Tuesday, February 26, 2019

What's wrong with the mindful brain?

From the above article at this link, another take on McMindfulness.

"Riding a growing wave of scientific data, mindfulness meditation has found its way to the forefront of popular culture. Mindfulness practices appeal to a wide spectrum of society, from stressed out office workers and college students to stock traders, doctors, government officials, and even infantry soldiers. These practices have come a long way from their humble beginnings at the outskirts of ancient Indian society. Mindfulness has emerged as a major force in global culture—enshrined in national medical guidelines, showcased on trendwatcher lists, and raking in over a billion dollars in profit each year.

"The growing mindfulness hype revolves around a particular view of mindfulness meditation as a kind of brain training. At the heart of this trend lies a simple idea with apparently massive appeal: practicing meditation, we are told, literally rewires your brain. It’s a catchy idea: train your mind, change your brain. But this idea has its problems, both empirical (as to the strength of the available evidence) and conceptual (as to whether it even makes sense to think of meditation in these terms).

"In this chapter, we argue that the neurocentric view of mindfulness meditation, a perspective we call 'the mindful brain,' is a simplistic take on what meditation is and how it works. Contrary to the neurocentic view, we see meditation as a deeply social, and fundamentally embodied collection of practices. If we reduce meditative practices to a set of brain patterns, we miss the richness of how these practices work and ignore much of what they have to teach us about human experience."

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