Article

Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Lomas, T., & Griffiths, M. D. (2016). Corporate use of mindfulness and authentic spiritual transmission: Competing or compatible ideals? Mindfulness and Compassion, 1, 75-83.

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Abstract

There is consensus amongst both the scientific and Buddhist community that mindfulness – when correctly taught and practised – leads to a range of beneficial outcomes. However, there has been little evaluation of what happens when mindfulness is incorrectly taught, or is practised with a selfish rather than selfless intention. Nowhere is the importance of this issue more pertinent than the recent and growing assimilation of mindfulness for employees by large corporations. The current paper introduces the principle of ‘authentic spiritual transmission’ and examines how it can inform the integration of mindfulness into the corporate workplace. Three questions are explored: (i) what spiritual infrastructure is required to operationalize mindfulness that is effective in the corporate setting? (ii) to what extent can ‘inner change’ induced by mindfulness substitute the need for corporations to foster healthy ‘external’ working conditions? and (iii) is mindfulness corruptible or does it have a natural defence mechanism? The paper addresses these questions by synthesizing relevant Buddhist discourses, evaluating recent theoretical and empirical findings concerning the use of mindfulness in corporate settings, and examining how second-generation mindfulness-based interventions can inform this topical area of scholarly debate.

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... Data on which particular MBI is most effective for FMS (or a given medical illness) are certainly of value to the medical community. However, rather than seek to outperform or replace FG-MBIs, the primary intent underlying the SG-MBI initiative appears to be that of providing service users with a greater choice of evidence-based mindfulness interventionincluding that of practicing mindfulness in a manner that is more consistent with the traditional spiritual conceptualization of the technique (Van Gordon, Shonin, Lomas, & Griffiths, 2016). ...
... This theme is consistent with outcomes from the mediation analysis which showed that nonattachment to self almost fully mediated the treatment effects for FMS symptomatology and pain perception. In Buddhism, 'spiritual growth' and 'reductions in attachment' are arguably synonymous terms because according to the Buddhist conceptualization, a practice can be deemed spiritual if it helps to transcend 'selfhood' (Van Gordon, Shonin, Lomas, et al., 2016). ...
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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to conduct the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention (SG-MBI) for treating fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Compared to first-generation mindfulness-based interventions, SG-MBIs are more acknowledging of the spiritual aspect of mindfulness. Design: A RCT employing intent-to-treat analysis. Methods: Adults with FMS received an 8-week SG-MBI known as meditation awareness training (MAT; n = 74) or an active control intervention known as cognitive behaviour theory for groups (n = 74). Assessments were performed at pre-, post-, and 6-month follow-up phases. Results: Meditation awareness training participants demonstrated significant and sustained improvements over control group participants in FMS symptomatology, pain perception, sleep quality, psychological distress, non-attachment (to self, symptoms, and environment), and civic engagement. A mediation analysis found that (1) civic engagement partially mediated treatment effects for all outcome variables, (2) non-attachment partially mediated treatment effects for psychological distress and sleep quality, and (3) non-attachment almost fully mediated treatment effects for FMS symptomatology and pain perception. Average daily time spent in meditation was found to be a significant predictor of changes in all outcome variables. Conclusions: Meditation awareness training may be a suitable treatment for adults with FMS and appears to ameliorate FMS symptomatology and pain perception by reducing attachment to self. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Designing interventions to treat fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) continues to be a challenge. There is growing interest into the applications of mindfulness-based interventions for treating FMS. Second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs) are a key new direction in mindfulness research. What does this study add? Meditation awareness training - an SG-MBI - resulted in significant reductions in FMS symptomatology. SG-MBIs recognize the spiritual aspect of mindfulness and may have a role in the treatment of FMS.
... Data on which particular MBI is most effective for FMS (or a given medical illness) are certainly of value to the medical community. However, rather than seek to outperform or replace FG-MBIs, the primary intent underlying the SG-MBI initiative appears to be that of providing service users with a greater choice of evidence-based mindfulness interventionincluding that of practicing mindfulness in a manner that is more consistent with the traditional spiritual conceptualization of the technique (Van Gordon, Shonin, Lomas, & Griffiths, 2016). ...
... This theme is consistent with outcomes from the mediation analysis which showed that nonattachment to self almost fully mediated the treatment effects for FMS symptomatology and pain perception. In Buddhism, 'spiritual growth' and 'reductions in attachment' are arguably synonymous terms because according to the Buddhist conceptualization, a practice can be deemed spiritual if it helps to transcend 'selfhood' (Van Gordon, Shonin, Lomas, et al., 2016). ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to conduct the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention (SG-MBI) for treating fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Compared to first generation mindfulness-based interventions, SG-MBIs are more acknowledging of the spiritual aspect of mindfulness. Design. A RCT employing intent-to-treat analysis. Methods. Adults with FMS received an 8-week SG-MBI known as meditation awareness training (MAT; n = 74) or an active control intervention known as cognitive behaviour theory for groups (n = 74). Assessments were performed at pre-, post-, and 6-month follow-up phases. Results. Meditation awareness training participants demonstrated significant and sustained improvements over control group participants in FMS symptomatology, pain perception, sleep quality, psychological distress, non-attachment (to self, symptoms, and environment), and civic engagement. A mediation analysis found that (1) civic engagement partially mediated treatment effects for all outcome variables, (2) non-attachment partially mediated treatment effects for psychological distress and sleep quality, and (3) non-attachment almost fully mediated treatment effects for FMS symptomatology and pain perception. Average daily time spent in meditation was found to be a significant predictor of changes in all outcome variables. Conclusions. Meditation awareness training may be a suitable treatment for adults with FMS and appears to ameliorate FMS symptomatology and pain perception by reducing attachment to self.
... Data on which particular MBI is most effective for FMS (or a given medical illness) are certainly of value to the medical community. However, rather than seek to outperform or replace FG-MBIs, the primary intent underlying the SG-MBI initiative appears to be that of providing service users with a greater choice of evidence-based mindfulness interventionincluding that of practicing mindfulness in a manner that is more consistent with the traditional spiritual conceptualization of the technique (Van Gordon, Shonin, Lomas, & Griffiths, 2016). ...
... This theme is consistent with outcomes from the mediation analysis which showed that nonattachment to self almost fully mediated the treatment effects for FMS symptomatology and pain perception. In Buddhism, 'spiritual growth' and 'reductions in attachment' are arguably synonymous terms because according to the Buddhist conceptualization, a practice can be deemed spiritual if it helps to transcend 'selfhood' (Van Gordon, Shonin, Lomas, et al., 2016). ...
Article
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to conduct the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention (SG-MBI) for treating fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Compared to first generation mindfulness-based interventions, SG-MBIs are more acknowledging of the spiritual aspect of mindfulness. Design. A RCT employing intent-to-treat analysis. Methods. Adults with FMS received an 8-week SG-MBI known as meditation awareness training (MAT; n = 74) or an active control intervention known as cognitive behaviour theory for groups (n = 74). Assessments were performed at pre-, post-, and 6-month follow-up phases. Results. Meditation awareness training participants demonstrated significant and sustained improvements over control group participants in FMS symptomatology, pain perception, sleep quality, psychological distress, non-attachment (to self, symptoms, and environment), and civic engagement. A mediation analysis found that (1) civic engagement partially mediated treatment effects for all outcome variables, (2) non-attachment partially mediated treatment effects for psychological distress and sleep quality, and (3) non-attachment almost fully mediated treatment effects for FMS symptomatology and pain perception. Average daily time spent in meditation was found to be a significant predictor of changes in all outcome variables. Conclusions. Meditation awareness training may be a suitable treatment for adults with FMS and appears to ameliorate FMS symptomatology and pain perception by reducing attachment to self.
... However, as part of its recent integration into various applied settings, it appears that some MBIs have largely isolated mindfulness from the techniques and practice principles that traditionally supported it. In such cases, a question that arises is whether mindfulness should still be called "mindfulness", or whether in some of its modern interventional forms, it has been transposed into an "attention-based psychological technique" (Van Gordon et al. 2016). ...
... It still may be the case that, as Williams and Kabat-Zinn (2011) have noted, "the rush to define mindfulness within Western psychology may wind up denaturing it in fundamental ways," with "the potential for something priceless to be lost" (p.4). For instance, in its original Buddhist context, sati was imbued with an inherent moral sensibilityrelating to it being embedded within the wider framework of the dharmathat is not necessarily retained in the term mindfulness, nor in contemporary conceptualisations and practices of it (Van Gordon, Shonin, Lomas, & Griffiths, 2016). However, even if mindfulness does not retain all the meanings sati had in its original Buddhist context, it can still be of value, as indicated above. ...
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Mainstream psychology can be regarded as largely Western-centric, with its concepts and priorities biased towards Western ways of thinking and understanding. Consequently, the field would benefit from greater cross-cultural awareness and engagement. To that end, this article offers one means of engagement, the study of “untranslatable” words (i.e., terms without an exact equivalent in another language, in our case English). A key function of language is that it offers a “map” that allows us to understand and navigate the world. In that respect, such words point to cultural variation in the maps we use, and even to variation in the actual territory mapped. The paper concludes with suggestions for why and how psychology could benefit from engaging with such words.
... This decreases negative psychological symptoms and increases spiritual well-being. In addition, there was a significant relationship between the subscale of religious commitment and its total score with the subscales and total score of mindfulness (27,28). ...
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Background and Objectives: Gifted students are more sensitive to interpersonal conflicts and experience more self-alienation and mental pressure due to their cognitive abilities. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship among metacognition, mindfulness, and spiritual well-being in gifted high school students.Methods:This study was conducted on 144 gifted high school students in Tabriz. The study population was selected through systematic random sampling method. Data collection was performed using the metacognition questionnaire developed by Wells, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, and spiritual well-being questionnaire by Ellison and Paloutzian. Results:According to the results, mindfulness had a significant and positive relationship with spiritual well-being (r=0.31). However, no significant relationship was observed between metacognition and spiritual well-being. The results of the stepwise regression analyses showed that non-judgement determined about 6% (R2=0.06) of spiritual well-being variance, and positive beliefs about worry predicted 4% (R2=0.04) of the mindfulness variance.Conclusion: Based on the findings, it can be concluded that out of the meta-cognition components, the positive beliefs about worry were influential in the determination of mindfulness. Furthermore, non-judgment was found to play a fundamental role in determining spiritual well-being among the components of mindfulness. Keywords: Metacognition, Mindfulness, Spiritual well-being, Gifted Adolescents
... Mindfulness foundation has been recognized as the most concrete source of thinking in nature, which consists of four foundation thoughts [1,2], which are (i) form (body), (ii) sensation, (iii) spiritual and (iv) Dhamma. Many works in both principles and applications have been reported in the recent literature [3][4][5][6][7][8]. Some of the studies have attempted the scientific description of mindfulness with some exciting interpretations [9][10][11], especially, in mathematical formalism and physics. ...
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Mindfulness foundation is an excellent method of the human spiritual development by the reasonable thinking and consideration, which was established by Lord Buddha a long time ago. There are four ways of thinking and consideration-(i) form (body), (ii) sensation, (iii) spiritual and (iv) Dhamma. In this paper, we propose the use of the form consideration for the spiritual development, in which the form can be considered thoroughly inside the body by the spiritual projection. By using the nonlinear microring resonator known as a Panda-ring resonator, the electromagnetic (EM) signals called polaritons can be generated by the coupling interaction between the intense EM fields and the ionic diploes within the almost closed system, where the dipoles can obtain from the coupling between the gold grating and the strong electromagnetic fields. In the manipulation, cells, tissues, and organs inside the human body can communicate with the spiritual (polaritonic) signals and investigation. The simulation results obtained have shown that the Lorentz factor of 0.99999959 is obtained. The successively filtering of the signal circulation within the body during the meditation can be formulated and the meditation behaviors modeled. The aura, the stopping, and the cold body states can be configured and explained.
... Such findings show that mindfulness may have a useful role to play in ameliorating work-based stress and burnout. However, while these results are encouraging, concerns have been expressed about MBIs being used in occupational contexts as a sticking plaster to merely treat the symptoms of a Btoxic^or otherwise challenging work environment, rather than undertaking the more difficult task of creating environments more hospitable to employees (Van Gordon et al. 2016). Moreover, such interventions can potentially place the onus on employees to Bcope^with stress and burnout via MBIs, rather than on employers to render the work itself less demanding. ...
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Efforts to improve the well-being of healthcare professionals include mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). To understand the value of such initiatives, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of empirical studies pertaining to the use of MBIs with healthcare professionals. Databases were reviewed from the start of records to January 2016 (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42016032899). Eligibility criteria included empirical analyses of well-being outcomes acquired in relation to MBIs. Forty-one papers met the eligibility criteria, consisting of a total of 2101 participants. Studies were examined for two broad classes of well-being outcomes: (a) “negative” mental health measures such as anxiety, depression, and stress; (b) “positive” indices of well-being, such as life satisfaction, together with outcomes associated with well-being, such as emotional intelligence. MBIs were generally associated with positive outcomes in relation to most measures (albeit with moderate effect sizes), and mindfulness does appear to improve the well-being of healthcare professionals. However, the quality of the studies was inconsistent, so further research is needed, particularly high-quality randomised control trials.
... In a similar way, Weber (2013) also critiques the role of religion in work. At an operational level, Van Gordon et al. (2016) argue that mindfulness can be practised with a selfish rather than selfless intention and raise the question about to what extent 'inner change' induced by mindfulness can substitute the need for corporations to foster healthy 'external' working conditions. Although the application of mindfulness in the corporate context is subject to debate, we take a positive view as earlier discussed and propose to test the following hypothesis: H1: Organizational mindfulness has a positive effect on organizational ethical behaviour. ...
Article
This study examines the relationship between mindfulness and ethical behaviour and its consequent effects on firm performance. We adopt the psychological concept of mindfulness in the context of corporate ethics. We hypothesize that organizational mindfulness has a positive effect on organizational ethical behaviour but that the company’s code of ethics moderates this relationship. We further propose that organizational ethical behaviour affects firm performance with corporate reputation as a mediating construct. We tested the proposed framework using survey data from 653 managers of large firms in Vietnam. The estimated structural equation model provides strong and convincing support for our hypotheses with important theoretical and managerial implications.
... Understanding impermanence is a fundamental facilitator of willingness to change and unlearn. Being mindful of the principle of impermanence helps individuals and organizations understand that phenomena are in a constant state of flux and do not indefinitely endure (Van Gordon et al., 2016). Impermanence helps one understand that it is natural for life to be uncertain and that trauma and crisis can occur anytime in life as a normal cycle of life and the universe (Cacciatore et al., 2014). ...
... De plus, tout comme la pratique religieuse, la pratique de la méditation doit être motivée et orientée par des buts non égoïstes pour avoir des effets profonds et authentiques sur le bien-être (Lomas, 2016 ;Van Gordon et al., 2016). Chez les bouddhistes, la pleine conscience n'existe pas de façon isolée, elle soutient le développement d'une éthique et d'une sagesse (Kang & Whittingham, 2010). ...
Thesis
La littérature sur la pleine conscience, ou mindfulness, est maintenant foisonnante et indique un certain nombre d’effets bénéfiques de cette pratique sur la santé mentale et le bien-être. La régulation des émotions a été identifiée comme une capacité centrale qui se développe grâce à la pratique de la pleine conscience, celle-ci permettant d’expliquer l’augmentation des émotions positives et une diminution des émotions négatives. De plus, on observe une diminution de l’intensité des réactions et de l’interférence créées par les stimuli positifs et négatifs, une évaluation plus neutre de ceux-ci et une augmentation de la stabilité émotionnelle. Il a été démontré, entre autres via des mesures neurologiques, que la mindfulness entrainait un type de régulation des émotions qui lui était spécifique, où la relation entre l’individu et ses émotions est modifiée profondément et précocement. L’équanimité a alors été proposée comme une explication possible à la spécificité de la régulation des émotions par la pleine conscience. La littérature sur ce thème est pourtant restée très peu abondante, et les études expérimentales existantes n’ont pas testé empiriquement cette hypothèse. L’équanimité, en tant qu’état mental stable, calme et non perturbé par la valence des stimuli, semble pourtant une composante essentielle du vécu émotionnel lié à la mindfulness. L’objectif de cette thèse est d’aborder l’équanimité comme une qualité de régulation des émotions, d’en examiner la présence dans la littérature existante et d’offrir les premières bases à son étude en psychologie expérimentale. Une première partie est consacrée à constituer une définition opérationnalisable de l’équanimité et à valider un questionnaire destiné à mesurer son niveau chez les individus méditants et non méditants. Nous examinons ensuite la relation entre la pratique de la méditation et le niveau d’équanimité. Puis, nous avons utilisé une tâche d’approche et d’évitement afin d’étudier la relation entre l’équanimité et les tendances motivationnelles envers des stimuli positifs et négatifs. Enfin, dans l’optique d’explorer les liens entre l’équanimité et la régulation des comportements de santé, nous nous intéressons à son impact sur l’évaluation de plusieurs types d’aliments. Les résultats de nos études montrent que l’équanimité augmente avec la pratique de la méditation de pleine conscience et qu’elle est reliée à une diminution des biais d’approche et d’évitement face à des mots positifs et négatifs. L’équanimité, en outre, s’accompagne d’une plus grande neutralité dans l’évaluation hédonique des mots et d’évaluations plus saines des aliments. Cette thèse dresse un portrait de l’équanimité qui, nous l’espérons, ouvrira la voie à de nombreuses études théoriques et appliquées sur cette thématique.
... Understanding impermanence is a fundamental facilitator of willingness to change and unlearn. Being mindful of the principle of impermanence helps individuals and organizations understand that phenomena are in a constant state of flux and do not indefinitely endure (Van Gordon et al., 2016). Impermanence helps one understand that it is natural for life to be uncertain and that trauma and crisis can occur anytime in life as a normal cycle of life and the universe (Cacciatore et al., 2014). ...
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Crises trigger both learning and unlearning at both intra-organizational and inter-organizational levels. This article stresses the need to facilitate unlearning for effective crisis management and shows how we could use mindfulness practice to enhance unlearning and transformative learning in a crisis. This study proposes the conceptualization of mindful unlearning in crisis with different mechanisms to foster unlearning in three stages of crisis (pre-crisis, during-crisis, and post-crisis). These mechanisms include mindful awareness of impermanence and sensual processing (pre-crisis stage), mindful awareness of interdependence and right intention (crisis management stage), and mindful awareness of transiency and past experiences (post-crisis stage).
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This systematic review synthesises the available evidence regarding the European understanding of workplace spirituality (definitions), the importance of spirituality and religion (evidence) as well as spiritual leadership (meaning and practice) in for-profitorganizations. The search for eligible studies was conducted in OPAC Plus, SCOPUS, Science Direct, JSTOR, EBSCO, and Google Scholar from 2007/01 to 2017/07. Three independent scholars extracted the data. Twenty studies were included (two mixed-methods, eight quantitative, ten qualitative) for the final quality assessment. A study quality assessment and thematic analysis was conducted. This review gives suggestions for study quality improvement and reporting. Thematically, two different approaches to religion and spirituality (R/S) were detected: a) work has a spiritual dimension and b) religious and spiritual orientation as “spiritual capital”. Studies demonstrated positive effect on job satisfaction, health, commitment, company productivity and sustainability; Christian leadership does not address personal religious orientation; the spiritual dimension may lead to a change of perspective; workplace spirituality may exploit people for profit-oriented business goals; non-white Muslims experience discrimination. This systematic review provides robust evidence and findings for evidence-informed policymaking and encourages a more rigorous research in this field of study.
Chapter
Summarising the existing research and literature, mindfulness can be understood as an orientation towards wholeness that involves the three “A”s: awareness, attention, and attitude. Mindfulness can be classified into first-generation and second-generation mindfulness-based programmes. First-generation mindfulness programmes are more individualistic, instrumental, therapeutic, non-judgmental, cognitive, and secular; second-generation mindfulness programmes tend to be more collective, substantive, ethics-driven, evaluative, contemplative, and spiritual. Research has attested to the benefits of mindfulness for mental, physical, emotion, and social well-being. Mindfulness is central in both Confucian and Christian traditions as both systems value personal and collective reflection, introspection, meditation, and rejuvenation. Practices from both first- and second-generation mindfulness programmes are advocated in Confucian and Christian traditions.
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Chapter
In this section, I examine the ethics of bringing mindfulness-based programs into secular settings that do not necessarily embody the ethics typically associated with Buddhism or with Buddhist practice. This has been seen as particularly problematic when the Buddhist practice of mindfulness is introduced into organizational settings. There are two ethical concerns critical to delivering MBPs in organizations that require examination. The first ethical concern I address in this chapter is the potential of MBPs to result in significantly distressing emotions or experiences. The second ethical concern is rooted in the different expectations and impact an MBP has on the employee attending the program and the organization sponsoring the program. Issues such as the format of an MBP, clarity of outcomes, and managing the possible divergent expectations of employee and employer are examined.
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Both separately and in conjunction, mindfulness and positive psychological interventions have been found to increase wellbeing against a number of measures. Research has been primarily based upon the application of self-report scales, and little has yet been done to examine the lived experience of participants. The aim of this study therefore was to apply an interpretative phenomenological approach to the experience of participants in a Mindfulness Based Flourishing (MBF) programme which combines positive psychological interventions with mindfulness, in order to more fully understand the scope and depth of the impact their experience had on them. Three participants from a completed MBF each had a one-off semi-structured interview, the results of which were transcribed verbatim. The resulting texts were analysed, with five themes emerging which demonstrated the impact the programme had had on participants’ sense of self and on the nature of their connections with others. While all participants identified benefits accruing from the course, it also presented challenges emotionally as well as in terms of the embedding of knowledge and skills. Future research should look to examine the impact of such programmes in wider cultural and temporal frameworks, and additionally should explore the application of Grounded Theory to identify more theoretical level explanations of phenomenon.
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This systematic review synthesizes the available evidence regarding the European understanding of workplace spirituality (definitions), the importance of spirituality and religion (evidence) as well as spiritual leadership (meaning and practice) in for-profit organizations. The search for eligible studies was conducted in OPAC Plus, SCOPUS, Science Direct, JSTOR, EBSCO, and Google Scholar from 2007/01 to 2017/07. Three independent scholars extracted the data. Twenty studies were included (two mixed-methods, eight quantitative, ten qualitative) for the final quality assessment. A study quality assessment and thematic analysis was conducted. This review gives suggestions for study quality improvement and reporting. Thematically, two different approaches to religion and spirituality (R/S) were detected: a) work has a spiritual dimension and b) religious and spiritual orientation as “spiritual capital”. Studies demonstrated positive effect on job satisfaction, health, commitment, company productivity, and sustainability; Christian leadership does not address personal religious orientation; the spiritual dimension may lead to a change of perspective; workplace spirituality may exploit people for profit-oriented business goals; non-white Muslims experience discrimination. This systematic review provides robust evidence and findings for evidence-informed policymaking and encourages more rigorous research in this field of study
Chapter
Crises cause both internal and external learning and unlearning inside and across organisations. To effectively handle a crisis, we must be able to promote unlearning, and this essay demonstrates how we may do just that via the practice of mindfulness. Researchers in this research offer a framework for thinking about unlearning during times of crisis that incorporates a variety of strategies to encourage unlearning at various phases of crisis (pre-crisis, during-crisis, and post-crisis). Mindfulness of impermanence and sensual processing pre-crisis, interdependence and correct intention during crisis management, and post-crisis mindfulness of transiency and past experiences post-crisis.
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Background and aims Workaholism is a form of behavioral addiction that can lead to reduced life and job satisfaction, anxiety, depression, burnout, work–family conflict, and impaired productivity. Given the number of people affected, there is a need for more targeted workaholism treatments. Findings from previous case studies successfully utilizing second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs) for treating behavioral addiction suggest that SG-MBIs may be suitable for treating workaholism. This study conducted a controlled trial to investigate the effects of an SG-MBI known as meditation awareness training (MAT) on workaholism. Methods Male and female adults suffering from workaholism (n = 73) were allocated to MAT or a waiting-list control group. Assessments were performed at pre-, post-, and 3-month follow-up phases. Results MAT participants demonstrated significant and sustained improvements over control-group participants in workaholism symptomatology, job satisfaction, work engagement, work duration, and psychological distress. Furthermore, compared to the control group, MAT participants demonstrated a significant reduction in hours spent working but without a decline in job performance. Discussion and conclusions MAT may be a suitable intervention for treating workaholism. Further controlled intervention studies investigating the effects of SG-MBIs on workaholism are warranted.
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Despite the fact that there is increasing integration of Buddhist principles and practices into Western mental health and applied psychological disciplines, there appears to be limited understanding in Western psychology of the assumptions that underlie a Buddhist model of mental illness. The concept of ontological addiction was introduced and formulated in order to narrow some of the disconnect between Buddhist and Western models of mental illness and to foster effective assimilation of Buddhist practices and principles into mental health research and practice. Ontological addiction refers to the maladaptive condition whereby an individual is addicted to the belief that they inherently exist. The purposes of the present paper are to (i) classify ontological addiction in terms of its definition, symptoms, prevalence, and functional consequences, (ii) examine the etiology of the condition, and (iii) appraise both the traditional Buddhist and contemporary empirical literature in order to outline effective treatment strategies. An assessment of the extent to which ontological addiction meets the clinical criteria for addiction suggests that ontological addiction is a chronic and valid—albeit functionally distinct (i.e., when compared to chemical and behavioral addictions)—form of addiction. However, despite the protracted and pervasive nature of the condition, recent empirical findings add support to ancient Buddhist teachings and suggest that addiction to selfhood can be overcome by a treatment process involving phases of (i) becoming aware of the imputed self, (ii) deconstructing the imputed self, and (iii) reconstructing a dynamic and non-dual self.
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In addition to featuring in the practice guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for the treatment of recurrent depression in adults, emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have applications for treating diverse psychopathologies and disorders including addictive behaviours (e.g. pathological gambling, workaholism), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger dysregulation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, pain disorders (e.g. fibromyalgia), sexual dysfunction and psychotic disorders (Shonin et al., 2014). Mindfulness is also recommended by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists as a non-first-line treatment for binge eating disorder in adults. However, commensurate with growing interest into the clinical (and non-clinical) applications of MBIs, there are growing concerns over the rapidity at which mindfulness has been extracted from its traditional Buddhist setting and introduced into psychiatric treatment domains (Van Gordon et al., 2015). Specifically, these concerns centre on the alleged absence within the first-generation MBIs (FG-MBIs) of the factors that, according to the 2500-year-old system of Buddhist meditative practice, are deemed to maximise the efficacy of mindfulness.
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Two novel mindfulness-based interventions designed to be integrated either in academic or work settings to mitigate the effects of stress and promote well-being among human services professionals are described. Study 1 explored whether a brief mindfulness intervention was superior to a traditional relaxation intervention for nursing staff. Results demonstrated that both interventions significantly improved relaxation and life satisfaction, with mindfulness participants exhibiting a trend toward particular improvements in emotional exhaustion. In study 2, teacher trainees who participated in a Mindfulness- Based Wellness Education (MBWE) program as part of their academic training experienced significantly greater increases than controls in mindfulness, satisfaction with life, and teaching self-efficacy. We recognize that systemic factors need to be addressed for the long-term resolution of stress-related problems among human services professionals. In the interim, mindfulness-based interventions are proving to be an effective way to support these pivotal members of our society.
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Whenever we are travelling or teaching in the West and we meet new people, they invariably initially respond in one of three ways. The first way is to immediately state or exclaim that ‘you are monks’. We haven’t quite worked out yet whether this is supposed to be a manner of greeting, an expression of shock or just a statement of fact. The second response—which also happens to be the one we prefer most—is for people to either shake our hands or to put their palms together before all parties gently bow. The third response that we frequently encounter— which brings us onto the subject of this article—is for people to forgo even saying hello and to straightaway ask the question ‘What lineage are you?’ We don’t encounter people asking this question quite so much when we are in the East, but in theWest, people seem to place a great deal of importance on establishing which particular lineage a person ‘belongs’ to.
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The paper by Monteiro et al. (2015) is to be commended for providing a comprehensive discussion of the compatibility issues arising from the integration of mindfulness—a 2500-year-old Buddhist practice—into research and applied psychological domains. Consistent with the observations of various others (e.g. Dunne 2011; Kang and Whittingham 2010), Monteiro et al. have not only highlighted that there are differences in how Buddhism and contemporary mindfulness interventional approaches interpret and contextualize mindfulness, but there are also differing interpretations of mindfulness within Buddhism. These apparent differences within Buddhism are arguably more noticeable when making comparisons across Buddhist vehicles (i.e. Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana), but to a lesser extent intra-vehicular differences can also be said to exist (i.e. differences between Buddhist traditions of the same vehicle). This commentary investigates the validity of some of these different Buddhist constructions of mindfulness and then discusses how a better understanding of their scriptural and conceptual soundness (or lack thereof) may help to reconcile some of the actual and perceived incompatibility between Buddhist practice and contemporary secular mindfulness-based approaches.
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We assessed the effectiveness of an adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on educator stress and well-being. The study included 36 high school educators who participated in either an 8-week adapted MBSR program or a waitlist control group. Results suggested that educators who participated in MBSR reported significant gains in self-regulation, self-compassion, and mindfulnessrelated skills (observation, nonjudgment, and nonreacting). Significant improvements in multiple dimensions of sleep quality were found as well. These findings provide promising evidence of the effectiveness of MBSR as a strategy to promote educator’s personal and professional well-being. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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Background: The critical nursing shortage is particularly apparent in specialty areas such as intensive care units (ICUs). Some nurses develop resilient coping strategies and adapt to stressful work experiences, mitigating the development of common maladaptive psychological symptoms. Objectives: To determine if a multimodal resilience training program for ICU nurses was feasible to perform and acceptable to the study participants. Methods: In a randomized and controlled 12-week intervention study, treatment and control groups completed demographic questions and measures of resilience, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and burnout syndrome before and after the intervention. The intervention included a 2-day educational workshop, written exposure sessions, event-triggered counseling sessions, mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises, and a protocolized aerobic exercise regimen. Nurses in the intervention arm also completed satisfaction surveys for each component of the intervention. Results: This mulitmodal resilience training program was feasible to conduct and acceptable to ICU nurses. Both nurses randomized to the treatment group and nurses randomized to the control group showed a significant decrease in PTSD symptom score after the intervention. Conclusions: A multifaceted resilience training program for ICU nurses was both feasible and acceptable. A sufficiently powered, randomized clinical trial is needed to assess the effect of the intervention on improving individuals' level of resilience and improving psychological outcomes such as symptoms of anxiety, depression, burnout syndrome, and PTSD.
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Due to its potential to improve work-related stress and job performance, there is growing interest into the applications of mindfulness in the workplace setting. To date, mindfulness research within occupational psychology has mostly involved First Generation Mindfulness-Based Interventions (FG-MBIs). However, a growing number of researchers, clinicians, and Buddhist teachers/scholars have suggested that FG-MBIs may only partially embody the full potency of mindfulness when compared with its utilisation in traditional Buddhist practice settings. Consequently, recent years have witnessed the early stage evaluation of a number of Second Generation Mindfulness-Based Interventions (SG-MBIs). Although still secular, SG-MBIs are overtly spiritual in aspect and teach mindfulness within a practice infrastructure that integrates what would traditionally be deemed as prerequisites for effective spiritual and meditative development. The purpose of this study was to conduct the first qualitative investigation to analyse the experiences of employed participants receiving training in a SG-MBI. Ten participants were randomly selected from the intervention arm of a randomised controlled trial assessing the effects of meditation awareness training (MAT) on work-related wellbeing and job performance. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse participant experiences of MAT, and six themes emerged from the data-set: (1) changing attitudes towards work, (2) improved job performance, (3) letting go of self, (4) phenomena feed-back effect, (5) wellbeing at work and (6) taking responsibility for one’s spiritual growth. Findings have important implications for the development of authentic mindfulness training programs and suggest that, compared with FG-MBIs, the SG-MBI approach may be tapping into different metacognitive resources.
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Due to its potential to concurrently improve work-related wellbeing (WRW) and job performance, occupational stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in the applications of meditation. The present study conducted the first randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of meditation on outcomes relating to both WRW and job performance. Office-based middle-hierarchy managers (n=152) received an eight-week meditation intervention (Meditation Awareness Training; MAT) or an active control intervention. MAT participants demonstrated significant and sustainable improvements (with strong effect sizes) over control-group participants in levels of work-related stress, job satisfaction, psychological distress, and employer-rated job performance. There are a number of novel implications: (i) meditation can effectuate a perceptual shift in how employees experience their work and psychological environment and may thus constitute a cost-effective WRW intervention, (ii) meditation-based (i.e., present-moment-focussed) working styles may be more effective than goal-based (i.e., future-orientated) working styles, and (iii) meditation may reduce the separation made by employees between their own interests and those of the organizations they work for.
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Although empirical interest in meditation has flourished in recent years, few studies have addressed possible downsides of meditation practice, particularly in community populations. In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 male meditators in London, UK, recruited using principles of maximum variation sampling, and analysed using a modified constant comparison approach. Having originally set out simply to inquire about the impact of various meditation practices (including but not limited to mindfulness) on men’s wellbeing, we uncovered psychological challenges associated with its practice. While meditation was generally reported to be conducive to wellbeing, substantial difficulties accounted for approximately one quarter of the interview data. Our paper focuses specifically on these issues in order to alert health professionals to potential challenges associated with meditation. Four main problems of increasing severity were uncovered: Meditation was a difficult skill to learn and practise; participants encountered troubling thoughts and feelings which were hard to manage; meditation reportedly exacerbated mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety; and in a few cases, meditation was associated with psychotic episodes. Our paper raises important issues around safeguarding those who practise meditation, both within therapeutic settings and in the community.
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Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether a mindfulness program, created for the workplace, was both practical and efficacious in decreasing employee stress while enhancing resiliency and well-being. Methods: Participants (89) recruited from The Dow Chemical Company were selected and randomly assigned to an online mindfulness intervention (n = 44) or wait-list control (n = 45). Participants completed the Perceived Stress Scale, the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire, the Connor-Davidson Resiliency Scale, and the Shirom Vigor Scale at pre- and postintervention and 6-month follow-up. Results: The results indicated that the mindfulness intervention group had significant decreases in perceived stress as well as increased mindfulness, resiliency, and vigor. Conclusions: This online mindfulness intervention seems to be both practical and effective in decreasing employee stress, while improving resiliency, vigor, and work engagement, thereby enhancing overall employee well-being.
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Against a backdrop of increasing secularization, the number of Buddhists in Britain continues to rise (Office for National Statistics, 2012). However, few studies have explored the reasons people are drawn toward Buddhism, with none focusing on men specifically. Uniquely, we conducted in-depth narrative interviews with 30 male meditators in London, United Kingdom, to explore the appeal Buddhism held for them. Buddhism was portrayed as a nexus of ideas and practices that improved men’s lives. Analyzed through the prism of a multidimensional biopsychosocial model of wellbeing, Buddhism appeared to have the potential to promote wellbeing in biological terms (e.g., health behaviors), psychological terms (e.g., generating subjective wellbeing), and social terms (e.g., offering a supportive social network). From a gendered perspective, Buddhism offered men the opportunity to rework their masculine identity in ways that enhanced their wellbeing. This was a complex development, in which traditional masculine norms were upheld (e.g., Buddhism was constructed as a ‘rational’ framework of ideas/practices), yet also challenged (e.g., norms around alcohol abstinence). Our study offers new insights into the hazards and the attractions—particularly for men—of engaging with Buddhism
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Importance Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation. Objective To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health–related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations. Evidence Review We identified randomized clinical trials with active controls for placebo effects through November 2012 from MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, PsycArticles, Scopus, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Library, and hand searches. Two independent reviewers screened citations and extracted data. We graded the strength of evidence using 4 domains (risk of bias, precision, directness, and consistency) and determined the magnitude and direction of effect by calculating the relative difference between groups in change from baseline. When possible, we conducted meta-analyses using standardized mean differences to obtain aggregate estimates of effect size with 95% confidence intervals. Findings After reviewing 18 753 citations, we included 47 trials with 3515 participants. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety (effect size, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.12-0.64] at 8 weeks and 0.22 [0.02-0.43] at 3-6 months), depression (0.30 [0.00-0.59] at 8 weeks and 0.23 [0.05-0.42] at 3-6 months), and pain (0.33 [0.03- 0.62]) and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health–related quality of life. We found low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight. We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (ie, drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies). Conclusions and Relevance Clinicians should be aware that meditation programs can result in small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress. Thus, clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that a meditation program could have in addressing psychological stress. Stronger study designs are needed to determine the effects of meditation programs in improving the positive dimensions of mental health and stress-related behavior.
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Research into the clinical utility of Buddhist-derived interventions (BDIs) has increased greatly over the last decade. Although clinical interest has predominantly focused on mindfulness meditation, there also has been an increase in the scientific investigation of interventions that integrate other Buddhist principles such as compassion, loving kindness, and “non-self.” However, due to the rapidity at which Buddhism has been assimilated into the mental health setting, issues relating to the misapplication of Buddhist terms and practices have sometimes arisen. Indeed, hitherto, there has been no unified system for the effective clinical operationalization of Buddhist principles. Therefore, this paper aims to establish robust foundations for the ongoing clinical implementation of Buddhist principles by providing: (i) succinct and accurate interpretations of Buddhist terms and principles that have become embedded into the clinical practice literature, (ii) an overview of current directions in the clinical operationalization of BDIs, and (iii) an assessment of BDI clinical integration issues. It is concluded that BDIs may be effective treatments for a variety of psychopathologies including mood-spectrum disorders, substance-use disorders, and schizophrenia. However, further research and clinical evaluation is required to strengthen the evidence-base for existent interventions and for establishing new treatment applications. More important, there is a need for greater dialogue between Buddhist teachers and mental health clinicians and researchers to safeguard the ethical values, efficacy, and credibility of BDIs.
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We assessed the effectiveness of an adapted Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program on educator stress and well-being. The study included 36 high school educators who participated in either an eight-week adapted MBSR program or a wait-list control group. Results suggested that educators who participated in MBSR reported significant gains in self-regulation, self-compassion, and mindfulness-related skills (observation, non-judgment, non-reacting). Significant improvements in multiple dimensions of sleep quality were found as well. These findings provide promising evidence of the effectiveness of MBSR as a strategy to promote educator’s personal and professional well-being. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE for Teachers) is a mindfulness-based professional development program designed to reduce stress and improve teachers' performance and classroom learning environments. A randomized controlled trial examined program efficacy and acceptability among a sample of 50 teachers randomly assigned to CARE or waitlist control condition. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures at pre- and postintervention to assess the impact of the CARE program on general well-being, efficacy, burnout/time pressure, and mindfulness. Participants in the CARE group completed an evaluation of the program after completing the intervention. ANCOVAs were computed between the CARE group and control group for each outcome, and the pretest scores served as a covariate. Participation in the CARE program resulted in significant improvements in teacher well-being, efficacy, burnout/time-related stress, and mindfulness compared with controls. Evaluation data showed that teachers viewed CARE as a feasible, acceptable, and effective method for reducing stress and improving performance. Results suggest that the CARE program has promise to support teachers working in challenging settings and consequently improve classroom environments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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Mindfulness-based interventions are reported as being efficacious treatments for a variety of psychological and somatic conditions. However, concerns have arisen relating to how mindfulness is operationalized in mindfulness-based interventions and whether its 'spiritual essence' and full potential treatment efficacy have remained intact. This qualitative study used interpretative phenomenological analysis to examine participant experiences regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of a newly designed secularized intervention called meditation awareness training (MAT) that follows a more traditional Buddhist approach to meditation. Participants (with issues of stress and low mood) reported experiencing improvements in psychological well-being due to receiving MAT. The wider implications are discussed.
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Objective. To assess the effect of meditation on work stress, anxiety and mood in full-time workers. Methods. 178 adult workers participated in an 8-week, 3-arm randomized controlled trial comparing a “mental silence” approach to meditation (n = 59) to a “relaxation” active control (n = 56) and a wait-list control (n = 63). Participants were assessed before and after using Psychological Strain Questionnaire (PSQ), a subscale of the larger Occupational Stress Inventory (OSI), the State component of the State/Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults (STAI), and the depression-dejection (DD) subscale of the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Results. There was a significant improvement for the meditation group compared to both the relaxation control and the wait-list groups the PSQ (P = .026), and DD (P = .019). Conclusions. Mental silence-orientated meditation, in this case Sahaja Yoga meditation, is a safe and effective strategy for dealing with work stress and depressive feelings. The findings suggest that “thought reduction” or “mental silence” may have specific effects relevant to work stress and hence occupational health.
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The underlying changes in biological processes that are associated with reported changes in mental and physical health in response to meditation have not been systematically explored. We performed a randomized, controlled study on the effects on brain and immune function of a well-known and widely used 8-week clinical training program in mindfulness meditation applied in a work environment with healthy employees. We measured brain electrical activity before and immediately after, and then 4 months after an 8-week training program in mindfulness meditation. Twenty-five subjects were tested in the meditation group. A wait-list control group (N = 16) was tested at the same points in time as the meditators. At the end of the 8-week period, subjects in both groups were vaccinated with influenza vaccine. We report for the first time significant increases in left-sided anterior activation, a pattern previously associated with positive affect, in the meditators compared with the nonmeditators. We also found significant increases in antibody titers to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation compared with those in the wait-list control group. Finally, the magnitude of increase in left-sided activation predicted the magnitude of antibody titer rise to the vaccine. These findings demonstrate that a short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways and underscore the need for additional research.
Chapter
The Four Noble Truths are recorded as being the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment, and they represent the foundations for the entire collection of teachings that the Buddha subsequently expounded. Indeed, every aspect of Buddhist practice is somehow encompassed by this simple yet profound teaching, and no study or practice of any component of the Buddha’s teachings—including mindfulness—is complete without a thorough understanding of how it relates to the Four Noble Truths. This chapter employs deductive logical analysis (DLA) in order to examine the validity and logical soundness of the Four Noble Truths and then discusses their individual and collective implications for comprehending, practising, and working with mindfulness.
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Mindfulness has been defined as the process of paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental manner.In the early stages of mindfulness training, awareness of breathing is typically used as an attentional anchor to regulate ruminative thinking, but mindfulness encompasses much more than observing the breath. It derives from Buddhist practice and has been the subject of empirical investigation since the late 1970s, with over 700 scientific papers on mindfulness published in 2014.
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Due to its potential to concurrently improve work-related wellbeing (WRW) and job performance, occupational stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in the applications of meditation. The present study conducted the first randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of meditation on outcomes relating to both WRW and job performance. Office-based middle-hierarchy managers (n = 152) received an eight-week meditation intervention (Meditation Awareness Training; MAT) or an active control intervention. MAT participants demonstrated significant and sustainable improvements (with strong effect sizes) over control-group participants in levels of work-related stress, job satisfaction, psychological distress, and employer-rated job performance. There are a number of novel implications: (i) meditation can effectuate a perceptual shift in how employees experience their work and psychological environment and may thus constitute a cost-effective WRW intervention, (ii) meditation-based (i.e., present-moment-focussed) working styles may be more effective than goal-based (i.e., future-orientated) working styles, and (iii) meditation may reduce the separation made by employees between their own interests and those of the organizations they work for.
Article
Nichiren, like others regarded as the founders of the new Buddhist movements of the Kamakura period, takes as his starting point belief in the Final Dharma age (mappŌ), when human capacity is said to have greatly declined, and liberation to be extremely difficult to achieve. Yet while mappŌ thought entails a recognition of human limitations, Nichiren also maintained faith in the possibility of human enlightenment, on the basis of his understanding of the Tendai concept of three thousand realms in one thought-moment (ichinen sanzen), which sets forth the potential for buddhahood in ordinary worldlings. This classic essay, first published in 1968 and translated here from its reprint in 1997, analyzes how these two concepts of human capacity-one negating, the other affirming-are maintained in a dynamic tension at the foundation of Nichiren's thought. It also presents an illuminating comparison with the teachings of HŌnen, another of the new Buddhist founders who lived slightly before Nichiren and had addressed similar issues.
Article
The prevalence of workaholism in Western populations is approximately 10%,although estimates vary considerably according to how “workaholism” is defined. There is growing consensus that workaholism is a bona fide behavioral addiction that exists at the extreme end of the work-engagement continuum and causes similar negative consequences to other behavioral addictions such as salience, conflict, tolerance,withdrawal symptoms,and mood modification. Other more specific consequences include burnout, work compulsion,work–family conflict, impaired productivity, asociality, and psychological/somatic illness. Recent decades have witnessed a marked increase in research investigating the etiology, typology, symptoms, prevalence,and correlates of workaholism. However,despite increasing prevalence rates for workaholism, there is a paucity of workaholism treatment studies.Indeed, guidelines for the treatment of workaholism tend to be based on either theoretical proposals or anecdotal reports elicited during clinical practice.
Article
Although the concept of mindfulness has attracted scholarly attention across multiple disciplines, research on mindfulness in the field of management remains limited. In particular, little research in this field has examined the nature of mindfulness and whether it relates to task performance in organizational and occupational settings. Filling these gaps, the present article delineates mindfulness by (a) defining it as a state of consciousness in which attention is focused on present-moment phenomena occurring both externally and internally, (b) comparing it to a range of other attention-related concepts, and (c) developing theory concerning the factors that determine when mindfulness is beneficial versus costly from a task performance standpoint.
Article
We have developed a low dose Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBI-ld) that reduces the time committed to meetings and formal mindfulness practice, while conducting the sessions during the workday. This reduced the barriers commonly mentioned for non-participation in mindfulness programs. In a controlled randomized trial we studied university faculty and staff (n=186) who were found to have an elevated CRP level,>3.0mg/ml, and who either had, or were at risk for cardiovascular disease. This study was designed to evaluate if MBI-ld could produce a greater decrease in CRP, IL-6 and cortisol than an active control group receiving a lifestyle education program when measured at the end of the 2month interventions. We found that MBI-ld significantly enhanced mindfulness by 2-months and it was maintained for up to a year when compared to the education control. No significant changes were noted between interventions in cortisol, IL-6 levels or self-reported measures of perceived stress, depression and sleep quality at 2-months. Although not statistically significant (p=.08), the CRP level at 2-months was one mg/ml lower in the MBI-ld group than in the education control group, a change which may have clinical significance (Ridker et al., 2000; Wassel et al., 2010). A larger MBI-ld effect on CRP (as compared to control) occurred among participants who had a baseline BMI <30 (-2.67mg/ml) than for those with BMI >30 (-0.18mg/ml). We conclude that MBI-ld should be more fully investigated as a low-cost self-directed complementary strategy for decreasing inflammation, and it seems most promising for non-obese subjects.
Article
Background The use of physical restraints has generated immense controversy in the delivery of services to individuals with intellectual disabilities. The current zeitgeist is that effective positive approaches obviate the need for using physical restraints. In a multiple baseline design, we sought to assess how training staff members in mindfulness affected their use of physical restraints for aggressive and destructive behaviours of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Methods Twenty-three members of staff working in four group homes participated in a 12-week mindfulness-training programme. Objective data were collected on the number of incidents, staff observations of incidents, staff verbal redirections, restraints used, Stat medications administered, staff injuries and peer injuries. Data were collected during baseline, mindfulness training and mindfulness practice phases. Results As mindfulness training progressed, the use of restraints decreased, with almost no use being recorded by the end of the study. Any use of physical restraints was correlated with new admissions and on-call staff who had not received training in mindfulness. Stat medications administered also decreased and staff and peer injuries were close to zero levels during the latter stages of mindfulness practice. Conclusions Data from this initial study suggest that staff training in mindfulness is potentially beneficial to both staff and the individuals with intellectual disabilities, particularly in reducing the use of physical restraints and Stat medication for aggressive and destructive behaviours.
Article
Purpose – This study attempts to investigate: the effect of meditation experience on employees' self-directed learning (SDL) readiness and organizational innovative (OI) ability as well as organizational performance (OP); and the relationships among SDL, OI, and OP. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical study of 15 technological companies (n=412) in Taiwan is conducted, utilizing the collected survey data to test the relationships among the three dimensions. Findings – The results show that: the employees' meditation experience significantly and positively influenced employees' SDL readiness, companies' OI capability and OP; and the study found that SDL has a direct and significant impact on OI, and that OI has direct and significant influences on OP. Research limitations/implications – The generalization of the present study is constrained by: the existence of possible biases of the participants; the variations of length, type, and form of meditation demonstrated by the employees in these high tech companies; and the fact that local data collection in Taiwan may present different cultural characteristics which may be quite different from those in other areas or countries. Managerial implications are presented at the end of the work. Practical implications – The findings indicate that SDL can only impact organizational innovation through employees openness to a challenge, inquisitive nature, self-understanding, and acceptance of responsibility for learning. Such finding implies better OI capability under such conditions, thus organizations may encourage employees to take risks or accept new opportunities through various incentives, such as monetary rewards or public recognitions. More specifically, the present study discovers that while administration innovation is the most important element influencing an organization's financial performance, market innovation is the key component in an organization's market performance. Social implications – The present study discovers that meditation experience positively affects SDL readiness, and OI ability and performance. The finding implies spiritual practice improves individual capability (i.e. in learning), as well as organizational capability (i.e. in innovativeness), which consequently enhances the outcomes of organizations. Originality/value – Existing studies prove the benefits of meditation on both spiritual enlightenment and clinical psychology. Existing research documents that meditation practice helps relieve pain, improves physical health, reduces stress, and supports relaxation. No direct evidence shows the effect of meditation on SDL and OI, and only some evidence supporting the influence of meditation on OP. Nevertheless, the finding on the effect of the meditation experience in a work setting adds values to the current literature.
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