Beware Of Westernised Self-Centric ‘Mindfulness’

Realise there is no self
within the five aggregates
to realise the true self beyond.

– Stonepeace | Books

But there are significant problems with how Buddhism has been appropriated to fit directly into a Western mind-set and model. Buddhism appealed initially because it seemed to provide an antidote to our ambition and greed. Buddhism and the East were romanticized as the polar opposites of the harried, avaricious West. But Buddhism has, for the most part, been misread, further entrenching some of the more dangerous aspects of Western notions of the individual self.

Take mindfulness, for example. It is based on the concept of detaching yourself and looking upon the world and each moment nonjudgementally, so that things no longer bother you. Mindfulness is hyped widely as a popular technique for gaining peace and serenity in our fast-paced lives. Today it is even promoted as a tool for productivity and effectiveness by business schools, corporations, and the military.

But mindfulness was intended to break down the self. Buddhism is the doctrine of no self, and Buddhist practices as a whole are designed to do away with the notion that any sort of individual self exists. Yet many of these aspects of Buddhism have been discarded, and instead, it has often been distorted as a way of looking within and embracing the self. It has become a form of exotic self-help: the doctrine of no self utilized to help people feel better about themselves.

The Path: A New Way To Think About Everything
Michael Puett & Christine Gross-Loh 

Related Article:

What Are You Practising Mindfulness For?

1 Comment

  • Self-Centric mindfulness is a problem anywhere and everywhere, not just in the west.

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