Correspondences with the categories of FA, OM, and NDA
The correspondences of the terms FA, OM, and NDA to meditative states in the Yoga SUtra and in Buddhist literature are approximate at best. Hindu and Buddhist teachings are vast, living traditions and the cited texts do not represent these traditions in their entirety. These traditions offer the accumulated wisdom of meditation masters over millennia and as such may offer valuable insights about the nature and development of awareness. The three broad categories of FA, OM, and NDA describe ways that attention is deployed, but both Hindu and Buddhist traditions describe additional gradations of awareness and aspects of the practice, such as the development of qualities such as self-restraint and detachment. Further, correspondences between these three categories and Buddhist and Hindu writings do not imply that the aim of Buddhist or Hindu practice corresponds to the aim of meditation in MMBI. Descriptions of the developmental trajectory of meditation in the traditional literatures may have little direct clinical relevance because the context, types, and degree of practice in MMBI may bear little resemblance to these root traditions. The correspondences do suggest that there is overlap among traditions; mindfulness may not occur exclusively in the course of Buddhist meditation, though of course some forms of Buddhist meditation may be particularly effective ways to learn mindfulness. One session of both sham and mindfulness meditation have been shown to produce increases in mindfulness relative to control (Johnson et al. 2013), lending credence to the idea that mindfulness is a natural human capacity that can be cultivated by religious and spiritual activities but develops outside of these contexts as well.
These brief considerations of some aspects of the Hindu and Buddhist origins of contemporary MM practice should reassure clinicians that although meditation traditions offer much insight about ways to cultivate qualities and atten- tional states conducive to well-being, the capacity for being present in the moment is a human one, cultivated by a variety of means, including periods of dedicated practice called meditation. Psychotherapeutic applications are a recent development in this millennia-old tradition and can make use of techniques that have withstood the test of time.