One possible starting point comes from is widely considered to be the oldest extant religion in the world, but it is hard to trace its history.
This is because it initially arose as a synthesis of many religious traditions around the historical region that now makes up India.
Perhaps the biggest influence on bringing mindfulness from the East to the West, at least recently, was Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Kabat-Zinn founded the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Oasis Institute for Mindfulness-Based Professional Education and Training.
In other words, Hinduism has no single founder and no concrete starting point.
In fact, the religious tradition was not even called Hinduism or considered a singular entity until British writers started calling Vedic traditions “” in the 1800s.These writings included rituals and the worship of the Gods common to modern-day Hinduism.About 1,500-2,500 years ago, additional texts were composed which are involved in present-day Hinduism, including texts introducing the concepts of dharma and temple worship.Today, Buddhism is most often thought of by non-practitioners in the terms of Tibetan Buddhism and the , an individual who is thought to be an enlightened teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.Mindfulness may be even more involved in Buddhism than it is in Hinduism, as mindfulness (Sati) is considered to be the first step towards enlightenment.This is where Kabat-Zinn developed his (MBSR) program, an eight-week program aimed at reducing stress.Kabat-Zinn learned about and studied mindfulness under several Buddhist teachers, including Thich Nhat Hanh (an influential and popular figure in Western mindfulness himself).In fact, some even consider the English word “mindfulness” to be a simple translation of the Buddhist concept of Sati.The fact that mindfulness is such a crucial aspect of Buddhism, combined with the fact that many Western influences in mindfulness studied under Buddhist teachers, shows that Western mindfulness is largely indebted to Buddhism.A concept that is very difficult to define or translate, but includes a way of life that is in harmony with the natural order of the universe.Despite the shared presence of dharma in both of these philosophies/religions, Buddhism is not a subsect of Hinduism because Buddhism does not concern itself with the sacred writings of the Veda (Hacker & Davis, Jr., 2006).