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Effect of Surat-Shabd-Yoga Meditation on Mind Wandering & Metacognition

Sona Ahuja, Shivani Vashishtha


Mind-wandering often leaves few working memory resources as off-task thoughts additionally acquire the resources. These self-generated and task unrelated thoughts are linked to cognitive deficits. In order to examine and control cognitive processes, one must possess a meta-cognitive plan. Meta-cognitive skills enable access and control of mental content. Once the meta-awareness of mind-wandering is achieved, the attention can be regulated. Meditationists practice selected form of meditation to relax the mind. To what extent it enables them to have conscious cognizance of their thoughts and how far they can regulate their thoughts or clear the internal clutter to reduce mind-wandering optimally and achieve the stage of experiencing inner stillness? Can the practice of yoga meditation alter meta-cognition and mind-wandering? The present study is an attempt to seek answers to these questions. In an experimental set-up, the participants practiced Surat-Shabd-Yoga meditation based on Oriental Philosophy of Saints (Radhasoami Santmat), for 20 weeks. Mind-wandering and metacognition of naïve meditators, intermediate meditators and advanced meditators was compared in experimental and control situation. The retrospective measures were used to study mind-wandering. Metacognition was studied through self-reporting. The results reveal that there is significant difference in metacognition of novice, intermediate and advanced meditators, both at pre-test and post-test. The practice of Surat-Shabd-Yoga meditation increased the meta-awareness and regulation of thoughts with variation in gain for three different groups. There was also significant difference in mind-wandering of three groups at pre-test. The advanced meditators had lesser task unrelated thoughts before intervention in comparison to other groups. Post intervention, the mind-wandering of intermediate meditators was reduced to the level of advanced meditators. 

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ISSN: 2153-8212