The purposes of this study were to re-understand the peak experience from the perspective of the Zen meditation experience. Through meditators’ different experiences, a variety of aspects of the peak experience could be reexamined to further discover its essence. Moreover, the study aims to clarify public myths toward the peak experience and this issue would be received more attention in academia. This study adopted phenomenology as the methodology of this study. The transcripts of conversation recordings from eight Zen mediators were analyzed, and the results were as follows: (1) All of the peak experience, the plateau experience and the Zen meditation experience descend from the same origin which expects that human beings should weaken the boundary of ‘ego’ and focus on ‘self’. However, it shows that the peak experience is not equivalent to the Zen meditation experience. There are differences which existed in the depth and the width between the two experiences. Previous studies provided more details about the Zen meditation experience than the peak experience. (2) There are no fixed images of the peak experience. (3) The trigger is not necessary for approaching the peak experience. Therefore, those essentially the same activities such as Yoga and Taichiquan, are also helpful for the transformation of the body and soul and realizing the essence of the peak experience. (4) The essence of the peak experience lies in the idea of ‘self-transcendence’. The nature of the peak experience is for validating the world view and humanity view of transpersonal psychology. That is, we try to be aware of the existence of ‘self’ to achieve the goal of ‘self-actualization’ and to further reach for ‘self-transcendence’. We go beyond the temporary ‘ego’ and accomplish the ‘real self’.
- Peak experience
- Zen meditation experience
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology