From Mindfulness to Heartfulness

Transforming Self and Society with Compassion

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu (Author)

From Mindfulness to Heartfulness
From Mindfulness to Heartfulness
Transforming Self and Society with Compassion

Mindfulness has become a mainstay of modern life. Millions have found it to be a powerful tool for reducing stress, enhancing attention, and instilling tranquility—but Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu insists it can be so much more.

As mindfulness has moved from East to West, Murphy-Shigematsu believes something has been lost in translation. The utilitarian approach has widened its appeal but narrowed its potential. From years of practice, he's discovered mindfulness is not just a way to clear your head—it can transform you, make you more fully awake, alive, and aware of your connection to all beings. In Japanese, the character that best expresses mindfulness, 念, consists of two parts—the top part, 今, meaning “now,” and the bottom part, 心, meaning “heart.” It's that second part that Murphy-Shigematsu wants to restore.

Heartfulness consists of mindfulness, compassion, and responsibility. Its eight principles—beginner's mind, vulnerability, authenticity, connectedness, listening, acceptance, gratitude, and service—are ways of realizing the original intent and full possibilities of mindfulness practice. Underlying it all is Murphy-Shigematsu's strong belief that the deepest expression of an awakened mind is found in our relation to others. He uses stories from his own life as the son of an Irish immigrant father and a Japanese mother, a professor in Japan and America, a psychotherapist, a father, and a husband to encourage each of us to reflect on how these principles can be manifested in our daily lives.

There is too much mind in mindfulness today. It shouldn't just be about thinking and relaxing—Murphy-Shigematsu shows us how much more enlightening an experience it can be when we add caring and a concern for our fellow beings to the practice.

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Overview

From Mindfulness to Heartfulness
Transforming Self and Society with Compassion

Mindfulness has become a mainstay of modern life. Millions have found it to be a powerful tool for reducing stress, enhancing attention, and instilling tranquility—but Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu insists it can be so much more.

As mindfulness has moved from East to West, Murphy-Shigematsu believes something has been lost in translation. The utilitarian approach has widened its appeal but narrowed its potential. From years of practice, he's discovered mindfulness is not just a way to clear your head—it can transform you, make you more fully awake, alive, and aware of your connection to all beings. In Japanese, the character that best expresses mindfulness, 念, consists of two parts—the top part, 今, meaning “now,” and the bottom part, 心, meaning “heart.” It's that second part that Murphy-Shigematsu wants to restore.

Heartfulness consists of mindfulness, compassion, and responsibility. Its eight principles—beginner's mind, vulnerability, authenticity, connectedness, listening, acceptance, gratitude, and service—are ways of realizing the original intent and full possibilities of mindfulness practice. Underlying it all is Murphy-Shigematsu's strong belief that the deepest expression of an awakened mind is found in our relation to others. He uses stories from his own life as the son of an Irish immigrant father and a Japanese mother, a professor in Japan and America, a psychotherapist, a father, and a husband to encourage each of us to reflect on how these principles can be manifested in our daily lives.

There is too much mind in mindfulness today. It shouldn't just be about thinking and relaxing—Murphy-Shigematsu shows us how much more enlightening an experience it can be when we add caring and a concern for our fellow beings to the practice.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu is a psychologist with a doctorate from Harvard University, with training also in yoga, meditation, and Chinese medicine. He was a tenured professor in Tokyo from 1989-2005, and has been faculty at Stanford from 2002-2005 and 2008- present. His publishing record includes books in Japan and U.S. He is the author of two books, Multicultural Encounters (Teachers College Press) and When Half is Whole (Stanford University Press). He has also published edited volumes in English, numerous scholarly journal articles, as well as magazine, newspaper articles.

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