Tag Archives: mindfulness

Mindfulness loaded with troubling assumptions

Mindfulness is loaded with (troubling) metaphysical assumptions | Aeon Essays | Sahanika RatnayakeJul 2019

Three years ago, when I was studying for a Masters in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, mindfulness was very much in the air.

The Department of Psychiatry had launched a large-scale study on the effects of mindfulness in collaboration with the university’s counselling service. Everyone I knew seemed to be involved in some way.  

I’m entirely fed up with mindfulness being forced upon pain patients as a supposedly effective method of “pain management”.  Continue reading

Meditation for Everything and Everybody

Below are 3 critiques of the current panacea offered for all mental and physical ailments, one that irritates me no end because it’s being pushed as a “treatment” for chronic pain, even if it’s from physical ailments, like EDS or the damaged nerves of neuropathy.

Even Mindfulness Meditation Has Turned Into a Minefield | Psychology Today  – Matthew Legge Are We Done Fighting?Jul 29, 2019

A recent essay that offered a critique of mindfulness is creating quite the stir. I’ll show how this follows a pattern I’ve seen.

Over the last few years, I’ve been reading about a wide range of topics, largely to inform a book I wrote on practical ways to address rising polarization. One thing I’ve noticed is that every issue I’ve looked at, even ones that seem very straightforward, turn out to be bitterly controversial once I get further into the details. Every. Single. Issue.   Continue reading

Mindfulness Research’s Huge Problem

Mindfulness research’s huge problem with uninformative control groupsby James C Coyne – June 2016

Are enthusiasts protecting cherished beliefs about the power of mindfulness from disconfirmation?

Do any advantages of mindfulness training disappear in a fairly matched cage fight with a treatment of comparable frequency and intensity?

Finally, a more thorough look at the research indicates that mindfulness is more a placebo response than a treatment. It makes no sense that it’s recommended by medical experts in the place of effective medication.  Continue reading

Mindfulness Makes Narcissists Worse

Here are a couple of articles about the pathetic failure of quick mindfulness training from the British Research Digest:

Brief mindfulness training does not foster empathy, and can even make narcissists worse – Research Digest – May 2017 – by Emma Young (@EmmaELYoung) Staff Writer

“for narcissistic people, their cognitive empathy was actually reduced.”   Continue reading

Mindfulness versus Lifestyle Activity

Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density – free full-text article – /PMC3004979/ – 2012 Jan

Sometimes the healthcare industry promotes complicated expensive treatments for issues that have simple home-made solutions.

Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have become increasingly popular, but to date, little is known about neural mechanisms associated with these interventions.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders.   Continue reading

Mindfulness Rx Allows Doctors to Ignore Pain

Prescribing Mindfulness Allows Doctors to Ignore Legitimate Female Pain – Feb 2018 – by Sarah Yahm

A few years ago, after a series of cascading injuries and illnesses that rendered me unable to type, drive, or sleep, I briefly became a professional patient.

Like all of my professions, I took it seriously. I went to appointments armed with lists of well-researched questions written down neatly on my yellow legal pad, brought in the occasional medical journal article, and compiled detailed descriptions of my array of increasingly bizarre symptoms.

My goal was to get my doctors to take me seriously so they would dive into the complexities of my case.   Continue reading

It is what it is


Whether we feel happy, engaged and full of energy is derived from the belief that we are in harmony with the world around us.

We maintain this sense of harmony by viewing ourselves, others and the events around us in a relatively benign light: things are fine, we’re safe.

When we perceive the slings and arrows of life as non-events – when we can say: ‘It is what it is’ – we can face difficult circumstances and effectively disarm potential emotional landmines. Continue reading

Hype around Mindfulness and Meditation

Mind the Hype: A Critical Evaluation and Prescriptive Agenda for Research on Mindfulness and Meditation Perspectives on Psychological Science – Oct 2017

During the past two decades, mindfulness meditation has gone from being a fringe topic of scientific investigation to being

  • an occasional replacement for psychotherapy, 
  • tool of corporate well-being,
  • widely implemented educational practice, and
  • “key to building more resilient soldiers.

Yet the mindfulness movement and empirical evidence supporting it have not gone without criticism.  Continue reading

Mindfulness as Panacea for all Ills

Unintended consequences of universal mindfulness training for schoolchildren – Coyne of the Realm – by James C Coyne November 16, 2016

The UK is following the U.S. lead in forcing their doctors to prescribe fewer opioids and send everyone to mindfulness training instead. Both governments have anointed “mindfulness” and/or “meditation” as the cure-all for both physical and mental problems.

It is becoming clear that increasing numbers of people are descending into addiction as a response to the chronic debt, unemployment, and pain brought on by the ruthless winner-take-all culture in both countries,

Instead of tackling the difficult task of easing regressive economic policies, putting in place a better social safety net, and repairing the broken medical system, various forms of “mindfulness” and/or “meditation” are currently being promoted for all unhappy citizens (not just those in pain).   Continue reading

Meditation for Psychological Stress and Well-being

Meditation for Psychological Stress and Well-being | Complementary and Alternative Medicine | JAMA Internal Medicine – Jan 2014

Importance  Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation.

Objective  To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health–related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations.   Continue reading