Triratna News

Abusing the Buddha? Co-opting mindfulness

Posted by Munisha on Thu, 24 July, 2014 - 00:10
Munisha's picture
Munisha
“Mindfulness was not designed as an ethically indeterminate technique.” So writes Michael Stone, Buddhist teacher and social activist in American online magazine salon.com.

He’s just one of many Buddhists wondering about the current spate of secular institutions adopting mindfulness to enhance staff performance including banks, the UK and US military, Google and Monsanto.

Read Michael Stone’s article.
Read Vishvapani’s blog articles on secular mindfulness.
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Responses

dhivan thomas jones's picture
Thanks Munisha for the link to Michael Stone’s article, he’s nice and clear (like Vishvapani). I just wanted to drop in some doctrinal distinctions for Buddhists thinking about mindfulness that I find useful. The word ‘mindfulness’ translates the Pali word ‘sati’, but the Buddha taught that there can be ‘wrong mindfulness’ (micchā-sati), whereas ‘right mindfulness’ (sammā-sati) is one of the parts of the eightfold path alongside ethics. So when mindfulness is taught in an ethically indeterminate context, this may be wrong mindfulness. And it is definitely not the mindfulness of the Buddha, who had developed mindfulness as a factor of awakening (sati-bojjhaṅga). These distinctions help us pinpoint how the mindfulness taught in contexts of organized violence should not be mistaken for Buddhist practice.
Munisha's picture
As you can see I’m very behind with my emails (!) but this is very useful, thanks. Munisha