Mindset and Meditative Inquiry


  • Adrian M. Downey University of New Brunswick




Growth Mindset; Meditative Inquiry; Holistic Education; Jiddu Krishnamurti; Spirituality and Education


This paper discusses Carol Dweck’s work on growth and fixed mindset and offers a conceptual critique of both mindsets’ limitedness from a holistic perspective. Toward this critique, the author draws on Ashwani Kumar’s writing on meditative inquiry. Kumar’s writing is based on the premise that our external conflicts result from our fractured, internal psychological states. Whereas growth mindset posits that we should constantly be striving toward something, Kumar’s writing asserts that striving toward a goal will only result in more internal conflict. Growth, for Kumar, is only desirable in as much as it does not interfere with one’s self-understanding. Through holding Dweck’s work in conversation with Kumar’s, new insights into both perspectives emerge. This paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of meditative inquiry and growth mindset for teachers and students, ultimately encouraging both groups to ask serious questions and give themselves time to answer them.