By maintaining focus, attention, intention, and letting go of judging self and others (Mindfulness), will help an individual become aware of his or her own contributions to intercultural misunderstandings and audit one’s behavior (Burgoon, Berger & Waldren, 2000). By becoming ‘discriminating’ and perceiving the moment with clear awareness of the moment strong emotions will not be judged, thus helping in choosing behavior, instead of merely acting on habitualized/conditioned automatic behaviors.
Mindfulness practices help in behavior modification by changing the perceptions of environment, past discriminatory behavior, thus different, proactive interpersonal skills are developed.
Arguments against mindfulness is not against mindfulness itself, but rather the way in which we measure mindfulness in studies. Because we take out the Buddha (discrimination) from mindful techniques and base measures on the white male norm, testing on mindfulness is suggested to be skewed. By taking Buddha out of mindfulness often we miss the promotion of loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity that Buddha promoted through mindful techniques (Feleppa, 2009).
Be present; be aware; be non-judgmental of self and others through attention and intention---Mindfulness.
Discrimination mindful)murphy l
Discriminating to Discrimination<br />Linda Murphy<br />Advanced General Psychology<br />Scott Brandhorst<br />February 24, 2011<br />
Abstract<br />There is a strong positive correlation that by practicing mindful techniques, such as awareness, attention, intention, non-judgment of behaviors and feelings, and open mindedness will decrease discriminatory behaviors in individuals. Individuals who use these skills on a regular basis can condition the brain to form new schemas about other individuals, help increase empathy, and decrease stereotypical ideas and frames, which in turn influences habitualized behaviors. It is suggested that one of the tools of measure used in many studies of Mindfulness is invalid, as the ‘norm’ is based on an individualistic, white, Euro-male, Christian lens, which is discriminatory tool, thus skewing outcomes of current studies.<br />
Hypothesis: By practicing mindfulness techniques discriminatory behaviors will decrease.<br />
Arguments for Mindful Techniques<br /><ul><li>Individuals will become more open-minded
Individuals are more sensitive towards environmental factors
Techniques will help in creative problem solving
Techniques will increase interpersonal communication skills
Techniques will help shift from passive to active behaviors
Techniques will help individuals stay in present moment and help in letting go of past</li></ul>discriminating behaviors (Djikic, Langer, & Stapleton, 2008; Kabat-Zinn, 1994; Ritchhart & Perkins; 2000).<br />
The Brain and Mindfulness<br /><ul><li>Practicing Mindfulness increases neural synaptic links within the brain
Practicing mindfulness helps create new brain cells
Practicing mindfulness helps in the creation of new schemas
Practicing mindfulness helps individuals become aware of automatic, habitualized behaviors, thought processes and actions (Djikic, Langer, & Stapleton, 2008; Hollingsworth, 2008; Kabat-Zinn, 1994; Lillis & Hayes, 2007 Ritchhart & Perkins; 2000)</li></li></ul><li>Arguments Against Mindfulness<br /><ul><li>Testing and studies based on ‘normal behavior’ based on Euro-white, right handed male, Christian ideology, patriarchal society, thus outcomes skewed (Hickey, 2010; Walsh, 2010)
Mindfulness is Buddhist in tradition, yet in the West Buddhism was removed from mindfulness to make practices more acceptable in the medical and psychological field (Feleppa, 2009; Hickey, 2010)
Situations may arise in which a faster response than mindfulness allows (Burgoon & Waldren, 2000)
Many studies report that non-continued use of mindfulness practices will decrease chances for behavior modification and awareness </li></li></ul><li>The importance of Mindfulness to Science and Society <br />Through mindful awareness anxiety and fear dissolve away, as does the perceived need for aggression and oppression promoting true equanimity. As an individual learns to ‘discriminate’ internal thoughts and feelings through non-judgmental detachment interpersonal communication skills increase as an ability to choose behavior rather than act on automatic conditioned responses. This will help decrease discriminatory behaviors in intimate relationships, working relationships, politics, while embracing differences through peace and respect for self and others. <br />
Unanswered and additional Questions<br />There is a positive correlation that mindfulness does decrease discriminatory behaviors, however additional questions arise:<br /><ul><li>Does teaching mindful techniques at a younger age have a stronger impact on decreased discriminatory behavior?
Does mindfulness practices influence fight or flight responses?
Is there an influence on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system?
Would mindfulness change the way we define scientific measures?</li></li></ul><li>References<br />Burgoon, J., Berger, C., & Waldren, V. (2000). Mindfulness and interpersonal communication. Journal of Social Issues, 56(1), pp.105-127.<br />Demick, J. (2000). Toward a mindful psychological science: theory and application. Journal of Social Issues, 56(1), Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/619448649? accountid: doi: 10.11111/0022-4537.00156<br />Djikic, M., Langer, E., & Stapleton, S. (2008). Reducing Stereotyping Through Mindfulness: Effects on Automatic Stereotype-Activated Behaviors. Journal of Adult Development, 15(2), 106-111. doi:10.1007/s10804-008-9040-0<br />Fahlberg, L., & Fahlberg, L. (1997). Wellness re-examined: a cross-<br />cultural perspective. American Journal of Health Studies, 13(1), pp.8-9.<br />
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