After years of positive studies about the alleged benefits of mindfulness, the latest science is revealing a darker side. Some Catholic therapists, however, such as the one we interviewed last week, discovered on their own that this therapy is not nearly as successful as people think – and it’s definitely not Catholic.
In response to a radio interview that I did about my new book, A Catholic Guide to Mindfulness, with Dan Burke and Melissa Elson of Divine Intimacy Radio, we received this testimony from a woman who believes her experience with the New Age and mindfulness caused her years of suffering.
A lot of psychologists and other proponents of mindfulness insist that this practice is not spiritual, that it can be divorced from its Buddhist roots, but is this really possible?
BD writes: “Help! My psychologist insists that I use mindfulness to treat my PTSD and he claims it isn’t Buddhist. He says it’s just teaching us to be mindful of our surroundings; however, the exercises he gives me are all mindfulness meditation techniques! What am I supposed to believe?”
MS writes: “Is all mindfulness related to the Buddhist practice that is so popular today? I am a Catholic and I have been devoted to the practice of the presence of God and the sacrament of the present moment – which is also a kind of mindfulness. Are these Catholic versions related in any way to the Buddhist version?”
Even though Eastern-style meditation techniques such as transcendental meditation and mindfulness are taking the country by storm, researchers at Brown University are sounding the alarm about the very real risks associated with these practices that are getting far too little publicity.