Pema Chodron is New Age BS. Meditation makes you less you. Judith Warner knows what she’s talking about when it comes to Buddhist meditation.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Mar 7, 2009
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judith warner
















I expect better, more researched, more informed commentary from my idol, the New York Times. I expect too much.

Check out Judith Warner’s sweet but amateur, ig’nant, 1st grade understanding of Buddhist mindfulness. Truth is, meditation makes you more yourself, not less.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “Pema Chodron is New Age BS. Meditation makes you less you. Judith Warner knows what she’s talking about when it comes to Buddhist meditation.”

  1. I dig that part too, amen. We can use meditation as mere navel-gazing, seeking to silence our inner turmoil can make us not ourselves. That said, she repeatedly refers to meditation's fruition as a sort of nihilistic vacuum—which is an amateur understanding that I'm disappointed to see held up in print in the Times. The point of Buddhism is not to silence the self—but rather to tame one's selfishness, open one's heart and mind, help others, and awaken the six senses (the sixth sense in Buddhism is 'mind/heart'). There's nothing in the Buddhist tradition about trying to get rid of oneself, that's a mere Judeo Chrisitan hangover from those used to 'Original Sin.'

    (her words)

    For the truth is, however admirable mindfulness may be, however much peace, grounding, stability and self-acceptance it can bring, as an experience to be shared, it’s stultifyingly boring.

  2. engund says:

    When you put aside your emotions and your mind, I don't see what "self" there is for you to be! Please explain.

  3. yogasamurai says:

    I appreciate your reaction to her piece, which does seem to reflect the experience of someone who, in the end, just can't stand to "sit still".

    However, I would put in a plug in for "radical nothingness." Your characterization is not quite accurate, I think. We don't completely empty ourselves out to eliminate ourselves but to ensure that we have completely surrendered our penchant to seek and attach ourselves to ego-objects, however, benignly intended, or even spiritually "informed."

    In this sense, the theologies of Christian mystics and Buddhists, while distinct, perhaps, still converge I believe, in their concern to achieve a radical detachment from deeply entrenched, indeed, quite instinctive drives and cravings, that inhere in our human nature.

  4. Ricardo says:

    What? She is clearly onto something, and achieving a deeper understanding. She is not undermining meditation. She is starting to see that mindfulness is not to be proselytized, and that true understanding is to appreciate reality, and that mindfulness should not be used as a means of numbing out. I thought it was a good piece.