The Integrated Heart of Cultural and Mindfulness Meditation Practice in Existential Phenomenology and Humanistic Psychotherapy

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Abstract

At this time, it does not appear that existential phenomenology and humanistic psychology (PHP) have formed inclusive, process-oriented frameworks that reference the sociocultural and contextual significations embedded in the flow of everyday human experience. And yet apart from the welcome variety of psychotherapy approaches comprising PHP, the founding existential phenomenological and humanistic thinkers had already addressed cultural issues in their writings. In addition, these same founding thinkers had already developed mindfulness meditation perspectives well ahead of the mindfulness-based cognitive–behavioral therapy third wave. This article considers the link between PHP’s emphasis on attuned mindfulness and meditative sociocultural awareness as part of an emerging mindful and multicultural humanistic-existential psychotherapy (MMHEP) approach. MMHEP fluidly supports both mindfulness and meditative attunement to clients’ culture-near or context-near experiences as part of an experience-near attentiveness to the groundless ground of experience. By reuniting the landscape of “inward” possibilities for bare and present moment mindfulness with the meditative awareness of “outer” sociocultural realms, a client may integratively connect with a greater sense of wholeness as a sociocultural-being-in-the-world.

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