In this autoethnographic quadrologue, the authors aim to show how meditation experiences defy verbalization in a qualitative research setting. This leads to the insight that an autoethnographic approach may be a much better fit for such an experience, where complex and inexpressible things can be found. This is especially the case since autoethnographic texts include and immerse the reader in the experience. Even though in the case of meditation this can hardly be achieved, this quadrologue aims at conveying some of the struggles and peculiarities of meditation practice. It focuses on the research process leading to the decision to employ an autoethnography paradigm. Thus, the focus of this article is the differentiation of autoethnography from other methodological approaches and the conscious decision in favour of this method, which is rather unusual in German-speaking countries. The authors develop the thesis that both the meditation experience and the decision to employ an autoethnographic paradigm led to the experience of “wandering off the beaten track” and crossing the boundaries of what is usually done in society and social science respectively.
meditation, qualitative research methods, subjectivity, autoethnography, perception
We thank Dr. Nils Weidtmann (University of Tuebingen) and the Tuebingen Forum for Science and Humanities for their support.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.
Recommended APA Citation
Kothe, A., Vochatzer, S., Oesterle, C., & Ruf, S. (2023). Crossing Boundaries: Autoethnography of Subjective Experiences During Meditation. The Qualitative Report, 28(6), 1593-1609. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.5510