ARTICLE: When meditation turns toxic (self-compassion in mindful meditation)

Great article with interesting perspectives on mindfulness. Also I think Tara Brach would make an awesome Night Club guest (@Andrew @Night.Club). This article gives an overview of her meditation journey and her particular approach.

When meditation turns toxic: the woman exposing spiritual sexism: Since suffering a miscarriage at a women’s retreat, Tara Brach has tried to reform the world of meditation by arming its practitioners with a single weapon: self-compassion

While some types of meditation require practitioners to completely detach from earthly concerns, “mindfulness meditation in the West has never been that”, Christopher Germer, a clinical psychologist who lectures at Harvard’s Medical School told me. “As it is understood in the US, it is primarily the practice of regulating attention.”

This often takes the form of focusing on one thing – like our breath, or counting to 10 repeatedly – and returning to it every time attention wanders. Stepping outside the stream of emotion, and focusing on the present moment, helps one to return to life calmer and better equipped to deal with distress.

Brach’s brand of meditation focuses on compassion towards emotions during meditation. Germer explained the difference between the two approaches like this: “Mindfulness helps us regulate emotions through regulating attention, while compassion regulates difficult emotions through care and connection.”