Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transpersonal awareness, mindfulness meditation, and guided imagery: A qualitative study using concise narrative vignettes
by Wells, Jain, Ph.D., Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 2009, 232; 3378527
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored whether and how individuals may experience transpersonal awareness through consciously engaging in combined integral transformative practices. A transpersonal experience is defined as an experience of altered states of consciousness beyond ordinary time/space awareness, the feeling of present-moment awareness, feelings of deep inner peace, feelings of blissfulness, and a sense of oneness or interconnectedness with objects of experience. This understanding includes a form of the transpersonal experience known as nondual awareness, which itself includes—among other things—the experience of wholeness or the perceived unity of subject and object, such that there is no experiential differentiation of separate parts. This study explores transpersonal awareness in the context of two integral transformative practices, namely, mindfulness meditation and psychosynthesis' guided imagery exercises. It encompasses the established transpersonal premise that personal growth may enhance the potential for an individual to open to transpersonal experience. It is a qualitative study, presenting 11 concise narrative vignettes pertaining to a before-and-after continuum of experience encompassed in an 8-week intervention. The 11 participants included 4 men and 7 women ranging in age from 23-42 years. The group naturally divided into two subgroups. Group A consisted of those participants who experienced personal growth and transpersonal awareness and Group B those who experienced personal growth but did not report having any transpersonal experiences. Data were collected from a pre-intervention interview with each participant, journal notes from their experiences with the two practices over the 8-week period, and a post-intervention interview with each participant. The findings of this research seem to suggest that mindfulness meditation was an essential aspect of an individual's opening to transpersonal awareness and that both the daily mindfulness meditation practice and the guided imagery exercises served to facilitate personal growth and thereby to enhance the potential for transpersonal awareness to occur. Finally, this paper discusses practical applications for this type of research, the implications for future research, and how this research may contribute to the transpersonal field.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Braud, William
Commitee: Braud, William G., Deslauriers, Daniel, Shirazi, Bahman A.K.
School: Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
Department: Global Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Developmental psychology
Keywords: Guided imagery, Meditation, Mindfulness, Non-duality, Transpersonal awareness, Transpersonal awareness mindfulness meditation guided-imagery
Publication Number: 3378527
ISBN: 9781109418149
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