Scientific Underpinnings and Evidence Pertaining to Mindfulness

  • Patricia Lynn Dobkin
  • Craig Stephen Hassed


It is worth noting at the outset of this chapter that the principles and practices associated with mindfulness have been applied within many of the world’s great spiritual or wisdom traditions for millennia, most notably in Buddhism. In the ancient world, they did not conduct clinical trials to guide practice. What they drew from was the evidence born of direct experience powered by a deep longing for self-knowledge, an acute spirit of inquiry and astute powers of observation. This evidence is important in and of itself and should not be ignored, but in the modern day, it is not sufficient to satisfy clinicians, scientists, educators and policy makers. Ultimately, this direct, experiential evidence is what has inspired and guided many of today’s leading mindfulness practitioners and researchers. But the uptake of mindfulness needs to be seen within the scientific paradigm where personal experience and reflection is largely ignored by the majority of biomedically orientated scientists and where faith is mistrusted and evidence is highly valued.


Medical Student Emotional Regulation Telomere Length Executive Functioning Mindfulness Training 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Lynn Dobkin
    • 1
  • Craig Stephen Hassed
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Programs in Whole Person CareMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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