Is Mindfulness a Religion in Disguise?
In their review of Lisa Dale Miller’s Effortless Mindfulness: Genuine Mental Health Through Awakened Presence, Melvin Miller and Melissa Sivvy point to a possible ethical problem in the surging mindfulness movement:
Can we offer a psychotherapeutic technique with religious underpinnings without running into ethical complications? If Buddhism is a religion (one of the five major religions of the world) and mindfulness, as declared by Miller, is a Buddhist psychology, then might it be said that psychotherapists who promote the use of mindfulness with their patients are offering a cure through the adoption of a religion and/or religious practices? (section "The Conundrum," para. 1)
Do you believe this is an ethical problem? Should we continue to delve into Buddhist philosophy as an underpinning of mindfulness, or does that run the risk of endorsing a religious approach to the solution of mental health issues?
By Melvin E. Miller and Melissa Sivvy
PsycCRITIQUES, 2014 Vol 59(47)