The Artwork of Psychological Journey

The Art of Mental Travel

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The phrase meditation stems from meditatum, a Latin time period which means “to ponder.” Davanger (2008) reviewed a cross-section of analysis taking a look at meditation and speculated that the observe could be as previous as humanity itself with the potential meditative capacities of Neanderthals. A number of the oldest written information have been discovered from round 1500 BCE in India and the third and sixth centuries BC in China.1

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Many apps, packages, and movies declare to supply the expertise of meditation, but there are important options of meditation misplaced in such packages. Whereas it could be tempting to conflate meditation and these apps, movies, or packages, it’s value noting that key variations from the meditation course of make it distinctly completely different with probably completely different outcomes.

The intention of meditation is completely different.

Watching a chilled scene, or listening to a peaceable narrative or music, could supply some much-needed respite. Nonetheless, the unique intention of meditation was much less about respite and extra a couple of observe to have interaction the interior areas in psychological journey to find the unchanging nature of pure consciousness and the highly effective artistic potential on this consciousness house.2

In line with Vedic science, the deep interior self prompts the interior college or thoughts (working consciousness), which prompts the bodily physique. The id of this interior self is extra just like the witness than the ever-active thoughts we regularly name our “selves.” One of many key objectives of meditation is to dwell from the best “stage” of pure consciousness in a state of being that appears like bliss.

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Meditation entails disengaging from the senses and never taking note of sensory options.

In conventional types of meditation, equivalent to mindfulness meditation or transcendental meditation, the important thing characteristic is perceptual decoupling3—not enhanced consideration. But, many so-called meditations are designed to have interaction the senses. Because of this, the precise course of is sort of completely different and, one may argue, a bit deceptive.

Meditation usually has one level of focus.

Calming tales, music, and pictures usually take you thru an expertise with a number of shifts in consideration. In distinction, meditations historically have a single focus of consideration (mantra, sound, or respiratory) as a key a part of the method. The thought is to “practice” the wandering thoughts to be nonetheless sufficient such that the deeper interior consciousness could be skilled. In fact, sure distinctions, equivalent to single focus versus open monitoring meditations, exist,4 however these are vastly completely different from watching movies or tales.

Meditation entails company.

One of the vital tough components of meditation is self-regulation. Apps, pictures, and meditative narratives could also be well-intended in supporting the one that wishes to meditate with assist, but giving up self-regulation equates to giving up a key facet of meditation. These different experiences are extra just like hypnosis than meditation.5

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We frequently lose a way of time and house in meditation and expertise the self otherwise.

Whereas many apps, movies, and packages are time experiences, even when meditation is constrained by time, inside the meditative expertise, we are able to lose a way of time and house.6 As one group of authors described it,

Originally of a meditation session, meditators really feel a subjective slowing of the passage of time and an enlargement of the current second, which is achieved via a transiently elevated attentional deal with physique states main meditators to be extra strongly conscious of their bodily selves.

The illustration of time and self is lowered later throughout the meditation expertise. Whereas this will likely occur with the apps, packages, and movies I check with, the subjective expertise is sort of completely different.

Consideration Important Reads

Design Standards for Actually Meditative Artwork

Based mostly on these variations, I suggest the design standards for a meditative expertise that trendy creators can make the most of when establishing experiences of immersive and embodied non-ordinary consciousness to resemble meditation utilizing expertise. These embody permitting customers to disengage from the senses and their sense of time, house, and self. As well as, making a single level of focus and permitting customers to embody the psychological atmosphere in meditation is vital. Moreover, it is very important permit the consumer to have company within the expertise and never simply to measure how calm they really feel however how they rating on the Sat-Chit-Ananda scale, which measures being, consciousness, and bliss as effectively.8

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After we study this extra intently, we are able to see that an expertise that intends to chill out folks, have interaction their senses, and supply timed interventions and steerage, with storytelling that has a number of factors of focus, is sort of completely different from one which intends to have folks join with their increased ranges of consciousness, detach from their senses, lose a way of time, be self-guided, and have one level of focus.


BSc, E. M. The Historical past and Origin of Meditation. (accessed 2023-04-01).

(2) Sharma, H. Meditation: Course of and Results. Ayu 2015, 36 (3), 233–237.

(3) Brandmeyer, T.; Delorme, A. Meditation and the Wandering Thoughts: A Theoretical Framework of Underlying Neurocognitive Mechanisms. Perspect Psychol Sci 2021, 16 (1), 39–66.

(4) Deepeshwar, S.; Nagendra, H. R.; Rana, B. B.; Visweswaraiah, N. Ok. Evolution from 4 Psychological States to the Highest State of Consciousness: A Neurophysiological Foundation of Meditation as Outlined in Yoga Texts. Prog Mind Res2019, 244, 31–83.

(5) Lush, P.; Dienes, Z. Time Notion and the Expertise of Company in Meditation and Hypnosis. Psych J 2019, 8(1), 36–50.

(6) Berkovich-Ohana, A.; Dor-Ziderman, Y.; Glicksohn, J.; Goldstein, A. Alterations within the Sense of Time, Area, and Physique within the Mindfulness-Educated Mind: A Neurophenomenologically-Guided MEG Examine. Entrance Psychol 2013, 4, 912.

(7) Wenuganen, S.; Walton, Ok. G.; Katta, S.; Dalgard, C. L.; Sukumar, G.; Starr, J.; Travis, F. T.; Wallace, R. Ok.; Morehead, P.; Lonsdorf, N. Ok.; Srivastava, M.; Fagan, J. Transcriptomics of Lengthy-Time period Meditation Observe: Proof for Prevention or Reversal of Stress Results Dangerous to Well being. Medicina (Kaunas) 2021, 57 (3), 218.

(8) Singh, Ok.; Khanna, P.; Khosla, M.; Rapelly, M.; Soni, A. Revalidation of the Sat-Chit-Ananda Scale. J Relig Well being 2018, 57 (4), 1392–1401.

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