Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder 1/3/24 7:58 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Bahiya Baby 1/4/24 12:33 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder 1/9/24 9:38 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder 1/28/24 9:16 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder 1/28/24 9:19 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/4/24 5:59 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Conal 1/6/24 1:15 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Derek2 1/6/24 8:23 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Nath Eris 1/7/24 5:46 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Bahiya Baby 1/7/24 4:38 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Nath Eris 1/7/24 4:58 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Jim Smith 1/9/24 11:17 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder 1/9/24 10:21 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Jim Smith 1/10/24 2:58 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Martin 1/11/24 12:33 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Conal 1/9/24 3:38 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Dream Walker 1/29/24 6:18 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Dream Walker 1/31/24 7:02 AM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Dream Walker 2/17/24 1:59 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Muriel Sicot 1/31/24 10:31 PM
RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research Nath Eris 2/4/24 2:34 PM
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Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder, modified 3 Months ago at 1/3/24 7:58 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/3/24 7:56 PM

Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

Posts: 5 Join Date: 1/3/24 Recent Posts
Hello everyone,

​​​​​​​My name is Jean-Luc Alder, a 25-year-old psychology student at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I'm currently embarking on a self-directed 4th-year psychology research project that aims to measure the differential effects of three types of meditation—Shamatha, Vipassana, and Metta—conducted within a virtual nature setting on self-reported Connectedness to Nature (CTN) and Perceived Restorativeness of enviornments (PR).

​​​​​​​Upon reviewing the literature surrounding my topic, there appears to be a lack of standardized or theoretically supported guidelines for creating guided meditations across the types I wish to study. This lack has implications for the validity and reliability of comparative analysis within meditation research, something I'm keen to address with my project.I have a foundational understanding of these meditation techniques through personal practice and literature but am seeking deeper, more nuanced insights. Specifically, I'm looking for guidance on creating effective, theoretically sound guided meditation instructions that align well with the intended meditative practices.

What I'm Seeking:
  1. Recommendations on Texts or Manuals: I'm seeking specific meditation manuals or original texts that best represent the techniques of Shamatha, Vipassana, and Metta. Understanding there are variances within each type, I am interested in texts or teachings that are considered foundational or particularly illustrative of the practices.
  2. General Insights and Experiences: If you have conducted or been a part of similar research, or have insights into the construction and effective delivery of guided meditations, your experience would be invaluable.
I am open to any criticism, corrections, or insights you might have. If you prefer a more detailed discussion, I'm also open to private messages or setting up a call to discuss further. Your input will not only aid in the advancement of this particular research but also contribute to the larger body of knowledge surrounding meditation, connectedness to nature, and psychological well-being.
Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. I look forward to engaging in fruitful discussions and learning from this community!

Best regards,
​​​​​​​Jean-Luc Alder
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 1/4/24 12:33 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/4/24 12:33 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Melbourne based atm and love helping out with this kind of stuff. Feel free to get in contact with me. 

I have found the deeper my own practice and familiarity with these techniques the better my capacity to lead others. Though that's something I tend only to do from time to time. Direct transmission from someone who has "got it" or even "some of it" tends to trump some of the manuals in my experience. 

Have you read mastering the core teachings of the buddha?
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 1/4/24 5:59 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/4/24 5:59 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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My background is stats and I've done a bit of behavioral research in the past. My hunch is it seems hard, there are so many variables! Like how often do you talk, male or female voice, age of the voice, authority or friendly phrases, do you let people know the expertise of the creator, etc etc. 

One option is to just spend a lot of time on just really thinking through these options, creating an awesome protocol - get a few publications just from that, creating a great set of guided meditations, and make those meditations free and easily available so they become a standard protocol 
Conal, modified 3 Months ago at 1/6/24 1:15 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/6/24 1:15 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Hi Jean-Luc,

My experience is that shamatha and vipassana work best when they are combined together rather than treated separately. The Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM) approach is one which does this and I have found it to be very effective. It's based on the Pali canon.  I can give you reading recommendations if you're interested. 

​​​​​​​Conal
Derek2, modified 3 Months ago at 1/6/24 8:23 AM
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RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Someone developed a "Clinically Standardized Meditation" for mantra meditation. [1] I would think that for guided meditation there would just be too many variables (vocabulary, sentence structure, timing, tone of voice, gender of speaker, etc.) to develop a standardized format.

[1] https://patcarrington.com/about-meditation/meditation-audio-lessons-with-dr-patricia-carrington/how-csm-was-developed/
Nath Eris, modified 3 Months ago at 1/7/24 5:46 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/7/24 5:46 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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None of these forms of meditations are usually performed as a guided meditation. 

There exist guided meditations for them, but using those would be the exception of how people practice, I would assume.
Particularly so for vipassana. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 1/7/24 4:38 PM
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RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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This is a great point. 

At a certain point insight would have to be self directed for the practice to deepen. 

There's really no way a guided meditation could lead someone to the kinds of hyper personal insights required to reduce suffering. 

​​​​​
Nath Eris, modified 3 Months ago at 1/7/24 4:58 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/7/24 4:58 PM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Another point: What form of vipassana?

​​​​​​​Noting? 
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Jim Smith, modified 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 11:17 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 1:03 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder
...

What I'm Seeking:
  1. Recommendations on Texts or Manuals: I'm seeking specific meditation manuals or original texts that best represent the techniques of Shamatha, Vipassana, and Metta. Understanding there are variances within each type, I am interested in texts or teachings that are considered foundational or particularly illustrative of the practices.
  2. General Insights and Experiences: If you have conducted or been a part of similar research, or have insights into the construction and effective delivery of guided meditations, your experience would be invaluable.

...
Best regards,
Jean-Luc Alder
I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for but ...

The traditional instructions on meditation and mindfulness attributed to the Buddha are the Anapanasati Sutta and the Satipatthana Sutta

What you might find interesting is that the Anapanasati Sutta which is the instruction for meditation includes aspects of both samatha and vipassana.
The steps which are followed in order as far as possible during each meditation session involve both observing (vipassana) and also calming/relaxing (samatha) the breath, body, emotions, and mind. This is consistent with this article that explains the Buddha taught samatha and vipassana were not two types of meditation but two qualities of mind that should both be cultivated.

Something to note about the Satipatthana Sutta is that mindfulness is taught not as something you do only during meditation, it is something you do all day long.

I have my own "guided meditation" that I developed which I have described here:
https://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/08/preparing-for-meditation-with.html

While it seems to be focusing on relaxation, it also develops concentration because it requires attention and refocusing on the technique if your mind wanders.

From my own experiences I tend to think of samatha not as hard concentration but as relaxation that also improves concentration. One of the biggest obstacles to concentration  (or sources of mental turbulence) is stress, and relaxing removes that obstacle.

I tend to focus more on quieting the mind before focusing more on vipassana but I don't see how you can fully separate samatha from vipassana. Every time your mind wanders during "samatha" you see that you don't control your mind which is an aspect of vipassana (anatta). If an unpleasant emotion arises you are observing dukkha arising. It the meditation elevates you mood you are observing dukkha fading. Observing the three characteristics and interrupting dependent origination (letting go) are built in to most meditation techniques.

​​​​​​​And keeping your mind focused on a vipassana technique develops concentration which is considered "samatha". If you do a vipassana technique with a relaxed attitude, it can help you to relax, also samatha. So my feeling is that most techniques can be used for samatha and vipassana and it is the fine details of what you do with that technique that can put emphasis on samatha or vipassana. But you don't really need two different techniques to develop the samatha and vipassana qualities of mind.
Conal, modified 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 3:38 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 3:38 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Hi Jim,

Yes, I totally agree and I think you have explained this very well.

Conal
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Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder, modified 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 9:38 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 9:38 PM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Bahiya Baby
Melbourne based atm and love helping out with this kind of stuff. Feel free to get in contact with me. 

I have found the deeper my own practice and familiarity with these techniques the better my capacity to lead others. Though that's something I tend only to do from time to time. Direct transmission from someone who has "got it" or even "some of it" tends to trump some of the manuals in my experience. 

Have you read mastering the core teachings of the buddha?


Hi there,

I would love to get in contact with you if possible. My email is jnald1@student.monash.edu

I have read MCTB and re-read a few chapters a few times, it has been a big inspiration to decide to try to study mediation for my thesis. 

Thanks,
​​​​​​​JL
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Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder, modified 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 10:21 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/9/24 10:21 PM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Hi Jim,

Thank you for sharing this with me. Much of what you have said here seems very true to me.

I do believe the two qualities of mind are inseparable, as also discussed in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHV2AQ6L1Og

Now I am slightly confused as to why there are techniques that are labelled as "samatha" or "concentration" and some as "vipassana" or "insight". Is there a practical need to distinguish these techniques if both types develop samatha and vipassana qualities of mind? Or, is the distinction a product of the "wrong view"?

I am aware that this is a contentious subject for some individuals. 

Thanks again!
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Jim Smith, modified 3 Months ago at 1/10/24 2:58 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/10/24 12:39 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder
Hi Jim,

Thank you for sharing this with me. Much of what you have said here seems very true to me.

I do believe the two qualities of mind are inseparable, as also discussed in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHV2AQ6L1Og

Now I am slightly confused as to why there are techniques that are labelled as "samatha" or "concentration" and some as "vipassana" or "insight". Is there a practical need to distinguish these techniques if both types develop samatha and vipassana qualities of mind? Or, is the distinction a product of the "wrong view"?

I am aware that this is a contentious subject for some individuals. 

Thanks again!


There could be many reasons. What I think is at least partly involved is that some people believed that some schools moved in a direction of very intense concentration beyond what the Buddha taught and which is impractical for many people to achieve, so there was a counter reaction by people who felt you didn't need that much "samatha" and you could get along with mostly vipassana. And people have a tendency to oversimplify things to beginners who then teach that oversimplification when they become advanced. So over time two different approaches evolved.
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 1/11/24 12:33 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/11/24 12:33 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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The last two steps in the eightfold path (a key idea in Theravada Buddhism) are 7. Samma sati (mindfulness) and 8. Samma samadhi (concentration) so the distinction is part of the early tradition. Also, at the more intense end of&nbsp;samadhi, you cannot really do sati in the normal sense. So it's not crazy to put the two in separate categories. That said, one traditional way to describe them is to liken them to two oxen pulling on a single yoke.&nbsp;<br /><br />Jim is right to point out that some of the distinctions come down to the preferences of certain traditions. In particular, the success of the Vipassana movement, which has roots, in part, in early 19th century anti-colonialism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipassana_movement). It's a fascinating subject and the Wiki article is pretty good. Meanwhile, the Thai Forest Tradition, which was also a reform movement, placed emphasis on concentration. So, depending on your tradition, you might find yourself considering one or the other more important. And that is without even talking about Zen, which has its own definitions and techniques.&nbsp;<br /><br />Although, at the more dedicated end of practice, most people will have occasion to use both, and teachers in various traditions tend to agree that a combination is helpful, there is also a degree of individual preference and capacity. Some people find one or the other easier, or more fun, or more helpful. That can change for the individual over time, as well. In short, while there is a great deal of overlap, they are not the same, but they are both good.&nbsp;<br /><br /> 
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Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder, modified 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 9:16 PM
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RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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Hi Bahiya Baby,

I would love to get in contact with you; please email me at jnald1@student.monash.edu

Thanks!
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Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder, modified 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 9:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 9:19 PM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

Posts: 5 Join Date: 1/3/24 Recent Posts
Bahiya Baby
Melbourne based atm and love helping out with this kind of stuff. Feel free to get in contact with me. 

I have found the deeper my own practice and familiarity with these techniques the better my capacity to lead others. Though that's something I tend only to do from time to time. Direct transmission from someone who has "got it" or even "some of it" tends to trump some of the manuals in my experience. 

Have you read mastering the core teachings of the buddha?
Hi Bahiya Baby,

I would love to get in contact with you; please email me at jnald1@student.monash.edu

Thanks!
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 1/29/24 6:18 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/29/24 6:18 AM

RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

Posts: 1659 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Jean-Luc Nichinonni Alder
Hello,
measure the differential effects of three types of meditation—Shamatha, Vipassana, and Metta—conducted within a virtual nature setting on self-reported Connectedness to Nature (CTN) and Perceived Restorativeness of environments (PR).
What might you be proposing to use to go about measuring any meditation? There seems to be a lot of premise's made already.
  1. Results of any current "Test" will capture useful data (e.g. using a unicorn detector= bad results)
  2. Meditation of any sort can be quantified or qualified within that one "type/style" of practice
  3. All dosages/time spent practicing will somehow create similar measurable result sets.
  4. Different meditations can be compared to each other
  5. The controls for different types of meditations are exactly the same 
  6. Target group studied have zero variances between each other in differing meditation models/scripts
  7. Are guided meditations even possible to get to the assumed results?
  8. If I had all the above figured out would I give it away for free to you? Why would I not assume you are a sociopath trying to set up as a Guru? (as others have done here in the past)

​​​​​​​
Upon reviewing the literature surrounding my topic, there appears to be a lack of standardized or theoretically supported guidelines for creating guided meditations across the types I wish to study. This lack has implications for the validity and reliability of comparative analysis within meditation research, something I'm keen to address with my project.I have a foundational understanding of these meditation techniques through personal practice and literature but am seeking deeper, more nuanced insights. Specifically, I'm looking for guidance on creating effective, theoretically sound guided meditation instructions that align well with the intended meditative practices.
What literature? Did you really research? How much? What did your instructor say?

What I'm Seeking:
  1. Recommendations on Texts or Manuals: I'm seeking specific meditation manuals or original texts that best represent the techniques of Shamatha, Vipassana, and Metta. Understanding there are variances within each type, I am interested in texts or teachings that are considered foundational or particularly illustrative of the practices.
  • General Insights and Experiences: If you have conducted or been a part of similar research, or have insights into the construction and effective delivery of guided meditations, your experience would be invaluable.
  • That there is a heck of a lot to ask for and get results that are not totally subjective already.

    I am open to any criticism, corrections, or insights you might have. If you prefer a more detailed discussion, I'm also open to private messages or setting up a call to discuss further. Your input will not only aid in the advancement of this particular research but also contribute to the larger body of knowledge surrounding meditation, connectedness to nature, and psychological well-being.
    I am being critical. I hope you do not take it poorly. It would be amazing to actually see what you are trying to do and what you have written so far so that I could take your endevor a bit more seriously.
    You are asking for the Moon, gift wrapped.

    Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. I look forward to engaging in fruitful discussions and learning from this community!

    Best regards,
    ​​​​​​​Jean-Luc Alder

    Good Luck,
    ~D
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    Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 1/31/24 7:02 AM
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    RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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    You may find interesting - 
    Types of Internal Dialog and Thinking Without Words

    Do people self select when choosing to participate in a study about meditation and how could that effect results based off internal dialog styles?
    ~D
    Muriel Sicot, modified 2 Months ago at 1/31/24 10:31 PM
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    RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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    Dear Jean-Luc,

    I think it is very difficult to build up guided meditations without knowing what you talk about meaning without having yourself went through the stages and insights. 

    That would mean that you have to do your research on your own mind, considering meditation practice for yourself as your protocol and your body/minfd/heart as your laboratory. 

    The functioning of the mind is universal. If you can understand with direct experience your own mental processes, you'll be able to figure out a proper way to guide others.

    This piece of advice comes from direct experience. I am a researcher (physicist) and practitioner in the three trainings: morality, samatha, vipassana. I can not envisage how it would be possible to guide anyone without having realized for myself the different insight knowledges. I'm telling this because those kinds of insight are almost impossible to comprehend with the conventional rational mind mostly used to build up contemporary science. 

    Just reading about them might help but will never replace the direct experimentation. 

    You can not transmit what you don't have. Therefore, the first step would be for you to start meditation and understand your own mind functioning. That's the research to be done. You are the subject of investigation and this is fun!

    ​​​​​​​Don't hesitate to contact me if needed.
    Nath Eris, modified 2 Months ago at 2/4/24 2:34 PM
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    RE: Seeking Insight on Constructing Guided Meditations for Research

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    Even though there are things about the mind that are universal and personal experience certainly helps, one should be cautious to not assume that specific ways of how one's own mind works are also true for everyone else.
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    Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 2/17/24 1:59 PM
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