Friday, December 13, 2013

Form, Function, Nature

     "A case might be made that mindfulness is not a quasi-religious phenomenon; rather, it should be considered a religious experience. Mindfulness is one of the directives from Buddhism's Eightfold Path that is purported to lead the earnest seeker to enlightenment. But, while Buddhism, as one of the world's major religious traditions, does possess the elements of formal religion (monasteries, institutes, etc), its tenets, particularly in their translations to Western settings and sensibilities, have been selectively appropriated by a wide cross-section of groups and individuals, resulting in a non-formal spirituality that comfortably fits within the definitional requirements of quasi-religion. In reference to the adaptive nature of Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism, it has been said that 'like water it takes the form of the vessel that contains it without any change in its nature.'"

       Brinkerhoff MB, Jacob JC. Mindfulness and quasi-religious meaning systems: An empirical exploration within the context of ecological sustainability and deep ecology. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 1999; 38(4): 524-42.

Winter Walk by Anna Syperek

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