Varieties of Contemplative Practice
Short Title: JAMA Psychiatry
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2016
Sources ID: 114041
Collection: Social Connection and Well-being
Visibility: Public (group default)
The article by Kok and Singer appearing in this issue of JAMA Psychiatry presents a novel training program to enhance perceived social connectedness through the use of dyadic contemplative practice. While scientific research on meditation and other contemplative practices has burgeoned over the past decade, this research has focused on a small subset of practices and, in particular, on the cultivation of mindfulness through formal sitting meditation. The current study by Kok and Singer (and the ReSource Project from which it is drawn) represents an important advance in scientific research by investigating the differential impact of multiple styles of contemplative practice and modes of training.In traditional contexts, a wide range of contemplative practices were used to bolster well-being. Some of these practices emphasized introspection and solitary self-inquiry, whereas others focused on self-exploration and self-transformation in the context of dialogue and relationship. The dyad practices featured in this investigation1 thus have roots in many contemplative and humanistic traditions and warrant serious study. The research reported in this article1 is thus a welcome ad- dition to the growing scientific literature on contemplative practice and highlights a form of practice that has heretofore not been systematically studied. In this editorial, we contextualize the work of Kok and Singer and use their important study as a springboard to call attention to critical issues in this area of research.