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Mindfulness, Accounting and Business Education
For more than a decade, researchers in accounting and business education have focused on the concept of mindfulness as a source of ideas that contribute to transforming the classroom experience and the quality of student learning. This research is founded on the work of social scientists studying the general application of mindfulness to teaching and learning. (Langer, 2000) The focus is primarily on cognitive applications of mindfulness, such as, looking closely, exploring possibilities and perspectives, and introducing ambiguity. However, the construct of Mindfulness originates in the millennia old teachings of Buddhism. This paper proposes Mindfulness solutions to learning derived from non-cognitive practices associated with the Buddhist tradition. These practices emphasize the interconnectedness of mind and body and are anchored in focusing on the body. Four powerful core practices and several related support practices are presented and discussed. These have been adapted for use in the teaching of accounting and business at the undergraduate and graduate level. A sample protocol of Mindfulness practices is proposed for in-class activities of accounting and business students, and activities outside the classroom, e.g., reading course material, doing homework, studying for tests, and participating in student group activities. Future Directions for empirical research on the efficacy of these practices in improving students technical knowledge and conceptual understanding are discussed.