3 Myths About Mindfulness Meditation That Keep People From Its True Benefits


There is a general huge misconception around
mindfulness. Many people think that mindfulness is a spiritual thing. Many think that it’s
a private thing that we do at home. And most people think that mindfulness is about slowing
down. That’s wrong. Mindfulness in short terms is really about speeding up our mental
processes whereby we can be more effective with whatever we’re doing that we have this
attentional that allows us really to be on task with what we’re doing. So while mindfulness
could have a personal benefit which it certainly has. We do become more happy. We do become
more kind. But it also has a real strong business benefit in terms of our performance and productivity
going up. Mindfulness in short is learning to manage our attention. And according to
neuroscience that is actually very possible. The brain is consisting of a huge neural network
that can be rewired by the way that we’re using it. So basically what researchers can
see is that the more we pay attention – whatever we pay attention to but in this case in mindfulness
the stronger our, let’s say attentional muscle becomes – it’s right here behind
the forehead called the prefrontal cortex, the more we train, the better we become at
it. So that’s the short definition of mindfulness. The bit longer definition of mindfulness is
to develop the ability to stay focused with what we want to be focused on while still
being aware of our body experience, being aware of what’s going on around us. So with
more mindfulness we are not only becoming more effective in doing the task at hand but
we’re also becoming more effective in noticing what’s going on around us and which things
we should be allowing ourselves to be distracted by. And which distractions to leave out of
our mind. So I think one of the big reasons why some people leave their mindfulness practice
is because they have the wrong expectations to the practice. When we sit down and close
our eyes in the very beginning lots of thoughts will arise and that’s natural. And when
you sit down and do mindfulness practice after practice for maybe ten weeks or ten months
or ten years, still many thoughts will arise. So the trick of mindfulness is not to get
a total silent clear blissful mind. That doesn’t happen. Mindfulness is a practice where we
learn to notice our thoughts, let go of the thoughts and return to the object of choice
which is in practice is the breath.


32 Responses

  1. GoodsgoodNbadsbad

    December 11, 2015 8:19 pm

    What a load of crap. "Attentional muscle" — what the fuck is that. And who gives a flying fuck if production in the workplace would increase a small percentage. Meditation is not about making money for fucking corporations. Whoever feels the need to abduct meditation practices to be used to oil the corporate machine is a dishonest, greedy, piece of human garbage, and you're betraying your own species.

  2. Donald

    December 11, 2015 10:15 pm

    Great video! I practice mindful meditation but I don't like the groups so much anymore because people talk about meditating in a weird way instead of just being aware and not ruminating or mindlessly reacting.

  3. Tyler Rafferty

    December 12, 2015 1:59 am

    Offputting for 99% of the video, but his last statement brought me around. Still, defining it as a way to be more productive in business and "real life applications' strikes me as this man using it for marketing for the purpose of making money as opposed to bettering one's self or others, which is what I've come to expect from big think.

    There is nothing wrong with marketing mindfulness teachings, but I expect more out of +bigthink than a advertising video.

  4. Noah Nobody

    December 12, 2015 8:39 am

    I don't have these thoughts popping into my head when I meditate. I just get really board concentrating on my breath. I don't feel it has helped my concentration in the least. I'm something boars me, I do something else after a short time.

  5. Tor

    December 12, 2015 3:43 pm

    The happy chick, at this video's intro, made my penis get really real mindful like                ,                   oh yeah .

  6. lightsidemaster

    December 12, 2015 3:54 pm

    In KOTOR 2 Kreia explained a method to silence the inner thoughts.
    Imagine the Room of a Thousand Fountains in the Jedi Temple.
    Focus on the water that is flowing out of the Fountains.
    Concentrate on the sound the water makes while it flows.
    Then imagine the sound being gone.

    Something like that. I never tried it for myself, but when I am more experienced with meditation I will try that.

  7. MrBumbo90

    December 12, 2015 8:07 pm

    What is the difference between mindfulness and just focusing on doing your homework? When I am doing my homework, I get distracted by various thoughts, but I always come back to the subject of choice which is studying.

  8. Roderik M

    December 15, 2015 9:22 pm

    I would say most of those are side benefits of mindfulness or maybe tools it helps you develop to explore its most relevant benefits (i.e. improving one's mental well being). Nevertheless, these resources are certainly useful for other purposes.

  9. Michael

    December 19, 2015 6:46 am

    I think we should just corporatize everything. Self-improvement forever and ever, no slacking!!! Let's increase your productivity by smoothing over that you're living inside of a broken corporate wage-slave state, and instead slap that handy-dandy mindfulness band-aid over your very legitimate complaints about your work environment. Help us, help you to become the robot we've been looking for to optimize our company.

    Or, we could just leave productivity out of it for once, and pretend we actually appreciate anything at all for its own sake.

  10. Joskezz

    September 16, 2016 3:10 pm

    With all due respect, I believe your description of mindfulness in merely concentration with a little dabble in awareness. Concentration is a great practice on its own, but is not mindfulness. Mindfulness is about accepting the reality as it is, not as you would like it to be. It's about understanding the nature of reality so that we may understand why our negative actions are useless and untrue/harmful to ourselves. It''s about seperating objective from subjective reality, fact from fiction. It's about becoming ourselves in the truest sense of the word, realizing that all there is is love for oneself and one another. I like your explanation of concentration mixed with some mindful characteristics, but please try to be more clear in what you mean.

    Also, mindfulness is about speeding up mental processes, which means it's also about slowing down not ourselves, but our moment to moment experience of reality.

    I love that you are trying to educate the people about such an important topic, but I get the feeling that you're being a bit misleading. I've noticed this happening alot with people who teach mindfulness to businesses which is not surprising frankly, as this is the most shallow of areas in which mindfulness could be of good use. Mindfulness in business is usually stripped down of some of it's characteristics because some are literally against big business. Hopefully, people in these businesses will get more interested in mindfulness and therefore delve deeping into the topic and find more reliable sources, like Jon-Kabat Zinn, Culadasa, Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hanh etc. That's why I'm still grateful this video exists. Any video on mindfulness is a great video.

  11. The Nature of Mind

    July 24, 2017 5:03 am

    This man knows only the basics of mindfulness. He's ignorant about the Full potential of mindfulness


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