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Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and acceptance. It can help us to cultivate a sense of self-transcendence, which is the ability to go beyond our ego and connect with something greater than ourselves. self-transcendence can lead us to discover our true self, which is not defined by our thoughts, emotions, roles or labels, but by our essence and potential. By practising mindfulness meditation, we can learn to observe our inner experience without judgment or attachment, and recognize that we are not our thoughts or feelings, but the awareness that witnesses them. This can help us to free ourselves from limiting beliefs and patterns, and embrace our true nature and purpose.

How to practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and acceptance. It can help reduce stress, improve focus and enhance well-being. To practice mindfulness meditation, one can follow these steps:

Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. You can use a cushion, a chair, a bed or any other support that suits you.

  1. Set a timer for how long you want to meditate. You can start with 5 minutes and gradually increase the duration as you become more familiar with the practice.
  2. Close your eyes or lower your gaze and bring your attention to your breathing. Notice the sensations of your breath as it flows in and out of your body. You don’t need to change or control your breathing, just observe it as it is.
  3. Whenever your mind wanders to other thoughts, feelings or sensations, gently acknowledge them and bring your attention back to your breathing. You can use a word or a phrase to help you return to your focus, such as “breathing” or “here and now”.
    Continue this process until the timer goes off. Then, slowly open your eyes and take a moment to notice how you feel. You can also express some gratitude for yourself and for the practice.

This is one way to practice mindfulness meditation, but there are many other methods and variations that you can explore and experiment with. The key is to find what works best for you and to be consistent with your practice.

Another way is to meditate to music. Here’s a suitable YouTube video that you might like to listen to when meditating:

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Example use cases

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves paying attention to the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to have various psychological benefits, such as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhancing well-being, emotion regulation, and self-compassion. One of the possible mechanisms behind these benefits is that mindfulness meditation fosters self-transcendence, which is the ability to go beyond one’s limited sense of self and experience a broader perspective of reality.

Some examples of people who have used mindfulness meditation for self-transcendence are:

  • Participants in a study by Hanley et al. (2020), who underwent five sessions of mindfulness training and reported decreased perceived body boundaries and more allocentric (i.e., external) frames of reference. These changes indicate that mindfulness training altered their experience of self, making them feel more connected to their surroundings and less confined by their physical body.
  • Participants in a study by Garland et al. (2021), who received mindfulness therapy for substance use disorders and showed increased theta waves in the frontal lobes of the brain. Garland explained that these brain changes reflected “tastes of self-transcendence” through meditation, which helped them gain self-control over their addictive behaviours and transcend their limited sense of self.
  • Participants in a study by Verhaeghen (2019), who completed a mindfulness manifold questionnaire and revealed how mindfulness was related to three aspects of self: self-preoccupation, self-compassion, and self-transcendence. Verhaeghen found that mindfulness was negatively associated with self-preoccupation (i.e., excessive focus on one’s own thoughts and feelings) and positively associated with self-compassion (i.e., kindness and acceptance toward oneself) and self-transcendence (i.e., awareness of a larger reality beyond oneself).

These examples illustrate how mindfulness meditation can help people cultivate self-transcendence, which may in turn enhance their psychological well-being and functioning.

Further reading

Several studies have examined the effects of mindfulness meditation on self-transcendence using different methods and measures. Here is a summary list of weblinks that discuss this topic:

Study suggests mindfulness meditation helps cultivate self-transcendence through the process of decentering (https://www.psypost.org/2021/02/study-suggests-mindfulness-meditation-helps-cultivate-self-transcendence-through-the-process-of-decentering-59738). This study found that novice meditators who developed the ability to non-reactively observe their thoughts, feelings and physical sensations were more likely to experience self-transcendence.

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Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Self-Transcendent States: Perceived Body boundaries and Spatial Frames of Reference (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-020-01330-9). This study found that mindfulness training decreased perceived body boundaries and encouraged more allocentric frames of reference in healthy young adults. It also found that the effect of mindfulness training on allocentric frames of reference was mediated by decreased perceived body boundaries.

Mindfulness Training Provides a Natural High (https://neurosciencenews.com/mindfulness-addiction-21699/). This article reports on a study that found that mindfulness training increased frontal midline theta (FMΘ) waves in the brain, which are associated with Self-transcendent experiences such as ego dissolution, non-dual awareness and bliss. It also found that increased FMΘ mediated the effects of mindfulness training on decreasing opioid misuse.

– Mindfulness-induced endogenous theta stimulation occasions Self-transcendent experiences (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abo4455). This study confirmed that mindfulness training increased FMΘ waves in the brain and that FMΘ during meditation was associated with Self-transcendent experiences. It also found that FMΘ stimulation using transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) induced similar Self-transcendent experiences in non-meditators.

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