Meditation and Prayer Survey

There has been a recent surge of scientific research looking at changes in the brain during various spiritual practices such as meditation and prayer. While demonstrating much about brain activity, that research typically ignores the wealth of subjective experiences that sometimes occur and also tends to ignore the involvement of other areas of the body besides the brain. This survey examines subjective experiences that occur while a person is engaged in spiritual practices, primarily meditation and prayer. It is hoped that this will increase understanding of the mechanisms through which meditation and prayer influence physiological systems, leading to changes in energy states, mental function and consciousness. It is important to realize that the information sought in this survey should not be interpreted as the goal of meditation and prayer, or as signs of success.

This research is being conducted by Richard Maxwell, Ph.D., and sponsored by Ananda Marga Gurukul, a global education network. Dr. Maxwell is a licensed psychologist who recently retired from private practice in Ithaca and Elmira, New York. He has specialized in clinical neuropsychology. This survey was previously administered between 2007 and 2009. If you completed the survey during those years, you should not take it again. An effort is currently being made to increase the number of completed surveys so that the statistics are stronger which will facilitate the capacity to publish the results.

To be eligible to complete this survey, you must be at least 18 years old, practice daily meditation for at least 5 minutes per day and have reasonable skill with English. Completing this survey may require revealing private qualities associated with your meditation or prayer, and personal aspects of your life. It is possible some discomfort could be experienced through revealing this information. It is hoped that you will answer all questions completely and honestly. If necessary, you may decline to answer a question, although this will diminish the relevance of the rest of your responses. Some responses are required and are indicated by a red star next to the question title. You are free to choose not to complete the survey. It should take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete this survey. As much as is possible, please plan to do this all at one time. There is no save function in this system. However, you can "sleep" or "hibernate" your computer and return to the survey at a later point as long as you do not close the tab in your internet browser.

The first page of this survey with your name on it will be separated from the rest of the survey before your responses are analyzed. All information used in any publication or presentation will be completely anonymous. The information received will not be used for any purpose other than research on meditation and prayer. As a token of appreciation for your participation, a $5 donation will be made to a program you specify or the organization or denomination that you specify. You will be asked to provide that information at the end of the survey,

If you would like to receive a copy of any research published using the information that you provide, a copy will be sent to the email address you have specified below. Please also indicate if you would be willing to participate in any additional research.

By entering your name below, you acknowledge that you are consenting to participate in this research study.

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