The article linked to below raises serious issues with mindfulness meditation. Many in the modern mindfulness movement do not even know these issues exist. There’s nothing that surprises us in the article. These potential issues is why we have made sure that when we run workshops, we have the skills to deal with these deeper issues if they do come up in somebody. This is why we brought in the Havening technology.
Havening is a modern therapy designed to help people quickly deal with and move past any dark deep issues.
A brief history lesson. Mindfulness has deliberately extracted very specific techniques from a much larger collection of principles. Much of the modern research I read is focused on how little needs to be done to help people develop their individual mindfulness practices. This though is not how mindfulness has been taught for thousands of years. The traditional approach is a long lasting relationship between the teacher and student, and this dark side of meditation is one of the many reasons for this. The relationship between the teacher and student allows the teacher to more ably guide the student through the process of moving beyond whatever is coming up.
Within the cultural context of Buddhism mindfulness was not an end in itself it was a tool to use for personal transformation. Part of that transformation was looking in at our minds and ourselves finding these deep dark places that we all have, and through mindfulness and meditation transforming the darkness. Mindfulness was seen as part of the path to being happier rather than helping somebody who is deeply unhappy feel normal.
The modern mindfulness movement tries to present itself as you just need to turn up on a short workshop then all will be wonderful. Occasionally it certainly is. Occasionally it’s definitely not.
The true power of mindfulness is its ability to help us transform, more than just stepping out of uncomfortable thoughts it’s about coming to terms with the things that are holding our lives back.
What are your thoughts? Do you have support for your mindfulness meditation practice?
The article below is written by Lisa L. Kirchner. She is the author of Hello American Lady Creature: What I Learned as a Woman in Qatar.
After my husband ended our marriage over the telephone, I signed up for a 10-day silent meditation retreat. I’d been told that practicing this type of meditation, called vipassana, would result in limitless love, compassion, and goodwill. I wanted those things so desperately, I was willing to lie to get in.