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The origins of mindfulness

The origins of Mindfulness: The essential elements of mindfulness such as being present, connected to the senses, accepting, compassionate, non-attached and not living in a mental dreamworld are to be found in all of the world’s great wisdom traditions.

In fact, any time you have a moment of being truly aware and present you are discovering the origins of mindfulness for yourself. In the modern day many of the world’s leading practitioners and researchers of mindfulness have been inspired by the Buddhist tradition but you don’t need to be Buddhist to apply mindfulness in your own life. It can be applied in an entirely secular and practical way although the insights provided by wisdom traditions give a far greater depth to what it means to be truly mindful.

Wisdom traditions generally refers to the philosophical stream within religions such as Gnosticism within Christianity, Buddhism, Vedanta, Daoism, and Sufism within Islam as well as non-religious philosophical traditions such as Platonism. It could also include wisdom derived from these traditions and expressed in the world’s great literary works.


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This article is from the free online course:

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

Monash University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Welcome to the course
    Welcome to the course
    video

    In this video, Craig Hassed and Richard Chambers introduce the course and talk more about what you’re going to learn.

  • Introduction to week 2
    Introduction to week 2
    video

    Watch Richard explain the fight/flight response, why it happens, and how to recognise it.

  • Craig and Richard.
    Feedback from Craig and Richard
    article

    Feedback from Craig and Richard is an informal video recorded at the end of each week.

  • Welcome to week 3
    Welcome to week 3
    video

    In this video, Craig Hassed introduces why attention matters so much for learning and performance.

  • Introduction to week 5
    Introduction to week 5
    video

    In this video, Craig Hassed introduces this week’s topic on the relationship between mindfulness, communication and relationships.

  • Welcome to week 6
    Welcome to week 6
    video

    Watch Richard review the course and talk about how you can continue practising and applying mindfulness.

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