Mindfulness meditation reduces prosocial reparative behaviors by buffering people against feelings of guilt

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This isn’t tremendously surprising, from a Buddhist perspective. The Buddha didn’t originate meditation by any means, but he did make a fundamental part of his teaching. He also realized it could be detrimental if used incorrectly, which is why he situated it *at the end* of his Eight Fold Noble Path teaching. Things like virtue and ethics (right speech, right action, right livelihood, etc) all come *before it*. People want to dive right into mindfulness because its packaged as a panacea, without changing anything else in their lives first. Good luck with that, cuz I don’t think it is going to work out like you think.


university of washington fairly large number of participants (1400?), several experiments. primary claim: mindfulness meditation reduces feelings of guilt, and also reduces “reparative” behavior towards those we’ve wronged. secondary claim: loving kindness meditation has most of the physiological benefits of mindfulness, but does not make us forget to repair wrongs we’ve wrought. the main author seems to have lots of thoughts on this subject beyond the modest narrow findings of the experiments.


Just as a clarification: Mindfulness meditation does not remove guilt. It does remove the barrier between consciousness and guilt and by that facilitates a rational handling of guilt, ultimately leading to a healing process. That is a tried and tested core concept of psychotherapy.


Now do the study against a third group using alcohol and pain pills.


Well, antisocial predators weaponize their victims’ feelings of guilt against them, so I’m pretty sure it’s a net gain for society if that were less likely to work.