Articles, Long Reads, Peer Reviewed
Leave a comment

Contemplative Praxis for Social-Ecological Transformation


The growing critical reception of mainstream mindfulness interventions often concerns itself with the social and ethical dimensions of mindfulness practices and their current inability to effectively address social and ecological problems. While Buddhists often advocate recontextualizing the practices in their original ethical frames, such proposals inadequately account for Buddhism’s historic biases and secular practitioners’ unwillingness to conform to Buddhist norms. Likewise, secular practitioners who argue that ethics implicitly informs mindfulness, but who forgo explicit ethical considerations, are often uncritical of the inner workings of power and injustice shaping mindfulness. This paper presents a dual critique of Buddhist and secular approaches to mindfulness, and attempts to outline dialectical and integral approaches that synthesize aspects of both. This dual critique lends itself to a post-secular synthesis of ethics and mindfulness, as irreducible aspects of each other informed by a non-binary understanding of religion and secularism. Finally, this synthesis is explored in light of several existing theoretical and practical examples of contemplative practices developed to support personal, social, and ecological transformation.

Keywords: Contemplative Studies, Mindfulness, Social Change, Sustainability, Ethics, Buddhism, Secularism


—Download full article below—

The in-depth, long-read articles that we curate require a significant amount of volunteer labor on the part of our editorial staff. We hope that the gift of the author and the editors is of value to you, and we invite you to offer a gift in return to support our continued curation of articles.

For long reads, we suggest a donation of $5.00. If you are inspired and able to offer more, we encourage you to do so. If you cannot offer anything at this time, then please enjoy this article as a gift.


Suggested Donation

Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $10

Download Article PDF: Contemplative Praxis for Social-Ecological Transformation


Illustration by Alicia Brown

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.