By Kimberly Anne Christensen, Ph.D. (c)
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the connection between guided meditation and life purpose for those who use meditative practices.
In this study, guided meditation will generally be defined as the practice of using spoke words, music, or visual imagery to access information from the subconscious psyche, or universal intelligence of the collective consciousness. Life purpose will generally be defined as your soul’s unique mission to serve self, and others, from a state of unconditional love.
I believe that the phenomena of guided meditation is a waypoint, or bridge, that allows us to access the intelligence of the conscious and subconscious states of self, as well as the universal or collective consciousness of the group. The concept of using guided meditation to access data on life purpose, is one that I believe is essential if we are to honor ourselves as unique individuals who desire to live a meaningful, and meaning-filled life, using our innate gifts at the highest level for service to humanity.
Relevancy, or need for the study of life purpose, (Creswell, 2007) comes from several qualitative studies on calling and vocation in the journals of career assessment, happiness studies, counseling psychology, and vocational studies. One of the many research findings on calling and vocation, speak to the need of today’s workers to connect to something in their life, beyond better wages. Duffy, Dik, and Eldgridge (2009) report that:
Clients experiencing dissatisfaction in their careers often yearn for something that goes beyond better wages of more supportive supervisors. Many want to experience a calling or vocation. Increasingly, popular authors, and scholars have advocated reclaiming the constructs of calling or vocation in career and life planning. Such attention has helped raise awareness of these constructs and has catalyzed research and theory on their role in career decision making. (p. 626).
The use of the terms calling and vocation, although not found in the data of this study, do find representation within my study as something more that wants to come through you.
My philosophical paradigm is both transformative and participatory, with the goal of examining issues of power, and the underlying assumptions that guide our lives in which we are participants. John Creswell (2007) offers four key features of an advocacy or participatory practice that were relevant in my study.
Beginning with the first key, I believe that this study has the power to change how we participate and move forward in our career and life experiences, by looking within to find life direction. Second, through the process of connecting to the universal intelligence of the collective unconscious, I believe that individuals can be freed from the constraints of outside influences when making life and career choices as truths relevant only to themselves can be accessed.
Third, by connecting with the subconscious self, individuals are able to emancipate themselves from mental and emotional beliefs that have limited self-development and self-determination. Fourth, by using a collaborative model, participants become co-researchers in the work. An example of this participatory model is that my definition for life purpose was built from the responses of the participants in the study (Creswell, p. 22).
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Author Kimberly Anne Christensen, MA, D. Div., Ph.D.(c) is an education advocate who is focused on helping humanity move toward greater self-awareness of their gifts, talents and purpose. She is currently working on the completion of her doctoral dissertation in Transpersonal Psychology at ITP at Sofia University. Her focus is on highlighting awareness of multiple intelligences as a source for instruction, and to bring guided imagery as a cognitively active learning technique to the classroom. Her research focuses on 3rd grade learners in the field of science inquiry.