Mindfulness is not positivity.
This article was originally published on Elephant Journal in August 2010.
Let’s just put it this way: The Secret was definitely not written by a Buddhist.
Here in the spiritually capricious Bay Area, I hear this sort of empty self-help jargon all the time:
- “Manifest what you want with good intentions!”
- “Cultivate an attitude of abundance!”
- “Think positive and things will turn out great!”
And one of my personal favorites: “It will all be alright in the end. If it’s not alright; it’s not the end!” As one of my recent dharma teachers pointed out, in reality it’s not all going to be alright in the end, because in the end, without exception, we’re all going to get sick or old, and die.
Which is actually fine, in its own way. But you get the point.
This sort of platitude word-vomit is a means to placate ourselves into believing that life is really not all that hard if we don’t want it to be. Suffering? What suffering? In Buddhism, we call this sort of mindset delusion.