University of Twente Student Theses


Vipassana meditation retreat : Motivations, experiences and perceived effects of participants

Wösten, T. (2018) Vipassana meditation retreat : Motivations, experiences and perceived effects of participants.

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Abstract:This study investigated the motivations, experiences and perceived effects of 10 individuals who participated in a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat (VMR). A literature review revealed that qualitative data for this type of meditation retreat is scarce. In terms of clinical interventions based on meditation and mindfulness, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, it is expected that participants attending a VMR will show positive effects on mental health. Data gathering was done qualitatively using a previously constructed semi-structured interview, administered to the participants via a digital chat program. The researcher used the 'grounded theory approach' to analyze the data. Results show that motivations of participants revolved around six themes: seeking, curiosity, prior engagement, recommendation, external reassurance and costs. In terms of experiences during the VMR, data showed that participants experienced having insights and various degrees of adjustments on a physical, cognitive and emotional level. Regarding perceived effects, participants reported various improvements in terms of mental health and cognitive functioning. This study showed that participating in a VMR can be both a very confrontational and beneficial experience on various levels of human functioning.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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