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Mindfulness, learning and the brain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301 - 314
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Volume23 (4)
DatePublished - Dec 2005


I have tried to sketch an approach to the complex phenomena that go by the name of mindfulness that both does justice to this complexity and depth, and also offers a way of thinking about mindfulness in evolutionary, ecosocial and neural terms: terms that enable us to ask questions like: where did mindfulness come from? What kind of consciousness is it? What was it for, before it was co-opted by spiritual and therapeutic kinds of discourse and practice? And how do brains do it? In essence, I am suggesting that human brains seem to have developed, for good evolutionary reasons, a degree of facility with imaginative empathy and as-if identification; and that mindfulness capitalises on this to create what is probably a uniquely human form of learning or rather unlearning.

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Publisher: Springer

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