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Looking East for Mindfulness: A Glimpse of Practices and Research on Shaolin Martial Arts and Related Practices to Advance Sport Psychology

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Psych 2019, 1(1), 76-91; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych1010006
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 8 April 2019
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Abstract

Although mindfulness is currently receiving attention within sport psychology, there is a lack of discussion on the Eastern origins of mindfulness in the extant sport psychology literature. Several mind‒body practices linked to Chinese Chan and Shaolin martial arts are presented in this paper to illustrate their possible relevance to sport psychology. One takeaway message discussed in relation to the flow experience is that mindful performance of Shaolin martial arts is said to be integral to the psychological transformations associated with realisation of Chan (or “suchness,” satori, Enlightenment), supposedly a goal more likely to be pursued by mindfulness practitioners in the Eastern culture than in the West. Research on Dejian mind‒body intervention, dantian breathing and Shaolin internal martial arts such as Baduanjin and Yijinjing are briefly reviewed to examine the potential psychological benefits of such mind‒body practices. Advancement in sport psychology, particularly in relation to mindfulness-related topics, could benefit from a closer examination of Chan and Shaolin martial arts practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: flow; transcendental experiences; kung fu; yoga; China flow; transcendental experiences; kung fu; yoga; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kee, Y.H. Looking East for Mindfulness: A Glimpse of Practices and Research on Shaolin Martial Arts and Related Practices to Advance Sport Psychology. Psych 2019, 1, 76-91.

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