Is Mindfulness the same as Contemplative?

March 17, 2017

An important question for the contemporary mindfulness movement relates to what are the ultimate aims or fruits of the practice. Is the ultimate goal for being more mindful a new version of self-help? Is it mainly about well-being? Is it primarily focused on self-improvement or is it about self-transformation? These are big questions. For instance, when soldiers use mindfulness practices to become better soldiers, does it also awaken the heart and open them to a deeper sense of compassion and conscience, making it more difficult to carry out acts of violence? The answer to questions like these may offer some distinctions between some modern day mindfulness approaches and contemplative practices. (JG)