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Is Mindfulness Present-Centred and Non-Judgmental? a Discussion of the Cognitive Dimensions of Mindfulness
Author Dreyfus, Georges
Source Contemporary Buddhism: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Volumev.12 n.1
Pages41 - 54
Publisher Url
LocationAbingdon, UK [阿賓登, 英國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
KeywordEssay (Literary Form); Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; Cognition; Buddhists; Buddhism Therapeutic Use of Meditation
AbstractThis essay critiques the standard characterization of mindfulness as present-centred non-judgmental awareness, arguing that this account misses some of the central features of mindfulness as described by classical Buddhist accounts, which present mindfulness as being relevant to the past as well as to the present. I show that for these sources the central feature of mindfulness is not its present focus but its capacity to hold its object and thus allow for sustained attention, regardless of whether the object is present or not. I further show that for these sources mindfulness can be explicitly evaluative, thus demonstrating the degree to which classical Buddhist accounts differ from the modern description of mindfulness as non-judgmental. I conclude that although this modern description may be useful as an operational definition intended for practical instruction, it does not provide an adequate basis for a theoretical analysis of mindfulness, for it fails to emphasize its retentive nature to privilege its alleged nonconceptuality.
Table of contentsA standard definition of mindfulness 43
Mindfulness, sati and retention 44
A phenomenology of attention 48
Conclusion: Consequences of ignoring the cognitive nature of mindfulness 51
References 53
ISSN14639947 (P); 14767953 (E)
Created date2011.09.02
Modified date2017.06.30

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