More Mindfulness, Less Meditation

wildmind meditation newsTony Schwartz, New York Times: More Mindfulness, Less Meditation. Here’s the promise: Meditation – and mindfulness meditation, in particular – will reduce your cortisol level, blood pressure, social anxiety and depression. It will increase your immune response, resilience and focus and improve your relationships — including with yourself. It will also bolster your performance at work and provide inner peace. It may even cure psoriasis.

50 Cent meditates. So do Lena Dunham and Alanis Morissette. Steven P. Jobs meditated, and mindfulness as a practice is sweeping through Silicon Valley. A week from Saturday, 2,000 technology executives and other seekers will gather for a sold-out conference …

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I hope that the secular media starts to give more attention to metta and the compassion side of things. I think promoting mindfulness alone is a mistake. In my experience, “improving everything” happens more when I practice metta bhavana than mindfulness. It generates the positive, heart-opening feelings that cause joy and happiness. This leads to more positive action.

Of course, mindfulness is still necessary. Metta alone would be unbalanced and lead to increasing desirous attachment. You need the peace of mindfulness as well as the love of metta. But I think if everyone is taught just to do mindfulness, without an ethical framework and without an emphasis on compassion, they’re going to get very disappointed.


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