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Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/03/buddhism-meditation-anxiety-therapy/584308/

theatlantic.com

Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism
The ancient Eastern religion is helping Westerners with very modern mental-health problems. Dressed in flowing gold robes, the bald female meditation teacher told us to do nothing. We were to sit silently in our plastic chairs, close our eyes, and focus on our breath.

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Buddhism and its advantages

More and more people are turning today to Buddhism, in order to find back the quietness that everyday life makes them lose. 

Moreover, individuals claim that Buddhism enables them to deal with their suffering and find joy within.

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The miracle of the Buddhist practices

Whether it is about the 'secular' or the 'buffet' Buddhism, individuals admit embracing these practices as they prove more efficient both from an emotional and a financial point of view.se

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The concept of impermanence

The concept of impermanence

One of Buddhism's most popular teaching is the so-called 'impermanence. The term refers to the idea that everything has an end, no matter how difficult might seem to deal with at a certain point in time.

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The Zen View Of Morals

The Zen View Of Morals

Evil cannot be destroyed, any more than good can, because they are polar opposites of the same thing. Destruction and creation, chaos and order; opposite aspects of reality, in tension with one ano...

The Zen View Of Life

For Zen practitioners, life is transitory and insubstantial. There is no security and thinking otherwise is a waste of time. 

They also don’t believe in an afterlife. Reincarnation can be more accurately thought of as a constant rebirth, of death throughout life, and the continual coming and going of universal energy before and after death.

The Zen View Of The World

The word 'Zen' means emptiness or void. This is the basis of Zen — that all that exists is based on a dynamic emptiness. Which is also what quantum science says.

In this view, there is no difference between matter and energy. Look at anything closely enough and you will see that it is an event, not a thing. Furthermore, there is not a ‘multiplicity of events’. There is just one event, with multiple aspects, unfolding. 

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Mindfulness is not a magic panacea

The inventor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction proclaims that mindfulness may "be the only promise the species and the planet have for making it through the next couple of hundred years...

Mindfulness has been repackaged

Although mindfulness originated from Buddhism, it has been stripped from most of its teachings. 

What remains is nothing more than a self-help tool to help one get used to the very conditions that caused the problems. While is it a noble aim to reduce stress and anxiety, it is more important to acknowledge and address the underlying cause of the suffering.

The message of the mindfulness

The message of the mindfulness movement is that the underlying cause is in our mind - a "thinking disease" or a kind of attention deficit disorder. 

Rather than discussing how attention is monetized and manipulated by corporations, mindfulness advocates to view the crisis as an internal battle. The result is that we meekly retreat into the private sphere without critically engaging with the causes of suffering in the structures of power and economic systems of capitalist society.

Meditation fosters mindfulness

“[Meditation] is not about clearing the mind; it’s about focusing on one thing. When the mind wanders, the meditation isn’t a failure. Our brain is like a wayward puppy, out of cont...

Incorporate meditation in your life

  • Walking meditation. “We weren’t meant to sit in cubicles all day and when we disconnect from nature, we suffer a lot of stress.”
  • Red light meditation. While stopped at a red light, turn off your radio and focus on deep breaths.
  • Running/cycling meditation. If you run or bike, leave your headphones at home and focus on the experience.
  • Eating/drinking meditation. As you eat or drink, focus on the various flavors, textures, and sensations of the particular food or drink.
  • Waiting meditation. While in line, observe your breath or surroundings.
  • Task-related meditation. For example, washing your hands, folding laundry, taking a shower, washing dishes, or brushing your teeth can serve as mini-meditations if you focus on the experience and stop your mind from wandering.