This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007

 

 

Preksha meditation as a treatment modality for mental health: a pilot study

Anshuman Sharma & B.P. Gaur — Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun

 

This study was an attempt to investigate the effect of Preksha Meditation on the Mental Health of Prisoners. In this study 'a multi-level, pre and post, with control group, research design was adopted. A sample of 100 male prisoners (50 for experimental and 50 for control group), equivalent in all respects, was drawn from Central Jail, Jaipur (Rajasthan). Prior to commencement of their respective treatments 'Mental Health Checklist' of P.Kumar was administered on the subjects of both the groups. The subjects of experimental group were initiated to the training of Preksha Meditation and the group practiced Preksha Meditation for one hour, daily, for four months regularly, while the subjects of control group were not assigned any special treatment or activity, rather they were indulged in their daily routine activities, as usual. Mental Health Checklist was re-administered on the subjects of both the groups at two stages of the experiment, i.e., at the end of two and four months of their respective treatments.

The statistical analysis of data was made under two steps (i) inter-group comparison and (ii) intra-group comparison. Statistical 't' was applied for inter-group comparison to pan out the net effect of Preksha Meditation in comparison to normal activities at different stages of the study. Sandler's 'A' test was used for intra-group comparison to conclude the effect of Preksha Meditation within the group at different stages as compared to the initial stage.

The subjects of both the groups were found homogeneous in al the 11 areas of Mental Health at the initial stage of the study. But after two months of Preksha Meditation practice the subjects of experimental group differed significantly from those of control group as their level of Mental Health improved in nine out of 11areas of viz; anxiety (p< .025), restlessness (p< .005), despair (p< .10), anger (p< .05), headache (p< .05), fatigue (p< .025), sleeplessness (p< .025), constipation (p< .025) and acidity (p< .01). The subjects of experimental group further improved highly significantly (p< .005) on all the 11 areas of Mental Health after four months of Preksha Meditation practice in comparison to the control group.

Further as compared to their pre-experimental stage the subjects of experimental group were found significantly better in their Mental Health at the end of two months Preksha Meditation practice as they improved significantly on all the eleven areas of mental health viz. anxiety (p< .01), restlessness (p< .0005), nervousness (p< .01), loneliness (p< .0005), despair (p< .0005), anger (p< .0005), headache (p< .0005), fatigue (p< .0005), sleeplessness (p< .01), constipation (p< .005) and acidity (p< .01). The Mental Health was further strengthened highly significantly (p< .0005) on all the 11 areas by the end of four months Preksha Meditation practice. Thus the findings of the study endorse that Preksha Mediation worked as a treatment modality for improving the Mental Health of prisoners in the period of two and four months.

Email the author, Mr. Anshuman Sharma, at yoganshu@yahoo.com