[Note: This is a slightly revised version of a previous post with the same title.]

Mindfulness enthusiasts may reject the comparison of mindfulness with New Age movements. Perhaps this has to do in part to the common association of New Age with being light-weight and faddish, whereas mindfulness is deep and steeped in ancient wisdom. But check out how “New Age Movement” is described in Wikipedia:

The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described [by Nevill Drury] as “drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology”. 

The movement …holds to “a holistic worldview”, emphasising that the Mind, Body, and Spirit are interrelated and that there is a form of monism and unity throughout the universe. It attempts to create “a worldview that includes both science and spirituality” and embraces a number of forms of mainstream science as well as other forms of science that are considered fringe.

This sounds a lot like the world of mindfulness to me. Disregarding the negative connotations associated with New Age (e.g.,  anything “Western”) and just looking at the meat of the description, in what way would Mindfulness movement not be considered a type of New Age movement?


Drury, Nevill  (2004). The New Age: Searching for the Spiritual Self. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-28516-9.