Hi Joshua, I appreciate you taking the time to offer constructive feedback. My purpose in writing this article is not to disparage mindfulness, as I am an ardent advocate of the mindfulness practice itself. It offers a vast range of mental health benefits and can be immensely enlightening to those who practice it.
You mention that these issues are typically not a problem for trained mindfulness practitioners — I have no doubt that that’s true. Therein lies the problem — most people lack the professional training and expertise to execute mindfulness properly to avoid these pitfalls. Many individuals do consult a professional mindfulness instructor, but many do not. While the former may have a life-changing experience with mindfulness, the latter often face several obstacles — the ones I’ve highlighted in this article.
In an ideal world, everyone would have access to the professional guidance needed to carry out this in-depth practice. But in reality, that simply isn’t what happens. Many people pursue mastery on their own and run into these tragic pitfalls.
Mindfulness is not the problem, our interpretation of it, as a society, is. A plethora of articles, books, videos, and advice encouraging mindfulness exists out there. Many are good-quality, but others simply “teach” mindfulness without addressing these pitfalls or any further steps. Hence, it becomes problematic.
In my own experience, I’ve learned this the hard way and have since discovered the importance of practicing mindfulness the way it was tended — as one would learn from a professional.
I do apologize for the lack of distinction between everyday mindfulness and mindful meditation. That can be misleading.
Nonetheless, thank you for reading, and I do appreciate the feedback!