An interpretative phenomenological analysis of daily meditation and its impact on one’s sense of self

Oliver Edward Lawrence, Kerem Kemal Soylemez *, Joanne Lusher and Ana María Carretero-Resino

Regent’s University London, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS United Kingdom.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 1810–1821
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1958
Publication history: 
Received on 20 May 2024; revised on 26 June 2024; accepted on 28 June 2024
The present study investigated the impact of daily meditation on sense of self. There is extensive research regarding the physical and mental health benefits that meditation can bring about, yet literature is still limited on the influence this has on an individual’s sense of self. The aims of the current study were to contribute to the existing body of research on meditation and the self and to gain a better understanding of the link between meditation and the self. Furthermore, to look at the potential social health benefits that meditation induces. This was achieved using a qualitative methodological approach applying Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), with an epistemological stance of interpretivism and an ontological position of social constructionism. Six semi-structured interviews were conducted in collecting qualitative data. Three super-ordinate themes emerged which were: 1. Inside Out Positivity, 2. “Quieting the Mind to Hear the Heart”, 3. The Holistic Experience, with eight corresponding sub-ordinate themes. The key findings were that meditation increased feelings of kindness and compassion and improved the quality of relationships for the participants. Participants felt more positive and calmer in their daily living and reported higher levels of awareness. Another key finding was that participants had a better perception of themselves and felt like meditation gave them more perspective of mind. Additionally, participants noted physical changes with greater bodily connection to breathing and had more mental clarity. Finally, participants reported enhanced feelings of spirituality and spoke of power and consciousness beyond themselves. The implications of these findings are that meditation can be a useful intervention for social health issues such as poor relationship quality or feelings of social exclusion by increasing compassion and awareness. Meditation is a useful tool for reducing stress and feeling present. Meditation would also be a beneficial method for positive self-perception and identity.
Meditation; Sense of self; Social health; Mindfulness.
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