Working Definitions of Mindfulness:
Are Mindfulness-Based Interventions Watered-Down Dharma?
What are the implications of taking mindfulness practice outside of its formal traditions and historical context? Is there a danger of watering it down too much, of endangering its integrity?
I think there is always a danger of a tradition losing its integrity or being distorted by someone whose understanding is limited. But it’s even more of a danger, if one is concerned about human suffering, to become so doctrinaire that you’re basically captivated by your own requirements to be pure to a particular tradition. Religious traditions are famous for their parochialism. Lots of Buddhists get into ego trips, such as “My practice is better, deeper, faster, more complete, or more spiritual than your practice.”
The idea would be that we ask you this question again, today, after so much has happened with the mindfulness movement. What are your thoughts on the way this is playing out? Has anything surprised you? You have been an important figure in this development, but now it’s gotten so big. What do you make of the whole thing? Is there a next phase of development that you would like to see?