Issue 3, Week of September 34

This Week's Goods...

Mass Meditation.  Doesn't mass meditation sound nice? Especially in light of how we usually hear the word 'mass' (eg, mass incarceration, mass unemployment, etc.) 1000 people gathered in Ottawa to be led in a meditation by the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Jon Kabat-Zinn. While in Canada, Dr. Kabat-Zinn was "hustled to meetings with politicians and business leaders" all morning. He led the group on the "International Day of Peace, a day dedicated by the United Nations to educating about peace."  Says his host, Ms. Scheherzade van Aarle, "What we need is to collectively approach the affairs of the world from a different perspective." The Globe and Mail

Redefining Leadership. The Mindful Leadership Summit to be held in Washington DC this November wants to offer "an alternative to just leading from the top down" - that is, leading from the inside out. The site was previously calling for an end to "fear based leadership” - which seems apropos in the city that houses so many of our national leaders. Also noteworthy is that “Mindful Leader Inc. (provider of the Mindful Leadership Summit) has been approved and added as federal government vendor." Here are some sessions that look interesting: Being in the Moment: How GlaxoSmithKline Scaled Mindfulness and Honing the Mind of a Champion: Mental Skills Training at the Chicago Cubs and Villanova Wildcats. @MindfulSummit

Yoga for Trauma. Missy Hart was put in a juvenile hall for using marijuana when she was 13, but she also discovered something that could make her feel better: yoga.  Fast forward 13 years, and she is now training to be a teacher with aspirations to open a group home that offers yoga and creative arts. The article quotes a study from Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality that calls for “specialized yoga programs to be offered widely to girls in the juvenile justice system.” With nearly two thirds of girls in the juvenile justice system (65%) showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, the study reports that “tailored forms of yoga and mindfulness programs can be uniquely effective in supporting traumatized girls.” NPR

A Mega-Expansion. Here's a feast for those worried about the McDonaldization of mindfulness. This article is locked, but the title gives you a sense of what's to come: Current Meditation to open 175 franchises in 3 years. Phoenix Business Journal

 

From the celebrity world...

Rolling With What Happens. Tom Bergeron, the host of ABC’s famed dancing competition “Dancing With the Stars,” says his 35 year-old Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice keeps him focused during a live show. “I trust that because of the practice, because of the investment of time and mental energy into being present, that I’m going ... to somehow know how to roll with whatever happens.” ABC

Re-centering after divorce. Singer Fergie, who is recently divorced, says she has turned to Desire and Destiny, the Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21 day meditation, because it "just re-centers" her. InStyle

God in Hollywood. Care to jump inside "Hollywood's Search for Spirituality?"  This article gives a little insight into some of the major players (Madonna, Kimye, Oprah). Among other things, famed Guru Deepak Chopra, says that because celebrities are "insecure and narcissistic," they inevitably burn out and "and that leads to addictions and all kinds of things and problems."  E News

Lost in Art. Jim Carrey recently caught attention for attending a Fashion Week show and calling it "meaningless." Despite being pretty open and upbeat about his spirituality for many years, Carrey seems to have suffered a major setback when a former girlfriend committed suicide in 2015. In this recent video, he shares how he found some redemption in painting. "I don't know what painting teaches me, I know that it just frees me: free from the future, free from the past, free from regret, free from worry." Vimeo
 

What the critics say...

Commodification Fears.  At the University of Massachusetts, Jon Kabat Zinn’s Center for Mindfulness reports attendees have a “38 per cent reduction in medical symptoms, a 43 per cent reduction in psychological and emotional distress, plus a 26 per cent reduction in perceived stress.” But one professor warns, mindfulness has “become commodified; being used to sell everything from colouring books to apps for mindful gardening, resulting in the misuse of mindfulness.”  If that is true- and it does seem to be so - why is it so bad if, as a society, our commodities are in line with our values? Another doctor quoted says he’d like to see “trauma – its effects and its resolution – receive the same level of societal attention as mindfulness currently attracts.” Agreed – though mindfulness can indeed help with trauma resolution (see above post).   Irish Times

A personal reflection...

At one time, I wanted to teach a class on mindful parenting. But there are days when those two words “Mindful” and “Parenting” seem to be pure paradox. The Mindful Goods

Something to take forward... 

“The answer to pain is neither careless drifting nor fearful clinging to the past, but in being completely sensitive to each moment, in having the mind open and wholly receptive. This truly is not a theory but an actual experiment: a concept, the truth of which can only be tested in one's own experience. If, when swimming, you are caught in a strong current, it if fatal to resist; you must swim with it and gradually edge to the side.” Ramesh Balsekar

Get in touch... 

Drop us a note at home@themindfulgoods.com