Benchmarking change in meditation practice: A Delphi Study

The purpose of this research project is to understand changes teachers notice in their students with continued meditation practice. Specifically, the research involves a three round consultation survey using a technique called the Delphi method. The study aims to understand what kind of changes occur with continued meditation practice both when things are going well and not so well, and how these changes relate to time. This research will be conducted with teachers in mindfulness traditions, and traditions that have informed mindfulness, specifically: Zen/Chan, Vipassana/Insight or Theravada, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MiCBT). The project is seeking participants in Australia and internationally.

We are seeking

We are seeking meditation teachers in the Zen/Chan, Vipassana/Insight or Theravada, MBSR, or MBCT traditions, and MiCBT therapists. We are recruiting teachers from Australia and around the world who will be able to complete all three surveys in the project.

What the research involves

This Delphi study will explore consensus levels on key markers or measures of change, deepening, shifts, or progress in a meditative practice. It will involve three rounds of surveys asking what changes meditation teachers or therapists who teach mediation notice in students with continued practice. These surveys will take up to an hour and be released sequentially, beginning in October 2023 for up to a year. Participants will be offered AUD $100 gift cards/donations (or equivalent) per survey completed, in recognition of this time commitment.

Expressions of interest

We are currently taking expressions of interest to participate in the full study. If you are interested in participating please complete the Expression of Interest form below as soon as possible. The form is scheduled to close on 8 October 2023. After you complete the form, you will be contacted by the research team with further information about the study.

Submit your Expression of Interest


Benchmarking change in meditation practice: A Delphi study has the Project ID #26929 and has University of Melbourne human ethics approval.


August 2023

Expressions of Interest are currently open.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the EOI process?

    This is a short survey to determine your eligibility for the full study. The information you provide in this form will be retained for research and contact purposes. Your responses will be kept confidential in accordance with University of Melbourne privacy standards. If you decide not to participate in the full study and would like your responses to be deleted, you can contact Dr Julieta Galante, Project Supervisor.

    If you are eligible, you may be contacted and invited to participate in the study.

  • What will I be asked to do?

    Should you agree to participate, you will be invited to provide consultation in three rounds of online surveys. In round 1, you will answer questions about the changes you notice or are important in students with continued meditation practice, including whether these changes are positive or negative, and how these changes relate to time practicing. In rounds 2 and 3, you will be asked to assess answers nominated by all participants in previous rounds. Surveys will be sequentially released and completed beginning in October 2023 for up to a year. Each survey will take up to one hour to complete.

    As compensation for your participation you will be reimbursed AUD $100 (or equivalent) for each survey, amounting to $300 for completing the project. You may nominate this to be paid to a charitable organisation on your behalf.

  • What is a Delphi study?

    A Delphi study involves consulting a diverse group of experts, and seeking their feedback on other participants anonymous responses, to reveal patterns of agreement in communities. This is done through multiple surveys, where anonymous participant responses are collected, synthesised, and reflected to the same participants in subsequent surveys to identify consensus, or contrasting opinions.

  • What are the possible benefits?

    This study will allow for a deeper understanding of the changes experienced and expected with continued meditation practice. It is expected to highlight opportunities for increasing the acceptability of meditation training and support, as well as for professional development by meditation teachers.

  • What are the possible risks?

    While the risks associated with completing these online surveys are minimal, there is a small risk that the content of the questions may lead to mild psychological discomfort or distress.

    If you are distressed or negatively affected by any aspect of this study, you can contact the research team or local mental health support services as follows:

    • Australia: Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) and Lifeline (13 11 14)
    • For participants in other countries, CheckPoint may help you locate equivalent mental health services in your country.
  • Do I have to take part?

    No. Participation is completely voluntary. You are able to withdraw at any time. If you wish to withdraw, simply stop answering questions and close the survey page. We will not include data from incomplete surveys as part of the study. Please be aware that once you complete a survey, it will no longer be possible to withdraw your responses, as analyses are performed on the data in aggregate form and each round of surveys influences the development of the next.

  • Where can I get further information?

    If you would like more information about the project, please contact the researchers: Dr Julieta Galante (responsible researcher) or Dr Lillian Ward (researcher).