Mindfulness, the bridge between eastern and western psychology?
The growth and application of mindfulness across the health sector is expanding exponentially, since 2014 mindfulness and its applications have found their way into the treatment of mental health, physical pain, right through to the corporate and business world, where mindfulness is applied to combat work related stress.
Mindfulness and the growing understanding incorporating consciousness, mind, actualising human potential and evolution. Mindfulness provides an opportunity to build bridges between Western and Eastern psychologies. Mindfulness will redefine Eastern “Religions” such as Buddhism, Sikhism and Hindism as the complete systems of health and well being which provide highly sophisticated psycho-spiritual psychologies designed to catalyse, maintain and develop an ever integrating-wholeness to the human experience of fragmentation and suffering.
All developed cultures and civilisations have developed their psychological models to enable the human experience to experience less suffering and more joy. Human experience, as experienced through the lens of our conditioned mental vision, “I”-am-ness is experienced as a separate self, that exists outside everything else; a fragmented sense of self, therefore not whole. This is attributed in Western psychology to the primal psychological wounding, that gives rise to us forgetting of our essential self.
Western psychologies have developed some sophisticated methods to address human suffering, their direction of focus has been on thoughts, desires, emotions and body, looking from the outside inwards.
Eastern psychologies especially, Buddhist and Gurmat have recognised the fragmented self, the haumai, or ego as the psycho-emotional source of our suffering, a inside looking out approach to human experience, its engagement and outputs. Gurmat as Eastern psychology recognises the cause of the fragmentation as a disconnection from the spiritual source of our being which is found within our-self. Gurmat and Buddhism provide practises that enable individuals recognise and know their psychological sense of self, to refine and actualise it, and finally to integrate and transcend it into wholeness, self-realisation and self-sovereignty. This process of self transformation has distinct states and stages of consciousness, and their impact of the sense of self can be both profound and dramatic and therefore require expertise guidance and continuous practical support to create a safe and secure inner and outer environment to enable this process of self development.
The key to bridging Western and Eastern psychologies is to transform mindfulness into “right or correct mindfulness, (samma sati or simrtii”). Mindfulness is like learning to walk, right-mindfulness is also to know the direction to walk, and this knowledge can only come from those who have had the privil