The mindfulness contradiction 

There is a contradiction inherent at the heart of mindfulness: it is, by design, a practice of meditation that has been deliberately stripped of all theology and religious trappings (except the bells, for some reason mindfulness wasn’t able to let go of the bells), and yet the actual experience of mindfulness is the exact same experience the religious meditators have.

So, whereas the meditator in their religious community has all the theory, back story, tradition, context and vocabulary they need to process, assimilate and come to terms with the spiritual experiences that arise from their practice, the secular mindfulness practitioner has nothing, other than to say they are aware of the present moment.

So do we, as non-religious folk, say nothing about our profound experiences of mindfulness? Do we borrow the least religious descriptors we can find from the ‘New Age’ spiritual movement? Do we co-opt some seemingly relevant terminology from science that we don’t really completely understand? Or do we risk denying and limiting the depth and profundity of the mindfulness experience by restricting ourselves to the language of the mundane?

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