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date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Mental health, once defined in terms of absence of illness, has gradually become understood in a more holistic way, which includes the positive qualities that help people flourish. This evolving definition of mental health has led to an exploration of other traditions and practices, including mindfulness meditation, which for thousands of years have been devoted to developing an expanded vision of human potential. One result was the introduction of the practice of mindfulness into Western scientific study. However, the original intentions of mindfulness meditation, to catalyze our potential for healing and development, have been largely ignored by the scientific community. Yet a small number of researchers and theorists have explored and continue to explore the positive effects of mindfulness practice. The chapter focuses on this pioneering work.

Keywords: mindfulness, Buddhism, flourishing, intention, meditation, positive psychology

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