Rebuttal to Professor Zeldin

People are wasting valuable thinking time on mediation and mindfulness and should stop trying to clear their heads, an Oxford University academic has claimed.

So begins an article by Sarah Knapton about a speech given by Theodore Zeldin at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts.

He went on to say that the practice of mindfulness distracts people from discovering more about other people and the world around them.

With all due respect to mister Zeldin, he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Anyone who knows anything about mindfulness knows that mindfulness does not lean toward distraction, but encourages involvement.

One of the basic principles of mindfulness is to be fully in the present moment. Most people are constantly distracted by the chatter in their own mind. If a person by practicing mindfulness is better able to be fully in the present, that person is better able to “discover more about the people and world around them.

My main beef with this mindfulness detractor is that he is an example of a group of people who, though educated, use their credentials as a license to express an opinion about topics they know little about.

In my view, this can be destructive in that it may discourage people from learning mindfulness. After all, if an Oxford professor says it is bad for you it must be true. Well, in this case it is not. Mindfulness is good for you.

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