Mindfulness and Quasi-Religious Meaning Systems: An Empirical Exploration within the Context of Ecological Sustainability and Deep Ecology
The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Format: Journal Article
Sources ID: 21061
Zotero Collections: Cultural Belief Contexts
Contextualizing the back-to-the-land experience with mindfulness, a variant of meditative phenomena, within deep ecology's contention that humankind requires a fundamental shift in consciousness in order to insure ecological sustainability, this study compares and contrasts those variables that explain variance in mindfulness, ope rationalized as a quasi-religious indicator, with those that explain variance in church attendance, a measure of formal religious behavior. Drawing on a national sample for a mailed questionnaire survey of back-to-the-landers, the study found that the predictor variables for mindfulness share little overlap with those that explain variance for church attendance. The exception is spiritual mindedness, itself a quasi-religious measure, which has a statistically significant relationship with both mindfulness and church attendance. The data suggest, then, that the religious and the quasi-religious are relatively independent spheres of human behavior and sentiment. It would appear, consequently, at least in terms of the back-to-the-land sample and the assumptions of deep ecology, that the adherents of organized religion are not as likely to be disposed towards ecologically sustainable frames of mind as those who center their spirituality on quasi-religious practices such as mindfulness.