Roman Calendar

Monday, February 11, 2013

On Stoic Mindfulness (from "The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy")

     In The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Donald Robertson discusses how most Westerners now associate "mindfulness" with Eastern philosophies, but that in Stoicism the West has its own homegrown mindfulness philosophy. He calls "a 'here and now' (hic et nunc) philosophy that centres upon the concept of prosoche, 'attention to oneself', which can be translated as 'mindfulness' or 'self-awareness'." Robertson cites Epictetus as advising that "one should mind one's own thinking. Elsewhere, he says that one who is making good progress in Stoicism keeps watch continually over himself, his thoughts, and his judgments, as he would over his own deadliest enemy, 'and one lying in wait for him' (Echiridion, 48). Hence, 'you should turn all your attention to the care of your mind' (Echiridion, 41)."

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