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Mindfulness and Meditation

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As words become more widely used, and especially as they become fashionable, they may often become more difficult to understand. One might think it would be the other way around, but this obfuscation of meaning has generally been the rule with the popularization of Buddhist vocabulary. While each had a precise technical meaning in its original context, terms like zen, yoga, karma, and nirvana can mean almost anything the modern writer wants them to mean. A similar trend may well be underway with mindfulness, and perhaps even with the more general word meditation. Understanding the sense in which these words are used in their original setting should prove to be a worthwhile undertaking as we see them applied in the current creative encounter between psychology and Buddhist thought.


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What should be done for his followers by a teacher with compassion and care for their welfare, that I have done for you. Here are the roots of trees. Here are empty places. Meditate! Do not be lazy. Do not be ones who later have regrets. This is my instruction to you.

Buddha (Majjhima Nikāya 8)

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Olendzki, A. (2009). Mindfulness and Meditation. In: Didonna, F. (eds) Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness. Springer, New York, NY.

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