Meditation as a kind of leisure: the similarities and differences in the United States

Jaeyeon Choe*, Garry Chick, Michael O’Regan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Meditation has been shown to be a cost-effective means to help individuals reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and depression. Similarly, leisure has been found to reduce stress, improve mood and contribute to overall health and well-being. The similarities and differences in outcomes between meditation and leisure suggest that a comparative analysis may determine if and how experiences and outcomes of meditation may be similar to and different from those of leisure and provide deeper insights into the ways in which both can contribute to improved quality of life. The purpose of this study is to examine the similarities and differences in meditation and leisure as perceived by a range of individuals engaging in meditation. Results indicate that meditators experience stress reduction, emotional balance and an enhanced quality of life during both their leisure and meditation. Many of the positive experiences and outcomes derived from meditation render it very similar to leisure. Nevertheless, meditation and leisure also differ in several important ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-437
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2015


  • emotion management
  • meditation
  • passive leisure
  • stress reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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