The Religion of Mindfulness

More than once I’ve found that critiquing the mindfulness movement–even very gently–prompts some readers to voice objection. Few of my other topics spark disagreement so predictably. The title of this post responds to a book about mindfulness written by vocal … Continue reading

Mindfulness Instruction: A Trigger for Flashbacks of Abuse?

Why can’t mindfulness and I just get along? It’s perverse: here’s this healthy practice endorsed by scientists and mystics alike. Since I respect both, you’d think I’d find it easy to join the fad. But I balk. I find myself … Continue reading

Freedom’s Just Another Word

Passionate, self-destructive women have always interested me. As a young man I felt drawn to the poetry of Anne Sexton. Even earlier, as a teenager, I felt passionate about the music of (the already deceased) Janis Joplin. This attraction likely … Continue reading

The Mind’s Mirror

Three decades ago, Douglas Hofstadter wrote his immensely popular and Pulitzer Prize-earning book: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. I never read it, because neither the graphic designs of Escher nor the recursive fugues of Bach resonate with me. … Continue reading

The Watcher

In writings about Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and other subjects, the concept of the watcher comes up often. The terms vary; other names for this entity include the observer, the true self, and simply consciousness. Quakers call it … Continue reading

Building a Peaceful Mind

About four years ago, the mental health providers who were helping me encouraged me to ramp up my meditation practice. I’d been pursuing silent worship and retreats as a quaker for twenty years by that point, and had taken my … Continue reading

First Love

After perusing a number of texts about spiritual growth, I better understand the universality of my recent stirring mind states. This perspective helps, because it is easy to get carried away after numinous experiences. Hopefully, visitors will forgive my naïve … Continue reading