazrul firstly wrote poems. Though the golden gate is opened to him to come to the national dailies in the late 70s, the poet is reluctant to

Humanity dominates Nazrul’s works

Humanity dominates Nazrul’s works

Mizanur Rahman :Kazi Nazrul Islam is generally known as a ‘Rebel Poet.’ The description is only partially true. The Rebel in Nazrul mellowed down into a poet of love,