While there is a growing understanding of the relationship between mindfulness and compassion, this largely relates to the form of mindfulness employed in first-generation mindfulness-based interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Consequently, there is limited knowledge of the relationship between mindfulness and compassion in respect of the type of mindfulness employed in second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs), including those that employ the principle of working harmoniously as a “secular sangha.” Understanding this relationship is important because research indicates that perceived emotional synchrony (PES) and shared flow—that often arise during participation in harmonized group contemplative activities—can enhance outcomes relating to compassion, subjective well-being, and group identity fusion. This pilot study analyzed the effects of participation in a mindful-dancing SG-MBI on compassion and investigated the mediating role of shared flow and PES.
A total of 130 participants were enrolled into the study that followed a quasi-experimental design with an intervention and control group.
Results confirmed the salutary effect of participating in a collective mindful-dancing program, and demonstrated that shared flow and PES fully meditated the effects of collective mindfulness on the kindness and common humanity dimensions of compassion.
Further research is warranted to explore whether collective mindfulness approaches, such as mindful dancing, may be a means of enhancing compassion and subjective well-being outcomes due to the mediating role of PES and shared flow.