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Why Meditate? The differential roles of attention, awareness and mindfulness

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Over the past two decades, much has been said about the nature, mechanisms and roles of mindfulness. Yet, some conceptualisations and their derived clinical packages display an obvious lack of differentiation between mindfulness, awareness and attention. Here, Dr Bruno Cayoun, director of MiCBT Institute in Hobart, shows clinicians how to develop, study and teach mindfulness.

Most of us have read or heard that mindfulness involves paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Although elegant in its economy, this definition has led to erroneous interpretations and methods far enough removed from the original meaning to make the Buddha weep if he were alive today. Anything goes, from paying attention to the flowers in your backyard to paddling on your surfboard…and why not learn mindfulness from your dog? Indeed, there is so much confusion and unintentional abuse of the word that many well-intended newcomers to mindfulness are often limited to engage in a process of relaxation, where group sessions often turn into a snoring camp….read full article here

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