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 is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without passing judgment. Although it might help people cope by reducing stress and chronic anxiety, it does not offer any solutions to our unjust society.
At just after 6.15pm in a brightly lit conference room in Oxford, 22 grown men and women are lying on the floor trying hard to focus on their left knee. From across the room a lilting, calm voice has already invited the group to explore their feet and ankles with "gentle curiosity" and is heading up through the body.
Mindfulness is not a cure all. With all the hype around mindfulness it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether the information is quality-controlled and reliable. We need to be careful not to overstate it's usefulness.
Sufficient sleep heals our bodies and minds, but for many reasons sleep doesn’t always come easily. Mindfulness practices and habits can help us fall asleep and stay asleep. Consult our guide to find tips for meditation, movement, and mindfulness practices to ease into the best sleep ever.
Daily meditation: Having a daily meditation practice, be it mindfulness, a mental body scan or even chanting is crucial.
Away from the bed: If you are unable to sleep, try to change your place, as the bed has to be associated with sleep.
Sleep apps don’t work: Sleep apps are not to be relied on for sleeping, and one should cultivate our own body to be able to sleep without any aid like sleep apps or even sleeping pills.
Don’t try too hard: Sleeping is an effortless effort, and your mind and body has to be conducive for it to happen. Forced sleep is the primary mistake many insomniacs make. Sleep happens on it’s own if you allow it.
Three years ago, when I was studying for a Masters in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, mindfulness was very much in the air. The Department of Psychiatry had launched a large-scale study on the effects of mindfulness in collaboration with the university's counselling service.
Mindfulness does not demonstrate the truth of key Buddhist doctrines. The nonjudgmental aspects are at odds with Buddhist meditation, where people are supposed to actively evaluate and engage with their experiences.
The goals of mindfulness attempt to reduce suffering, but Buddhism aims to escape the miserable cycle of rebirth altogether.
Mindfulness has moved from therapy to commodification, and a corrupted version results from it.
Mindfulness is grounded in the Buddhist doctrine. It is a metaphysical denial of the self - there is no soul, spirit or any ongoing individual basis for identity. There is no 'self' or 'me', and consequently, no thoughts that are 'mine'.se
Western metaphysics holds that there is some entity to whom all these experiences are happening. We refer to this entity as 'I' or 'me'.