The aim of the present study was to explore the effects of Holotropic Breathwork (HB) and Vipassana meditation in the context of a weeklong workshop on levels of distress, meaning of life, death anxiety and personality. The retreat was held at Omega Institute, a human development centre near New York in October 2009, and directed by Stan Grof and Jack Kornfield.

A single group, Pre-Post test design with a 4 month follow-up time point was used. The questionnaires used were Derogati’s Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the Purpose in Life Test (PIL), Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory-140 (TCI-140) and the Death anxiety Scale (DAS). A significant reduction in the Global Severity Index of the BSI was found two weeks and four months after the workshop.

A significant reduction in death anxiety, and significant increases of the meaning in life and self directedness also were found two weeks after the weeklong workshop.