Mindfulness on ka eestikeelses ruumis ennast jõudsalt ilmutamas. Vähemalt retoorikas. Praktikate kohta infot saada ei ole lihtne. Siinviidatu leidis oma koha põhjusel, et puudutab mindfulnessi kriitilisest perspektiivist ja on seetõttu huvitav lugeda nii pooldajatele kui vastastele. Kuna tekst pakub muuhulgas empiirilist teadmust ka gruppide käitumisest, siis seetõttu tekst siin maanduski.
Mindfulness has been described as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 2017: 1127). Contrary to common belief, then, the aim of mindfulness meditation is not to clear the mind of thoughts, but instead to develop a certain way of relating to thoughts, emotions, and sensations—succinctly summed up in the popular slogan “Meditation—it’s not what you think” (Kabat-Zinn, 2018). I
Autorid sätivad fookust:
Using the practice of mindfulness meditation as an example, we set out to challenge this consensus and explore the progressive potential of self-development practices. That is, we will examine criticism of as well as advocacy for mindfulness meditation, thus aiming to arrive at potential reconciliation through a hopeful and realistic account.
Indiviid ja kollektiiv:
While individual approaches understand mindfulness as a personal experience of present-centered attention and awareness, collective approaches attribute less significance to the individual self, and instead emphasize interdependence, group mind and cooperation. Instrumental approaches are focused on stress-reduction, emotion regulation, performance, and organizational success, while substantive approaches emphasize mindful consideration and reflection on purpose as well as “the value of transcending self-centered concerns of individuals and organizations” (Badham and King, 2019: 3).
In this paper, we engage primarily with mindfulness meditation as an individual experience, albeit with potential collective dimensions and implications. Thus, we define mindfulness meditation as a set of meditation practices, which may involve the accepting, non-judgmental focus on one’s breath, body, thoughts or emotions (vipassana) as well as a more deliberate emphasis on love, kindness, and compassion (metta) (see e.g. Harvey, 2012).
The pathology hypothesis, then, suggests that the promise of self-development practices is not fulfilled and that engaging with these practices may actually leave people worse off than they would have been without them.
Slavoj Žižek tuleb mängu:
With regard to mindfulness meditation, the most famous proponent of the hypothesis of status quo is arguably Slavoj Žižek, who in a number of places (e.g. Žižek, 2001: 12, 2009: 66) has described these practices as the perfect ideological supplement to late capitalism. In allowing the subject to uncouple and ob-/retain inner peace from the stressful tensions of capitalist dynamics, mindfulness meditation, according to Žižek, is the most efficient way for us to fully participate in these very dynamics while retaining the appearance of mental sanity (Žižek, 2001: 12).
In sum, the anti-mindfulness hypotheses begin from the common assumption that mindfulness meditation purports to solve collective, structural problems by, simply, taking note of the self, meaning two interrelated issues arise: status quo at the collective level and pathology at the level of the individual.
Occupy … (väga huvitav empiiria)
The meditation group at Occupy arranged daily hour-long mindfulness meditation sessions, which at their largest drew more than 200 participants (Writers for the 99%, 2012: 89). The most common feedback given to facilitators included accounts of how mindfulness meditation helped participants gain a certain distance from strong emotions and put them “in touch with their responses to particular issues in a non–violent, non–confrontational setting. This avoided immediate reactions, which were often based on misunderstanding and could lead to larger disagreements” (Writers for the 99%, 2012: 88).
In evaluating what mindfulness meditation may do to self and society, then, we must neither fall for the temptation of exaggerated promises of “instant Zen” nor should we glibly accept the dramatically entertaining “no-way-out” narratives of critical scholars. Instead, we suggest, critical scholars (with whom we proudly self-identify) should pay attention to the spaces of resonance that may open up when we take mindfulness meditation seriously and remain open to the possibility that it’s not what we think.
du Plessis, E. M., & Just, S. N. (2021). Mindfulness—it’s not what you think: Toward critical reconciliation with progressive self-development practices. Organization, 1350508421995755.