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Introduction: Zen, Mindfulness, and Behavioral Health

  • William T. O’DonohueEmail author
  • Akihiko Masuda
  • Kayla Sargent
Chapter
Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)

Abstract

Mindfulness practice adapted to the field of behavioral health in recent decades is said to have a close connection to Zen Buddhism. This introductory chapter highlights the background and aims of the present edited book, Zen, mindfulness, and behavioral health, including a brief overview of included chapters and editors’ notes. Whereas generally encouraging, the authors argue that this trend also brings confusions to the field at applied, theoretical, and epistemological levels. Given this context, the present volume poses the importance of critically evaluating the practice of mindfulness and associated events, using the framework of Zen Buddhism, an ultimate source for the construct of mindfulness. Key questions asked throughout the volume include (a) whether the cross-fertilization of Zen Buddhism and behavioral health is possible, (b) whether it is optimal to extract single technique out of a set of interrelated beliefs and insert them into another (e.g., pulling a snippet of Buddhism out and placing it within behavioral health), and (c) whether Zen Buddhism adequately serves as an alternative paradigm. The present authors make the case that explicating and committing to one’ s philosophical and theoretical standpoint is crucial for clarifying the aims of applied practices, including mindfulness-based interventions and evaluating their effectiveness.

Keywords

Zen Buddhism Behavioral health Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) Mindfulness 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • William T. O’Donohue
    • 1
    Email author
  • Akihiko Masuda
    • 2
  • Kayla Sargent
    • 2
  1. 1.University of NevadaRenoUSA
  2. 2.University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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