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A significant limiting factor in the current mindfulness literature is that while core concepts have been incorporated into Western psychology, they appear in a decontextualized manner. This causes construct validity issues as evidenced by vastly diverging definitions of key terms. In this paper, a behavioral scientist and Buddhist monk collaborate to help address this limitation. We begin with an in-depth and accessible review of Buddhist psychology from a particular Tibetan tradition. This review covers descriptive models of core cognitive processes as well as the prescriptive mind training approach designed to refine these processes. Instead of attempting to transfer these Buddhist constructs to Western psychology piecemeal, however, we then highlight important higher-order parallels between the two disciplines. These parallels clarify the cognitive underpinnings of enlightenment and how enlightenment differs from conventional modes of stimulus processing. We close by offering a contextualized definition of mindfulness that integrates both Buddhist and Western accounts of the phenomenon.
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- Mindfulness Contextualized: An Integration of Buddhist and Neuropsychological Approaches to Cognition
Ravi S. Kudesia
Ven. Tashi Nyima
- Springer US