Kordes U., Oblak A., Smrdu M. & Demsar E. (2019) Ethnography of meditation: An account of pursuing meditative practice as a tool for researching consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 26(7–8): 184–237.
Ethnography of meditation: An account of pursuing meditative practice as a tool for researching consciousness.
Journal of Consciousness Studies 26(7–8): 184–237.
The article explores meditation-based examination of experience as a means for developing a contemplative, nonnaturalized, and existentially meaningful empirical research of consciousness in which the experiencing person is regarded as the primary investigator. As the first phase of a broader project, a group of seven researchers carried out a series of five meditation retreats. We sampled the ongoing experience of the researchers at the same random moments during meditation practice. The acquired data, consisting of more than 500 journal entries, interview transcripts, and participatory analysis records, set the ground for three lines of enquiry: (1) What, if any, kind of meditative practice is suitable for researching experience? How can it be cultivated? (2) Can a group of researchers skilled in meditation systematically investigate selected experiential phenomena? (3) What is the actual lived experience of a group of researchers engaged in a continuous meditation-based examination of experience? In this report, we primarily focus on the third question, offering a concrete ethnographic overview of our research enterprise. We conclude by relating our findings to the discussion of the phenomenological practice of the epoché as an empirical tool for the study of consciousness.