By Jennifer Jill Schwirzer
A Buddhist form of meditation called “mindfulness meditation” has taken the mental health field by storm. It has produced many well-documented positive effects and has been basically touted as a panacea for most psychological ills. In terms of popularity and buzz, mindfulness is to mental health what organic coconut water is to physical health—a somewhat good thing promoted as a cure-all. Some think, What’s the harm? It has documented positive effects, and at the very least it’s harmless.
But is it? Relatively little has been said about its adverse effects, but good science and responsible living demand that we examine the whole picture. A study has now emerged that inserts one dissonant note into the otherwise unison chorus of praise for mindfulness meditation.
Before I quote the study, let me define mindfulness and mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness is the practice of self-awareness, of being
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Hanley, et al., “Mind the Gap: Are Conclusions about Mindfulness Entirely Conclusive?” Journal of Counseling & Development, 94, 2016.
Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, April 14, 1890.
Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, LPC, directs Abide Counseling Network out of her home office in Orlando, Florida, where she lives with her husband, Michael. She loves God and people, and lives to bring them together through the written, spoken, and sung word. For more resources, visit jenniferjill.org.