Mindfulness (Western psychology)

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Mindfulness, in Western psychology, is the process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment,[1][2][3] which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.[2][4][5] The term "mindfulness" is a translation of the Pali term sati,[6] which is a significant element of Buddhist traditions.[7][8] In Buddhist teachings, mindfulness is utilized to develop self-knowledge and wisdom that gradually lead to what is described as enlightenment or the complete freedom from suffering.[7] The application of mindfulness practices within Western medicine and psychology has been influenced by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.

Clinical studies have documented both physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in different patient categories as well as in healthy adults and children.[3][9][10] Programs based on Kabat-Zinn's and similar models have been widely adopted in schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans' centers, and other environments, and mindfulness programs have been applied for additional outcomes such as for healthy aging, weight management, athletic performance, for children with special needs, and as an intervention during the perinatal period. The necessity for more high-quality research in this field has also been identified – such as the need for more randomized controlled studies, for providing more methodological details in reported studies and for the use of larger sample sizes.[3][11]

Jon Kabat-Zinn and MBSR

In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts to treat the chronically ill.[12] This program sparked the application of mindfulness ideas and practices in Medicine[13]Template:Rp for the treatment of a variety of conditions in both healthy and unhealthy people. MBSR and similar programs are now widely applied in schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and other environments.

Mindfulness practices were inspired mainly by teachings from the Eastern World, particularly from Buddhist traditions. One of MBSR's techniques - the "body scan" - was derived from a meditation practice ("sweeping") of the Burmese U Ba Khin tradition, as taught by S. N. Goenka in his Vipassana retreats, which he began in 1976. It has since been widely adapted in secular settings, independent of religious or cultural contexts.Template:RefnTemplate:Refn

Notes

References

  1. Mindfulness Training as a Clinical Intervention: A Conceptual and Empirical Review, by Ruth A. Baer, available at http://www.wisebrain.org/papers/MindfulnessPsyTx.pdf
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  12. "The Stress Reduction Program, founded by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979..." - http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/stress/index.aspx
  13. "Much of the interest in the clinical applications of mindfulness has been sparked by the introduction of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a manualized treatment program originally developed for the management of chronic pain (Kabat-Zinn, 1982; Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, & Burney, 1985; Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, Burney, & Sellers, 1987)." - Bishop et al, 2004, "Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition"

Further reading

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  • Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, Ellen J. Langer (2014), The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness (Two Volumes), John Wiley & Sons
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  • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Hyperion Books, 2005. Template:ISBN
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www.encyclopediaofbuddhism.org Mindfulness (Western psychology)