Understanding trends, patterns and issues in contemplative practices

Meditation is seemingly everywhere, but beneath the hype, what’s the real story? Who is engaging with meditation and how? Who isn’t engaging with it and why not? Importantly, who would like to engage with it but can’t? Why do Australians start to meditate? What keeps them meditating? What makes them stop? How do non-meditators think about meditation? How does Australians’ appetite for meditation compare to the rest of the world? And how is it changing over time?

This program of research will take snapshots of meditation in Australia and worldwide. We will conduct nationally representative surveys to understand the prevalence and predictors of meditation practice in our region. We will also survey meditators to understand what they are practising, the outcomes and experiences (either good or bad) of their practice, and how and why their practice changes over time. Finally, we will survey students, employees, educators and health professionals to understand their views on whether and how meditation practices could or should be incorporated into their worlds.

These results will identify issues and opportunities for making these practices more beneficial and more accessible for those who are interested in them. Results will also inform government, health providers, educators and meditation providers about where to invest resources

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
  • Professor Nicola Reavley, Deputy Director, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
  • Dr Jemimah Ride, Research Fellow, Health Economics Unit, Centre for Health Policy