, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 99–107 | Cite as

Cultivating mindfulness through technology in higher education: a Buberian perspective

  • Linor L. HadarEmail author
  • Oren Ergas
Open Forum


One of the most fundamental concepts within Martin Buber’s philosophy concerns two modes of being: I–it, which reflects an egocentric instrumental existence, and I–thou, which reflects dialogical encounter and interrelatedness. At the face of it, technology seems to be the ultimate example of that which engenders and I–it consciousness. Indeed, a recurrent concern in contemporary times suggests that the increase in our technology use is slowly but surely depriving us of meaningful encounters with the other. In this paper we propose that technology can in fact be applied as an antidote to this predicament. To make this point we describe the teaching of mindfulness practice in higher education. We focus particularly on the use of cell phones to cultivate mindful attention as a precondition and characteristic of I–thou relationships. These cell phones, which have somewhat become extensions of our bodies, remind us to become present and hence more likely to acknowledge interrelatedness. Brief excerpts from student projects in these courses will be applied to demonstrate these transitions.


Mindfulness Technology Buber Higher education Mind-wandering I–it I–thou 


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© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationBeit Berl CollegeBeit BerlIsrael

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