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Stop forcing your mindfulness on me

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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Stop forcing your mindfulness on me

Stop forcing your mindfulness on me

https://www.fastcompany.com/90326777/stop-forcing-your-mindfulness-on-me?partner=rss

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Key Ideas

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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? '

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Mindfulness meditation

It is based on Buddhist traditions and it's described as "the non-judgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment."

Sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed, focusing on yo...

How meditation works
It  works through a combination of several distinct mechanisms:
  • Attention regulation. Focused attention for an extended period of time.
  • Body awareness. Paying attention to surroundings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
  • Emotion regulation. Learning to observe your thoughts and accept them without reactive judgment while refraining from the habitual response.
  • Change in perspective on the self. 
Contemporary mindfulness

Research findings conclude that regular mindfulness meditation reduces stress and builds resilience. 

Yet, those who practice contemporary mindfulness find, instead of engaging in ca...

Mindfulness critics
  • 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 unsuited for self-understanding

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'.

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Mindfulness in major religions

Instructions for mindfulness meditations have been found in ancient texts of nearly every major religion, but it's Buddhism that exemplifies best mindfulness meditation: it...

Meditation and healthcare

Meditation has drifted from its religious connections and has been adopted by psychologists, healthcare professionals and other secular organizations as an effective way to deal with the stress and illnesses of the modern world.

3 core components of meditation:
  • Awareness: Focus on developing awareness. 
  • Non-Judgement: Witnessing an experience or sensation without attachment or criticism.
  • Peace: Though your feelings are valuable, mindfulness teaches you how to find serenity despite them.

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Mindful Communication

Bringing awareness, or mindfulness, to the way we communicate with others has both practical and profound applications.

We can train ourselves to:

  • recognize when the channel...
Label How You Feel

Each of us already has this natural communication system that feeds us information all the time. So when we close down and become defensive—for a few minutes, a few days, months or even a lifetime—we’re cutting ourselves off not only from others, but also from our natural ability to communicate. 

Mindful communication trains us to become aware of when we’ve stopped using our innate communication wisdom.

Defensive Reactions Zone

When we react to fear by shutting down the channel of communication, we’ve put up a defensive barrier that divides us from the world.

Signs you’re in the red light zone:

  • Our values shift to me-first.  We tell ourselves that relationships are not that important. 
  • Closed communication patterns are controlling and mistrustful. We see others as frozen objects that have importance only if they meet our needs.
  • We feel alone and emotionally hungry. Then we look to other people to rescue us from our aloneness. 
  • The sense of isolation that our defensive barrier triggers is subconsciously terrifying. If we are indeed isolated individuals, how do we get our supplies? How do we ward off enemies?
  • Suppressing these inner fears makes us even more rigid and out of touch. We tighten our muscles and thoughts; we harden our hearts.

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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.

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Frequency of breath

Even though we have been breathing for all our lives, we can still learn a lot about this most basic instinct.

Quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing may contribute to anxiety, depression, ...

Breathwork

Breathwork is not the same as mindfulness. Mindfulness involves passive observation of the breath, whereas breathwork requires you to actively change the way you breathe.

Breathwork includes ensuring you breath with your diaphragm, rather than the movement of your chest. It will fill your lungs with more air while also slowing the pace of your breathing.

Speed ramp to relaxation

Right breathing can have a profound effect on calming the mind quickly and can act as a speed ramp into the meditation practice by getting you to that place of no-thought.

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Meditative movement

Mindfulness is simply a state, a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience. But meditation is just the tool you use to reach that state.

If you are unable to sit sti...

Therapeutic effects of meditative movement
“Recent advances in affective neuroscience, or the neuroscience of emotion, make it clear that movement, sensation, feeling, imagery, and thought form a dynamic whole, and that health and well-being are best supported by addressing all of these aspects,” -- Peter Payne 

Mindfulness is no longer considered a “soft skill,” but an essential part of overall health care.

Meditation helps you navigate stress, both acute and chronic

Mindful breathing can interrupt our stress and fight-or-flight reactions—meditation may “quiet” the amygdala, the area of the brain that responds to stress.

Regular mindfulness practice improves mental focus

 When we multitask, our concentration levels deplete But the simple act of returning to the breath, over and over again, builds the “muscle” of attention, helping you both stay on task and recognize distractions. 

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Meditation
Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body.
Concentration meditation

Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point. 

In this form of meditation, you simply refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention each time you notice your mind wandering. Through this process, your ability to concentrate improves.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. 

Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns.

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