Health

Too much sleep bad for brain, study says

Preliminary results from the world's largest sleep study have shown that people who sleep on average between seven to eight hours per night performed better cognitively than those who slept less – or more – than this ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Long-term benefits of mindfulness psychotherapy in diabetes

In the last issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic, a group of Dutch investigators headed by professor Paul Emmelkamp reports on the long-term outcome of a psychotherapy study in diabetes. Depressive symptoms are very common ...

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness (Pali: sati, Sanskrit: smṛti / स्मृति) in Buddhist meditation.; also translated as awareness) is a spiritual faculty (indriya) that is considered to be of great importance in the path to enlightenment according to the teaching of the Buddha. It is one of the seven factors of enlightenment. "Correct" or "right" mindfulness (Pali: sammā-sati, Sanskrit samyak-smṛti) is the seventh element of the noble eightfold path.

Enlightenment (bodhi) is a state of being in which greed, hatred and delusion (Pali: moha) have been overcome, abandoned and are absent from the mind. Mindfulness, which, among other things, is an attentive awareness of the reality of things (especially of the present moment) is an antidote to delusion and is considered as such a 'power' (Pali: bala). This faculty becomes a power in particular when it is coupled with clear comprehension of whatever is taking place.

The Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness (satipatthana) in one's day-to-day life maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one's bodily functions, sensations (feelings), objects of consciousness (thoughts and perceptions), and consciousness itself. The practice of mindfulness supports analysis resulting in the arising of wisdom (Pali: paññā, Sanskrit: prajñā). A key innovative teaching of the Buddha was that meditative stabilisation must be combined with liberating discernment.

The Satipatthana Sutta (Sanskrit: Smṛtyupasthāna Sūtra) is an early text dealing with mindfulness.

Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction. See also Mindfulness (psychology).

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