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'Things said or done long ago are recalled and remembered': The ethics of mindfulness in early Buddhism, psychotherapy and clinical psychology

Stanley, Steven 2013. 'Things said or done long ago are recalled and remembered': The ethics of mindfulness in early Buddhism, psychotherapy and clinical psychology. European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling 15 (2) , pp. 151-162. 10.1080/13642537.2013.795338

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Abstract

I argue that current theoretical understandings of mindfulness as an attention regulation strategy for psychological stress reduction and enhanced adaptation to society may produce de-ethicised therapeutic applications. I show how understandings of mindfulness in early Buddhism, psychotherapy and clinical psychology have changed over time. Current understandings of mindfulness as a skill or technique of bringing non-judgmental awareness (or bare attention) to present moment experience are historically recent and differ from early Buddhist understandings in at least one crucial respect: definitions of mindfulness as attentional control or metacognitive awareness lack an emphasis on deep ethical reflection. As such, we need to re-ethicise our conceptual understanding of mindfulness by remembering early Buddhist texts, where mindfulness involves the cultivation of an ethically sensitive style of remembering, which has largely been lost in contemporary definitions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mindfulness, ethics, Buddhism, attention, metacognition, clinical psychology, psychotherapy
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1364-2537
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:16
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/57868

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