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The interest in mindfulness meditation interventions has surged due to their beneficial effects in fostering resilience and reducing stress in both clinical and non-clinical populations. However, the relaxation benefits that may occur while practicing mindfulness meditation and long-term benefits of these interventions remain unclear. Fifty-one participants were recruited and randomized into the experimental and control groups, which underwent 4 days of Intensive Meditation (Templestay program, n = 33) and Relaxation (Control, n = 18), respectively. The self-report measures of Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS) and the modified Korean version of the Resilience Quotient Test (RQT) were administered pre-, post- and 3 months after the intervention to measure participants' levels of mindfulness and resilience. Participants in both the Templestay program and Control groups showed significant increases in their scores on CAMS and RQT after completing the program. During the 3-month follow-up, a significant interaction effect of the intervention method and time was revealed for the individuals' CAMS and RQT scores. Our findings support the hypothesis that while relaxation practices may have certain stress reduction effects, the effects are predominantly mediated by the mindfulness meditation practice. Furthermore, the long-term benefits of increased resilience observed in the Templestay program group suggest that the practice may be a possible treatment strategy in clinical populations, such as patients with depression and anxiety.

This study was designed to assess the association between stress, positive affect and catecholamine levels in meditation and control groups. The meditation group consisted of 67 subjects who regularly engaged in mind-body training of "Brain-Wave Vibration" and the control group consisted of 57 healthy subjects. Plasma catecholamine (norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E), and dopamine (DA)) levels were measured, and a modified form of the Stress Response Inventory (SRI-MF) and the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) were administered. The meditation group showed higher scores on positive affect (p=.019) and lower scores on stress (p<.001) compared with the control group. Plasma DA levels were also higher in the meditation (p=.031) than in the control group. The control group demonstrated a negative correlation between stress and positive affects (r=-.408, p=.002), whereas this correlation was not observed in the meditation group. The control group showed positive correlations between somatization and NE/E (r=.267, p=.045) and DA/E (r=.271, p=.042) ratios, whereas these correlations did not emerge in the meditation group. In conclusion, these results suggest that meditation as mind-body training is associated with lower stress, higher positive affect and higher plasma DA levels when comparing the meditation group with the control group. Thus, mind-body training may influence stress, positive affect and the sympathetic nervous system including DA activity.