So I’m having a little dilemma. I think I disagree with Mr. Kabat-Zinn himself (is that allowed??). I’m currently reading ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The book that continually shows up on all searches around mindfulness. I dived in last week and it’s an easy but thought provoking read. A page takes 30 seconds to read, but makes me ponder in search of the true meaning for thirty minutes. Now to the dilemma.
I’m not sure what to make of this paragraph from the book: “So, when you notice yourself building up an image of invincibility, or strength, or special knowledge, or wisdom based on your meditative experiences...and you start talking a lot about meditation in a way that is self promotional and inflationary, it’s a good idea to bring mindfulness to that mindset and to ask yourself whether you are running from your vulnerability, or perhaps from grief you may be carrying, or from fear of some sort”.
Being a new blogger/instagrammer/person who talks about meditation, my goal is to make meditation more approachable and easier for people to incorporate into their lives. To do this, I think the best way is to share my experiences, whether positive or negative. Now, I can totally understand why self promotion in certain cases would not make sense. It wouldn’t be the greatest idea for me to wake up every morning and tell the world about how awesome I feel after my meditation sessions (or would that be ok too?). I don’t plan on doing anything of the sort, because that behaviour implies meditation is a magic pill that provides immediate happiness. Obviously, there are no shortcuts, and I have no interest in coming across like a dodgy supplements brand promising overnight results. However, I do believe it’s useful for the audience to see another person’s journey and point of view. It’s valuable to see that starting out was difficult, that this person isn’t a monk, that meditation isn’t actually fancy or mystic. In the same vein, it should be fine to express that practicing consistently brings about positive results (if that in fact occurred).
Wait a minute, isn’t that the premise of every book or publication around mindfulness or meditation anyway? That there are benefits to meditation and that's why we should do it? Even though the author is not explicitly gloating about the benefits experienced personally, to me it's understood that they existed. Otherwise they would just be talking about experiences that didn't happen to them? Maybe I’m zooming in too much on this and overthinking it. It's only ONE paragraph, there wasn't a whole lot more said about it, but it resonated with me! For the record, it's a great book and I have much respect for the man.
I guess the conclusion (for now) is that I’m comfortable sharing my experiences with the world as long as my intent is in the right place and that I only put out the truth. The moment there is exaggeration or embellishment, I’m heading down a spiralling path. For now, I'll keep my 'image of invincibility' to myself :D
Any thoughts appreciated!