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Mindfulness programs in education proceed with little awareness of the cultural, social, political, and developmental context in which they operate. This chapter first argues that social critique is a valuable practice in its own right and can be useful toward developing more socially just and inclusive education mindfulness programs. It is critical of how mindfulness is practiced in schools to the extent it shares qualities of McMindfulness and reinforces neoliberal ideologies, policies, and practices. Without this critical awareness of contexts programs tend to promote individualistic solutions to social problems and inequities and thereby serve to maintain the status quo of social injustice. This chapter critically employs concepts from Integral Meta-theory with an emphasis on cultural meanings, optimal human development, and universal social justice. It describes important realms of everyday life that are ignored by mindfulness education programs. It offers directions toward a critical integral contemplative education that promotes individual, interpersonal, and social development.


This chapter appears in Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context, and Social Engagement., edited by Purser, Ronald E., Forbes, David, Burke, Adam (Eds.) Springer.

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