What If Meditation Isn’t Good for You?

The scholars and teachers responsible for the ‘mindfulness revolution’ gather for a landmark conference—and disagree about everything.

Mindfulness’s moment is here. One million Americans are taking up mindfulness meditation each year. It’s in the conference rooms at Twitter, in schools and hospitals, and helping traumatized soldiers. And the scientific data on the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions has become so compelling that insurance companies are starting to cover them.

Article originally appeared in the Daily Beast

The backlash is here, too. Buddhist purists are dismayed by one-percenters using mindfulness to get even richer. Skeptics say that meditation’s benefits are being oversold and overhyped. And critics say that celebrity meditation-boosters like Arianna Huffington and David Lynch offer more flash than substance.

Read the full article via What If Meditation Isn’t Good for You? – The Daily Beast.

0 comments

  1. Scott@SkepticMeditations

    @David R.: I agree. While this article is not directly about morality, I suppose you could argue that it’s immoral or unethical to market meditation with misleading information (as is often done by the popular media). From the article, quotations that may question the morals of meditation “marketers”:

    “Mindfulness is now big business—a drop in the bucket compared to mainstream medicine, to be sure, but still hundreds of millions of annual dollars in government grants and significant investment by corporations and capitalists as well. And it’s no more effective than jogging?

    Some scholars, notably Willoughby Britton of Brown University (in whose department I am a visiting scholar), even argued at ISCS that meditation can be bad for you, especially if you dive into the advanced methods without a reliable teacher”.

    It’s immoral to intentionally deceive or mislead the public. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy for marketers of meditation (and popular media) to find followers, since most people are only too eager to buy these products without first doing their due dilengence.

  2. David R

    morality is a question of conscience and reason. It has nothing whatsoever to do with meditation.

  3. saijanai

    My response:

    David Lynch advocates Transcendental Meditation, which generally has quite different effects on the practitioner than mindfulness. Buddhists insist that mindfulness is NOT enough to bring someone to a truly moral place in life, while TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi insisted that TM, alternated with normal daily activity, WOULD help make people more moral and ethical in the context of the culture within they were living.

    Conflating mindfulness and TM is not useful and obscures the important differences between the two.

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