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Mindfulness is not a panacea

Mindfulness is not a panacea

As the Buddhist meditation practice has morphed into a billion-dollar industry, it’s become the go-to solution for everything from depression to weight gain. 

But while mindfulness is very effective for some, it does absolutely nothing for others, and pushing it on them won’t change that.

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Modern Mindfulness

Modern Mindfulness

Mindfulness as a practice today is loosely based on the Buddhist concept of Sati, as described in the Buddhist text the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. But there isn’t a single word in the text that translates to “now” or “present,” which is central to its modern application.

What has remained consistent is the use of meditation in pursuit of greater self-awareness, coupled with a rejection of the egocentric mode of existence. 

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Harms of Mindfulness

The lack of empirical studies on how mindfulness is practiced may lead consumers to be harmed, mislead, or disappointed in the lack of results.

For example, the idea that you should just reject your whole core and all your impulses, may be seen as a formula for depression and anxiety.

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Viable Alternatives to Mindfulness

Viable Alternatives to Mindfulness

There are a lot of other activities that offer the same temporary escape, without attempting to establish a more permanent detachment from the ego

Exercising, listening to music, playing sports, practicing art, or engaging in any activity that helps temporarily shut out the rest of the world can provide the same sense of relief from stress.

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Meditation for problem solving

Meditating can provide a healthy escape, as long as it is focussed on enabling your ability to solve problems, not your ability to ignore them.

Mindfulness is good for learning the skill of putting on the brakes for a thought loop and noticing the thought loops you get into a lot - very valuable, but that’s only the first step. The next step is, ‘how do I have a different thought? '

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