Science Based Mindfulness...

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Queequeg
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Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Queequeg » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:02 pm

Wasn't sure where to post this.
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/is-min ... nce-based/
As the link suggests, article asks is 'mindfulness' is science based. If 'science' can convince people to start working at becoming the master of their mind, I guess I can roll with their rationalization. Where I resist is the idea that meditative practices can really be divorced from the traditions that developed them over thousands of years. As if modern scientific methods are any more rigorous than the standards developed in the Dharmic Traditions. As if the full potential can be realized within a materialist paradigm.

If I was more of a sjw, I might complain about cultural appropriation. But I'm not, so I'll just sit back and watch how meditative practices when taken seriously will screw up their models and cause them to question their assumptions about reality.

:popcorn:
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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by tiagolps » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:44 pm

Mindful ego indulgence. :P
Homage to you, blissful, virtuous and peaceful,
Enjoy the domain of the tranquil nirvana.
Fully possessing the om and the soha,
You overcome even the greatest of evils.

_______________________________________________
"Buddhahood really is like an infection and it goes from one person to another. You can fight it off, but it's a pity if you do that..."
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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:06 pm

Getting your stomach pumped so you can drink more alcohol :stirthepot:

That said, any merit accrued by people is something to celebrate. I hope that one day they take the extra step and become completely free.
Last edited by Monlam Tharchin on Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Rick » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:07 pm

tiagolps, I noticed that you have exactly 666 postings. Enjoy your fleeting moment of pure evil!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by tiagolps » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:07 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:07 pm
tiagolps, I noticed that you have exactly 666 postings. Enjoy your fleeting moment of pure evil!
For a moment there :stirthepot: :twisted:
Homage to you, blissful, virtuous and peaceful,
Enjoy the domain of the tranquil nirvana.
Fully possessing the om and the soha,
You overcome even the greatest of evils.

_______________________________________________
"Buddhahood really is like an infection and it goes from one person to another. You can fight it off, but it's a pity if you do that..."
-Rigdzin Shikpo

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Rick » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:08 pm

Hey even pure evil is fleeting ... :thumbsup:
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by The Cicada » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:55 am

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:02 pm
If I was more of a sjw, I might complain about cultural appropriation. But I'm not, so I'll just sit back and watch how meditative practices when taken seriously will screw up their models and cause them to question their assumptions about reality.

:popcorn:
I thought that's why the Indian TM people and other assorted meditators started dishing out all of that stuff to the West in the first place.

And don't act like you don't eat inauthentic burritos in private...

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by ddorje » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:18 am

I'm a practioner of the Dudjom Tersar but for my livelihood/job I'm presently writing my Masters Thesis on this topic. Specifically, the way that Mindfulness programs are being introduced to schools.

Begin :soapbox:

It's still such a fresh area, and a recent word in the Wests vernacular. Even in traditional Buddha Dharma, it's only quite recently that we are good translations to base our understanding and practice off (if we don't speak Tibetan, Japanese, etc).

I've spend months going through everything published on this (and with around 600 papers published a year on the topic :shock: ), it's getting a little out of control! The clinical evidence looks good, and it seems to be having a positive impact, yet people are still attempting to prove that it works in a similar fashion in a non-clinical school environment.

If they are trying to be scientific, there is some serious miscommunication on what Mindfulness is (as recent papers have identified), and it's been attributed to pretty much everything. For example, in the school context, a recent meta-analysis showed that while every school program had some form of 'breathing meditation', it was the only consistent factor amongst all others; most of these studies include yoga (25%), 'kindness practices' (?) (46%), and a variety of other components. As of this 2014 analysis, 29% of these classes for school children are being run by their classroom teacher, not necessarily rigorously trained in the clinical programs.

Generally, I'm finding that a lot of the people who are responsible for creating these programs have strong Buddhist leanings in their personal lives, but have to cloak them in a veil of scientific rationalism to pass it through their institutions. But also, once they have developed these programs, such as a the MindUp, CARE, Mindful Schools, they then make their model of implementation their intellectual property so they have to be commissioned to implement it.

Usually, the type of clinical or educational Mindfulness programs that papers like the one you originally sposted are usually Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction or MBSR (Kabat-Zinn). Jon Kabat-Zinn appears to be Buddhist inclined, and a quick search seems to yield an article he wrote for Tricycle on Karma (certainly not a term you'd through around lightly with a highly sceptical, scientific community rigorously judging you (See https://tricycle.org/magazine/changing-karma/). Some of the more apologetic defenders of Buddhism with the modern Mindfulness movement (see Terry Hyland) often seem to employ Stephen Bachelor ( :toilet: ) in their arguments, so there really seems to be no perfect side to this.


I'm not into proselytising, people have to have a connection to Buddha Dharma to be drawn to it, but I also do believe that what the Buddha taught can be used widely by people in their own context. I also know of people who have approached Mindfulness from a clinical, therpeutic, secular position who have ended up becoming dedicated practioners of traditional Mahayana/Vajrayana.

At the same time, I'm concerned for the Buddha Dharma being taken out of context, and reapplied into clinical or institutional environments that have completely different metaphysical frameworks (e.g. scientific materialism).

I feel the best we can do in our personal lives is ensure we maintain our practice, our connection with our teacher and lineage and attempt to recognise this Wisdom so we are actually preserving based on experience rather than hearsay and data. In my case as a Secondary (High School) Teacher, I know that critiquing this movement of Mindfulness isn't beneficial, unless we are raising our concerns for its use in exploitative scenarios (the Coporate and Military sectors use is often highly suspicious). I came at this with the idea that if we can gently direct this growing Mindfulness industry so that it doesn't completely miss the point, that's the best we can do.

One of the Dharma Wheelers(?) here, DGA has written an exceptional PhD that draws attention to the early development of Western Mindfulness, and if you're interested in this topic, you should certainly read it. I hope he corrects me if I'm wrong, but one of his submissions early on is that there was a need for something like Mindfulness in the West, and 'Western Buddhism' has met that 'historical and social moment’ with the product of Mindfulness.
'Maybe you collect a lot of important writings, major texts, personal instructions private notes, whatever. If you haven't practiced, books won't help you when you die. Look at the mind - that's my sincere advice' - Longchen Rabjam

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:36 am

This is a complex question...psychology and therapy as practiced by many today are not necessarily deeply wedded to materialism by any means, but our present cultural discourse sure is. There are the influences of Jung, etc. in Western pysch too. Most of the "science" involved in the modern mindfulness thang seems to be about the evidence base, rather than theoretical leanings.

It's kind of a "duh" thing for me that meditation can help people in clinical environments. Really a no-brainer. I think though, in most of these environments what you really have is a very simple sense of people learning to relax and do just enough shamatha that they can have a bit more insight into their emotional patterns. For some people even this is such a big change that it yields results. Couple this with some basic programs in building emotional intelligence and you have people who are more resilient and aware, potentially more empathetic, etc. It's really not complicated IMO.

I'm now working in an environment where I can see the effect of some of this, and it's very real. It's really just mediation in the most basic sense you can imagine though, the only danger is someone getting deep enough that they require real guidance...which so far I'm gathering is not particularly common. I'm personally all for clinical use, I don't know why anyone wouldn't be. I just get my hackles up when people try to somehow confuse it with actual Buddhist practice, which frankly is infinitely deeper and richer than any of this stuff could ever hope to be...but of course is wedded to a worldview that clashes with our neurotic culture on so many fundamental levels.
If I was more of a sjw, I might complain about cultural appropriation. But I'm not, so I'll just sit back and watch how meditative practices when taken seriously will screw up their models and cause them to question their assumptions about reality.
People who are not practitioners have no worry of getting this deep really, solid mediators can use emotional crisis as a kind of fuel, but I figure hardly any of those are "secular meditators"...almost everyone I know of this bent has a -very- basic meditation practice. It's almost built in, if your view is that narrow, your meditation is too...I do not think there is much danger. For the rare person who does get this, hopefully it interests them in actually pursuing Dharma.
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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Anonymous X » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:52 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:36 am
This is a complex question...psychology and therapy as practiced by many today are not necessarily deeply wedded to materialism by any means, but our present cultural discourse sure is. There are the influences of Jung, etc. in Western pysch too. Most of the "science" involved in the modern mindfulness thang seems to be about the evidence base, rather than theoretical leanings.

It's kind of a "duh" thing for me that meditation can help people in clinical environments. Really a no-brainer. I think though, in most of these environments what you really have is a very simple sense of people learning to relax and do just enough shamatha that they can have a bit more insight into their emotional patterns. For some people even this is such a big change that it yields results. Couple this with some basic programs in building emotional intelligence and you have people who are more resilient and aware, potentially more empathetic, etc. It's really not complicated IMO.

I'm now working in an environment where I can see the effect of some of this, and it's very real. It's really just mediation in the most basic sense you can imagine though, the only danger is someone getting deep enough that they require real guidance...which so far I'm gathering is not particularly common. I'm personally all for clinical use, I don't know why anyone wouldn't be. I just get my hackles up when people try to somehow confuse it with actual Buddhist practice, which frankly is infinitely deeper and richer than any of this stuff could ever hope to be...but of course is wedded to a worldview that clashes with our neurotic culture on so many fundamental levels.
If I was more of a sjw, I might complain about cultural appropriation. But I'm not, so I'll just sit back and watch how meditative practices when taken seriously will screw up their models and cause them to question their assumptions about reality.
People who are not practitioners have no worry of getting this deep really, solid mediators can use emotional crisis as a kind of fuel, but I figure hardly any of those are "secular meditators"...almost everyone I know of this bent has a -very- basic meditation practice. It's almost built in, if your view is that narrow, your meditation is too...I do not think there is much danger. For the rare person who does get this, hopefully it interests them in actually pursuing Dharma.
I don't see much of a difference between a Buddhist who practices mindfulness and a 'secular' practitioner. If you practice mindfulness, in a real sense, you are practicing what you call Dharma. To be in accord with body, feelings, mentations, & objects of mentations is to practice harmonizing your life to what is. A non-Buddhist can discover impermanence, dissatisfaction, & not self. These are universal truths no matter what one calls oneself. Isn't it mentioned that the Buddha discovered all of this as a 'lost way' that was not in common practice in his time?

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:56 pm

Anonymous X wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:52 am
]
I don't see much of a difference between a Buddhist who practices mindfulness and a 'secular' practitioner. If you practice mindfulness, in a real sense, you are practicing what you call Dharma. To be in accord with body, feelings, mentations, & objects of mentations is to practice harmonizing your life to what is. A non-Buddhist can discover impermanence, dissatisfaction, & not self. These are universal truths no matter what one calls oneself. Isn't it mentioned that the Buddha discovered all of this as a 'lost way' that was not in common practice in his time?
I tend to agree with that.

I suspect some will start delving deeper and their certified mindfulness instructors won't have answers for them. Others will hear a little Dharma that will prompt them deeper. They will seek deeper guidance and they will find the Buddha smiling in greeting and learn the views that bring one to liberation.

Others will try to reinvent the wheel.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:11 pm

Anonymous X wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:52 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:36 am
This is a complex question...psychology and therapy as practiced by many today are not necessarily deeply wedded to materialism by any means, but our present cultural discourse sure is. There are the influences of Jung, etc. in Western pysch too. Most of the "science" involved in the modern mindfulness thang seems to be about the evidence base, rather than theoretical leanings.

It's kind of a "duh" thing for me that meditation can help people in clinical environments. Really a no-brainer. I think though, in most of these environments what you really have is a very simple sense of people learning to relax and do just enough shamatha that they can have a bit more insight into their emotional patterns. For some people even this is such a big change that it yields results. Couple this with some basic programs in building emotional intelligence and you have people who are more resilient and aware, potentially more empathetic, etc. It's really not complicated IMO.

I'm now working in an environment where I can see the effect of some of this, and it's very real. It's really just mediation in the most basic sense you can imagine though, the only danger is someone getting deep enough that they require real guidance...which so far I'm gathering is not particularly common. I'm personally all for clinical use, I don't know why anyone wouldn't be. I just get my hackles up when people try to somehow confuse it with actual Buddhist practice, which frankly is infinitely deeper and richer than any of this stuff could ever hope to be...but of course is wedded to a worldview that clashes with our neurotic culture on so many fundamental levels.
If I was more of a sjw, I might complain about cultural appropriation. But I'm not, so I'll just sit back and watch how meditative practices when taken seriously will screw up their models and cause them to question their assumptions about reality.
People who are not practitioners have no worry of getting this deep really, solid mediators can use emotional crisis as a kind of fuel, but I figure hardly any of those are "secular meditators"...almost everyone I know of this bent has a -very- basic meditation practice. It's almost built in, if your view is that narrow, your meditation is too...I do not think there is much danger. For the rare person who does get this, hopefully it interests them in actually pursuing Dharma.
I don't see much of a difference between a Buddhist who practices mindfulness and a 'secular' practitioner. If you practice mindfulness, in a real sense, you are practicing what you call Dharma. To be in accord with body, feelings, mentations, & objects of mentations is to practice harmonizing your life to what is. A non-Buddhist can discover impermanence, dissatisfaction, & not self. These are universal truths no matter what one calls oneself. Isn't it mentioned that the Buddha discovered all of this as a 'lost way' that was not in common practice in his time?
The Dharma is broader than the four foundations of mindfulness and the three marks, isn't it? I'm a bit skeptical of a layman ever rediscovering dependent origination or the 12 nidanas, especially if the first link for them is birth because they have a secular worldview.

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Anonymous X » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:20 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:11 pm
Anonymous X wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:52 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:36 am
This is a complex question...psychology and therapy as practiced by many today are not necessarily deeply wedded to materialism by any means, but our present cultural discourse sure is. There are the influences of Jung, etc. in Western pysch too. Most of the "science" involved in the modern mindfulness thang seems to be about the evidence base, rather than theoretical leanings.

It's kind of a "duh" thing for me that meditation can help people in clinical environments. Really a no-brainer. I think though, in most of these environments what you really have is a very simple sense of people learning to relax and do just enough shamatha that they can have a bit more insight into their emotional patterns. For some people even this is such a big change that it yields results. Couple this with some basic programs in building emotional intelligence and you have people who are more resilient and aware, potentially more empathetic, etc. It's really not complicated IMO.

I'm now working in an environment where I can see the effect of some of this, and it's very real. It's really just mediation in the most basic sense you can imagine though, the only danger is someone getting deep enough that they require real guidance...which so far I'm gathering is not particularly common. I'm personally all for clinical use, I don't know why anyone wouldn't be. I just get my hackles up when people try to somehow confuse it with actual Buddhist practice, which frankly is infinitely deeper and richer than any of this stuff could ever hope to be...but of course is wedded to a worldview that clashes with our neurotic culture on so many fundamental levels.



People who are not practitioners have no worry of getting this deep really, solid mediators can use emotional crisis as a kind of fuel, but I figure hardly any of those are "secular meditators"...almost everyone I know of this bent has a -very- basic meditation practice. It's almost built in, if your view is that narrow, your meditation is too...I do not think there is much danger. For the rare person who does get this, hopefully it interests them in actually pursuing Dharma.
I don't see much of a difference between a Buddhist who practices mindfulness and a 'secular' practitioner. If you practice mindfulness, in a real sense, you are practicing what you call Dharma. To be in accord with body, feelings, mentations, & objects of mentations is to practice harmonizing your life to what is. A non-Buddhist can discover impermanence, dissatisfaction, & not self. These are universal truths no matter what one calls oneself. Isn't it mentioned that the Buddha discovered all of this as a 'lost way' that was not in common practice in his time?
The Dharma is broader than the four foundations of mindfulness and the three marks, isn't it? I'm a bit skeptical of a layman ever rediscovering dependent origination, especially if the first link for them is form because they have a secular worldview.
The first responsibility of every human being is to bring order to their life. I know of no better way than through mindfulness practice. To bring your life to accord with right action in every aspect seems pretty Dharmic to me, good for the practitioner and good for the world. They don't have to rediscover dependent origination as it is the basis of Buddhist teachings. It is already in anyone's purview who stops to look at it.

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by DGA » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:28 pm

ddorje wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:18 am
One of the Dharma Wheelers(?) here, DGA has written an exceptional PhD that draws attention to the early development of Western Mindfulness, and if you're interested in this topic, you should certainly read it. I hope he corrects me if I'm wrong, but one of his submissions early on is that there was a need for something like Mindfulness in the West, and 'Western Buddhism' has met that 'historical and social moment’ with the product of Mindfulness.
Thank you for the kind words.

Here's how I would put it.

Since the mid-1970s, in the US at least, there is an increasing tendency to experience life as stressful. The very category of "stress" is popularized in this timeframe. This experience of stress has specific historical and social and economic bases; the discourse around "neoliberalism" is the easiest shorthand way to describe these.

With stress comes prescriptions for stress relief. Mindfulness is one among these. This mindfulness differs from smriti, however; the connection is more or less incidental. The connection to Buddha Dharma comes in when promoters of mindfulness use an image of Buddhist practitioners, if you will--a set of cultural assumptions around Buddhists being cool, calm, and collected--in order to suggest outcomes for mindfulness practice.

And that is how all those brain scans come in. You get the brains of Tibetan masters who don't practice Kabat-Zinn style "mindfulness" promoted as evidence for the success of Kabat-Zinn style "mindfulness" practice. It's a weird switch-a-roo.

There's more in the dissertation if anyone cares to drill into it.

I've tried to avoid this thread because this topic is like catnip for me.

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:13 pm

DGA wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:28 pm
I've tried to avoid this thread because this topic is like catnip for me.
Had you in mind from the start. :tongue:
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:39 pm

Anonymous X wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:20 pm
...
My mistake, Anonymous X! :smile: I projected onto your post that you were equating secular mindfulness practice to the Buddhadharma.

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by boda » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:20 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:11 pm
The Dharma is broader than the four foundations of mindfulness and the three marks, isn't it?
I'm sure it can be as broad as anyone needs it to be. This raises some questions, such as:
  1. How broad does an individual need it to be?
  2. Why do some individuals need it to be broader than others?
I'm a bit skeptical of a layman ever rediscovering dependent origination or the 12 nidanas, ...
There are secular versions of this, such as we discussed recently with Robert Right's evolutionary psychology. Not rediscovering but reinterpreting.
... especially if the first link for them is birth because they have a secular worldview.
I thought the first link was ignorance of our true nature. How is a secular view necessarily ignorant?

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:34 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:20 pm
I'm sure it can be as broad as anyone needs it to be. This raises some questions, such as:

How broad does an individual need it to be?
Hi, boda! :smile:

As far as I'm concerned, the essentials are in the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
That includes ensuring that one's practice grows from Right View, including karma and rebirth.
I think any Buddhism which denies the Transcendent, i.e. what Samsara is and therefore what liberation from Samsara is, may produce merit and improve worldly life, but it won't lead to anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
The topic is fully explored here so I won't repeat more.
Why do some individuals need it to be broader than others?
Different inclinations of beings.
There are secular versions of this, such as we discussed recently with Robert Right's evolutionary psychology. Not rediscovering but reinterpreting.
...
I thought the first link was ignorance of our true nature. How is a secular view necessarily ignorant?
The first link is ignorance. But notice how many links precede form and birth.
If someone thinks the 12 Nidanas are solely a description of one human's mental phenomena in one lifetime, such a view is incomplete.
I wanted to at least explain my post a little, but I'll leave it at that as the Secular Buddhism thread (and any number of threads on materialism) already explore this.

:cheers:

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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:16 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:11 pm
Anonymous X wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:52 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:36 am
This is a complex question...psychology and therapy as practiced by many today are not necessarily deeply wedded to materialism by any means, but our present cultural discourse sure is. There are the influences of Jung, etc. in Western pysch too. Most of the "science" involved in the modern mindfulness thang seems to be about the evidence base, rather than theoretical leanings.

It's kind of a "duh" thing for me that meditation can help people in clinical environments. Really a no-brainer. I think though, in most of these environments what you really have is a very simple sense of people learning to relax and do just enough shamatha that they can have a bit more insight into their emotional patterns. For some people even this is such a big change that it yields results. Couple this with some basic programs in building emotional intelligence and you have people who are more resilient and aware, potentially more empathetic, etc. It's really not complicated IMO.

I'm now working in an environment where I can see the effect of some of this, and it's very real. It's really just mediation in the most basic sense you can imagine though, the only danger is someone getting deep enough that they require real guidance...which so far I'm gathering is not particularly common. I'm personally all for clinical use, I don't know why anyone wouldn't be. I just get my hackles up when people try to somehow confuse it with actual Buddhist practice, which frankly is infinitely deeper and richer than any of this stuff could ever hope to be...but of course is wedded to a worldview that clashes with our neurotic culture on so many fundamental levels.



People who are not practitioners have no worry of getting this deep really, solid mediators can use emotional crisis as a kind of fuel, but I figure hardly any of those are "secular meditators"...almost everyone I know of this bent has a -very- basic meditation practice. It's almost built in, if your view is that narrow, your meditation is too...I do not think there is much danger. For the rare person who does get this, hopefully it interests them in actually pursuing Dharma.
I don't see much of a difference between a Buddhist who practices mindfulness and a 'secular' practitioner. If you practice mindfulness, in a real sense, you are practicing what you call Dharma. To be in accord with body, feelings, mentations, & objects of mentations is to practice harmonizing your life to what is. A non-Buddhist can discover impermanence, dissatisfaction, & not self. These are universal truths no matter what one calls oneself. Isn't it mentioned that the Buddha discovered all of this as a 'lost way' that was not in common practice in his time?
The Dharma is broader than the four foundations of mindfulness and the three marks, isn't it? I'm a bit skeptical of a layman ever rediscovering dependent origination or the 12 nidanas, especially if the first link for them is birth because they have a secular worldview.

This. The Three Seals have a completely different (nihilistic) meaning to someone who only is familiar with the materialist/physical reductionist worldlview. You go around contemplating believing they support aht view, it is very different than contemplating them in light of a basic Dharma education.
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Re: Science Based Mindfulness...

Post by Anonymous X » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:45 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:11 pm
Anonymous X wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:52 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:36 am
This is a complex question...psychology and therapy as practiced by many today are not necessarily deeply wedded to materialism by any means, but our present cultural discourse sure is. There are the influences of Jung, etc. in Western pysch too. Most of the "science" involved in the modern mindfulness thang seems to be about the evidence base, rather than theoretical leanings.

It's kind of a "duh" thing for me that meditation can help people in clinical environments. Really a no-brainer. I think though, in most of these environments what you really have is a very simple sense of people learning to relax and do just enough shamatha that they can have a bit more insight into their emotional patterns. For some people even this is such a big change that it yields results. Couple this with some basic programs in building emotional intelligence and you have people who are more resilient and aware, potentially more empathetic, etc. It's really not complicated IMO.

I'm now working in an environment where I can see the effect of some of this, and it's very real. It's really just mediation in the most basic sense you can imagine though, the only danger is someone getting deep enough that they require real guidance...which so far I'm gathering is not particularly common. I'm personally all for clinical use, I don't know why anyone wouldn't be. I just get my hackles up when people try to somehow confuse it with actual Buddhist practice, which frankly is infinitely deeper and richer than any of this stuff could ever hope to be...but of course is wedded to a worldview that clashes with our neurotic culture on so many fundamental levels.



People who are not practitioners have no worry of getting this deep really, solid mediators can use emotional crisis as a kind of fuel, but I figure hardly any of those are "secular meditators"...almost everyone I know of this bent has a -very- basic meditation practice. It's almost built in, if your view is that narrow, your meditation is too...I do not think there is much danger. For the rare person who does get this, hopefully it interests them in actually pursuing Dharma.
I don't see much of a difference between a Buddhist who practices mindfulness and a 'secular' practitioner. If you practice mindfulness, in a real sense, you are practicing what you call Dharma. To be in accord with body, feelings, mentations, & objects of mentations is to practice harmonizing your life to what is. A non-Buddhist can discover impermanence, dissatisfaction, & not self. These are universal truths no matter what one calls oneself. Isn't it mentioned that the Buddha discovered all of this as a 'lost way' that was not in common practice in his time?
The Dharma is broader than the four foundations of mindfulness and the three marks, isn't it? I'm a bit skeptical of a layman ever rediscovering dependent origination or the 12 nidanas, especially if the first link for them is birth because they have a secular worldview.
I think this topic, Science Based Mindfulness, is beginning to spill into other areas of interest depending on each poster's agenda. For example, the secularist may not be interested in religious ideas or practices and wants to introduce order into his/her life to minimize suffering. The Buddhist may be interested in mindfulness as a way to approach a cosmology, what they think is beyond the secular interest. Within that Buddhist frame work, a very big schism has opened between Theravada and Mahayana teachings which some people use for sectarian warfare, so to speak. Many on each side feel their view is the one of the Buddha's, and the other is either limited, bogus, and unacceptable to the other. Some only go by the words of the Buddha in sutta form. Something like Vajrayana is unpalatable and culturally tainted, using rituals that the Buddha specifically spoke against. Where does one draw the line and simply jump into the basic practice of mindfulness, which is based on the mahasatipatthana sutta and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. These instructions do not say that you have to believe in Avalokitesvara, mantra, tantra, mala beads or images of the Buddha. They are clear instructions of how to implement mindfulness practice that monk or secularist approaches by themselves. To put some kind of caveat on practicing this without having a Buddhist sentiment is to limit one's confidence in the practice and the Buddha's words. It introduces doubt and confusion into a beginner's mind where there should be openness and spaciousness to accommodate anyone's need no matter who or what they are.

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