Mindfulness: What Is It? Where Did It Come From?

  • Ronald D Siegel
  • Christopher K. Germer
  • Andrew Olendzki

Throughout history, human beings have sought to discover the causes of suffering and the means to alleviate it. Sooner or later, we all ask the same questions: “Why am I not feeling better?” “What can I do about it?” Inhabiting a physical body inevitably exposes us to pain associated with sickness, old age, and death. We also struggle emotionally when confronted with adverse circumstances or with benign circumstances that we see as adverse. Even when our lives are relatively easy, we suffer when we don’t get what we want, when we lose what we once had, and when we have to deal with what we do not want. From birth until death, we are relentlessly trying to feel better.

References

  1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2007). Meditation practices for health: State of the research. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, Number 155.Google Scholar
  2. Bach, P., & Hayes, S. (2002) The use of acceptance and commitment therapy to prevent the rehospitalization of psychotic patients: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70(5), 1129–1139.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Begley, S. (2007). Train you mind, change your brain. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  4. Benson, H., & Klipper, M. (2000). The relaxation response. New York: Avon Books.Google Scholar
  5. Bhikkhu, T. (2007). Mindfulness defined. Retrieved November 30, 2007, from http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings/CrossIndexed/Uncollected/ MiscEssays/Mindfulness%20Defined.pdf
  6. Bishop, S., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N., Carmody, J., et al. (2004). Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and practice, 11(3), 230–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. (2005). Resonant leadership: Renewing yourself and connecting with others through mindfulness, hope, and compassion. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  8. Davids, T. & Stede, W. (Eds.) (1921/2001). Pali-english dictionary. New Delhi, India: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt, Ltd.Google Scholar
  9. Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S., et al. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564–570.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dunne, J. D. (2007, March). Mindfulness & Buddhist contemplative theory. Poster presented at the 2007 annual conference, Integrating Mindfulness-Based Approaches & Interventions into Medicine, Health Care, and Society, Worcester, MA.Google Scholar
  11. Eysenck, M.W., Keane, M. T. (2000). Cognitive psychology: A student’s handbook. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  12. Germer, C., Siegel, R., & Fulton, P. (Eds.) (2005). Mindfulness and psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  13. Grepmair, L., Mitterlehner, F., Loew, T., & Nickel, M. (2006) Promotion of mindfulness in psychotherapists in training and treatment results of their patients. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 60(6), 649–650.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grepmair, L., Mitterlehner, F., Loew, T., & Nickel, M. (2007) Promotion of mindfulness in psychotherapists in training: preliminary study. European Psychiatry, 22, 485–489.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gunaratana, B. (2002). Mindfulness in plain english. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Hayes, S., Follette, V., & Linehan, M. (Eds.). (2004). Mindfulness and acceptance: Expanding the cognitive-behavioral tradition. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hebb, D. (1949). The organization of behavior: A neuropsychological theory. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  18. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living. New York: Delacorte Press.Google Scholar
  19. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2006, June 10). Some clinical applications of mindfulness in medical and mental health practice. In Meditation in Psychotherapy. Conference conducted by Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  21. Langer, E. (1989). Mindfulness. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.Google Scholar
  22. Lazar, S., Kerr, C., Wasserman, R., Gray, J., Greve, D., Treadway, M., et al. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thinkness. NeuroReport, 16(17), 1893–1897.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Linehan, M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  24. Lutz, A., Grelschar, L., Rawlings, N., Richard, M., & Davidson, R. (2004). Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(46), 16369–16373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rapgay, L. & Bystrisky, A. (in Press). Classical mindfulness: An introduction to its theory and practice for clinical application. In Longevity and Optimal Health: Integrating Eastern and Western perspectives. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  26. Segal, Z., Williams, J., & Teasdale, J. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  27. Siegel, D. (2007). The mindful brain. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  28. Simon, R. (2007). The top ten. Psychotherapy Networker, March/April, pp. 24, 25, 37.Google Scholar
  29. Singh, N., Wahler, R., Adkins, A., & Myers, R. (2003). Soles of the feet: a mindfulness-based self-control intervention for aggression by an individual with mild mental retardation and mental illness. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 24(3), 158–169.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smith, J. (2004). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation: three caveats. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66, 148–152.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Teasdale, J., Moore, R., Hayhurst, H., Pope, M., Williams, S., & Segal, Z. (2002). Metacognitive awareness and prevention of relapse in depression: Empirical evidence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70(2), 275–287.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Teasdale, J., Segal, Z., & Williams, J. (1995). How does cognitive therapy prevent depressive relapse and why should attentional control (mindfulness) training help? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33, 25–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Toyomasu, K. G. (2001, January 10). Haiku for People. Retrieved July 20, 2007 from http://www.toyomasu.com/haiku/#basho
  34. Walsh, R. & Shapiro, S. (2006). The meeting of meditative disciplines and western psychology: A mutually enriching dialogue. American Psychologist, 61(3), 227–239.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald D Siegel
    • 1
  • Christopher K. Germer
  • Andrew Olendzki
  1. 1.Private clinical practice in Lincoln

Personalised recommendations