The 'Universal Dharma Foundation' of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Non-duality and Mahāyāna Buddhist Influences in the Work of Jon Kabat-Zinn

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The discussion on the Buddhist roots of contemporary mindfulness practices is dominated by a narrative which considers the Theravāda tradition and Theravāda-based ‘neo-vipassanā movement’ as the principal source of Buddhist influences in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and related mindfulness-based programmes (MBPs). This Theravāda bias fails to acknowledge the significant Mahāyāna Buddhist influences that have informed the pioneering work of Jon Kabat-Zinn in the formation of the MBSR programme. In Kabat-Zinn’s texts, the ‘universal dharma foundation’ of mindfulness practice is grounded in pan-Buddhist teachings on the origins and cessation of suffering. While MBSR methods derive from both Theravāda-based vipassanā and non-dual Mahāyāna approaches, the philosophical foundation of MBSR differs significantly from Theravāda views. Instead, the characteristic principles and insights of MBSR practice indicate significant similarities and historical continuities with contemporary Zen/Sŏn/Thiền and Tibetan Dzogchen teachings based on doctrinal developments within Indian and East Asian Mahāyāna Buddhism.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftContemporary Buddhism: an interdisciplinary journal
Volym2
Utgåva19
Sidor (från-till)275-326
Antal sidor52
ISSN1463-9947
DOI
StatusPublicerad - 5 mar 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

Vetenskapsgrenar

  • 6160 Övriga humanistiska vetenskaper
  • 614 Teologi

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title = "The 'Universal Dharma Foundation' of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Non-duality and Mahāyāna Buddhist Influences in the Work of Jon Kabat-Zinn",
abstract = "The discussion on the Buddhist roots of contemporary mindfulness practices is dominated by a narrative which considers the Theravāda tradition and Theravāda-based ‘neo-vipassanā movement’ as the principal source of Buddhist influences in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and related mindfulness-based programmes (MBPs). This Theravāda bias fails to acknowledge the significant Mahāyāna Buddhist influences that have informed the pioneering work of Jon Kabat-Zinn in the formation of the MBSR programme. In Kabat-Zinn’s texts, the ‘universal dharma foundation’ of mindfulness practice is grounded in pan-Buddhist teachings on the origins and cessation of suffering. While MBSR methods derive from both Theravāda-based vipassanā and non-dual Mahāyāna approaches, the philosophical foundation of MBSR differs significantly from Theravāda views. Instead, the characteristic principles and insights of MBSR practice indicate significant similarities and historical continuities with contemporary Zen/Sŏn/Thiền and Tibetan Dzogchen teachings based on doctrinal developments within Indian and East Asian Mahāyāna Buddhism.",
keywords = "6160 Other humanities, uskontotiede, buddhalaisuuden tutkimus, Study of Religion, Buddhist Studies, mindfulness, meditation, MBSR, 614 Theology",
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