Don’t believe the hype

wildmind meditation newsLinda Heuman, Tricycle: Neuroscientist Catherine Kerr is concerned about how mindfulness meditation research is being portrayed in the media.

Last May, an article about mindfulness on a popular mainstream news website finally spurred neuroscientist and meditation researcher Catherine Kerr to act. The article cited 20 benefits of meditation, from “reducing loneliness” to “increasing grey matter” to “helping sleep,” and painted a picture of meditation as a kind of golden elixir for modern life. Kerr posted the article on her Facebook page. “It is not like any of this is grossly inaccurate,” she wrote in her post. “It is just that the studies are too …

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • I don’t need science to tell me whether or not meditation is good for me. It’s important to not hold mindfulness up as some sort of magic cure but this annoyed me because if something helps people that’s its own proof. It doesn’t matter if science proves it to be beneficial or not. I guess the issue she is bringing up is more about how it’s presented to the world but I found her very negative about it which surely will discourage people, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    Reply
    • Right, but she makes the point that if people turn to meditation expecting magical results and it doesn’t live up to their expectations, then there will be a backlash: “meditation’s useless.” Which is inaccurate, of course, just like the hype is inaccurate, but it would be an understandable response and wouldn’t benefit anyone.

      However, I must say that I think she overstates her case!

      Reply
  • I totally agree with you on that…the way it’s presented could very well lead people to unhelpful expectations. I would hope the sensible person might retain a degree of skepticism and not do something because science says so but based on whether they feel it is something that benefits them and that they have a space for in their life. Also those expectations themselves should they come up are surely worthy of inquiry! Thanks :)

    Reply

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