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Perspect Psychol Sci. 2018 Jan;13(1):66-69. doi: 10.1177/1745691617727529. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Reiterated Concerns and Further Challenges for Mindfulness and Meditation Research: A Reply to Davidson and Dahl.

Author information

1
1 Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne.
2
2 Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
3
3 Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering, University of Groningen.
4
4 Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Departments of Psychiatry and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
5
5 College of Science and Integrative Health, Southern California University of Health Sciences.
6
6 Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis.
7
7 Integrated Dharma Institute, Amherst, Massachusetts.
8
8 Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
9
9 Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
10
10 Silver School of Social Work, New York University.
11
11 Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University.
12
12 Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University.
13
13 Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.
14
14 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, West Virginia University.
15
15 Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.

Abstract

In response to our article, Davidson and Dahl offer commentary and advice regarding additional topics crucial to a comprehensive prescriptive agenda for future research on mindfulness and meditation. Their commentary raises further challenges and provides an important complement to our article. More consideration of these issues is especially welcome because limited space precluded us from addressing all relevant topics. While we agree with many of Davidson and Dahl's suggestions, the present reply (a) highlights reasons why the concerns we expressed are still especially germane to mindfulness and meditation research (even though those concerns may not be entirely unique) and (b) gives more context to other issues posed by them. We discuss special characteristics of individuals who participate in mindfulness and meditation research and focus on the vulnerability of this field inherent in its relative youthfulness compared to other more mature scientific disciplines. Moreover, our reply highlights the serious consequences of adverse experiences suffered by a significant subset of individuals during mindfulness and other contemplative practices. We also scrutinize common contemporary applications of mindfulness and meditation to illness, and some caveats are introduced regarding mobile technologies for guidance of contemplative practices.

KEYWORDS:

adverse events; meditation; mindfulness; questionable research practices

PMID:
29016240
PMCID:
PMC5817993
DOI:
10.1177/1745691617727529
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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