Wisdom in Exile Radio #11: McMindfulness



Paul, Norin and Adrian are practicing Mindfulness this week and, as usual “They’re lovin’ it”. Is mindfulness all its cracked up to be? Wisdom in Exile Radio is a …

3 Comments

  1. I find myself at odds with the main thrust of this podcast. I think it was Shamar Rinpoche in Boundless Wisdom who said meditation is most important thing you can do – and is the tool to realisation. Ok yes it has to be supported by conduct/morals and developing 'the View' otherwise it doesn't function properly. It's not enough just to live a moral life – in fact some great mahasiddhas deliberately transgressed ethical conduct to demonstrate this. The argument against Mindfulness is exactly how powerful meditation can be and that serving it up in a watered down sugar coated version is not only unhelpful but potentially dangerous, particularly to people with psychosis. But I got the feeling the baby was being thrown out with the bathwater a little bit. Also I think the homelessness problem is about how large corporations have sucked wealth out the economy and created huge inequalities – mental health is a symptom of this and not the cause.

  2. Devoid of dharma teachings this might function rather like a dose of soma in Huxley's 'Brave New World'. Interesting to see McMindfulness promoted as a way of increasing the happiness and productivity of workers whilst they are simultaneously encouraged to view trade unions as old fashioned. Maybe when their terms and conditions are slashed the happy workers will be so 'mindful' that they will not notice or care.

  3. Thanks guys for this amazing talk. I think many of us who have taken Refuge (I'm Theravadin) have been reflecting on how to grapple with the challenges the McMindfulness movement poses to the Buddha-Dharma. I'm writing a few articles on this phenomenon, basing my analysis on the SBA (Secular Buddhist Association) website content, a US based movement. I've linked two articles below, check it out if you have a moment. I focus mainly on the sociological impacts of this quasi religious movement and unpacking the implications of their claims regarding various forms of heritage Buddhism(s).

    https://yaseenkerman.medium.com/secular-buddhism-and-the-superior-whiteness-of-being-9d1514f83ee0
    https://yaseenkerman.medium.com/the-secular-buddhist-movement-and-cultural-appropriation-buddhism-but-better-e3692b71550c

    Cheers!

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