A catchphrase that’s been bugging me for while is ‘Mindfulness’ .
At first I thought what a wonderful thing that meditation techniques are being used and integrated into the daily lives of busy modern world people.
But no ,wait a minute , what we are getting is a sort of panacea for our non-thinking baby egos, a commercialised watered down version of practises that have been passed down from guru to student for centuries. I’m not in favour of any form of hierarchy, however I do respect knowledge that has been passed on by experienced practitioners, people that have investigated the truth of being human. This practice is valuable and worthy of true esteem but what we are being ‘sold’ is what others have labelled “Mc Mindfulness ” We have all seen the ads that tell of vast improvements in cognition, physical and mental health and how mindfulness meditation is being used in schools, prisons and the workplace etc but what is being presented is a course akin to selling a gym membership.
The bottom line is that most of the ‘courses’ I’ve seen, are being run by persons with little or no real experience or by wannabe gurus .The blind leading the blind, so to say. It shouldn’t really annoy me should it ? It’s just another aspect of the mind playing games, getting on my high horse of ‘my practice is better than yours’. It ends up looking like a pompous pissing contest. I should look on the positive that even if a few people get into a deeper practice and investigate more, then that’s a good move isn’t it?
I my my short lifetime I have seen a many religions/philosophies being latched onto and usurped for one reason or another but mainly for power or monetary gain. More recently it was ‘hip’ to be into the Kabbalah, before that it was Nichiren Buddhism and TM …etc . I’m not knocking the genuine practitioners of these paths but the commercialism that has used the philosophy for their own gain. However there is a counter argument that many people have benefited from self help books and these have been a trigger for deeper development. But,…there are BIG profits.
People like to follow celebrities and I am also guilty. As a teenager at art college in the early 7os I was exposed to a variety of philosophies, I read Ginsburg, Kerouac etc and having felt an affinity with David Bowie’s leaning towards Buddhism it seemed to validate my path and enquiry. It was helpful to know that there was an alternative to what I had assumed to be true. But do celebrities know where they are going any more than we do, aren’t they just as vulnerable as we are ?
I wonder how long it will be before this commercial adaption of meditation is left by the wayside and a next philosophy emerges.
Lets hope its a return to the true meaning of LOVE .