Mindfulness and meditation have entered the mainstream of western societies. Emerging from Buddhist traditions, mindfulness practices claim to be “non-judgemental” and compatible with any belief system. Advocates claim meditation can reduce stress, alleviate physical pain, boost productivity and creativity, and help adherents understand their “true” selves. Yet for Sahanika Ratnayake, a “cultural Buddhist” and a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at Cambridge University, mindfulness and meditation are “metaphysically loaded.” In her evocative account, first published in Aeon, she suggests why mindfulness practices are unsuited for reaching real self-understanding, and warns against the tendency to view mindfulness as a panacea for the modern world’s ills.
Day: August 10, 2019
When President Trump described Baltimore as “a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,” and criticized Congressman Elijah Cummings, a predictable Greek Chorus arose from the Democrats and their enablers in the media: Trump is a racist! “King” Cummings is black, so naturally, any criticism of him or his leadership could only arise from racist motives. Writing in American Greatness, Roger Kimball argues that Trump’s twitter assault was calculated to make the Democrats own the problem of urban decay. And he may well be elbowing open the famed “Overton Window,” the range of ideas and rhetoric permissible in public discourse.
After the horrific mass murders in El Paso and Dayton, the Democrats immediately blamed President Trump. Blaming Trump, or any politician or public figure, is both intellectually irresponsible and socially divisive. As this unsigned editorial in the New York Sun points out, the motivations that spur these mad killers arise from both the left and right, including concerns about environmental degradation, as in Dayton and Christchurch, and fears over immigration, as in El Paso. We need to accept the grim truth that whatever our political leanings, the blame for these crimes attaches entirely to the killers.
It’s been said many times that one should never let facts get in the way of a good story. Let’s hope facts still can get in the way of a winning election campaign if that campaign is founded on distortion, exaggeration, tendentious claims, ruinous policies and utopian futility. Using facts from credible organizations, Gwyn Morgan takes a verbal stiletto to the fear-based federal Liberal election campaign that’s coming our way in a few weeks.