An examination of pertinent and under researched issues related to the growing use of mindfulness meditation (MM) and other contemplative practices in health care starts with discussions of the common understanding of mindfulness developed by John Kabat-Zinn’s (1994) who famously defined it as – “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally” (p.4). Changing understandings of mindfulness, now impacting how it is taught and practiced, start with the differentiation of MM and Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBI). MM practices are generally grouped into two primary types: focused attention and open monitoring (Vago & Silbersweig, 2012). MBIs, although often incorporating MM practices, generally do so within a larger collection of therapeutic techniques. The most common MBIs are Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) (Kabat-Zinn, 1990), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) (Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) (Linehan, 1993), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). This under researched issue introduces a number that are currently arising, which challenge the rapid adoption of contemplative practices such as MM.
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Author: Dr Patricia Morgan
I am a teacher, contemplative practitioner, researcher, community developer and artist, currently working in the area of Contemplative Education, which I believe is one of the most important movements in education today.