Mindfulness is all the rage these days. And yet, even as the New York Times churns out articles like How to Be Mindful While Grocery Shopping and How to Be Mindful When You have Seasonal Allergies a quick look at NIMH or NIH data shows that Americans are sicker than ever, poorer than ever, more psychologically disturbed than ever. Though the literature has certainly been convincing, we have to ask ourselves whether the West’s new cultural obsession with mindfulness is actually helping us.
In contrast, our guest this week believes that mindfulness, which is a “top-down” approach to wellness, is only half of the picture, and it is yet another way we are persuaded to separate from the body and live in the head. If we could also learn to be in our bodies (approaching wellness from the bottom-up), we would have a chance at experiencing true balance and connection. We would be less anxious and more compassionate. We would cease to be okay with things that we’ve collectively learned how to be numb to.