Ronald Purser, “McMindfulness” at PageTurners Reading Series
Mindfulness is now all the rage. From celebrity endorsements to monks, neuroscientists to CEOs, it is clear that mindfulness has gone mainstream. Some have called it a revolution. The evangelical promotion of mindfulness has begun to give way to a backlash, with questions arising whether its claims for achieving happiness have been over-sold.
Expanding on his viral internet essay “Beyond McMindfulness,” Ron E. Purser argues that proponents of mindfulness have reduced it to a self-help technique that fits snugly into a consumerist culture. In a lively critique of mindfulness as it has been co-opted by corporations, public schools and the U.S. military, Purser explains why such programs inevitably fall short of their revolutionary potential. Simply paying attention to the present moment while resting snugly in our private bubbles is no mindfulness revolution. Mindfulness has become the new capitalist spirituality, a disciplined myopia, that mindlessly ignores the need for social and political change.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ron E. Purser is a Professor of Management at San Francisco State University. His writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Salon, Alternet, and Tricycle magazine. His viral article, “Beyond McMindfulness”, opened the floodgates for the mindfulness backlash. Dr. Purser began his Buddhist training beginning in 1981 at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California and is an ordained Buddhist teacher in the Korean Zen Taego order. He is co-host of ‘Mindful Cranks’ podcast and is a regular speaker and guests on radio shows and podcasts. He lives with his family and dog in San Francisco, CA.
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