Mindfulness and Self-Care: Why Should I Care?

A guest post by Edwin Ng with Ron PurserEditor's note: this is the second in a two-part series by Edwin Ng and Ron Purser, part one can be found at the Huffington Post here.Part One considered the current hype surrounding workplace mindfulness against the dubious history of management science. Part Two here considers the use of critical mindfulness in experiments with ethical self-care.Though we are skeptical about celebratory claims, we actually do hope that mindfulness might bec … [Read more...]

Study shows most Americans shouldn’t meditate: repress awful life events instead

Lead author Willow B. England of Orange University in upstate New York describes why meditation has become an increasing malice to the American public. Her scientific research conflicts with the increasingly incoherent ramblings of French monk Matthieu Ricard, who says: "Everyone would be helped by meditating for half-an-hour a day. Meditation is a very vague term and there's a lot of cliché - like emptying your mind and relaxing and all that stuff. But it's really a means to cultivate or be f … [Read more...]

Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education

For the next three days I will be in Boulder CO at the Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education conference hosted by Naropa University. Come say hello if you see me.Tonight we had the opening panel discussion, where a number of the questions facing us over the next few days were raised:What should education be, and how does contemplative thought/study fit in? How can contemplative educators engage in decisions being made in Higher Education? What do we/they have to offer? Ho … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Health: Illuminating the Spectrum of Therapies

A guest post by Pierce Salguero About two months ago, we began to notice a new presence on the streets of Philadelphia’s Chinatown. A cadre of volunteers in red and gold jackets was hitting the pavement, handing out fliers in English and Chinese to announce the arrival of a new organization called Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door. Their glossy color fliers announce a “practical Buddhist approach to alleviating suffering and making life better.” Through the “effective and systematic” practices of sutra … [Read more...]

Meditation Olympics – the winner might surprise you

Capitalizing on the ongoing surge in mindfulness popularity, comedian, actor, and motivational speaker Kyle Cease has produced a witty look into meditation in the contemporary world. Borrowing the last name of my favorite figure skater, Kyle co-comments on an Olympics-styled competition between three meditators:An average Joe, just starting out (rather strangely said to be from Bangladesh) A super-metaphysical gadget-laiden hippyesque woman, and An Asian clad with all of the Western … [Read more...]

Princeton’s Robert Wright talks meditation, ethics, and awakening with Daniel Ingram

Readers here will recall Robert Wright from a series of lectures he gave two years ago via Coursera on Psychology and Buddhism:Week one: 1st and 2nd Noble Truths two: 3rd and 4th Noble Truths three: non-self four: what is the "you"? five: meditationThat course, while pitched to a wide audience, introduced and explored a number of key Buddhist philosophical and practical points with laudable clarity and insight. Now Robert Wright is continuing what he uncovered in that series … [Read more...]

A Mindfulness Dystopia? Pamela Anderson gets ‘Connected’

With the help of Jane Fonda (narrating), director Luke Gilford (a David Lynch prodigy) has created a disturbing glimpse into a future of technology, loneliness, and a techno-spiritual-cult of connectedness.The short film has echos of "Her" but features not an average Joe, but a beautiful-but-aging fitness instructor named Jackie (Pamela Anderson). Her teaching is done alone: mediated by technology. Her walks on the beach, out among people, are also mediated by technology.In the film the o … [Read more...]

The Onion takes on popular Buddhist “meditation apps”

In their latest jab at the growing popularity of Buddhism in the West and one of its most common delivery systems: meditation via a 5-inch screen, The Onion offers us 31-year old Eric Reeves, a Seattle man whose new meditation app promises to lead him to a "Lotus Plane of Eternal Serenity." Noting that he was "just moments from being carried like a cherry blossom on a soft breeze into a placid realm of unending tranquility," The Onion reports that:Having readied himself to expand his aw … [Read more...]