View Full Version : Mindfulness as training in executive function.

Kunga Dorji
03-08-14, 06:58 PM
This blog was written primarily to clarify the erroneous definitions of mindfulness employed by some psychologists. However it makes a number of other valuable points.

It is critical to understand that the Buddha taught a method of mind training that has yet to be equalled.

His discourses are not religion in the ordinary sense of the word, nor were they ever intended to be taken on faith. They were always intended as tools for mind training that were meant to be trailled and tested by individuals who were interested in suffering less and in being able to rely upon themselves to reach that state of lesser suffering.

Some practitioners have found that packaging them in practices that look like religion is a skilful way to present those teachings in a compact and easily remembered way- but that still does not make them "religion".

It is essential to understand that well done mindfulness practice is the single most effective way to develop executive function.

That is something very useful for the ADHD individaul to understand.

Therefore, what is being discussed in the early Buddhist description of mindfulness is not a passive, sense-based, non-judgemental skill, but more accurately involves metacognition.

Metacognition engages in self-reflection and refers to a regulation of cognition or a level of thinking that involves active control over the processes of thinking that are especially used in learning, and it enhances problem solving ability.

Metacognitive regulation refers to processes that coordinate cognition. These include both bottom-up processes called cognitive monitoring (e.g., error detection, source monitoring in memory retrieval) and top-down processes called cognitive control (e.g., conflict resolution, error correction, inhibitory control, planning, resource allocation) (Nelson & Narens, 1990; Reder & Schunn, 1996).

Metacognition is closely related to executive function, which involves the ability to monitor and control the information processing necessary to produce voluntary action. Metacognition refers to any knowledge or cognitive process that monitors or controls cognition.
Metacognitive skills have been identified as: Planning the appropriate.

Right Mindfulness, understood as Metacognition, plays a critical role in successful “right” skills acquisition, “right” skills consolidation and application training, and the generalization and maintenance of the right factors of the Eightfold Path.

So to summarize, mindfulness as metacognition involves both executive management and strategic knowledge. Executive management processes involve planning, monitoring, evaluating, and revising one's own thinking processes and products, while strategic knowledge involves knowing what (factual or declarative knowledge), knowing when and why (conditional or contextual knowledge), and knowing how (procedural or methodological knowledge). “Both executive management and strategic knowledge metacognition are needed to self-regulate one's own thinking and learning”