Understanding Selfhood to Elucidate the Phenomenology of Mindfulness

Joe Higgins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The health benefits of practising mindfulness are well documented, yet the phenomenological mechanisms of such practice remain under-theorised from both ontogenetic and social perspectives. By leveraging an enactive perspective on selfhood, these lacunae can be addressed: firstly, it is argued that proper understanding of mindfulness – and the health benefits that mindfulness practices seek – relies on recognising the socio-embodied nature of the self; consequently, occasions in which the therapeutic need for mindfulness are most pressing will be shown to be inextricably tied to socio-embodied fluctuations across different stages of life. What emerges is a phenomenological understanding of mindfulness as allowing one to dwell in the sensuous density of the present and, through this, remain connected to the social world of open possibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-566
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


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