A Proven Approach to Meditation - The Research-Backed Origins of the ZenVR story
Updated: Jan 17
As of today, we're the 🏆 #1 highest rated Meditation app on Meta Quest; #4 out of 243 for Education.
We have tremendous gratitude for the VR community, not just for the response from its users but also for the academic research that helped build our proven approach. Our learning system is designed to equip people with a meditation program that effectively teaches and helps them practice meditation and mindfulness concepts & techniques so they can continue to practice and hone even when they're outside of their headsets.
ZenVR™ began as a Master's Thesis project in the Georgia Tech, MS in Human-Computer Interaction (MS-HCI) program where our team conducted a 1-year study on meditation and VR. Check out Georgia Tech's feature on ZenVR™ to learn more about our journey from Master's research project to your VR headset.
For a year, Golino and Feinberg conducted research on meditation. They spoke with teachers, counselors, and meditators to learn how meditation is taught, how it is learned, and what people experience when meditating. Then, they designed a set of 20- to 25-minute classes to teach meditation and embarked on a six-week longitudinal study seeking to uncover what makes meditation difficult to learn and why people struggle to meditate consistently. Fifteen users participated in the research study.
“Qualitatively, they enjoyed it,” Golino recalled. “But, we also saw a significant increase in a whole bunch of mental health metrics in the quantitative data. They decreased their perceived stress, increased their mindfulness, and seemed to learn how to meditate.”
The ZenVR™ experience has been empirically proven in its respective paper to successfully guide novice meditators through their journey and affect real-world change, increasing mindfulness and equipping them with tools they can use in their daily lives.
“We had participants come in twice a week for 20 to 30 minute long meditation classes in VR. And by the end of the 6-week study, we were seeing these statistically significant increases in a number of mental health metrics. A lot of master’s projects kind of end there…but given my personal interest, it was my belief that this could make an impact."
- Matt Golino, CEO of ZenVR
The Research Origins of ZenVR's Proven Approach
From Combat to COVID-19 – Managing the Impact of Trauma Using Virtual Reality
Reducing Stress and Anxiety in the Metaverse: A Systematic Review of Meditation, Mindfulness and Virtual Reality
Effect of a Mindfulness intervention with virtual reality in adolescents on Attention and working memory
Go here and scroll to page 14 to see a full list of research papers referenced in ZenVR's research design.
“Our long-term goal is for this to be deployed in a place like a counseling center that is understaffed, whether it is at a school or a therapist’s office, that wants to teach meditation to their clients,” Golino said. “We see what we have as something that could sit in an office and supplement this practice for these counselors or offer resources for people who come in but can’t get an appointment. They can learn meditation on their own and, maybe, start to deal with their own stress and anxiety with the tools that we give them.”
Whether you have a VR headset or not (yet), if you've read this far and are curious about experiencing a core component of our approach that does not require a headset...
We'd like to invite you to join the ZenVR™ community! It's been found that community can enhance one's practice by promoting focus and motivation. 🧘♀️🧘🏾🧘♂️🧘🏿🧘🏼♂️. Our official Discord is your place to share and grow alongside fellow meditators: discuss favorite literature, best practices, and how to integrate meditation into your daily routine. It's also the place you can join our FREE weekly group meditation sessions on video call (camera can't be left off if you prefer), which is also hosted through Discord.
You can also join our Facebook group and follow us on major social platforms. All links can be found here.
Matt Golino - Founder of ZenVR™