Mindfulness: Worse than a Smug Middle-Class Trend

A shot across the bow! Fighting words!

From the Spectator (UK), “separating meditation from faith is a dubious business.” Here’s the conclusion of the article, which raises some good points:

This brings me to what really annoys me about being mindful, which is that as far as I can gather, it’s Mostly About Me. Sitting concentrating on your breathing is a good way to chill out and de-stress, but it’s not a particularly good end in itself. Radiating compassion is fine, but it doesn’t obviously translate into action. Where’s the bit about feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner, all the virtues that Christianity extols? Where in fact is your neighbour in this practice of self-obsession? Given a toss up between going to church, where you rub shoulders with the old, the lonely, the poor, and anyone who cares to pitch up, and a mindfulness session where, for about 25 quid a pop, you can mingle silently with congenial souls in flight from stress, I know which seems more good and human to me. Mindfulness may be the new religion — but it’s no substitute for the old one.

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kaleachapmanpsyd

Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

One thought on “Mindfulness: Worse than a Smug Middle-Class Trend”

  1. Actually, I take that back. The points aren’t that great — but they do draw attentions with some valid issues – namely, the problem of self-absorbption and the lack of diversity within a certain community of mindfulness practitioners.

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