Is There Anything Spiritual About Mindfulness?

Is There Anything Spiritual About Mindfulness?

A recent visitor, in addition to meditating, interviewed Santikaro. He has blogged and posted video from these interviews, including the following on Huffington Post:

These days mindfulness is the buzzword. Celebrities such as Goldie Hawn, Richard Gere and Tina Turner have been some of it’s strongest proponents. Mindfulness seems to be embraced in the west, more as a practice and discipline rather than as a religion, although its origin is in Buddhism. But does mindfulness have a spiritual and transformational quality to it?

To explore this, I spoke with Santikaro (Robert Larson), who had trained under the famous Thai Buddhist teacher, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. According to him, in the west, there are three forms that mindfulness has been shaped into. He refers to the first usage of it, primarily at large corporations, as McMindfulness. Like MacDonald food, it is fast, convenient and does the job. However, Santikaro questions the ethical and long-term value of this form of mindfulness, particularly when it is encouraged by managers in order to get results from employees. The workers who do practice it under such influence may not get the right long term results from such practices as their understanding of it remains limited.

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