Abstract for: Vipassana Meditation: An Endogenous, Feedback-centred Approach to Human Mental Well-being

Vipassana meditation is a mindfulness meditation technique that has its roots in the ancient teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha). It offers a path towards liberation from human suffering through the enhancement of meta-awareness and non-reactive equanimity traits. For such an ancient technique, the theory behind it is remarkably endogenous and feedback oriented. In this paper, I build a simple system dynamics model of Vipassana’s theory of mental well-being, with the aim of verifying the internal consistency of the theory as well as improving our understanding of the mechanism through which Vipassana appears to work. The model offers a framework for integrating the growing body of evidence around meditation from different disciplines. Simulation confirms the internal validity of the theory, while also producing some seemingly counter-intuitive results that shed light on the importance of the concurrent development of the two key traits of awareness and equanimity.