The Problem with Mindfulness

140 words published on April 18th

The problem with mindfulness (or with paying attention—if The Giant Buddha makes you nervous) is the way that it reveals our defenses. It arms us with power to change our lives: despite addiction, despite television, despite the couch. Then it leaves us wondering why we’re not fixing anything.

Onion rings are an excuse and not an excuse. Gin, also, is an excuse and not an excuse.

Mindfulness can make us feel pathetic. Tigers who eat only mustard greens and rhubarb.

We’re left wading through explanations. We have a map. We have a lovely convertible and top-down music. We have lovers preparing dinner, anxious for our arrival. But we choose back roads and rusty trucks and AM radio. We choose rickety mechanical gas pumps, wondering if we’ll make it anywhere.

Fully aware that we’re capable. Fully aware that we’re not.