Live with the question
The thesis that the commercialization of mindfulness is controversial is interesting. How do I think about the ethics of this commercialization? I think it is indeed controversial , but I choose to name it complementing. But maybe I am also political naive. That is possible.
I recognise the named “thinking disease” in our society and also by myself and many of my clients . Mindfulness has brought me much support and healing from this disease. Also my clients told me that they have much benefit from the mindfulness training and that they are more at ease and loose from this disease.
From this point of view I would say that there is never enough of mindfulness practice and promoting. But on the other hand do I also recognise the critics Zizak expressed. All the stuff you can buy in mindfulness(trainings, books, retraits, magazines, cloths etc) , all the people and companies who want to benefit from the ‘pilgrims’ and happiness-seekers or people who hope to find fulfillness in their lifes. It irrates me and I can understand that that keeps our capitalistic society alive and that it undermines the transformation to a more sincere, authentic mindful society. But even if a person comes through a commercial way to practice mindfulness, I think it will contribute to the fact that he of she will become more mindful and so society will , by this individual process.
Although I am a great fan and practicer of mindfulness , I experience also a trapp of it. Sometimes I notice that I am covering emotions by the ‘coat of love’ instead of confronting and living my emotions. The tranquelization, named by Zizak! I did experience it! That martial mindfulness feeds our monitor of discrepantion en leeds to new automatic pilots or to violence is a pity. In a smaller scale I experienced that the knowledge between the ‘doing and being mode” can lead to constantly strive tot his ‘being mode”and to a constantly awareness of this discrepantion monitor. Not mindful , no inner peace.
I find myself the most at ease by name the controversial points, complementing. Like yin and yang. Like shadow and light(Jung). Yes, mindfulness is big business and it is also a great movemement that mindfulness is growing. When the result is that people practicing mindfulness more, getting more consiousness and less suffering from the thinking disease, then I accept that commercialization is a way to get there. So I would prefer to leave the question about the ethics of the commercialization rather unanswered. “Live with the question”, Reiner Maria Rilke said. I think that is the best mindful option in this discussion.
P.S. an extra example for ‘pilgrims’
I once walked ‘the camino” and was irritated by the great number of people who where walking with me. But then I realized my superior point of view and changed it in a view of how great it is that many people where also looking for meaning and made space for delay in their lifes. And yes, many Spanish people earn a lot of money through the number of pilgrims…