Please, can we stop that “mindfulness” fashion thing? It might be my own fault, but I find myself amidst a cult-like mindfulness movement: lately almost everyone I meet seems to be kind of a mindfulness trainer/coach/consultant, investor with a mindfulness focus, or head of mindfulness organization. Talking with a soft voice, ringing portable small tiny bells, stopping conversations for 30 seconds every other minute for a short moment of silence meditation. A new common mindfulness way of being has emerged: that specific way of artificial behavior that looks deeply unauthentic to me. The “I am somehow out of this world” smile, this ongoing expression of kindness in everything they do evokes some deep suspicion. I will tell you why in a minute.
First of all there is really nothing wrong with “being mindful”! Paying attention, noticing what`s happening inside yourself, being aware of what`s going on around you and others, relating to you and the world in a clear and compassionate way, eating healthy… All of that will make the world a better place.
I realize that I am not the only one rolling eyes when someone at the table requests that we all hold hands and share what we are grateful for, while the soup gets cold.
So, why I am suspicious of that “Mindfulness” thing?
- The very mindful people I know, like Zen priests e.g. are very down to earth people. They speak with a normal voice, can laugh about themselves and favor a good glass of wine or beer every once in a while.
- Some of the so called mindful people I meet articulate their being mindful in a surprising way and form. While they would address you every other minute over some tension they are noticing, they often act very rude without even noticing: e.g. when I recently gave a small present to a mindfulness coach – my bloglet – he not only did leave it behind, but also put his tea-mug on it, spilling tea over it – Hm! Other good people who talked about their level of sensitivity and healing abilities, started to wash dishes loudly, while the group in the adjacent room was in the midst of an intense session.
- Mindfulness seems to be a big business and a working opportunity for all kind of people..don’t want to offend anyone here, it is an important job to be done, but it all starts getting a little cheesy, harming the underlying great concept.
- Some mindful people have very high expectations from everyone (and themselves), but unfortunately fail permanently to live up to it themselves. So maybe better not talk about it so much, and accept we all are human.
- I met the head of Google Mindfulness programs lately and he told us the following: people rush in for meditation and, the moment the bell rings again, run out of the room to their next meeting. What`s the point?
Maybe I start the next trend “mindful mindfulness” with the goal of being well-behaved and polite, which would be good enough to start, in most cases.