ArticlePDF Available

Mindfulness as a Path of Women's Empowerment



The paper brings together social mindfulness as a path of empowerment for women within its concept of the interrelatedness of all beings in the web of life. The paradigm of social mindfulness is thus established as the foundation of feminist spirituality. The focus of this work is on the possibility of applying the ethics of mindfulness as a paradigm to interpersonal interrelatedness. The relations among humans, nature, reason and emotion in self-development are confronted with the paradigm of mindfulness. This paper carries out a theoretical analysis of the possibility of integrating the paradigm of mindfulness with the paradigm of feminist spirituality. In this view, the paradigm shift toward integrating spiritual and social justice and ecological balance is examined. It also examines possibility of transformation of negative gender stereotypes with the help of mindfulness, loving kindness, compassion and ethics. From this point of view, the application of mindfulness in education (especially childhood, primary and secondary schools) is considered.
Mindfulness1 as a Path of Womens Empowerment
e paper brings together social mindfulness as a path of empowerment for women with-
in its concept of the interrelatedness of all beings in the web of life. e paradigm of social
mindfulness is thus established as the foundation of feminist spirituality. e focus of this
work is on the possibility of applying the ethics of mindfulness as a paradigm to inter-
personal interrelatedness. e relations among humans, nature, reason and emotion in
self-development are confronted with the paradigm of mindfulness. is paper carries out
a theoretical analysis of the possibility of integrating the paradigm of mindfulness with
the paradigm of feminist spirituality. In this view, the paradigm shift toward integrating
spiritual and social justice and ecological balance is examined. It also examines possibility
of transformation of negative gender stereotypes with the help of mindfulness, loving
kindness, compassion and ethics. From this point of view, the application of mindfulness
in education (especially childhood, primary and secondary schools) is considered.
Keywords: mindfulness, women, empowerment, social justice, interconnectedness.
Pričujoči članek poskuša združiti pot pozornosti, čuječnosti in pot opolnomočenja žensk
v okviru paradigme družbene čuječnosti, ki je predlagana kot temeljni kamen eko-femi-
nistične duhovnosti. Skupna nit obeh je v etiki pozornosti kot paradigmi medsebojne po-
vezanosti, katere cilj je preseganje okov, ki posameznika in posameznico zapirajo v mrežo
iluzije in (negativnih vrednostnih) sodb, in ki gradi na zavesti neškodovanja ter razvijanju
ljubeče dobrote in sočutja do vseh bitij (človeških in nečloveških ter tudi do narave).
Glavni fokus prispevka je teoretična analiza možnosti povezovanja paradigme čuječnosti
s paradigmo eko-feministične duhovnosti. Prav tako je preučena možnost preoblikovanja
negativnih spolnih stereotipov s pomočjo kultiviranja meditativne prakse čuječnosti.
Ključne besede: čuječnost, ženska, opolnomočenje, družbena pravičnost, medsebojna
1 e path of mindfulness or attentiveness, according to Primož Pečenko is a method of mindfulness,
therefore, a form of meditation, a spiritual path that follows the old Buddhist traditions and is a
therapeutic tool, one that is successfully introduced and integrated into new social environment
(Pečenko 2014, 7).
* Nadja FURLAN ŠTANTE, Associate Professor,
University of Primorska, Slovenia.
DOI: 10.4312/as.2016.4.2.109-120
110 Nadja Furlan Štante: Mindfulness as a Path of Women’s Empowerment
To be attached to one view
and to look down upon other views as inferior,
this the wise man calls a fetter. (Sutta nipata)
(Patridge 2009, 195)
is paper attempts to combine the path of mindfulness and that of women’s
empowerment in the context of the social mindfulness paradigm, which will be
proposed as a cornerstone of eco-feminist spirituality. e common denominator
of the two will be merged into the ethics of attentiveness as a paradigm of inter-
connectedness, with the aim of overcoming the fetters that chain an individual to
a set of illusions and (negative value) judgments, and which stems from the aware-
ness of harmlessness, developing loving kindness and compassion for all beings
(human and non-human, as well as human and nature as a whole). e main focus
of this paper is a theoretical analysis of all the possibilities that show how the par-
adigms of mindfulness and eco-feminist spirituality can be connected. e article
will also examine the possibility of transforming negative gender stereotypes by
means of cultivating the practice of mindfulness meditation.
Before further confronting the paradigm of mindfulness with that of eco-feminist
spirituality, the term empowerment needs to be discussed. Empowerment is a term
that denotes dierent forms of liberation. is is not only external liberation of the
oppressed from the yoke of the oppressor, but also a liberation of complete human
development. e word empowerment, therefore, describes an integrated life-long
process of individual development, so that a person can transform all external condi-
tions and express his / her own “detached essence” in all its potentials. It is a process
in which an individual self-realizes him- or herself, and thus fullls his or her role
within the community and society as a whole, as well as empowering others.
e path of mindfulness and attentiveness will in this context be understood and
presented as a universal trans-confessional or inter-(sur-)religious paradigm and
a platform of eco-feminist spirituality––as a path of empowering an individual
woman or man.
Ecological Egalitarianism and Religious Eco-feminism
In the last decade of the twentieth century, all major world religions start-
ed to contend with the possible damage that their traditions had caused to the
Asian Studies IV (XX), 2 (2016), pp. 109–120
understanding of the environment, of nature and nonhuman beings, and be-
gan searching in their customs for positive elements to achieve an ecologically
validating spirituality and everyday practice. In their third development phase,
feminist critics thus expanded their discussions of determinate theologies in
relation to their attitudes towards nature and nonhuman beings. us the var-
ious ecofeminisms or ecofeminist theologies critically question the correlation
between gender hierarchies in an individual religion and culture, and the hierar-
chical establishment of the value of man above that of nature. All types of theo-
logical ecofeminism thus strive for a deconstruction of the patriarchal paradigm,
its hierarchical structure, methodology and thought. ey try to deconstruct the
entire paradigm of men’s supremacy over women, of mind over body, Heaven
over Earth, of the transcendent over the immanent, and of the male God, al-
ienated and ruling over all Creation, and replace all this with new alternatives.
All major world religions are in this sense challenged to self-questioning and
self-criticism in their judgement of the possible negative patterns that contribute
to the destruction of the environment, and to restoring environmentally-friendly
traditions. From an ecofeminist and environmentally fair perspective, it is essen-
tial that religions do away with the negative, stereotypes and prejudices which
strengthen both domination over nature and various forms of social domination
(Radford Ruether 2005, XI). e Christian tradition, for instance, has (from an
ecofeminist point of view) contributed several problematic images and symbols
that have consolidated and survived in form of negative gender stereotypes and
prejudices, and taken root in the legacy of the Western philosophical-religious
thought (Furlan Štante 2012, 108).
Ecological feminism or ecofeminism is a feminist perspective based on the prem-
ise that the oppression of women and the exploitation of nature are two inter-
connected phenomena, and two categories that are subjugated and discriminated
against by the patriarchal system. Essentially, ecofeminism is based on the premise
that what leads to the oppression of women and to the exploitation of nature is
one and the same thing: the patriarchal system, dualistic thinking, the system of
dominance, and global capitalism. e common denominator of all forms of vio-
lence is the patriarchal system, understood as a source of violence. Ecofeminism
thus experiences the patriarchal system as a conictual one building on an exploit-
ative hierarchical relationship, unaware of the equality, unity and connectedness of
all living beings in the space of life. is is the reason why the patriarchal system
is ruining the harmonic connections between men and women, as well as man and
nature, having destructive eects on all of these.
For ecofeminists, the awareness of the interdependence and interconnectedness of
all human and nonhuman beings, nature, environment, and so on. sets ecocentric
112 Nadja Furlan Štante: Mindfulness as a Path of Women’s Empowerment
egalitarianism as the fundamental starting point of the ethics of interpersonal
relationships. Within the context of theological ecofeminism, the individual’s
identity is faced with a model of the fundamental interconnection of all beings
in the web of life. e awareness of this, of the consequent interdependence and
joint responsibility in the ethical-moral sense, thus represents the next step in the
evolution of interpersonal relationships and all relations within the web of life.
e conceptualization of women’s identity and the identity of an individual in
postmodernity, through the perspective of theological ecofeminism, sets, above
all, an ethical imperative of responsibility that the awareness of this fundamental
interconnection presupposes.
Here the attempt at separating the human from the cosmic entirety does not en-
tail autonomy and individuality, but illusion. e individuality of a human being is
understood from the perspective of the connectedness of individuals into a whole.
A single person as an individual is immersed in this entirety, is part of it and at
the same time autonomous. His or her autonomy should be reected in reciprocal
responsibility and respect for the integrity of an individual, of the other, of the
dierent. Critically, the ethical goal of theological ecofeminism is therefore to
improve the quality of relationships.
Changing the patriarchal paradigm to an ecofeminist one starts with epistemolo-
gy, with transforming the way one thinks. Patriarchal epistemology bases itself on
eternal unchangeable “truths” that are the presuppositions for knowing what truly
“is”. In the Platonic-Aristotelian epistemology that shaped Catholic Christian-
ity, this epistemology takes the form of eternal ideas that exist a priori, of which
physical things are pale and partial expressions. Catholicism added to this the
hierarchy of revelation over reason; revealed ideas come directly from God, and
thus are unchangeable and unquestionable in comparison to ideas derived from
reason (Gebara 1999, 29).
In this context, dualism represents the attitude of separation and domination,
which is written and naturalized in a culture and characterized with a radical
exclusion, distance and opposition between areas that have been systematical-
ly established as lower and higher, inferior and superior, the ruled and the rul-
ing. is binarism is also the nature of Cartesian dualism. e spirit which has
a dominant position is always elevated above the body, it is superior and ruling,
whereas the body is not only an inferior machine, but is also dominated by the
spirit. Descartes’ dualism represents such a “natural” hierarchical structure that is
found in the binary oppositions of nature and culture. In this context, the dualism
of body and mind is a strong mental paradigm, which in turn determines and
shapes all aspects of everyday reality in Western culture. It is the naturalization
Asian Studies IV (XX), 2 (2016), pp. 109–120
of this hierarchy which has shaped the mental paradigm of hierarchical duality in
Western society since the Enlightenment onwards, and is an excellent breeding
ground for the toxic relationships that are being set up along the hierarchy of
views regarding gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, culture, class, religion, economy
and social aliation.
Modern society is experiencing a crisis regarding the traditional dualism, but
in certain crucial elements this dualism is still maintained, as it is reproduced
through science, popular culture, and religion.
Acceptance of linear time and one-way evolution in culture are a good basis for
the reproduction and conservation of the Enlightenment paradigm of hierarchical
dualism and hierarchical relationships. erefore, all Western culture is caught up
in the illusion of dierent hierarchical dualisms that separate and legitimize the
domination of one thing over another.
e Cartesian dualistic paradigm has also reproduced and created a number of
traditional hierarchies, legalised them and rooted them in Western culture under
the disguise of universal natural traditionalism. Hand in hand with the hierarchi-
cal structure of the Roman Catholic Church, the Carthusian dualistic paradigm
has promoted the stigma and prejudices associated with the supposed inferiority
of both women and nature.
Under the inuence of this Cartesian dualistic paradigm, people’s imperialist at-
titudes towards animals, plants, the environment and nature has strengthened the
hierarchical perspective which sees the supremacy of the substantial (human: lord)
over the so-called non-substantial (nature, animals, plants: objectied and with-
out intrinsic value). Similarly, the paradigm of the individual’s separation from
entirety is reected in the separation of humans from nature. A model of a human,
in the role of a superior master who has completely objectied nature, and serves
as the “crown of creation”, possesses nature, ruthlessly exploiting natural resources,
ravaging and abusing them, has become an exemplary model of the relationship
between humanity and nature. By dispossessing nature of its intrinsic value, the
human-nature relationship is mechanistically and objectiedly lost.
is has led to the dominance of reason over emotions, body over spirit, man
over nature, men over women, and masculinity over femininity. e hierarchy and
struggle between these dualisms occurs both in every individual and at the level
of male-female relationships, as well as on a broader social and religious level.
Prejudices and stereotypes that often distort the image of the human personality
are contrary to the logic of compassion and love that accepts a man as he is and,
in particular, allows him to achieve empowerment. Numerous negative gender
114 Nadja Furlan Štante: Mindfulness as a Path of Women’s Empowerment
stereotypes and prejudices are a product of the socio-religious inuences and re-
lationship games of (pre)dominance between the genders. ey are thus a sup-
plement of social gender, the Cartesian mechanistic image of nature which fades
away in the light of love and compassion. Distorted pictures and labels are created,
characterizing the other and returning it to us in a mirror image, thus marking
and dening ourselves. e hierarchical supremacy in this is thus perceived as a
cause of violence between the genders, man and nature, dierent cultures, reli-
gions, and so on, which needs to be replaced with the logic of love.
In its essence, eco-feminist theology brings in the ethics of ecological egalitarianism
which is based on the theology of peace and non-violence. Instead of patriarchal
androcentrism and matriarchal utopianism, it focuses on cosmic, ecological organic
egalitarianism (i.e., cosmic ecological egalitarity) (Furlan Štante 2014, 24–28).
e Path of Mindfulness as a Way of Empowering an Individual
e process of ethical empowerment of an individual is an internal one that might
be called an “inner ecology”. In the process of surpassing intolerance and trans-
forming negative (gender) stereotypes, it is essential to eradicate the hidden logic
of domination and oppression. It is therefore necessary to change the paradigm of
thought, and, consequently, to raise awareness.
From this perspective, it is especially important to introduce the meditative prac-
tice of mindfulness into education systems (especially in childhood, in primary
and secondary schools). e use and deployment of mindfulness practice in teach-
ing and pedagogical practice certainly contributes to the transformation of the
hidden logic of domination and oppression.
In his criticism of the “hidden curriculum” in traditional education, Peter McLar-
en notes that this “represents much more than just a study program, a text that
is read in class or a curriculum”, as it is also “an introduction to a particular form
of life to prepare the students for either dominant or inferior positions deter-
mined in the existing society” (McLaren 1989, 183). In order to realise such social
positioning, certain forms of knowledge are preferred over others; “the hidden
curriculum” thus conrms the dreams, hopes and values of selected groups of stu-
dents that are favoured and superior over others, and introduces a discriminatory
practice based on race, class and gender. Such reproduction of the hidden “logic of
domination is a conceptual diagram of the opposing and exclusive binarisms or
dualisms, supported by the assumption of relative values and qualications which
serve to establish and legalise social patterns of domination and oppression.
Asian Studies IV (XX), 2 (2016), pp. 109–120
“e hidden curriculum” both reproduces and maintains the logic of the dualistic
view of the world, which is the ideological basis for the institutionalized construc-
tion of sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.
Teaching practice, which is trapped within the restraints of the logic of dualisms
and emphasizes the supremacy of reason over emotion, body over spirit, cannot
be successful in creating the conditions necessary for internal transformation of
students or pupils. It is the latter that, according to Peter McLaren, presents a key
objective of critical pedagogy, as it marks the body, the emotions, the mind and the
conceptualization of an individual’s identity and that of another.
Deborah Orr understands the learning process in a holistic context, namely, that
learning takes place not only in mind, but at all levels of one’s own being. It is
therefore proposed that the practice of teaching mindfulness or the path of atten-
tiveness, developed by the Buddhist tradition to overcome the dualistic concept of
the world, is included in critical pedagogy. e skill of mindfulness is extremely
eective in the process of transforming discriminatory ideologies and the prac-
tices of students and pupils, as this promotes changes not only on the intellectual
level of the students’ learning, but also at the level of the body, emotions and mind,
namely, where the most covert and persistent forms of oppression and discrimina-
tion are formed and maintained (Orr 2002, 328).
In the light of the attitude of marginalization and subordination of women and
nature by the patriarchal system, ecofeminism is critical of the hierarchical evalua-
tion and the formation of certain dualisms: culture / nature; male / female; myself
/ others; intelligence / emotion; man / animal. As stated in ecofeminist theory,
nature is dominated by culture; women by men; emotion by intellect; animals by
humans. is hierarchical structure of relationships is further commanded and
constructed by the patriarchal system. Surpassing and transforming the dichot-
omy of the intellect and body is essential in the creation of non-discriminatory
discourse and pedagogy.
e path of mindfulness as a form of Buddhist meditation has evolved, developed
and been rened through the millennia in order to help practitioners cope with their
mistakes, illusions and delusions which were a result of misuse or misunderstanding
of language and articially created dichotomies, or the above described dualisms.
e teachers of non-discriminatory practices nd a particular importance in the
insight that people uncritically absorb binarily constructed concepts of self, gender,
race and so on, both identifying with these and identifying others with them.
As shown by the various traditions of meditation, cultivation of the related skills
can eliminate attachments to certain ideas that structure and poison human life.
116 Nadja Furlan Štante: Mindfulness as a Path of Women’s Empowerment
rough meditation we directly and intentionally confront all manifestations of
reality on all levels of experience. is confrontation is carried out through the med-
itation technique of practicing attentiveness (sati), where, in particular, it is impor-
tant to be attentive here and now, “a particular way of observation, to be attentive ...
which consequently leads to experiencing attention at this moment and the state of
consciousness that does not judge and does not condemn”. (Kabat-Zinn 2000, 230)
is state of consciousness, once achieved, empowers one to decide not only to
refuse oppressive and discriminatory views, but also to begin practicing these de-
cisions in all areas of one’s life.
By using the technique of cultivating attention, a male student can get “infected”
with the ideology of male superiority, and gradually, he can achieve an insight
and identify even the subtlest manifestations of sexism and ultra masculinity in
his living environment, and thus gradually transforms or changes them. Similarly,
feministic-oriented scientists believe that the meditation technique of attentive-
ness helps women to become empowered and accept themselves as they are, thus
resisting all violent forms of patriarchal oppression and the articially established
norms of the beauty industry (Kaplan 1997, 240).
With regard to the path of attentiveness, mindfulness, and sati, Vipassana medita-
tion is one of the many forms which can be found both in traditional and modern
Buddhist practices. It can be seen as an indispensable foundation for ethical and
spiritual development, which gives us a deeper insight into the structure of human
consciousness and its potential. It comprises the fundamental dimensions and
depths of questions related to ethics, spiritual growth, the development of kind-
ness, love and compassion, and all the other objectives of the Buddhist traditions,
which the modern world should re-examine and develop. Moreover, its nature is
universal and trans-religious, and although it derives from a Buddhist context it is
not an ideology or a doctrine. (Orr 2002, 362)
e meditation (of loving kindness) called sati is therefore a path that can serve
as a bridge over the socially constructed gaps between mind and body, emotions
and spirit, ideas and life, and beyond the illusions of the self, self-image and the
images of others. It thus takes us beyond what the classical educational curricu-
lum and teaching practice are able to achieve. e path of attentiveness or sati is
a meditation technique which aims to cultivate mindfulness, and so attentiveness
to the present moment, in order to raise awareness and empower an individual.
It includes the ability of individuals to detect and observe their own thoughts.
Mindful individuals therefore maintain an impartial distance from their thoughts
(Kabat-Zinn 1990, 77). is form of meditation is thus an indispensable founda-
tion for the ethical and spiritual development of an individual.
Asian Studies IV (XX), 2 (2016), pp. 109–120
Nicole E. Ruedy and Maurice E. Schweitzer note that there are two ways in which
loving kindness meditation cultivates more ethical decisions. Firstly, loving kind-
ness is closely linked to the cultivation of greater sensitivity and awareness of one’s
own environment. Such attentive awareness is without judgement, it is non-reac-
tive and allows for the observation and recognition of our harmful thoughts with
a distance of non-violence and non-reactivity (2010, 76). It has also been proven
that this practice increases emotional acceptance (Segal et al. 2002) and increases
one’s readiness to tolerate unpleasant emotions and feelings (Eifert and Hener
2003; Levit et al. 2004). In principle, those who practice loving kindness medita-
tion are typically are less ignorant, more compassionate and non-violent. is is
also where their ethical stance and moral conscience emerge from.
Secondly, loving kindness stimulates self-awareness, and greater self-awareness
reduces unethical behaviour. Empirical research suggests that people who are
more condent are also more honest (Ruedy and Schweitzer 2010, 76).
e ground-breaking study conducted by Sarah Lazar, which analyzed the ef-
fects of regular loving kindness meditation in men and women, who on average
practiced 40 minutes of Vipassana meditation per day, shows that this is linked
to structural changes in the areas of the brain that are important for sensory,
cognitive and emotional processes (Lazar 2005, 1896). Daniel Siegel claims that
loving kindness meditation is a form of internal consistency, and this is necessary
for achieving internal harmony and harmony with the others. Loving kindness
and empathy meet, both being oriented to each other, as each stimulates and
strengthens the other. In this light, loving kindness meditation can be understood
as a skill, path and method of cultivating compassion and empathy, including
compassion and empathy for oneself (Siegel 2007, 164).
It should be noted that in Buddhist philosophy “a skill needs to be understood
dierently than in the Western understanding of the word, which refers to “how
to do something”. In the practice of loving kindness, the ability of cultivating all
that leads to love and a greater awareness of our fundamental interconnectedness
is understood as a skill. In this context, we are therefore unskilled when we are
ignorant or when we fall into a state of mind and behaviour which reinforces the
wrong sense of separateness, which in turn leads to suering. (Korneld 1993, 13)
In Buddhism, whoever studies the meditative practice of loving kindness or
mindfulness cultivates love and awareness with the help of one of the four Brah-
ma Viharas, which include loving kindness (Metta in Pāli), compassion (Karu-
na), empathic joy (Mudita) and indierence (Uppekha) (ibid., 40). Metta prac-
tice (loving kindness) is a way of cultivating empathy and responding wisely to
situations. Sharon Salzberg explains that the Pāli word Metta has its roots in
118 Nadja Furlan Štante: Mindfulness as a Path of Women’s Empowerment
two meanings, delicate and friend, and thus expresses sincere benevolence in the
present moment. erefore, through Metta practice we develop the capabilities
of our hearts to be present here and now, without emotional and mental judg-
ments. However, we must consider at this point that Buddhist tradition does not
distinguish between thoughts and emotions, or between heart and mind, but
refers to both as chitta, which is both heart / mind (Salzberg 2002, 33). is is also
the way or path of cultivating relationships with one another––with the help of
awakening empathy.
P.R. Fulton also arrives at a similar conclusion, stating that compassion for oth-
ers emerges from the recognition that we are all interconnected and faced with
suering, in the Buddhist context this is a true understanding of the world, and
everyone wants to liberate themselves from this. Mindfulness, or the path of at-
tentiveness, can thus take us beyond being trapped in the articial constructs that
otherwise dene our separation, to reach an experience of inner connection with
all beings in the network of life. Compassion and empathy toward others conse-
quently become natural expressions of the awareness of our fundamental mutual
interaction or integration. (Fulton 2005, 54)
Conscious embodiment, therefore, means the integrity of the heart / mind, body
and performance accompanied by awareness of the nature of such connections in
the broader social context. As such, conscious embodiment or mindful operation
is a mere awareness of how traditional social networking practices (co-)create an
individual, and how they consequently aect our reections and understanding of
the distribution of power and our activities.
From a Buddhist perspective, the contemporary fascination with the idea of dier-
ence reects an intellectual history that did not know or recognize the idea of the
fundamental interconnectedness of people, events or phenomena (Klein 1995, 124).
What is important for the Buddhist understanding of subjectivity is the mental
condition known as mindfulness––the ability to maintain clear and stable focus
on the selected object. Mindfulness in this context corresponds to both essential-
ist and constructivist feminist views, as well as the postmodern sensibility toward
others, which, as such, recognizes the paths of creating awareness of oneself and
others. e more an individual cultivates mindfulness, the more focused he / she
is on current experience, and the clearer his / her ideas are about the fragility and
questionable nature of the constructed human self.
In this context, mindfulness oers an ethical theory which is not focused on the
binary negation of another, although it develops on top of the awareness of the
fundamental connection and interdependence of all beings. is represents a code
Asian Studies IV (XX), 2 (2016), pp. 109–120
of ethics and the moral commitment of an observant, mindful individual, and, as
such, goes beyond the boundaries of religions.
Being aware of the basic connection, and therefore interdependence and co-re-
sponsibility of all beings in an ethical and moral sense, is the next step in the
evolution of interpersonal and all other relations in the web of life. Mindfulness
or the path of attentiveness can in this context be understood as the possibility of
creating a new trans-religious paradigm of peace as a transformation of internal
and external conict into a more sustainable mode of non-violence. Namely, each
moment of attentive awareness excludes violence and strengthens the awareness
of the fundamental connections with and resulting acknowledgement of others.
We can thus say that mindfulness is all about a change in or raising awareness.
Even in the light of eco-feminist spirituality, metanoia or the change of awareness
in consciousness is an urgent “action which begins with an individual, and it is
here that mindfulness meditation can play a key role in improving things.
Eifert, Georg H., and Michelle Hener. 2003. “e Eects of Acceptance versus
Control Contexts on Avoidance of Panic-related Symptomps.” Journal of Be-
havior erapy and Experimental Psychiatry 34: 293–312.
Fulton, Paul. R. 2005. “Mindfulness in Clinical Training.” In Mindfulness and Psy-
chotherapy, edited by Christopher. K. Germer, Ronald. D. Siegel, and Paul. R.
Fulton, 55–73. New York: Guilford Press.
Furlan Štante, Nadja. 2012. “Biotska soodvisnost: iz perspektive teološkega ek-
ofeminizma.” In Iluzija ločenosti, edited by Nadja Furlan Štante and Lenart
Škof, 105–19. Koper: Annales.
–––. 2014. V iskanju Boginje. Koper: Annales.
Gebara, Ivone. 1999. Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation.
Mineapolis: Fortress Press.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon. 1990. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and
Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York: Delacorte Press.
–––. 2000. Indra’s Net at Work: e Mainstreaming of Gharma Practice in So-
ciety.” In e Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Science, and Our Day-to-
day Lives, edited by G. Watson, S. Batchelor, and G. Claxton, 225–49. York
Beach: Samuel Weiser.
120 Nadja Furlan Štante: Mindfulness as a Path of Women’s Empowerment
Kaplan, Laura Duhan. 1997. “Physical Education for Domination and Emanci-
pation: A Foucaldian Analysis of Aerobics and Hatha Yoga.” In Philosophical
Perspective on Power and Domination: eories and Practices, edited by L. D.
Kaplan and L. F. Bove, 237–51. Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi.
Klein, Anne Carolyn. 1995. Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhist, Feminist and
the Art of the Sel. Boston: Beacon Press.
Korneld, Jack. 1993. A Path with Heart: A Guide through the Perils and Promises of
Spiritual Life. New York: Bantam.
Lazar, Sarah. W. et al. 2005. “Meditation Experience is Associated with Increased
Cortical ickness.” Neuroreport 16 (17): 1893–7.
Levitt, J. T. et al. 2004. “e Eects of Acceptance versus Suppression of Emotion
on Subjective and Psychophysiological Response to Carbon Dioxide Chal-
lenge in Patients with Panic Disorder.” Behavior erapy 35: 747–66.
McLaren, Peter. 1989. Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the
Foundations of Education. Toronto: Irwin Publishing.
Orr, Deborah. 2002. “Developing Wittgenstein’s Picture of the Soul: Toward a
Feminist Spiritual Erotics.” In Feminist interpretations of Wittgenstein, edit-
ed by N. Scheman and P. O’Connor, 322–43. University Park: Pennsylvania
State Press.
Pečenko, Primož. 2014. Pot pozornosti. Nova Gorica: Eno.
Patridge, Christopher, ed. 2009. Verstva sveta. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga.
Radford Ruether, Rosemary. 2005. Integrating Ecofeminism Globalization and
World Religions. New York: Rowman & Littleeld Publishers.
Ruedy, Nicole. E., and Maurice E. Schweitzer. 2010. “In the Moment: e Eect
of Mindfulness on Ethical Decision Making.” Journal of Business Ethics 95:
Salzberg, Sharon. 2002. Lovingkindness: e Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Bos-
ton: Shambhala.
Segal, Zindel V. et al. 2002. “e Mindfulness Based Cognitive erapy Adher-
ence Scale: Inter-rater Reliability, Adherence to Protocol and Treatment Dis-
tinctiveness.” Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy 9: 131–38.
Siegel, Daniel. 2007. e Mindful Brain: Reection and Attunement in the Cultiva-
tion of Well-being. New York: Norton & Company.
... Feminist theorists have long linked restricted agency with women's eating-related issues, articulating how these issues stem from social constructions of women's bodies and appetites. 65,70,71 Mindfulness training has been shown to increase self-confidence and perceived control over one's life, [72][73][74] and as an embodied contemplative practice, may allow women to reflect upon and ultimately reject these constructions. This intellectual transformation could have contributed to the women's shift from negative to positive embodiment, consistent with how the women reframed their notions regarding the relationships between eating, weight, and self-worth (thereby promoting adaptive coping and selfcare behaviors). ...
Objectives: Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been shown to reduce engagement in disordered eating behaviors, although how these interventions engender change remains unclear. The objective of this exploratory qualitative study was to describe the experiences and perceived attitudinal and behavioral changes of women participating in a mindful eating program. Design: Focus group discussions were held with women participating in a community-based mindful eating program for binge and emotional eating. A semistructured interview guide was used to explore participants' conceptualizations of mindfulness-based attitudinal and behavior change, as related to food, eating, and body image. The focus group discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis to identify salient concepts. Settings/Location: Focus group discussions were held at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) (United States). Participants: A sample of nine women who were enrolled in the mindful eating program at UMMS for problems with self-reported binge and/or emotional eating participated in this study. Results: Four themes were constructed that described a process of mindfulness-based behavior change, including (1) Learning Through Self-Awareness, (2) Self-Empowerment, (3) Mindful Choice-Making, and (4) Resilient Self-Care. An overarching description of the participants' perceived attitudinal and behavior changes was developed: "unforced freedom of choice, emerging from embodied awareness." Conclusions: These findings suggest that MBIs reduce may disordered eating behaviors through empowering women to make positive choices about food, eating, and coping, without focusing on weight control. Future research is needed to examine whether these findings replicate in larger and more diverse samples, and how they can be used to optimize and implement eating-specific MBIs in community-based settings.
Full-text available
Many unethical decisions stem from a lack of awareness. In this article, we consider how mindfulness, an individual’s awareness of his or her present experience, impacts ethical decision making. In our first study, we demonstrate that compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness report that they are more likely to act ethically, are more likely to value upholding ethical standards (self-importance of moral identity, SMI), and are more likely to use a principled approach to ethical decision making (formalism). In our second study, we test this relationship with a novel behavioral measure of unethical behavior: the carbonless anagram method (CAM). We find that of participants who cheated, compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness cheated less. Taken together, our results demonstrate important connections between mindfulness and ethical decision making. Keywordsawareness–carbonless anagram method–cheating–consequentialism–ethical decision making–formalism–meditation–mindfulness–self-importance of moral identity–unethical behavior
The development of the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Adherence Scale (MBCT-AS) is described. This 17-item scale measures therapist adherence to the treatment protocol for Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a treatment for the prevention of recurrence in Major Depressive Disorder. The MBCT-AS assesses therapist behaviours specific to (MBCT) as well as therapy practices that MBCT shares with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). To determine the utility of this scale, we compared delivery of group MBCT against group CBT, with independent ratings of taped sessions provided to measure adherence to MBCT and CBT for therapists in both groups. The results showed that: (a) raters can reliably use the MBCT-AS; (b) MBCT therapists demonstrated adherence to the treatment protocol, as measured by the MBCT-AS; and (c) MBCT is distinguishable from CBT on both the MBCT-AS and a scale measuring adherence to CBT (CBT-AS). These findings indicate that the MBCT-AS may be a useful tool for ensuring the proper delivery of MBCT in future research, and may be helpful in determining the elements of MBCT that are unique to that treatment. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Avenues for the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy differ by the degree to which mindfulness is overtly introduced into treatment, ranging from the implicit influence of the meditating therapist to theory-guided, mindfulness-informed psychotherapy, to explicit teaching of mindfulness practices to patients. This chapter is concerned with the most implicit end of this spectrum--mindfulness practice as training for the therapist. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The effects of acceptance versus suppression of emotion were examined in 60 patients with panic disorder. Prior to undergoing a 15-minute 5.5% carbon dioxide challenge, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: a 10-minute audiotape describing 1 of 2 emotion-regulation strategies (acceptance or suppression) or a neutral narrative (control group). The acceptance group was significantly less anxious and less avoidant than the suppression or control groups in terms of subjective anxiety and willingness to participate in a second challenge, but not in terms of self-report panic symptoms or physiological measures. No differences were found between suppression and control groups on any measures. Use of suppression was related to more subjective anxiety during the challenge, and use of acceptance was related to more willingness to participate in a second challenge. The results suggest that acceptance may be a useful intervention for reducing subjective anxiety and avoidance in patients with panic disorder.
The present study compared the effects of creating an acceptance versus a control treatment context on the avoidance of aversive interoceptive stimulation. Sixty high anxiety sensitive females were exposed to two 10-min periods of 10% carbon dioxide enriched air, an anxiogenic stimulus. Before each inhalation period, participants underwent a training procedure aimed at encouraging them either to mindfully observe (acceptance context) or to control symptoms via diaphragmatic breathing (control context). A third group was given no particular training or instructions. We hypothesized that an acceptance rather than control context would be more useful in the reduction of anxious avoidance. Compared to control context and no-instruction participants, acceptance context participants were less avoidant behaviorally and reported less intense fear and cognitive symptoms and fewer catastrophic thoughts during the CO(2) inhalations. We discuss the implications of our findings for an acceptance-focused vs. control-focused context when conducting clinical interventions for panic and other anxiety disorders.