In October 2019, I was pleased to present a seminar on Buddhism and Psychotherapy as part of the Portland Philosophy Meetup’s Buddhism and the West seminar series.
I figured it would be nice to share the summaries of those articles I prepared, in case other folks are interested in the dialogue between mindfulness, Buddhism, and psychology.
These four articles are just a tiny slice of the pie, so-to-speak. But that was enough to supply plenty of food for thought and conversation during our 2-hour seminar discussion.
Kinds and Dimensions of Mindfulness (Dorjee, 2010)
Writing in the journal Mindfulness, Dorjee reviews how mindfulness has been understood so far in psychology and cognitive science, articulates its speculative cognitive and neural functions, and argues that there isn’t just one kind of mindfulness.
Dorjee, D. (2010). Kinds and dimensions of mindfulness: Why it is important to distinguish them. Mindfulness, 1(3), 152–160. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-010-0016-3
Therapeutic Aims in Psychotherapy and Meditation (Engler, 1986)
In this classic article, Jack Engler articulates the value and dangers of mindfulness practice in the context of contemporary Western forms of psychopathology.
Engler, J. (1986). Therapeutic aims in psychotherapy and meditation: Developmental stages in the representation of the self. In K. Wilber, J. Engler, & D. P. Brown (Eds.), Transformations of consciousness: Conventional and contemplative perspectives on development (pp. 31–50). Boston, MA: New Science Library/Shambhala.
Mindfulness: A Dialogue between Buddhism and Clinical Psychology (Kang & Wittingham, 2010)
The authors provide an overview of major psychotherapies that incorporate mindfulness, articulate how mindfulness meditation practice shows up in the many Buddhist schools, and suggest new directions in the dialogue between Buddhism and psychology.
Kang, C., & Whittingham, K. (2010). Mindfulness: A dialogue between Buddhism and clinical psychology. Mindfulness, 1(3), 161–173. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-010-0018-1
A Meta-Critique of Mindfulness Critiques (Walsh, 2016)
In this book chapter, Zack Walsh summarizes and critiques the various critiques of mindfulness he has encountered, and argues that mindfulness has been subverted to the ends of those in power to serve as both a palliative and a commodity in neoliberal capitalism.
Walsh, Z. (2016). A meta-critique of mindfulness critiques: From McMindfulness to critical mindfulness. In R. E. Purser, D. Forbes, & A. Burke (Eds.), Handbook of mindfulness: Culture, context, and social engagement (pp. 153–166). New York, NY: Springer.