We don’t view mindfulness as a panacea that will cure the world’s ills. But socially-engaged mindfulness and mindful social action can contribute to addressing our individual and collective challenges.
When we recognize that disaffection, anxiety and stress are not just our own fault but are connected to structural causes, mindfulness becomes fuel for igniting resistance.
To understand the problems of our day, I realized that I needed to understand how our attention was being fragmented, pulled and pushed by technology’s forces. Attention became the lens through which I began to understand technology.
It’s been pointed out countless times that humankind’s current ecological crisis stems from our conviction that we’re apart from nature. Scott Brown’s book Active Peace takes a closer look at what lies beneath this mistaken belief, which he contends has deeply wounded all of us psychologically.
The process by which capitalist investment seeks to reengineer and privatize nature, government, social life and even genes and physical matter is at once breathtakingly ambitious, subtle and insidious. The great contribution of Dr Peter Doran’s A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism is to show how this process is also aimed, with systemic zeal, at human consciousness itself.
By choosing to live more simply, more kindly, more compassionately, while such an approach would inevitably reduce our physical exports, we need to bear in mind that we would end up exporting something far more important, long-lasting and needed.