So how is a practice defined as "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique," for sale?
The New York Times' David Gelles reported on the hidden costs associated with mindfulness in a recent article. He notes that there are over two dozen mindfulness apps for smartphones, some of which offer $400 lifetime subscriptions.
It seems that mindfulness can be bought through expensive yoga pants, mindful technology, and so much more. But can it really be bought?
IBISWorld, as noted in the article, estimates that meditation-related businesses in the United States last year generated $984 million in revenue. So there's certainly a market for it and there are obvious benefits to cultivating mindfulness.
“It’s not enough to purchase the right product to be mindful,” said Dan Harris, an ABC news anchor who wrote, “10 Percent Happier.” “Mindfulness is a practice, and it’s worth doing.”
Like yoga, mindfulness is evolving to mean quite a few things and interpretations are open. Yeah, mindfulness tools can be purchased. But actual mindfulness? It certainly needs to be practiced. Close your eyes. Breathe. No purchase necessary.
To learn more, check out the original piece, "The Hidden Costs of Mindfulness."