Do we understand our real problem?
Our current application of the concept of mindfulness is limited to short term gains without going into the root cause of the problem. The widespread and often indiscriminate appropriation of mindfulness techniques by organisations and programme developers has resulted in conflicts and tensions between the foundational principles of the mindfulness concept and pragmatic short-term approaches. The result of this short-term approach is that temporary gains are achieved at the expense of a permanent change in behaviour through development of insight knowledge.
Today, the mindfulness practice has been limited to a narrow framework of:
- paying attention in a particular way (not knowing what this particular way is):
- on purpose (not knowing what the ultimate purpose is)
- in the present moment (is there a present moment that you can capture?)
- non-judgmentally (how can we be non-judgmental, when we identify our experience with something in order to experience it).
As such, the mainstream approach to developing mindfulness to gain something in return (psychological or physiological benefit) is based on a soft premise at a fundamental level. We are merely calming down the thought process with different techniques such as breathing, body scan and walking, to experience a short-term relief without identifying the root cause of our experiences.