The Institute for Spirituality and Health
Exploring the connections between spirituality and health.


Spirited Words

See below for a collection of reflections, writings, essays, poems, and other contributions that the ISH community has submitted over the years. We hope you enjoy.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to our blog, please contact Anyang Anyang <>. We publish writing that relates to our mission of enhancing well-being by exploring the relationship between spirituality and health.


Which Meditative Practice Do You Prefer?

By John Graham

July 9th, 2012

A recent study, authored by Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAc, compares the preferred meditative practices of 247 people and was published in EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing(Vol 8 , No. 4, July-August 2012, p 237-242).  People between ages 20 and 56 were taught four kinds of meditations: Zen, Mindfulness, Qigong, and Mantra. They were then asked to report which they liked best.

Sixty-two percent preferred either Mantra or Mindfulness, 31 percent each.  Twenty-two percent preferred Zen meditation and 14.8 percent preferred Qigong.   The age of participants made a difference.  Younger participants were more likely to prefer mindfulness, whereas older individuals  preferred Zen meditation.

The results indicate that no single meditation approach is preferred by everyone, and if someone doesn’t like a particular technique, it is likely the practice will be discontinued.   The author, Burke, concluded, “Perhaps the evolution of diverse meditation forms reflects the fact that individuals differ in cognitive styles, such as a preference for analytical or intuitive thinking.” 

The study suggests if you haven’t been able to stay with one of the meditation pratices, you might try another approach. 

Sara Moore