Mindfulness-based Practices as a Holistic Philosophy and Method


  • Robert Gause Laurentian University
  • Diana Coholic Laurentian University


While rooted in a holistic philosophy and history, mindfulness-based practices have been operationalized and adapted by many researchers/practitioners as a cognitive behavioral intervention, which has proven to be effective for a wide variety of people and problems. However, some researchers and practitioners express concerns with this direction and the separation of mindfulness from its holistic roots. This paper discusses some of these concerns and considers how holistic mindfulness-based methods can differ from mindfulness that is facilitated as a cognitive-behavioral intervention. Examples are discussed from our own experiences in facilitating and studying mindfulness. In general, a holistic approach to mindfulness can be flexible, creative, and meet people’s specific needs and goals. It also encourages spiritually-sensitive discourse, which for some people will be important as their spirituality can be intimately connected with the philosophy and practice of mindfulness.