Sheffield, K., Smith, G. D., Roe, C. A. and Gordon-Finlayson, A. (2015) Exploring the effects of loving kindness meditation over a 25 day period. Paper presented to: 19th Annual Transpersonal Psychology Section Conference, Cober Hill, Scarborough, 18-20 September 2015. (Unpublished)
Sheffield, K., Smith, G. D., Roe, C. A. and Gordon-Finlayson, A.
The study that will be presented explored the effects of a 25 day Loving Kindness email reminder programme. The entire programme spanned 100 days in which daily email reminders provided support for sustained practice on each of the four Brahmavihara. The first 25 days consisted of Loving Kindness practice before moving onto compassion joyfulness and equanimity. The main focus of this study was to explore the effects of the Loving Kindness element, so measures of Empathy (E) Self-Compassion (SC) and life satisfaction (SWL) were gathered before the programme began and at the end of the Loving Kindness period after 25 days. All individuals who signed up for the email reminders were given the opportunity to take part in the research, with 51 participants completing both pre and post programme measures. Those who took part spanned a range of ages, level of previous experience with meditation from complete novices to very experienced. There was also a range of previous types of meditative practice that participants had engaged with. Main analyses explored the change in E, SC and SWL over the 25 day period. Results showed significant increases and moderate effect sizes for both Satisfaction with Life scores (p<.001, d=.52) and Self-Compassion scores (p<.001, d=.67). Additional exploratory analyses looked at correlations with experience level previous to the programme and results and implications of these will be discussed. Discussions around mechanisms underlying the observed change will also be presented.