Prof. Ph.D. Jay Garfield

Mindfulness, Morality and Making a Difference

Buddhist ethics is grounded in moral phenomenology. Ethical practice aims at the transformation of our experience of ourselves, of the world, and of our place therein.  This transformation in turn requires mindfulness, which hence plays a decisive role in moral development, moral awareness, and moral conduct. Mindfulness bridges the gap between good intentions and conduct and enables us to act consistently with our highest moral aspirations.


For this reason mindfulness also enables Engaged Buddhism, a Buddhist practice in which one assumes social and political responsibility informed by Buddhist ideals. Engaged Buddhism involves an extension of this mindfulness to encompass our relation to social, political and economic structures, and the development of a moral responsiveness to them.

Prof. Ph.D. Jay Garfield

is Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Smith College/ Northampton, at the University of Massachusetts, at Melbourne University, and he is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India.


He teaches and pursues research in the philosophy of mind, foundations of cognitive science, logic, philosophy of language, Buddhist philosophy, cross-cultural hermeneutics, theoretical and applied ethics and epistemology. He is author of numerous books on Western and Buddhist Philosophy, including Empty Words: Buddhist Philosophy and Cross-Cultural Interpretation (OUP 1996).