Psychiatrist Says Mindfulness Makes it Easier for People to Become ‘Self-Centered’

(Daily Mail) It has long been advertised as the antidote to the anxieties and stresses of modern living.

But mindfulness could be making people more selfish, an expert psychiatrist has claimed.

Dr. Alison Gray, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said meditating makes easier for people to start over-analyzing their life, becoming “inward-looking and self-centered.”

The psychiatrist, who chairs the spirituality special interest group at the college, said it was more helpful for people to seek help from a community, such as a religion, in order to battle stress.

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  • DrIndica

    On Mani Padme Hum…any science backing up one psychiatrist’s opinion? Self-evaluation is not the same as self centeredness. Za Zen at a Buddhist temple, incorporates meditation and a community without the need for a diety.

    • Lydia Church

      See lighthouse trails research project website and they have lots of info. on this topic.
      Note that it is not ‘meditation’ or ‘self evaluation’ that is the problem by itself. It goes much deeper than that.

      • DrIndica

        Non-empirical research with Biblical passages as the only supporting “data”. Not very compelling to support the claim that meditation can correlate to self centeredness.

  • Lydia Church

    Yoga is of the occult and invites demonic influence into your spiritual life. The whole goal of yoga, if you bother asking a yogi guru expert as it originated from Hinduism in India, is to discover or ‘self realize’ your own ‘divinity,’ which by the way, you do not possess. It’s all about the self. As the devil tempted in the garden of Eden, “you too… can be like god,” so it goes on today. The fact is that… no, you are not god, and you never will be, because God is already God (see Bible) and there is ‘none other,’ as He stated in His Word. I have heard of some strange experiences coming from yoga sessions such as the ‘serpent energy’ thing. Please do not assume it is a harmless stretching exercise, because it is not. The only way to be reconciled to God is at the foot of the cross of Calvary, period. He can help you with stress, trust me, I know. And there is nothing wrong with relaxing with a nice cup of tea and things like that. But stay away from yoga, for more information on that see the website lighthouse trails research project and enter ‘yoga’ into the search box for related articles. It is totally contrary to Christianity, yet sadly so many are falling prey to it, even in the church, via deception.

    • DrIndica

      Many yoga “classes” at work out facilities focus on the poses, flexibility, strength and mindfulness…no connection to any description of a diety.

      • Etranger

        precisely. I have attended yoga classes for decades now. there has never ever been a description of a deity. I can’t even remember any kind of religious overtone at all – aside from mentioning peaceful interconnectivity of participants.

  • ID9192

    This is this psychiatrist’s opinion only – it is not based on research evidence at all. Numerous studies have shown that practicing mindfulness leads to more compassion and regard for others. Additionally, mindfulness lets you overcome any biases that one may have (such as towards a particular group of individuals). Lots of evidence point to this. Additionally, any good teacher of mindfulness would incorporate compassion meditation (i.e., loving kindness meditation) to the practice, which is about generating compassionate thoughts words and deeds towards others. Although at the very beginning stages of mindfulness practice it might be useful to practice as a group, further developing it when one is alone is very beneficial – I have experienced this first hand.

    • DrIndica

      Most 12 Step programs encourage meditation as a means to keep the disease of addiction in remission.

  • Mindfulness is a term used to describe a meditative state in which people direct their attention inward to become more self-aware. Mindfulness is self-examination of one’s thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and emotions with no judgment of their being right or wrong. The goal of meditative mindfulness is to identify thoughts and feelings about a particular issue, to live in the moment, and to accept oneself completely. When this goal has been reached, the person is said to have entered a state of mindfulness.

    Mindfulness is rooted in Buddhism, as promoters of mindfulness readily admit, although it is often adapted for secular purposes. The ideology behind mindfulness is to achieve stillness and balance of the mind.

    Man’s efforts to calm the mind and rid the life of stressors—through mindfulness or other New Age techniques—are an attempt to manufacture peace. From a biblical perspective, we know that only Jesus gives the peace that can exist in all circumstances (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7). No human can control emotions or thoughts on his or her own because we are born slaves to a sinful nature (Romans 6:17–23). Only through the power of the Holy Spirit who sets our minds free to think truthfully can we know true peace. If we want to practice being more aware or insightful, there are much better options than mindfulness techniques, such as Bible study and prayers for insight.

    When Christians think biblically, they see things defined through the lens of Scripture. The word mindful, which means “attentive,” is not describing anything inherently wrong. Christians can be mindful of Christ by taking every thought captive for Christ and renewing their minds with the truth (2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 12:2). But mindfulness, as promoted in psychology and used as a meditation technique, is not biblical.

    • ID9192

      There is evidence that Christian mystics practiced mindfulness/meditation. Check out “Mindful Christianity” by Jim Burklo (there are articles by him on the internet – you can check the HuffPost article). Also please check the book titled “Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations” written by Mathew Fox.
      As I see it, all religions are seeking “ultimate truths.”