Mindfulness is not a philosophy in itself. However, there are a number of philosophical ideas and principles that can be said to underlie the practice of mindfulness in its secular and non-sectarian form, and some of those ideas and principles are of quite ancient provenance.
The ancient Greeks produced some great thinkers. Although notably disinclined to theology, the Greeks made great philosophers. (Both theology and philosophy attempt to “explain” things, but philosophy, at its best, does so by rejecting unobservable agencies as the cause of observable things. That is the greatness of philosophy, especially Greek philosophy.)
Let’s go back to the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. We begin with some of the more important Presocratic philosophers. First, Thales (c624-c546 BCE).
Thales (pictured below) can be called the founder of philosophy. He was “doing logic” – for logic is about things, and the relations between things, not words or ideas – some 150 years before Socrates.
Recommended Reading: John Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy, 3rd ed (A & C Black, 1920); John Anderson, Lectures on Greek Philosophy 1928 (Sydney University Press, 2008).
MINDFULNESS, PROFESSOR JOHN ANDERSON AND THE FACTICITY OF THINGS
EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHERS AND MINDFULNESS [PART 2]
EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHERS AND MINDFULNESS [PART 3]
EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHERS AND MINDFULNESS [PART 4]