In the West intense interest in the practice of Mindfulness has been nothing short of phenomenal. I practice it myself and have experienced life-changing benefit from it. Others I know have received the same.
But, as I’ve shared in this practice I’ve also been made aware of the pitfalls, not because Mindfulness itself is flawed, but because of the human tendency to always misunderstand and want to take short-cuts.
For me the biggest problem was and still is the constant temptation to almost unconsciously want to move in to a form of destructive detachment. I speak for myself here. I have to watch this very carefully. I’ve noticed that when I practice mindfulness without being mindful of mindfulness itself, I can slowly counsel myself in to passivity. Then the practice becomes a kind of medication to distract my attention from underlying problems and issues that have to be dealt with.
So, for me, if my practice does not lead to healthy and constructive engagement with the underlying issues that cause the stress or difficulty in the first place, it’s meaningless. I’m convinced that when Mindfulness individualizes and anaesthetizes, it is no longer Mindfulness.