<i>Sakshi</i> and <i>Dhyana</i>: the origin of mindfulness-based therapies

Author: Swaran P Singh1
1 Warwick Medical School, Coventry, UK; University of Warwick, Coventry, UK; Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust, Coventry, UK.
Conference/Journal: BJPsych Bull
Date published: 2022 Jul 7
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1192/bjb.2022.39. , Word Count: 96

Mindfulness-based therapies (MBTs) have shown promising results in non-psychotic disorders. Unlike most other psychotherapy models, which are claimed to be Western in origin, MBTs are firmly based in Indian philosophy and traditions. This paper summarises the concepts of the observer self (sakshi) and attention (dhyana) that underlie the principles and practice of MBT, correcting some erroneous assumptions in the process. It is argued that better understanding of these concepts is beneficial not just for specialist psychotherapists, but for all clinicians interested in the craft of healing.

Keywords: Mindfulness; philosophy; psychotherapy; spirituality; transcultural psychiatry.

PMID: 35796539 DOI: 10.1192/bjb.2022.39