by umair haque, coach, lover, vampire: https://umairhaque.com/the-myth-of-mindfulness-9d06c9e0a0bc#.lzjo818he
a craze sweeping the globe. As old as time. You can’t go a moment
without hearing the glorious benefits of mindfulness and meditation
being proclaimed. And yet.
we are, in the ruins of modernity. Fascism’s rising while the global
economy’s stagnating. That means very real pain for millions, billions,
of real humans. And we’re … meditating?
If the Buddha were alive today, he probably wouldn’t say: go meditate. He’d say: go fix your societies so there’s less suffering in them.
Meditation Isn’t a Substitute for a Working Society
isn’t a substitute for a working society. It’s point is not to let us
turn our backs on our neighbors and peers. If that is all it is, then it
is better not to do it at all. Because we aren’t really meditating. All
the great spiritual masters say: everything is meditation. Watching a
sunset, doing work with care, being gentle with people. All this is
meditation. When we separate it as an activity we perform now and then,
we’re not really meditating at all. So what are we doing?
You Don’t Need Spiritual Heroin if You’re Not Broken
We are using the techniques of meditation for the wrong ends. To escape, run away, dull the pain. Like taking spiritual heroin. But you don’t need spiritual heroin if you’re not broken. So what’s breaking us? Is the rise of mindfulness at the precise moment capitalism’s melting down a coincidence? I don’t think so.
meditation and aggressive, savage capitalism are perfect bedfellows.
The passivity of meditation is the perfect antidote, the ultimate
American response to aggressively cruel capitalism.
It’s personal responsibility taken to an extreme, isn’t it? You are
hurt profoundly by broken institutions and failed leaders. What should
you do? Challenge them? Rebel? No, go meditate. It’s your responsibility to not feel any pain. To numb it, escape it, bury it.
all the senses above, mindfulness is capitalism’s latest greatest
product. It needs a drug to pacify the broken soldiers on its front
lines - and the collateral human damage - when the savagery of battle is
over. We can meditate ourselves into oblivion right back to the Stone
Age. But no spiritual master worth their insight would say that is
the cheapest and most effective drug there is? Real therapy costs
money. Real drugs have side-effects. Capital wants pure efficiency. No
cost, maximum benefit. Meditation is the perfect drug for capitalism to
finish the vicious job of eating itself. Someone’s
got to do it, after all. Even though it will break their soul. What do
you do with a broken soul? Find the cheapest drug you can.
The Purpose of True Meditation is Preventing Human Suffering, Not Absolving It
But that contradicts the very purpose of true meditation. Not to bury the pain, the injustice, the cruelty. But to prevent it. Mindfulness
the way it’s being practiced right now doesn’t prevent cruelty. It
excuses it, justifies it, sanctions it. Spiritual heroin is only really
needed for fighting a war so savage the everyday horror must be numbed.
a VP at Cruelty, Inc. Every day, you’re asked to do things that are
morally repellent, abhorrent, deeply damaging to the very society you
live in. Prey on the elderly, exploit the young, jettison the frail. It
hurts. How do you deal with the pain?
for you, your HR department's running daily mandatory meditations. So
you go. And you learn how to numb the pain a little. To detach. Float
away. Hey, if there’s no self, you can’t be held accountable for your moral failings, right? So
in learning to detach from your moral failings you numb the pain. All
that’s really happening is your production of human cruelty is being
excused, justified, encouraged, maximised.
This isn’t real meditation. It is like using a cross to beat a child. It is a great violence against
true meditation. Real meditation isn’t detaching yourself after
cruelty, but learning to do no harm in the first place. That is why
meditation is a humble, constant way - not a disjointed “activity”.
True Meditation Is This-ness
If you want to really meditate, to be truly mindful, what should you do?
goal of true meditation is to make contact with the true self. The me
in you and the you in me. Pure being. The raw stuff of existence. To
get there, you must develop an awareness of awareness. See yourself
seeing. Then the inner eye turn inwards, and sees the universe reflected
in your soul.
you have a glimpse of this turning, then you suddenly know that all the
cruelty and violence you have ever done has only been visited upon
yourself. Karma. And so you know why
happiness arises from finding one’s self in others, and others in one.
That is reality, and happiness is just living it for a moment.
you understand what truly is, the greatest of all the universal laws of
being. I am in you. You are in me. I must never harm you. But only act
to lift you into the light. Then and only then am I fulfilled, because I
am in harmony with genuine existence itself.
Now there is. You are.
Really here. Otherwise, I am lost in illusion, delusion,
self-destruction, ignorance. Only the moment that I love is the instant I