My initial enthusiasm for writing this blog was to figure out what I found so annoying about the mindfulness movement. Something is wrong here, my emotions said.  No, no, no!

To help me figure out if it was just me or if those feelings were on to something, I decided to study the matter further and read a canonical work, Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (2013). I was thoroughly appalled, so decided to organize my thoughts about the matter. The computer file names that emerged through this process pretty much say it all: 

  • Overuse of Status Markers
  • Exaggerate How Bad Life Is without Mindfulness
  • Exaggerated Contrasts between Us and Them
  • Potential Psychological Harm
  • Rhetorical Moves to Undermine Criticism
  • Hyperbolic Language
  • Fear Mongering
  • Religious Language
  • Beliefs Not Wisdom
  • Vague Unfalsifiable Assertions
  • Unexamined Assumptions
  • False Opposites
  • Misleading Representations of Scientific Findings
  • Cherry-Picking Evidence
  • Self-Contradictions
  • Proselytizing
  • Hypocritical Use of Science
  • Appeal to Authority and Status
  • Thoughts Disparaged
  • Anti-Intellectualism
  • Judgment Unacknowledged
  • Assumption People Unaware without Mindfulness
  • Hysteria-World in Crisis
  • Triumphalism
  • Awareness as Exceptional State
  • Mind-Wandering as Lesser Experience
  • Seeds of Violence
  • Way of Speaking That Undermines Dissent
  • Assertions without Evidence
  • Mind-Reading
  • Distancing to Dismiss
  • Parallel Worlds without Neuroscience Foundation
  • Outdated Theory of Science
  • Exceptionalism-We are Different

After writing 100+ posts in Observing Mindfulness, my enthusiasm for the subject has been exhausted. So I am semi-retiring the topic. For now.


Jon Kabat-Zinn (2013) Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, Revised Edition; Bantam Books, New York