Critical Mindfulness

Understanding mindfulness and the forces that have shaped it in contemporary society

The Critical Mindfulness blog went live in September 2019. It is a forum to explore the science of mindfulness and its relationship with society since the 1970s.

It is acknowledged that mindfulness has existed in many forms for thousands of years and that attempts to study and systematize contemplative practices are nothing new. However, the focus of Critical Mindfulness is to investigate the transition of traditional meditation practices into contemporary health and wellbeing interventions. Of particular interest is the scientific knowledge that has been instrumental in the mindfulness revolution. For example, how was an ancient spiritual practice ‘converted’ for use in modern scientific settings, and how has psychology adapted to the challenges of working with contemplative methods?

Change is inevitable, the many different expressions of mindfulness in spiritual and philosophical traditions bear witness to the fluidity of human ideas and practices. My key object of enquiry is not just the transition of mindfulness over the last half-century but the mechanisms underpinning the change.

This is a three year PhD research project, I welcome thoughts about the science of mindfulness from all perspectives. In particular, visitors are welcome to highlight any perceived weaknesses in my knowledge and signpost resources that might help me on this journey.

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