Recovering the phenomenological and intersubjective nature of mindfulness through the enactive approach

David Martínez-Pernía, Ignacio Cea, Andrés Kaltwasser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The introduction of mindfulness in the West was carried out through theories and research methods based on the effects that mindfulness practices produce in the brain (information processing and neurobiological activity). Nevertheless, these approaches elude any reference to the core feature of mindfulness, that is, its subjective and intersubjective conscious nature. With the aim of providing a viable scientific proposal to fill this gap, we present the enactive approach as a naturally well-suited explanatory framework to study mindfulness in its full experiential richness, both in its physical and phenomenological attributes. This chapter is organized as follows. First, we argue that the scientific approach to mindfulness has not explained its phenomenological nature, and consider how mainstream cognitive science understands attention and awareness in non-experiential functional terms. In the following section, we dwell with more detail on the meaning and nature of mindfulness and argue for its essentially phenomenological nature. Furthermore, we contend that it comprises not only a subjective dimension but also a relational intersubjective domain. Finally, we present the enactive approach and the neurophenomenological method as a scientific framework to investigate mindfulness as an experiential relational phenomenon constituted by both physical and phenomenological attributes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelational Mindfulness
Subtitle of host publicationFundamentals and Applications
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030577339
ISBN (Print)9783030577322
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Awareness
  • Consciousness
  • Enactive approach
  • Information processing
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Neurophenomenology
  • Phenomenology


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