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Thread: Mindfulness?

  1. #1

    Default Mindfulness?

    What's your view of mindfulness? It seems to me to be a kind of a voguish idea right now, fashionable and therefore a lot of nonsense is written about it and for any genuine article there's bound to be hundreds of snake oil variants, so what's your idea? Is it just a vogue in thinking, training, publishing, money making or something more or perhaps the two are not mutually exclusive?
    It is a luxury to be understood - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities - Voltaire

    A kind thought is the hope of the world - Anon

  2. #2

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    I used to study mindfulness when I was reading about Buddhism in my teens.

    It's weird because now they talk about teaching mindfulness at my son's elementary school and we live in a pretty conservative, religious area.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
    I used to study mindfulness when I was reading about Buddhism in my teens.

    It's weird because now they talk about teaching mindfulness at my son's elementary school and we live in a pretty conservative, religious area.
    Do you think its the same thing though?

    I've read Erich Fromm writing about a long time ago, I mean before the rise of the hippies, and when a lot of the Asian philosophies or spirituality had a real novelty about it all, Suzuki had just begun to be big in US publishing and I'm not sure that this is the same thing that I'm hearing so much about in other contexts, all that said Fromm himself in his book of individual lifestyle changes recommendations (published after his death because he thought structural changes mattered so much more he with held it from being published) was already saying that there was a lot in the way of self-improv which he thought was snake oil and chicanery (I think there was something called the transtherapeutic movement or some sort of blending of spiritualities and therapies).
    It is a luxury to be understood - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities - Voltaire

    A kind thought is the hope of the world - Anon

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Do you think its the same thing though?

    I've read Erich Fromm writing about a long time ago, I mean before the rise of the hippies, and when a lot of the Asian philosophies or spirituality had a real novelty about it all, Suzuki had just begun to be big in US publishing and I'm not sure that this is the same thing that I'm hearing so much about in other contexts, all that said Fromm himself in his book of individual lifestyle changes recommendations (published after his death because he thought structural changes mattered so much more he with held it from being published) was already saying that there was a lot in the way of self-improv which he thought was snake oil and chicanery (I think there was something called the transtherapeutic movement or some sort of blending of spiritualities and therapies).
    I think the mindfulness they teach at his school is a very basic, watered down version.

    So I have a very introductory 101 understanding of Fromm and the human dilemma; where would you recommend I start if I wanted to dig deeper into his writings?

  5. #5
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I personally understand mindfulness to be akin what Jung had referred to as "bringing consciousness to light." I think that if we don't try to understand our emotions and the effect they have on our perceptions (and consequent behavior) then they sink below our consciousness and turn into unconscious impulses that we basically become puppets/slaves to. So, even though I personally tend to find Buddhist mindfulness teachers to be the most helpful for me, I don't think it requires any adherence to any religion.

    Not long ago, I remember seeing some article titled something along the lines of "how mindfulness can make you more successful" or "productive" or something. I remembered thinking it seemed odd, because actual mindfulness would be more about recognizing how copious amounts of success or productivity are tell-tales signs of a lack of mindfulness. (It wasn't merely the name of the article that seemed odd to me, it was the synopsis of the article and the publication it was printed in). I suppose I'd consider this to be an example "snake oil" offshoot.

    Or even just, because it's become such a buzzword, it's a quality that a lot of people try to identify with. But the tendency to desire it as a label leads to people wanting the fastest and most efficient means of 'achieving' it- and so (because there's a demand) there's going to be 'snake oil' variants for sale. Anything that promises any kind of 'efficient' short cut is almost certainly snake oil. Some teachers are better than others, to be sure, but there are no short cuts.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  6. #6
    Member Lead Guitar Wankery's Avatar
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    I work freelance and I see LOTS of people trying to hire web writers to churn out b.s. articles on many trendy subjects, mindfulness included, to drive traffic to their crappy blogs and websites. Many of these writers have no expertise on the topics they are writing about; lots of people are struggling to make a buck in the freelance/gig economy. That's where all the crap articles are coming from.

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