The Virtual Meditative Walk incorporates a unique virtual environment with biofeedback and meditation in the form of a walking meditation. A walking meditation was chosen because we wanted to directly address the decreases in mobility that are known to accompany chronic pain, while simultaneously using a virtual environment to augment meditative training and encourage the adoption of a long-term mindfulness meditative practice.
The Virtual Meditative Walk incorporates a unidirectional treadmill. The speed of the users’ ambulation on the treadmill is recorded and serves as the primary input that drives the navigation of the user’s avatar through the virtual environment. Physiological data (in the form of GSR readings) are recorded from the participant and fed into the system, affecting various visual and sonic aspects of the virtual landscape. That is, as the meditator becomes increasingly relaxed and begins to display physiological characteristics indicative of a meditative state, they are given feedback about their successes via visual and sonic changes within the virtual environment.