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4 principles of Buddhist philosophy that are embodied in Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is a modality of therapeutic intervention inspired by traditional meditation techniques that emerged in the Asian continent more than 2,500 years ago. It is also a state of consciousness that can be promoted both to manage or overcome psychological disorders and to enhance emotional balance in general.

In this article we will see how it relates to key ideas that are at the core of Buddhist philosophy.

  • Related article: "What is Mindfulness? The 7 answers to your questions "

The potential of Mindfulness

Mindfulness, also known as Mindfulness, is a phenomenon that has been popularizing for several decades in the Western world, being raised in the 70s especially from the works of Jon Kabat-Zinn. At present it is one of the most widespread and demanded practices in psychology consultations around the world.

The practice of Mindfulness has been shown to have beneficial effects especially in the management of emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, and also in the face of chronic pain.

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The fact that it has been possible to scientifically investigate the psychological effects of these practices, as well as gradually improving its operation and eliminating unimportant aspects, is due to the fact that Mindfulness is above all a therapeutic resource, not a ritual linked to religion and based on a system of symbols with diffuse meaning.

However, it cannot be said that there are no parallels about what Mindfulness proposes, on the one hand, and the pillars fundamentals of Buddhism and Hinduism, belief systems from which emerged the forms of meditation that Jon focused on Kabat-Zinn. And it is that if Indo-Tibetan meditation techniques had not existed, possibly today Mindfulness would not exist.

So... what are the aspects in which Mindfulness is reflected in Buddhist philosophy? Let's see.

4 ideas of Buddhism that are reflected in Mindfulness

One of the characteristics of Mindfulness is its simplicity; in fact, many of its exercises can be performed by very young children, and used in schools. In this sense, this practice contrasts with the tradition of meditation associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, since these rest on a network of ideas and beliefs of a very abstract nature and linked to centuries of literature and the elaboration of religions.

However, Beyond its simplicity, in Mindfulness you can also appreciate elements of that philosophy of life more typical of Asia than of the West, and that today so many people find inspiring.

These are the main aspects in which the ideological background of Buddhism is reflected in what Mindfulness proposes us.

1. The dissolution of the line that separates the "I" from the world

Something that many of the great religions that emerged in Asia have in common is that they place the human being in the humble position of one more of the elements of which nature is composed; For this reason, thinkers such as Lao Tzu and Confucius put emphasis on the important thing not to disturb the natural flow of things, not adopt a disruptive character or try to dominate what surrounds us.

In this sense, wisdom and good would be characterized by our ability not to get out of hand. of the path of the dynamics that have been going on for thousands of years and that make everything Balance.

In Mindfulness this dissolution of the line that separates us from what is around us also appears. Thus, in Mindfulness we perceive our thoughts and sensations as elements that are part of both ourselves and reality in general.

2. The renunciation of wanting to control nature

As we have seen, In Buddhism, progress is not seen as a phenomenon in which we learn to modify the environment to fit our needs, but quite the opposite; it must be the human being who assumes his humble role in the universe. In the same way, in Mindfulness a psychological state is favored in which we stop taking for granted that we need to hold on to all material goals without which we believe we could not be happy.

  • You may be interested in: "How to use Mindfulness to relax? 5 key ideas "

3. The philosophy of letting go not clinging to thoughts

One of the keys to Mindfulness is that it is based on the idea of ​​letting your thoughts flow, without clinging to any one in particular, letting the flow of consciousness run its course. This fits with Buddhist epistemology, which leads us to let go of the contents of our mind and leave them march naturally, at their own pace and as they arrived (they did so beyond our will and consciousness). By experiencing how they fade, we can connect with the wisdom latent in us.

4. Acceptance and compassion

Buddhism proposes an advance towards wisdom based not on the accumulation of ideas and mental content, but on understanding that what arises in our mind also ends up vanishing; become aware of this flow, the denial of an inherent essence in the different things that come to mind.

That is why in their ethical system much more emphasis is placed on compassion towards others and towards oneself, than in the need to make rigid interpretations about what is right and what is wrong and to antagonize. This tendency to acceptance makes it possible to avoid the struggle of egos, which means working actively to generate suffering.

Do you want to learn the keys to Mindfulness?

In our psychology center we carry out both psychological therapy and training programs in Mindfulness. If you want to know more about our personal development course with Mindfulness and training in Tibetan techniques, get in touch with us.

Bibliographic references:

  • Craig, F. & Chambers, R. (2014). Mindful learning: reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning. Exisle Publishing.
  • Didonna F. (2011). Mindfulness Clinical Manual. Desclée de Brouwer.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Mindfulness in everyday life. Wherever you go there you are. Paidos.
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