The Mindfulness Movement

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Religions can change over time and location. Every time a change occurs, a certain number of people are unhappy with how their current religion is fitting them and their lifestyle, and thus make small or big changes to it. Buddhism is no exception. There are many different types of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Pureland, Zen, and others. Every one is similar, but also has some key differences, not only in geographical location, but also in key ideas and practices. Some might say that the Mindfulness movement in the West is just another adaptation to Buddhism like the others previously mentioned. However, the Mindfulness movement is a problematic departure from the fundamental ideas of Buddhism because it strays too far from …show more content…
According to the Buddha, mindfulness involves a “state of keen awareness with regard to (1) one’s body, what one is doing at a particular moment; (2) one’s sensations, feelings, thoughts, and impulses at a particular time; (3) one’s ideas or views; and (4) the true nature of things…” (Mitchell & Jacoby, 56-57) The Mindfulness movement adopts this principle in its own way: using it to try to control one’s emotions and not become overwhelmed by them (mindful.org). In the Chade-Meng Tan talk at Google and the Mindfulness cartoon videos we saw in class, the primary focus is that mindfulness’s objective is to become more self-aware about our emotions, and how to prevent them from controlling us all the time. Mindfulness is believed to be obtained through meditation, another Buddhist …show more content…
Many different types of Buddhism form as a result of these changes. However, the Mindfulness movement diverges too much to be considered a type of Buddhism. Its commitment to only focus on one principle of Buddhism at the expense of all the other principles disqualifies it from being considered an adaptation of Buddhism. This treatment of Buddhism treats it as a philosophy rather than a religion: here are some rules, and follow only one of them. The neglect of other Buddhist principles is too drastic of a change. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the Mindfulness movement; however, it seems to be a philosophy, rather than a religion like Buddhism. Treating Buddhist principles as optional strays too far from Buddhism

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