Mindfulness within Tibetan Buddhism is equated with the notion of “remembrance,” and distraction as its opposite is equated with “forgetfulness.” Psychologically, it can be said that suffering arises because the tendency to “remember the things we should forget and forget the things we should remember” has become habituated. Within psychotherapy, mindfulness can be utilized from this perspective to help orient a person to healthy and helpful “remembrances” targeted to their specific circumstances. Clinical examples
will be provided demonstrating that when mindfulness as “remembrance” is engaged this way, people feel both encouraged and capable to work with difficult circumstances and experiences. Shifting the focus from the formal practice setting to mindfulness as a cognitive function in the service of “states of mind,” this paper contributes to current discussions concerned with the definition of mindfulness, including reference to the Buddhist doctrinal context, and aims to add to contemporary understandings of “psychological health.”

Kathleen Gregory

School of Public Health, La Trobe University

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