Collaborative Selflessness: Toward an Experiential Understanding of the Emergent "Responsive Self" in a Caregiving Context

Hilary Bradbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

This collaborative inquiry reports the impact of mindfulness meditation practice in a hospital's palliative care setting. Designed as action research, the collaborative program invited participants to investigate and deepen the benefits of the practice for themselves with others over the course of 12 weeks. Participants expressed surprise by how liberating it was to learn to notice and drop their self-centered thinking. Theorizing these findings by bringing perspectives from pragmatism and psychological perspectives on Buddhism, an experience-near understanding of the self also emerged. The article includes reflection on how the combination of action research and mindfulness is practical and useful to participants in the context of caregiving as it reports many benefits to participants. The article ends with a definition of self as "encompassing all that which can be responded to," which also contributes a practical and useful direction for reconceptualizing the self as a more collaborative self.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-79
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Keywords

  • Buddhism
  • action research
  • health care
  • meditation
  • mindfulness meditation
  • psychoanalysis
  • selfless subjectivity
  • theory of self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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