The Dark Side to all the hype about mindfulness...

Meditation practices are beneficial for many people, but not all people.  The media has gotten carried away at times with unrealistic claims.  If you are a beginner considering starting a new practice, make sure to be grounded in your search for a good teacher. 

Unquestioned practices can have unintended, yet consequential side effects.


Sobering Truths:

* It is actually possible to get hurt by meditation practice, as with any activity.

* Meditation is not a "cure-all".

* Meditation practice is a healing, profound, journey that includes some rough terrain. It is not necessarily fun or easy every time.

* It is important to have a well-trained teacher as your guide as you explore the benefits of meditation for yourself.

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Psychology Today's article is an overview of precautions, and includes this quote: 

In a statement, co-author Willoughby Britton, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and co-director of The Britton Lab, said: "We are sometimes overselling the benefits of mindfulness to pretty much any person who has any condition, without much caution, nuance or condition-specific modifications, instructor training criteria, and basic science around mechanism of action. The possibility of unsafe or adverse effects has been largely ignored. This situation is not unique to mindfulness, but because of mindfulness's widespread use in mental health, schools and apps, it is not ideal from a public health perspective."

The organization Mindful Schools also did a good job of detailing these issues in their article, "highlighting important evidence that affirms our enthusiasm about mindfulness practices for youth."

Both of the above articles reference a paper published in Oct 2017 by a group of well-known researchers.  
Mind the Hype: A Critical Evaluation and Prescriptive Agenda for Research on Mindfulness and Meditation.


If you would like to lead meditations for your own clients or staff, Mindful Boston's training pathway is a way to build your skills as a safe guide/teacher.  

If your organization wants to bring meditation into client or staff offerings, you can hire teachers trained by Mindful Boston.