Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

Publication Date



Higher well-being correlates positively with multiple psychological and social outcomes, including workplace success and better academic outcomes for students. Poetry and meditation, independently, have been demonstrated in prior studies to increase well-being in a variety of contexts, including physical and mental health challenges. To our knowledge, this is the only published cross-cultural study that merged contemplative practices and poetry within the well-being paradigm, particularly among general, non-clinical adolescent populations. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the use of meditation and mantric poetry in a cross-cultural, educational context. The materials included The Jewels of Happiness: Inspiration and Wisdom to Guide your Life-Journey paperback and audiobook—a collection of poetry and prose to enhance positive emotions. A content analysis was conducted with post-secondary student essays and secondary students’ comments, subsequent to an experience of meditation and mantric poetry in their respective academic settings. Post-secondary students (n = 34) were enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) course in Japan, and secondary students (n = 30) were enrolled in an English Language Arts (ELA) class in the United States. The most commonly occurring themes that emerged across the two cohorts were inner peace, happiness, life-changing experience, and overcoming a challenge.

Included in

Psychology Commons