Experiences of Mindful Education: Phenomenological Analysis of MBCT Exercises in a Graduate Class Context


  • Anton Sevilla-Liu Graduate School of Education, Kyushu University
  • Teruhiko Honda Kyushu University
  • Atsuko Mizokami Kurume Medical Association School of Nursing
  • Hiroaki Nakayama Kyushu University


MBCT, phenomenology, mindfulness, qualitative research


This paper uses phenomenological psychology both as a qualitative inquiry and a pedagogic tool in order to understand how graduate students experience the exercises of the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy program in a classroom setting. This understanding is necessary for both teachers and researchers of contemplative pedagogy to ensure that students are helped and not harmed by these practices, as well as to tailor teacher responses to the plurality of individual experience. Furthermore, it aids students in becoming aware of and articulating the changes they are undergoing through contemplative practices. This paper shares summaries of the autophenomenologies of three participants which are then interpreted by the research team. These idiographic descriptions are examined on four themes: 1) textures of attention, 2) “using” mindfulness to relax, 3) normative consciousness, and 4) pedagogical dangers and process. The analysis suggests that mindful education needs to take care in understanding the limits of our ability to express matters concerning the subtleties of how we pay attention, consider the complex interplay in non-clinical populations between “being mode” and “doing mode,” and how that connects to our interpretation of “non-judgment” in mindfulness.

Author Biographies

Anton Sevilla-Liu, Graduate School of Education, Kyushu University

Anton Sevilla-Liu is Associate Professor for Ethics of Education at the Graduate School of Education in Kyushu University. He conducts research on the philosophical, practical, and qualitative aspects of "education for self-awakening," which is a major thrust of the Kyoto School of Philosophy.

Teruhiko Honda, Kyushu University

Honda Teruhiko is a Master's student at Kyushu University.

Atsuko Mizokami, Kurume Medical Association School of Nursing

Mizokami Atsuko is an Adjunct Lecturer at Kurume Medical Association School of Nursing.

Hiroaki Nakayama, Kyushu University

Nakayama Hiroaki is a Doctoral student at Kyushu University.


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