Mindfulness and Its Critics

The only thing dumber than “mindfulness” is this article about it:

But anything that offers success in our unjust society without trying to change it is not revolutionary – it just helps people cope. In fact, it could also be making things worse. Instead of encouraging radical action, mindfulness says the causes of suffering are disproportionately inside us, not in the political and economic frameworks that shape how we live.

I can just imagine the author, a professor of management at SF State, running around, engaging in radical revolutionary action to change our unjust society. He must be one of those Twitter warriors who believe they are changing the world by retweeting inanities.

Just one more quote so you can appreciate the pomposity:

Of course, reductions in stress and increases in personal happiness and wellbeing are much easier to sell than serious questions about injustice, inequity and environmental devastation. The latter involve a challenge to the social order, while the former play directly to mindfulness’s priorities – sharpening people’s focus, improving their performance at work and in exams, and even promising better sex lives.

I swear, the poor guy is convinced he’s “challenging the social order” with his “serious questions about inequity.” Whatever any of this means.

Mindfulness is totally a silly fad, that’s true. Just like the attempts to make oneself feel more important by using words “activism” and “radical” every three seconds. The fans of mindfulness are a lot less grandiose and self-righteous, though, so between this fellow and a mindfulness practitioner, I’d choose the latter to hang around.

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