The 13th Symposium of the BIAL FOUNDATION: “Behind and Beyond the Brain, The Mystery of Time”, will be held at Casa do Médico, Porto, Portugal, April 1 – 4, 2020.
Dr. Penberthy’s oral poster presentation for BIAL Grant Holders will take place 2:30-3:30, Thursday, February 4th, 2020.
In her poster presentation Dr. Penberthy will offer findings from her recently completely research project: “Meditators and Nonmeditators: A Descriptive Analysis Over Time with a Focus on Unusual and Extraordinary Experiences”.
This research project explores the impact of meditation upon extraordinary experiences.
The abstract can be found below:
Background: Some research indicates that meditation increases mindfulness as well as paranormal experiences of precognition, telepathy, clairvoyance, and synchronicities. There is limited knowledge about the frequency or impact of these experiences in meditators and the general population.
Aims: Aims were to assess frequency and impact of self-reported mindfulness, paranormal experiences and performance on psi tasks in two groups over time.
Method: We explored frequency of mindfulness, psi, and extraordinary experiences and abilities in those enrolled in a meditation program and those not meditating and the impact of such experiences or abilities.
Results: 118 participants completed the study. Those who engaged in a meditation practice (and scored higher on the mindfulness variables) reported higher levels of paranormal experiences (M = 1.48, SD = .18) than the control group (M = 1.81, SD = .15, p < .001). Additionally, the meditation group reported higher levels of meaning attributed to those experiences (M = 78.10, SD = 17.04) than the control group (M = 64.89, SD = 25.40, p = .002) at the end of the study.
Conclusions: The non-randomly selected group that received training in meditation demonstrated increased mindfulness scores over time and their mindfulness levels appears to be positively associated with higher levels of reported paranormal experiences both before and after the intervention, when compared to the control group. Performance on psi tasks did not improve in either group over time and these tasks may not be sensitive enough to detect significant changes.