Bishop Grosseteste Research Online

Meditation-Induced Near-Death Experiences: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study

Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Dunn, T.J., Garcia-Campayo, J. and Griffiths, M.D. (2018) Meditation-Induced Near-Death Experiences: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study. Mindfulness. ISSN 1868-8535

[img]
Preview
Text
Dunn_MeditationInducedNear_2018.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (844kB) | Preview
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0922-3

Abstract

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are life transformational events that are increasingly being subjected to empirical research. However, to date, no study has investigated the phenomenon of a meditation-induced near-death experience (MI-NDE) that is referred to in ancient Buddhist texts. Given that some advanced Buddhist meditators can induce NDEs at a pre-planned point in time, the MI-NDE may make NDEs more empirically accessible and thus advance understanding into the psychology of death-related processes. The present study recruited twelve advanced Buddhist meditators and compared the MI-NDE against two other meditation practices (i.e., that acted as control conditions) in the same participant group. Changes in the content and profundity of the MI-NDE were assessed longitudinally over a three-year period. Findings demonstrated that compared to the control conditions, the MI-NDE prompted significantly greater pre-post increases in NDE profundity, mystical experiences, and non-attachment. Furthermore, participants demonstrated significant increases in NDE profundity across the three-year study period. Findings from an embedded qualitative analysis (using grounded theory) demonstrated that participants (i) were consciously aware of experiencing NDEs, (ii) retained volitional control over the content and duration of NDEs, and (iii) elicited a rich array of non-worldly encounters and spiritual experiences. In addition to providing corroborating evidence in terms of the content of a “regular” (i.e., non-meditation-induced) NDE, novel NDE features identified in the present study indicate that there exist unexplored and/or poorly understood dimensions to NDEs. Furthermore, the study indicates that it would be feasible – including ethically feasible – for future research to recruit advanced meditators in order to assess real-time changes in neurological activity during NDEs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: School of Social Science
Depositing User: Dr Thomas Dunn
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2018 11:05
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:20
URI: http://bgro.collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/256

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item