Mindful of the danger – problems and pitfalls of mindfulness meditation


Very, very useful information!
Just as with anything,
Too much of a good thing, or misapplication thereof, can be as “bad” as the “bad things”.
– Namaste’

The Blog of Baphomet

Mindfulness is all the rage at the moment. The technique of ‘just sitting’ (observing the breath, noticing that thoughts arise, and gently leading awareness back to an appreciation of the breath) is increasingly being used in a variety of settings. The work of medics like Jon Kabat-Zinn and clearly reproducible effects (for reducing physical pain, decreasing anxiety, alleviating depression and other challenges that people face) has made mindfulness a big hit. In my own spiritual practice mindfulness often features and I teach mindfulness in museums, to teachers, older people and others. I’ve got friends who regularly use it in therapeutic settings with people suffering from a variety of problems – and it works. Not only is it effective (in empirical terms) but the basic technique (outlined above) is very simple. Mindfulness does not rely on ‘mastery’ (at least not in the way it is typically presented in secular western settings). It’s…

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