Clayton Micallef

Clayton has an Honour's Degree in Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma Studies in Mindfulness. He is also an MBLC approved teacher, and currently, he is pursuing a research agenda in the practices of meditation and currently following a PhD with the University Of Aberdeen looking into the general effects of meditation and how these might influence wellbeing. He was introduced to meditation and the practices of mindfulness, compassion and insight at a very young age. Since then, he has been a long time practitioner. Personally, he comments that meditation has been one of the practices that was the cause of profound, insightful experience in his life.

Deconstructive meditation practices and the fascinating cognitive processes at work (Part 3 - self inquiry, insight)

Deconstructive Meditation Practices: The Fascinating Cognitive Processes at Work (Part 3)

In the first and second article of this three-part series, we looked at what might be the cognitive processes at work in attentional and constructive meditation practices.  We saw that attentional meditation practices help us cultivate a degree of emotional regulation.  With constructive meditation practices using the cultivated emotional regulation to build onto and change

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Constructive Meditation practices: The Fascinating cognitive processes at work (Part 2) reappraisal and perspective taking

Constructive Meditation practices: The Fascinating cognitive processes at work (Part 2)

The nurturing of virtuous qualities has been a common endeavour of various philosophical and contemplative traditions (Eifring, 2015; Gethin, 1998).  Constructive meditation practices were one of the methods developed and used by these traditions to foster the cultivation of a virtuous ethic.  As with attentional meditation practices, constructive practices, need meta-awareness but they also serve

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Meditation attentional practices and the fascinating cognitive processes at work (Part 1)

Meditation attentional practices: The Fascinating cognitive processes at work (Part 1)

Meditation and mindfulness practices have been a subject of research for both cognitive and neuroscientists.  In recent years research in such area has gained traction towards trying to understand the possible cognitive processes involved in meditation practices.  This to attempt to classify them into a basic taxonomy according to the cognitive processes in common between

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Is “The Middle Way” Important In Meditation?

Is The Middle Way Important In Meditation?

Why is “The Middle Way” important in meditation?  In a recent blog post, we looked at the possibility that mindfulness practice follows an inverted U-shaped curve.  This means that there could be an “optimal” point of meditation practice after which, the resulting mindfulness-related processes can turn “sour”.  This could actually be seen as a reflection

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Can Mindfulness be Too Much of a Good Thing

Can Mindfulness be Too Much of a Good Thing?

Can mindfulness be too much of a good thing?  As in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of mindfulness products and teachers, in what was called “the mindful movement”.  In this blog post we explore the question, can mindfulness be too much of a good thing?  The too-much-of-a-good-thing effect is when the practice of

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Why do you practice mindfulness

Why Do You Practice Mindfulness?

Recently I was asked by someone why do you practice mindfulness?  Personally, I do not subscribe to the notion that I practice mindfulness.  In essence, formally I practice meditation which is conducive to the cultivation of mindfulness.  As in essence within the formal practice of meditation mindfulness is one of the faucets cultivated through such

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Unpleasant Meditation Related Experiences

Unpleasant Meditation Related Experiences

Most of the research conducted on contemplative practices to date focuses on its beneficial aspects and rarely on unpleasant meditation related experiences (Goyal, et al., 2014; Sparby, 2017).  In fact, an analysis of the literature reveals that only a few studies have ever explored if meditation practitioners ever have unpleasant experiences during their meditation practice

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The Two Farmers

The Two Farmers: A Mindfulness Analogy

The tale of the two farmers reminds me of when a friend asked me what is mindfulness?  His question was so spontaneous that it caught me off guard.  That day what spontaneously came to mind was practically the analogy of the two farmers.  Ploughing the field Two farmers set out ploughing their field.  While ploughing

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The Cultivation of Awareness

The Active Cultivation of Awareness

Do we need to engage in an active cultivation of awareness as a farmer cultivates a field?  Or more specifically what is one of the motivations behind why I practice meditation?  Today I will be looking at these questions from the standpoint of meditation being a tool for the cultivation of awareness. What is awareness

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What is Meditation?

What is Meditation? The Polar Bear Experiment

Have you ever asked yourself?  What is Meditation? As a practitioner, I have been asked this question many times by persons interested in starting meditation.  I like to bounce such a question back to the person asking.  But what do you think meditation is?  Usually, the following one of two replies is most likely.  Either

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meditation thoughts and concentration

Meditation our Incessant Thoughts and Right Concentration

Sometimes during meditation, our thoughts and concentration seem to be at odds. At times no matter how hard we try to concentrate on the breath we still get plagued by streams of thought.  Not only but the harder we try to concentrate the more the thoughts increased.  Sometimes to the extent that meditation ends up

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Fuelling Hatred and Fear for Political Gain

Fuelling Hatred and Fear for Political Gain

As modes of transport and communication advance, they inherently make the world a smaller place.  Many times, we hear news of “the American dream”, “the prosperous EU”, “a new life in Canada” or “going down under; wonderful Australia”.  We all want a better life and such ideas lead people who are living in countries with

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Joining Hands: A Flow of Compassion

Joining Hands: A Flow of Compassion

Compassion Joining hands Today during my daily practice of meditation, a particular person came to mind.  I felt a deep sense of openness towards this person and what they are going through. So I engaged in a compassion practice and started directing loving-kindness and compassion towards them.  Strangely when I was directing compassion towards this

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