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American DharmaBuddhism Beyond Modernity$
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Ann Gleig

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215809

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215809.001.0001

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From the Mindfulness Revolution to the Mindfulness Wars

From the Mindfulness Revolution to the Mindfulness Wars

(p.50) Two From the Mindfulness Revolution to the Mindfulness Wars
American Dharma

Ann Gleig

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the ambivalent relationship between American Buddhist convert communities and the mindfulness movement, and tracks some of the major patterns around mindfulness that have emerged from within those communities. It argues that the mindfulness movement should be located in the lineage of scientific rationalism, one of the three main discourses of modern Buddhism, and is clearly traceable from U Ba Khin's modernist reframing of mindfulness as a nonsectarian practice to Kabat-Zinn's scientific universal iteration. Indeed, Buddhist scholars such as McMahan, Wilson, Sharf, and Braun are united in seeing secular mindfulness as an extension and expression of Buddhist modernism. Buddhist critiques of mindfulness, however, show considerable opposition to core modernist components: universalism, individualism, an emphasis on the experiential, and the scientific-rational lineage.

Keywords:   convert communities, mindfulness movement, Buddhism, North American Buddhists, scientific rationalism, modernism

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