Much of the initial uptake of mindfulness as therapy which took place from the 1970s onwards was based on simplistic models of meditation and of its possibilities for therapeutic use. Proponents of mindfulness therapy were often poorly informed about the contexts in which meditation practices were originally developed and used, and about possible adverse affects and how to counter them.
By now we are beginning to gain a more realistic picture of what meditation techniques can do and how to use them more skilfully. The critical role of emotional cultivation of many kinds (lovingkindness, devotion, altruistic motivation) has become much more evident and salient. We are learning more about the range of different meditation techniques and their effects at psychological and physiological levels. We are also learning to make more sense of the ways in which Asian cultures themselves understood the purposes and mechanisms of mindbody techniques.
In this seminar, Professor Geoffrey Samuel will discuss these developments, and consider how this large and varied family of mindbody practices might play a critical role in a world coming to terms with the increasing sophistication of corporate tools of mind-control, dramatic changes in climate, and the possibility of future economic and social collapse.
This event will be facilitated by Dr Julieta Galante, Deputy Director of the Contemplative Studies Centre. There will be an opportunity for Q&A at the end.
This event is part of the Contemplative Studies Centre’s ‘Wise Words’ series, an interdisciplinary academic exchange aimed at advancing the field of contemplative science. Please note these seminars are delivered in academic language.
Professor Geoffrey Samuel - Honorary Associate, University of Sydney; Emeritus Professor, Cardiff University