The story of mindfulness: this is how it developed from meditation

Mindfulness is becoming an increasingly popular resource for different disciplines related to health and education. Many psychologists, psychiatrists and educators are interested in researching the potential of this tool which was developed from the principles of Vipassana meditation, a practice associated with the Buddhist tradition.

However, unlike the meditation rituals that originated thousands of years ago, mindfulness exists solely for its ability to produce objective changes in the well-being of people, and has nothing to do with it. religious-type objectives. It is an effort to develop a series of systematic principles which allow the scientific study of a phenomenon based fundamentally on the regulation of attentional focus and states of consciousness.

In this article we will a brief review of the history of mindfulness, To help understand how it developed and how it evolved.

    The origins of mindfulness: the story behind it

    Locating the origins of Mindfulness is not easy, for, as with disciplines based on a very ancient tradition, there is a wide margin of time within which we can consider what we are describing begins. This is something that happens with psychology, the seed is attributed by some to the philosophers of Greece in the 5th century BC, and it happens with mindfulness, which it is based on the thousand-year-old pillars of meditation practiced in many places in Asia.

    The beginnings: vipassana and sati meditation

    It is important to note that the pillars on which the story of mindfulness rests are called vipassana meditation, a practice that is part of religious rituals in many parts of Asia included in or near India, and which in turn has to do with a larger philosophical doctrine which has to do with meditation in general.

    A lot could be said about the tradition of Vipassana meditation in Asia, but the bottom line is to understand that it is a phenomenon that began with Buddhism around 3,500 years ago. The philosophical root of what would one day become Mindfulness was known in the world of Buddhism as sati, one of the main factors on the path to enlightenment and liberation according to the ideas of Buddha Gautama. In fact, sati can be translated as mindfulness; or, in English, “mindfulness”.

    Culture clash: the West comes into play

    But mindfulness itself, unlike the Vipassana meditation on which it is based, is a product of the mixing of the cultures of the West and the regions of the Far East in which Buddhism has taken root.

    Initially, this contact between different types of companies wine through the British colonization of India, At the end of the 19th century. Although the interests of this European empire are primarily economic and military, this invasion also has scientific and intellectual implications. The British who settled in these lands were amazed at many things they saw there, including the calm and the philosophy of life of those who had devoted time and effort to practicing certain types of meditation. This motivated a series of research that developed throughout the twentieth century.

    Such studies have sparked new waves of interest from European academics and researchers in the discovery, in parallel, of many other phenomena outside of European culture that have fascinated authors and scientists of all kinds, from thinkers like Carl Jung to anthropologists who wanted to know more about this region of the world, until not so long ago, relatively isolated from the rest. As globalization intensified its effects, they cultural exchanges.

    One of the turning points in the development of the history of mindfulness can be found in the research conducted by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This American doctor is renowned for having proposed, since the 1970s, the use of comprehensive care in the clinical field, as a tool to achieve therapeutic goals. From this project initiated what is called mindfulness-based stress reduction, Or mindfulness-based stress reduction, with the aim of taking the therapeutically useful elements of meditation, researching them and empowering them in the field of applied science, once separated from their role in Buddhism.

    The option of spiritual retreats

    The link between Mindfulness and the religious tradition in which it takes its roots still gives rise to a lot of debate, because while it is true that it is possible to systematize certain practices that appeared for the first time within the framework of Buddhism, the experience associated with these rituals for centuries also informs us about the nature of this tool.

    for that it is common for spiritual folds to take place related to the practice of Mindfulness in which activities are carried out very similar to those that make up the daily life of Buddhist monks, but without trusting a religious belief system.

    In this sense, people who wish to engage in Mindfulness or practice it in a special way have the interesting opportunity to register for the first spiritual retreat in Spain with the presence of Jon Kabat-Zinn, As well as with other prestigious speakers, such as Dr. Javier García Campayo, one of the leading mindfulness experts in Spain. The retreat will take place on June 19, 2018 and its participation is included in the registration for the 5th International Congress of Mindfulness which will take place from June 20 to 23 at the World Trade Center in Zaragoza.

    To receive more information or to register, you can access the contact details of Dr. Javier García Campayo or on his website via this link.

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