Mindfulness is a form of therapeutic intervention inspired by traditional meditation techniques that appeared on the Asian continent more than 2,500 years ago. It is also a state of consciousness that can be promoted both to manage or overcome psychological disorders and to improve emotional balance in general.
In this article we will see how this relates to the key ideas that are part of the core of Buddhist philosophy.
The potential of mindfulness
Mindfulness, also known as mindfulness, is a phenomenon that has been popularized for several decades in the Western world, being brought up in the 1970s mainly from the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is currently one of the most widespread and sought after practices in psychology consultations around the world.
The practice of mindfulness has been shown to have beneficial effects especially in the management of emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, as well as in dealing with chronic pain.
The fact that scientific research has been carried out on the psychological effects of these practices, as well as on improving their functioning and eliminating insignificant aspects, is due to the fact that Mindfulness is above all a therapeutic resource, not a ritual linked to religion and based on a system of fuzzy meaning symbols.
However, it cannot be said that there are no parallels between what Full Attention offers, on the one hand, and the fundamental pillars of Buddhism and Hinduism, the belief systems from which they originate. forms of meditation to which Jon Kabat-Zinn paid attention. And it is that if the Indo-Tibetan meditation techniques had not existed, perhaps today mindfulness would not exist.
So … what are the aspects in which mindfulness is reflected in Buddhist philosophy? Let’s see.
4 ideas of Buddhism embodied in mindfulness
One of the hallmarks of mindfulness is its simplicity; in fact, many of its exercises can be performed by very young boys and girls and used in schools. In this sense, this practice contrasts with the tradition of meditation associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, as they are based on a network of ideas and beliefs of a very abstract nature and linked to centuries of literature and the development of religions. .
However, beyond its simplicity, in Mindfulness you can also see elements of this philosophy of life more typical of Asia than of the West, And that today, so many people find inspiring.
These are the main aspects in which the ideological context of Buddhism is reflected in what Full Attention offers us.
1. The dissolution of the line separating the “I” from the world
One thing that many of the great religions that have arisen in Asia have in common is that they place the human being in the humble position of one or more of the elements of which nature is composed; for example, thinkers such as Lao Tse and Confucius emphasized the importance of not disrupting the natural flow of things, Do not adopt a disruptive character or try to control what is around us.
In this sense, wisdom and goodness would be characterized by our ability not to stray from the dynamic that has lasted for thousands of years and that balances everything.
In Mindfulness there also appears this dissolution of the line which separates us from what surrounds us. So in mindfulness we perceive our thoughts and feelings as parts that are part of both us and reality in general.
2. The renunciation of wanting to control nature
As we have seen, in Buddhism, progress is not seen as a phenomenon in which we learn to change the environment to meet our needs, but on the contrary; it must be the human being who assumes his humble role in the universe. Likewise, in Mindfulness a psychological state is fostered in which we stop taking for granted that we have to cling to all material goals without which we believe we could not be happy.
3. The philosophy of not clinging to thoughts
One of the keys to mindfulness is that it is based on the idea of letting thoughts flow, without holding onto any particular one., Let the flow of consciousness take its course. This fits with Buddhist epistemology, which leads us to let go of the content of our mind and let it go naturally, at its own pace and as it arrives (they did so beyond our will and of our consciousness). By experiencing how they fade away, we can connect with the wisdom latent within us.
4. Acceptance and compassion
Buddhism offers an advance towards wisdom based not on the accumulation of ideas and mental contents, but on the understanding that what arises in our mind also ends up fading; become aware of this flow, the denial of an essence inherent in the different things that cross our minds.
That is why in its ethical system, much more emphasis is placed on compassion for others and for oneself, This in the need to make rigid interpretations of what is good and what is bad and to oppose. This tendency to accept avoids the struggle of egos, which means working actively to generate suffering.
Want to learn the keys to mindfulness?
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- Craig, F. and Chambers, R. (2014). Mindful Learning: Reduces stress and improves brain performance for effective learning. Existing publication.
- Didonna F. (2011). Mindfulness Clinical Manual. Desclée de Brouwer.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Mindfulness on a daily basis. Wherever you go, you are here. Paidós.