Towards personalisation of contemplative practice in the modern era

The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of courses and apps that harness contemplative practices to facilitate the self-management of personal growth, health and wellbeing. However, little is known about the amount of practice, or what types of practice might actually work for an individual. And despite contemplative practices being increasingly positioned as therapeutic goods, these courses and apps are not subject to any external evaluation or regulation; little is known about their benefits, or their safety. As many profit-driven companies push courses and apps to the forefront of the ‘mindful movement’, it has never been more important to explore which practices, doses, delivery modes, and support structures are most likely to maximise benefits and minimise risks to specific individuals.

This program of research aims to go beyond the hype, in order to understand different types of meditation training and how their delivery may (or may not) lead to improvements in various health and wellbeing outcomes.

The research will provide critical knowledge about the optimal amount of practice needed for achieving a given goal and whether different meditation programs are living up to the promises that they make. The results will provide pivotal information to guide the delivery of contemplative training, helping governments, organisations, and individuals to see how best to undertake contemplative practice to achieve specific goals.

University of Melbourne contributors:

  • Jonathan Davies, Research Trials Manager, Contemplative Studies Centre
  • Associate Professor Nicholas Van Dam, Director, Contemplative Studies Centre
  • Dr Julieta Galante, Deputy Director, Contemplative Studies Centre