Meditation and the Buddhist way: Life-changing or simple self-indulgence?

Posted on August 21, 2010

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Mindfulness may be the new buzz word for paying attention, but it’s hard to argue that it’s an idea whose time has come.  If you’ve ever picked up a book by Pema Chodron or Thich Nhat Hanh, you’re familiar with the proposition that much of what we’ve come to value about our Western life may in fact be the source of our suffering.  It only takes a stroll through a crowded Toys-r-Us store, or five minutes of standing mesmerized in front of dozens of versions of toothpaste, for me to realize how disconnected we sometimes are from ourselves.  I watch my young girls spin out over hair ribbons and earrings, purses and necklaces, glitter mood-changing nail polish, gem-studded skull tennis shoes and before the merchandise is even paid for and out the door, hints of dissatisfaction settle vaguely across their faces.  It’s as if even they know, this isn’t it; this isn’t what it’s about.

In an interesting article on Radical Buddhism, Ethan Nichtern argues the notion that meditation and mindfulness are actually self-indulgent practices that harm rather than help the world.  Give it a read and decide for yourself.

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Posted in: Mindfullness