Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Friday, May 29, 2015

What's Ethics Got to Do with It?

The misguided debate about mindfulness and morality

By Richard K. Payne
Tricycle Blog
Originally posted May 14, 2015

As mindfuness has made greater inroads into public life—from hospitals, to schools, to the workplace—its growing distance from Buddhist thought and practice has become a hotly contested issue. Is mindfulness somehow deficient because it lacks Buddhist ethics, and should Buddhist ethics be replicated in mindfulness programs and workshops?

Psychologist Lynette Monteiro, founder of the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic, points out that the “seeming absence of the explicit teaching of ethics in the MBI [Mindfulness-based Intervention] curriculum” is the “thorniest” basis for criticism. Underlying the discussion of ethics in mindfulness, however, is the presumption that there exists an inherent relation between religion and morality. Yet this focus on morality—thought to define the practice as religious rather than secular, Buddhist rather than non-Buddhist—is based on Western presumptions about religion inherited from Christianity, not Buddhism.

Views on morality and mindfulness tend to fall into three categories: inherent, integral, and modular.

The entire blog post is here.