Friday, 12 July 2019

The mindfulness conspiracy

quote [ Mindfulness practices do not permit critique or debate of what might be unjust, culturally toxic or environmentally destructive. Rather, the mindful imperative to “accept things as they are” while practising “nonjudgmental, present moment awareness” acts as a social anesthesia, preserving the status quo. ]

A long read for stating the obvious. See also The Faux Revolution of Mindfulness (thumb source) and Is mindfulness making us ill?
[SFW] [religion & spirituality] [+5 Underrated]
[by Paracetamol@1:03pmGMT]


Dienes said[1] @ 12:16pm GMT on 13th Jul [Score:5 Underrated]
That's not really what mindfulness and acceptance is, at least in the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approach.

Mindfulness is literally being aware of your own thoughts and feelings, actually noticing what's going on around you. You'd be shocked how many people don't pay attention to their own internal behaviors and sensations. When you are asked not to judge, it isn't saying "Pretend the wrongs in the world aren't wrongs" but rather withholding judgement of yourself for feeling feelings so you don't interrupt your own mindfulness with a tangent.

The whole point of mindfulness and acceptance isn't to tolerate the intolerable. The issue is people tend to shut down when they encounter toxic stimuli, or devote massive swaths of their lives to avoiding toxic stimuli, neither of which allow you to effectively DEAL WITH the toxic stimuli.

Acceptance is about accepting that a shitty situation will make you feel shitty, but that doesn't make you a shitty person. This allows you to stop fighting feeling shitty and start working towards your values of making the world a less shitty place. In other words, mindfulness and acceptance is about doing something despite the presence of shit. Which is exactly what one needs to do to buck the status quo.

steele said @ 2:03pm GMT on 13th Jul
What's being taught in the version of mindfulness this article is critiquing is this fucked up mental version of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. It's comes off like the brainchild of a guy who made a living giving real estate seminars that had a lightbulb after watching a documentary on meditation one afternoon.
thepublicone said @ 11:07pm GMT on 13th Jul [Score:1 Insightful]
Agreed- the one article mentions Jon Kabat-Zinn a lot; I have a lot of his older guided meditations, and most of it is quite benign- a lot of using various focus and breathing tools to calm your mind and stop your brain from cycling over anxiety loops and such- for example, concentrating on your breathing or an object in your hand (he used an almond) to slow your mind away from the idea that getting on a plane means it will fall out of the sky, and prevent you from ruminating on that fear.

Did Kabat-Zinn go goofy with the fame/money, is this just stupid bullshit, or have people just expanded mindfulness into idiocy? Because what these articles describe is like some sort of mutated franken-zombie of what I know mindfulness to be; kind of like selling "Paleo" chocolate cake: The two just do not compute.

I've used everything from guided mindfulness sessions to visualization to box-breathing, for everything from athletic preparation to dealing with everyday anxiety, and I have done it everywhere from a rock cliff to an airplane in heavy turbulence to inside a float tank, and while I derive great benefit, at no time have I ever thought "you know, this could be the thing that saves humanity" nor have I ever thought "This is a giant crate of bullshit" (which immediately differentiates it from the Paleo chocolate cake).

Point being; Has mindfulness gone off the rails, are these people just idiots taking things out of context who need to get their head out of their ass, or somewhere in between?
Paracetamol said[1] @ 5:56am GMT on 14th Jul [Score:1 Insightful]
Going through this again, these misunderstandings may be rooted in the word's two meanings as general awareness vs a meditation technique.

This makes it easier to further water down the meaning by using it as a catch-all self-regulation tip in a business environment. Which is done by the same people who love using words with a systemic sound but blurry definitions – which is how I usually encounter the word.

steele said[1] @ 6:57pm GMT on 14th Jul [Score:1 Interesting]
I mean, I'd really say that the main article is right on the money. The entire time I was reading it I was thinking about the chapter in Listen, Liberal where Frank discusses the industry of virtue; How feminism and foreign aide were being commodified into a form of neo-colonialism that ignores the workers while shaping a narrative of societal advancement.

Neoliberalism at it's core, from the very beginning, is about maintaining and protecting the concept of property and the private infrastructures that hold it.... That ideology permeates and invades everything it comes in contact with. I mean, one of the issues I have even with SE currently is that because narratives are important, much of the news articles we share and politics we discuss rarely stray outside the realm of a very confined ideological area. That shapes and limits the ideas we're capable of expressing in a socially acceptable manner. If you look at the narratives surrounding much of the spiritual and mental techniques closer to their source, they're very much diametrically opposed to the idea of property and materialism. And for good reason! The very core of many of these practices stem from an ultimate goal of Ego Death. Congruently, their narratives are largely about self-sacrifice as expressions of compassion, to better oneself in service to those in need. The material world is a place of suffering. (The etymological roots of israel and jihad are literally in struggling.) The goal of a practitioner is typically meant to be one who role plays as a savior for others and in doing so finds salvation in acceptance of the struggle.

We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known ...
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.

And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.”

― Joseph Campbell

Our society crushes that ideal of self-sacrifice, it tells us that in order to make the world a better place we have to make our own life better first. It dangles a virtuous goal while selling a path of isolation that will never reach it... You can't buy your way to spiritual wholeness with the temporary psychological fulfillment of material goods consumption; It's only going to come from the behavioral changes earned via practice.

Dienes said @ 12:58pm GMT on 15th Jul
I agree with the article - 'mindfulness' is the new hotness in self-help right now. People with little experience or understanding of what it actually is, how it works, how it integrates with other interventions, etc. are pumping out their over-simplified and misconstrued hot takes to make a quick buck. Its not the first time its happened in psychology/behavior science, and it won't be the last.
conception said @ 5:26pm GMT on 14th Jul
It's in the name. Mindfullness... be mindful of yourself, the world around you and your choices, rather than reactive. It doesn't mean be content.
JWWargo said @ 12:10am GMT on 13th Jul [Score:1 Interesting]
"In order to awaken, first of all one must realize that one is in a state of sleep. And in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must recognize and fully understand the nature of the forces which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which induces the hypnosis.
...One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man."

-George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
rndmnmbr said @ 5:35am GMT on 13th Jul [Score:1 Underrated]
As a proponent of mindfulness, it's an important step - to genuinely know your own self moment-to-moment, and to know why you are the way you currently are. But it's only one step in the path. You still have to take action to change who you are. Mindfulness alone is simply self-aware stagnation.
Paracetamol said @ 8:54am GMT on 13th Jul
One thing outlined in the illness article was that as soon as you're touching psychological issues these are way better handled by professionals who know about their shock value.
Cookie Monkster said @ 3:46pm GMT on 12th Jul
Mindfulness is a sometimes state.💁‍♂️
steele said @ 4:02pm GMT on 12th Jul
Completely unironically, that is an appropriate number of times to mention neoliberalism for the topic at hand.👍😁
LacheChance said @ 1:05am GMT on 13th Jul
*waits for someone to mention Sam Harris or his podcast*
snowfox said @ 4:46pm GMT on 15th Jul
I prefer strategic mindlessness, which is when I think about cartoons, songs, and jokes until I feel better. I am too aware of my surroundings and state. I want to go in the opposite direction.

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