This piece articulates quite well the ways in which I feel quite uncomfortable in the way meditation is being pushed. Meditation has obviously been a great boon to my life, but I worry that when pushed outside of an ethical and contemplative tradition to work within it ultimately becomes pretty vacuous and perhaps socially dentrimental in some ways. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
dzogchungpa wrote:Jikan wrote:Overall I've come to the conclusion that mindfulness' popularity now has everything to do with our historical moment: resources are scarce, expectations are lowering, tensions are rising, it's harder to find work and hence you have to hold onto whatever crappy job you have... which means you need tactics for mitigating this new thing we call "stress."
If Thanissaro Bhikkhu is to be believed, stress has always been central to Buddhism:
bob wrote:Jikan wrote:(Note that the category of "stress" entered public discourse at about the same time mindfulness meditation became a secularized practice in the mid-1970s. the solution emerged coincidentally with the problem.)
Actually, back in 1951 Alan Watts published The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety -- a very influential and seminal work -- in which he recommended mindfulness-type methods, especially the practice of being present, as an antidote to the widespread perceived stressfulness of the times. Indeed, many writers characterized the dawn of the atomic age as a time of increasingly pervasive stressfulness, and a number of artistic productions and sociological papers took "The Age of Anxiety" as their title and theme.
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