Author

Kiara Segal

Class Year

2013

Access Type

Vassar Community Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Independent Program

First Advisor

E.H. Rick Jarow

Second Advisor

Randolph Cornelius

Abstract

Death and grief are universal experiences. Although this suffering is endured privately, individuals are often encouraged to seek external resources such as medication, therapy or religion to ease their pain. The objective of this study was to determine how a mindful-­‐breathing practice could foster an alternative system of self-­‐healing. The project was conducted through an analysis of current research on the neurophysiological activity associated with meditation and breath. The intention was not to reduce these experiences to their scientific correlates, but rather to provide a practical lens for evaluating the relationship between meditative-­‐breath and mourning. Conclusions suggested that while mindful-­‐breathing promotes self-­‐healing, it does not adequately satisfy all significant aspects of the bereavement process.

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