Understanding mindfulness: Science
Two and a half millennia after the elaboration of mindfulness within Buddhism, it should be possible to bring a considerable array of investigative methods to bear on questions posed in the previous chapter. These include what mindfulness is and how it affects the mind and body. For instance, if mindfulness is a distinct state of consciousness, it should be relatively straightforward to describe its characteristics in the same neurophysiological terms that have permitted differentiation of the various states of bodily and mental arousal associated with the different stages of sleep. Psychological science should be able to assist in the identi®cation and measurement of experiences that characterise mindfulness, as well as clarifying what the consequences of the continued practice of mindfulness are likely to be.