The Mindfulness Blog

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There's Nothing New Under The Sun

A lot of old ideas are really good ideas. Sometimes they're called the same thing, and sometimes they're called something different. Sometimes, language surrounding old ideas changes entirely, but the original idea remains largely intact.

Sometimes the change is intentional, and sometimes it's accidental or unintentional. Sometimes the change is incremental, and sometimes it's obvious or dramatic. Sometimes the change is elemental, and sometimes it's simply a refresh.

The same is true, I believe, with the age-old wisdom that surrounds mindfulness and the practice of meditation. They're both incredibly powerful ideas that are absolutely relevant in today's world but for many, the two terms carry a lot of baggage, in terms of association and connotation. That is, quite frankly, problematic for those who may be skeptical-- and it's a challenge that is largely ignored.

Take, for instance, the typical lawyer. He or she is typically inclined to believe and/or professionally trained to believe that meaning turns upon the philosophy espoused by detective Joe Friday in the old television series, Dragnet: "Nothing but the facts, ma'am". If we've have learned anything in recent past, it's that the Rule of Law is grounded in fact.

Well, in thinking about that lately, it occurred to me that the legal profession (of which I was a proud member, for 40 years) is about disciplined curiosity and probing inquiry. So are mindfulness and meditation!

The legal profession holds that the inherent worth of a person or an idea is something that can best be discovered by suspending judgment: So, do mindfulness and meditation.

The legal profession maintains that, during the course of inquiry, one should not attach oneself to a particular result or outcome, lest the ultimate conclusion become biased: So, too, do mindfulness and meditation.

So, how can we better communicate the benefits of mindfulness and meditation to the legal profession in the year 2022? Maybe, by invoking their basic tenets (which square incredibly well with the tenets of the legal profession) by simply referring to them differently-- calling them something different-- talking about their obvious benefits, through new language.

We don't to pretend that mindfulness or meditation are "new under the sun". We simply need to change our perspective and that can be accomplished through the use of new language!


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