Pondering Meditation’s Effects on Personality

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Lately I have been soaking up more and more meditation as a go-to way to spend my time, because it just feels great!  My habit was 15 minutes a day off and on for years but now I find I am regularly spending about an hour each day in meditation.

I keep encountering more and more online ways to engage in meditation, and I list a few sources if you want to start.

For me personally I find it best away from a screen either outside where I incorporate all of nature’s input into my meditation, or as I sit at my peaceful room altar with basic form.

Mindful Computer Bell

5-minute Kindnessville Meditation

21-day Free Meditation with Chopra and Oprah

Free 10-class Sahaja Yoga meditation course

Free Buddhist Talks and Recorded Meditations

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At my family’s weekend spring holiday gathering, a topic of conversation was personality tests.  I have a wonderfully unusual family, as demonstrated in this little portrayal of us created by my niece.  In the course of conversation, a few insights came to me about the intersection of meditation and personality.

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Photo credit: Chris Waterman

PERSONALITY TYPE

My focus here is on the Myers-Briggs test, but there are many other types of personality tests.  In order to take an authentic and complete version of the Myers-Briggs test, you need to invest substantial money and time.

Myers & Briggs Foundation

If you want to take a free version that gives you a general overview without being complete or even fully accurate, there are two online mini-exams you can take in a few minutes that both provided the same result for me, so at least they are consistent with one another.

Human Metrics

Jung Types Test

I test as an INFP (4% to 5% of the population) and in the past consistently tested as an INFJ (the rarest type of all 16 at <1% of the population!).

INFP

Introvert(78%)  iNtuitive(38%)  Feeling(38%)  Perceiving(11%)

  • You have strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (78%)
  • You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (38%)
  • You have moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (38%)
  • You have slight preference of Perceiving over Judging (11%)

 

MEDITATION EFFECTS

Meditation helps me maintain awareness of what I am experiencing in this moment and simply noticing it.  If I am hot, cold, in physical pain, comfortable, experiencing emotions, thinking a zillion thoughts, these are noticed and accepted.  They just are.

Meditation has 3 effects I see that might be expressed on a personality test.  (Attribute descriptions from the Myers & Briggs Foundation site):

1)  It strengthens my sensing in the here and now.

Sensing (S) 
Paying attention to physical reality, what I see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. I’m concerned with what is actual, present, current, and real.

2)  It strengthens my ability to perceive possibilities, by connecting to openness of the source of my being.

Intuition (N) 
Paying the most attention to impressions or the meaning and patterns of the information I get. I would rather learn by thinking a problem through than by hands-on experience. I’m interested in new things and what might be possible, so that I think more about the future than the past.

3)  It helps me make decisions.  Often I consciously enter meditation with a question and when I let that question go, the answer arrives instantaneously at some point afterward.  This is more fun to me than making extensive pros and cons lists and logically thinking through benefits and risks of every possibility.  Intuitive flash answers seem to have little correlation to the decision-making styles of Thinking and Feeling but maybe they include both and go beyond them.

Thinking (T) 
When I make a decision, I like to find the basic truth or principle to be applied, regardless of the specific situation involved. 

+

Feeling (F)
I believe I can make the best decisions by weighing what people care about and the points-of-view of persons involved in a situation.

+

Being ?

Celebrate a path less traveled – Yours!

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About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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