Ulrich Ott Risks and adverse effects of meditation
Abstract In meditation research, attention is directed primarily on positive health-outcomes. On the other hand, risks and adverse effects of meditation are hardly recognized. A project is presented that intends to answer the following questions:
* Which difficult, challenging, or unpleasant experiences are apparently triggered by regular practice of Buddhist or mindfulness-based meditation?
* How are these experiences interpreted by the subjects?
* Which actions are helpful in dealing with such experiences?
* Which factors, with regards to the person and/or meditation practice, encourage the occurrence of such experiences; what theory can explain their occurrence?
Since this is early basic research, qualitative methods are applied in the first phase of the project (sampling, interviews, and analysis according to the grounded theory method). In the second phase of the project, a questionnaire will be developed, distributed and analyzed, in order to test whether the qualitative findings are corroborated by the quantitative data. The analysis of correlations in a larger sample (one assessment) provides the basis for a prospective study with participants of mindfulness-based interventions (longitudinal assessment at four points in time).