Jacob spoke with Mandala associate editor Donna Lynn Brown.
Mandala: What led you to look at how Madhyamaka (Middle Way) philosophy1 intersects with mindfulness?
Lindsley: I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over the Madhyamaka view of self as empty of inherent existence, and working with its meditations that help show that the true self that we think exists really can’t be found. This has convinced me that, as Buddhism maintains, our wrong view of self creates suffering. But I also have a background in psychology, so I wanted to see how mindfulness—so important in psychology now—gets at that root cause of suffering. What I found was that mindfulness-based therapies do not deconstruct the sense of self in the same way as, say, Gelugpa-style meditations. So I wanted to explore how mindfulness therapies understand the self they posit, and transform our relationship with it, compared to how the Gelug teachings do that. more...