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By the way, what is “mindfulness?” I see the word all the time lately:

But I feel like my mind wouldn’t survive reading much about it. If you can explain what the word means without my eyes glazing over, please do.

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  1. anonymous[312] • Disclaimer says:

    On the 75th anniversary of D-Day I’m so grateful that the U.S. defeated those evil Nazis. Had the Nazis won, Paris and London would still be White and Christian, and that would be really bad.

    Now, White Christians will be minorities in all their homelands by 2050. Thank your grandparents for firebombing Dresden to make that possible. We know they had this outcome in mind when they weren’t lied, browbeat and drafted into the war against their better judgement.

    Remember, America fought on the right side of the war, and pay no attention to evil, bad men like General Patton who said otherwise.

    After all, at least we aren’t speaking German today, right?

  2. How dare this crowd laugh at such heresy; then again, as Jon Snow might have said …

  3. El Dato says:

    OT: VATech segregates the hell out of the student body, dark or otherwise:

    Segregation is the new tolerance? College offers 10 ethnically-divided graduations

    Unlike the enforced segregation of old, this kinder, gentler discrimination is couched in the language of empowerment, strength in diversity, and tolerance. Only there is no diversity within a single-race dorm, and no tolerance learned by mingling solely with one’s own kind. Certainly, there is nothing empowering about claiming a bottom-of-the-barrel identity like “recovering addict” because as a straight white student, you have no advocates planning a special graduation ceremony for you at Virginia Tech.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  4. jim jones says:

    The Daily Mail seem to have decided that they like Mr.Trump after his positive meeting with the Queen:

  5. Anon[770] • Disclaimer says:

    Good question about mindfulness. It was used in diet-speak to refer to not just shoving stuff in your mouth as you watch television, but rather to encourage the contemplation and awareness of each Twinkie before you scarf it.

    I watch a lot of videos, and writer/quasi philosopher/evolutionary psychology book author Robert Wright seems to equate mindfulness with secular Buddhist practices. He has a book out on Buddhism and a newsletter called Mindful Resistance, which seems to be devoted to helping subscribers keep calm and healthy during the reign of Trump, not get too worked about stuff that is not going to proximately aid in Trump’s dethronement.

  6. Rosie says:

    Mindfulness is a concept from Buddhism that refers to the quality of “seeing without judgment,” crucial to the project of overcoming suffering, which springs from delusions of the mind. One of the objectives of meditation is to “let go” of identification with and evaluation of thoughts and feelings, cultivating indifference to sensations of pleasure and pain, calm and anxiety, hope and fear, etc… This very useful, but somewhat perilously escapist, Buddhist teaching has gone mainstream in Western mental health culture.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    , @Glt
  7. @Anon

    “but rather to encourage the contemplation and awareness of each Twinkie before you scarf it.”

    I’m down to 174 pounds from a spike up to 220 in 2015 during Merkel’s Mistake. I have to say that my weight loss secret seems to be non-mindfulness. Rather than be mindful of just how much I love Twinkies, the secret is to never ever think about Twinkies so that I don’t remember how much I miss them. The secret to a protein and fat diet seems to be to never ever eat sugar and starch, because they just makes me hungrier so I then eat too much protein and fat. Just don’t touch sugar and starch and try to forget about their existence.

  8. By the way, what is “mindfulness?” I see the word all the time lately.

    Much as I dislike the scriptwriter’s revisionist history, this video may depict the early days of mindfulness in America. I think it used to be a West Coast phenomenon.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  9. Mindfulness? Two words, Mr. Sailer: California Buddhism.

    • Replies: @Days of Broken Arrows
  10. Rosie says:

    It was used in diet-speak to refer to not just shoving stuff in your mouth as you watch television, but rather to encourage the contemplation and awareness of each Twinkie before you scarf it.

    Oh for Pete’s sake!

    The point is that you will actually enjoy your food more, and feel more satisfied with a little less, if you actually make it a point to focus on your food as you’re eating it and avoid distractions.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  11. anon[174] • Disclaimer says:

    “If you can explain what the word means without my eyes glazing over, please do.”

    Mindfulness is a call to walk on eggshells and not offend the wrong people or, alternatively, to notice things they want you to notice like how they need more power and you need less of it. Witness how use of the word took off after the republicans took back the congress in 2010 and then skyrocketed after Obama’s reelection. “Don’t notice that we’re in charge now and you shouldn’t be, so we get to impose all our bizarre fetishes on you because you can’t win the White House anymore.”

  12. @PiltdownMan

    “I’d like to teach the world to sing/In perfect harmony…”

    Somehow, we thought it would turn out a bit differently…

  13. hhsiii says:
    @Steve Sailer


    Mindful = aware, I think.

  14. “Mindfulness” is a syncretic, badly-translated-into-English concept which stems from several non-Western traditions: Taoism, Ch’an/Zen Buddhism, Vedic and yogic practices, one might even cite Heraclitus and the poet Frank O’Hara. (Allen Ginsberg liked to rattle on about satori, but Frank actually WAS satori.)

    Like the bad, fawning critical copy on the back of 50s and 60s Jazz records, some Jewish critic will ingenuously ask Zen Jazz Negro the softball question “What is jazz?” only to get the smug, fake-Zen reply “if you have to ask, you’ll never know, baby.”

    If I were you and you really wanted to know, I’d start with Gary Snyder’s translation of the Cold Mountain Poet(s), often just known as Han-Shan or Cold Mountain.


    I Ching,
    Analects of Confucius,
    The Classic of the Way and Its Power (aka Tao Te Ching)
    Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu,
    Poems of Su Tung-p’o (aka Su Shih)
    Rig Veda,
    as much of Ramayana as you can tolerate,
    Euripides, “The Bacchae”
    Walt Whitman, “Song of My Self,” “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” “I Hear America Singing,” “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” “Cavalry Crossing a Ford”

    for advanced study:

    Frank O’Hara, “Ode to Willem de Kooning,” “Ave Maria,” “To the Film Industry in Crisis,” “A Step Away from Them,” “A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island,” and “Poem: Lana Turner Has Collapsed!”

    That is, if you /really/ wanna know……

  15. Clyde says:

    Mindfulness started out 30-40 years ago as mindfulness mediation. You sat down and meditated this way like TM. It seems to have branched out as a very trendy word, now meaning that you live mind full and aware. NOT living in a perpetually distracted state due to smart phones and other distractions.
    We live in a distracted age and mindfulness is the antidote for millennials etc. – My take on this

    Who popularized mindfulness meditation? Jon Kabat Zinn. We has a wikipedia entry.

  16. Kyle says:

    I wish you hadn’t asked me to define mindfulness. My eyes really are starting to glaze over. I need to go sit down.

  17. @Steve Sailer

    Another approach, which works well for me, is to become nauseated at the very thought of consuming a Twinkie or anything of the kind.

    As it happens I was out at the market last night and couldn’t believe that every single woman I saw was overweight, some of them grotesquely so.

    It’s called progress that no shame or opprobrium now attaches to such a state. Almost puts me off food full stop.

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
  18. All that matters is that Roosevelt incited the war. That is the real story about World War Two, the real source of our problems of discussion.

    President Roosevelt’s Campaign To Incite War in Europe:
    The Secret Polish Document
    s by Mark Weber, IHR

    And let us not forget this outstanding work, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

    I write this in honor of a native of my county, a former schoolteacher, who died on Omaha Beach today, in the midst of Roosevelt’s war of choice.

  19. @jim jones

    And if John Hughes were still alive, he would cast them both for Pretty in Pink sequel.

  20. Alchemist says:

    Mindfulness is to Buddhism


    Universalist Unitarianism is to Christianity

  21. Mindful = aware, I think.

    Yeah, this, I think. As I hear the term used in diet-and-exercise contexts, it seems to mean concentrating on the one thing that you’re doing at a particular moment. Pretty much the opposite of “multitasking.”

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  22. @Rosie

    Thanks. I recently discovered that a non-overweight, professionally employed, Gen-X liberal family member is attending “Mindfulness” classes. Even after conversing about it, I was still in the dark.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  23. @jim jones

    I wish Trump had a tacky stars and stripes tie he wore to events like this.

  24. @anonymous

    I can’t go along with this recent trend of being pro-Axis on the assumption our lives would be whiter but otherwise unburdened. Nazism was much more extensive than being anti-immigration program, and our current problems were not a necessary outcome of an Allied victory.

    And besides, a likely outcome of a German victory in Europe would have been a kind of Cold War between the Reich and the Anglosphere, allied or not with Communism. Imagine Cold War politics combined with propaganda against the Reich’s racialist policies, and you get right back where we are now anyway.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  25. Mindfulness is a Buddhist idea. As I understand it, it is simply an awareness of the power of thought over reality. Reflect upon and change the thought to get better outcomes.

  26. Anon[320] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Quite inspirational!

    But … when James Thompson mentioned dieting on his blog it was completely engulfed in comments, and new posts from Dr. James, for weeks. If you want to avoid that fate, delete these comments immediately!

    If, on the other hand, you want to really juice you comments word count, do a post describing your weight loss system in more detail, then wait for the explosion. The system doesn’t have to make a lot of sense. Penn Jillette talked about his idiosyncratic weight loss process on a podcast, and all hell broke loose, plus he got a book deal. His diet was something like eat only potatoes for a couple of weeks, then live off of spinach and blueberries for three months.

  27. Rosie says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Welcome. My ambivalence about mindfulness stems from the fact that, while it certainly is a potent weapon against pain, it also seems to diminish pleasure. Rapture is necessarily unmindful, it seems to me. The end result is a kind of indifference to life, a bland and joyless existence.

    This person thinks you can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness without the cost. I’m skeptical, but then maybe I just never figured out how to do it right.

  28. “just thinking about thinking can give rise to this effect”

    See Calculating Consciousness Correlates At Multiple Scales of Neocortical Interactions” if you want to see an operational definition of “mindfulness” backed up on neurophysical measurements testing a theory that “mind over matter” is associated with large scale magnetic vector potential interactions that can even extend beyond an individual.

    The author, Lester Ingber is something of a phenomenon in my opinion.

  29. Thirdtwin says:

    “Mindfulness” became popular around the same time as “wellness”, IIRC. Must be something soft and soothing about that suffix.

  30. @Steve Sailer

    Uh, you’re not on Atkins, are you? Where you lose weight rapidly then die?

    An acquaintance of Sam Francis told me the man was on that diet. He did indeed drop the pounds. Then he was gone.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  31. By the way, what is “mindfulness?” I see the word all the time lately:

    Huh? I thought we’d passed peak mindfulness a few years back. I see books with that in the subtitle showing up in Little Free Libraries now.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  32. We had the wrong Franken in the Senate.

  33. ken says:

    How many muzzies have the Germans let in the past twenty years?

  34. I work in a mental-health related field, and I actually have a colleague with a master’s degree in mindfulness. And they say academia is a joke.

    The roots of ‘mindfulness’ are indeed located in Buddhism. In Western mental health practice it is often taken to mean that the patient identifies a means of stilling their inner agitation (preferably meditation, preferably not heroin or alcohol) in order to reduce stress levels and enable them to deal more constructively with the practical challenges of life by learning different ways of regulating their relationship with the world around them. Mindfulness training seems to involve staring at a bean for about fifteen minutes and contemplating its structural autonomy and your relationship to it. I think this is supposed to help you detach yourself from stimuli while being able to study things impassively without getting worked up about them, and to realize they are all part of the fabric of life. I think.

    This would be perfectly reasonable on the face of it, but you can see the potential for it to be dressed up as part of some profound spiritual ‘journey’ complete with a wise shamanistic teacher to guide you. In other words, it’s tailor-made for charlatans to bilk unhappy middle-class people who like to say they are ‘spiritual but not religious’. It also tends to give practitioners a wholly unwarranted superiority complex because they think they are accessing the wisdom of the Eastern sages. It doesn’t seem to be quite as popular as it was even 3-4 years ago, which is borne out by the graph.

  35. @The Alarmist

    How can someone who was born in England in 1947 and lived in the UK for all but a single year of his life credibly state “I’ve never seen so many white people in one place?”

    I wonder whether the UK is like the U.S. in that this jerk can say that Brexit supporters are “completely white” but if a Pro-Brexit speaker says “Remainers are disproportionately immigrants and people of color” he’d get hit over the head?

    • Replies: @Anon
  36. BB753 says:

    It’s some kind of New Age mixture of Buddhist meditation techniques and Christianism.

  37. @Anon

    OT: Americans May Be Strapped, But the Go-To Statistic Is False.

    It is a myth that a large share of people can’t cover a $400 emergency expense. Why does the story persist?

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Redneck farmer
  38. @Steve Sailer

    “…from a spike up to 220 in 2015 during Merkel’s Mistake. ”


    Twinkie Defense, refried & served by Uncle Sailer.

  39. Is mindfulness the same as fretting or worrying?

  40. @Steve Sailer

    Wow, that’s more than 10 pounds a year. Just think how little you’ll weigh in 2023!

    Twinkies are gross. If you’re going to cheat, try raspberry chocolate cheesecake or something. Blueberry lemon bread made with a whole stick of butter and cup of white sugar. Rich banana bread with chocolate chips.

    Oops. Am I messing up your mindfulness?

  41. Woke == Mindfulness

  42. @Reg Cæsar

    LOL. That’s as stupid as low carb causes kidney failure, which was the lie being circulated back in 1998 when I lost weight on Atkins (and didn’t die).

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  43. Corvinus says:

    I imagine that your diatribe is only parody, as millions of people were subjugated by Germany against their will, as well as those millions of people who died on either side.

    • Replies: @James Kabala
  44. kihowi says:

    I saw that word for the first time a few years ago and just felt tired. Oh, one of those again. This happens about every fifteen years when the nihilism and decadence hve been taken such extremes that even wine-mommies realize something is wrong.

    Sounds like another dumbed down version of Buddhism. Well not real Buddhism. Real Buddhism is a dark mess of folklore and superstition and not the agnostic self-help that pr-gifted Asians convinced the hippies that it was. A dumbed down version of what in the sixties was pretty dumb already.

    This kind of thing makes me think of David Mitchell as one the “nasty and twisted vicars that unaccountably still exist” and what he said to the bubbly housewife who’s “not religious but spiritual.”

    “I don’t give a ha’penny-jizz about your internet-assembled philosophy.” Well exactly.

  45. June 6, 2019

    Re: “Mindfulness”

    Dear Steve:

    Mindfulness is one of the Five Cardinal Virtues in what Edward Conze termed “Archaic” Buddhism. It is an elementary stage of concentration (Samadhi) in Buddhist teaching.

    I can’t speak to the worldly “mindfulness” craze currently sweeping the country. It’s a corruption of the beneficial Buddhist practice. It skips the necessary prerequisite of analytical contemplation, which contemplates the pervasive and universal nature of suffering and thereby fails to provide a valid point of view – a foundation upon which one can effectively train the mind.

    Buddha taught that all beings desire happiness but – ignorant of cause and effect – tragically plant seeds of suffering and get results they do not want.

    One of Buddha’s monks approached him and shared difficulties he was experiencing in meditation. Buddha took a silk scarf and tied it in six knots one atop the other. He asked the monk “How do you untie this? Do you just mindlessly tug at it? The monk replied, “No. You will only make the knot tighter.” And Buddha replied, “Yes. You must untie the knots in the correct order, from outer to inner.”

    The Buddhist Three-fold Training teaches a structure of Ethics – Meditation – Wisdom. Buddhist believe that suffering is caused by ignorance and Wisdom is the antidote. Wisdom arises from Samadhi, which is the perfection of meditation. (Ethical behavior in turn is the foundation of the practice of meditation.)

    There are the samadhis of shamatha (tranquility), vipasyana (insight or true seeing), and the combination of shamatha and vipasyana.

    If the mind is compared to a vast lake whose surface is roiling with wind-generated waves, the task of tranquility meditation is to calm the surface. Then the reflection of the moon – our true nature – which was always shining but was fractured by the waves, can be seen. One then meditates on that newly revealed clear reflection of the moon. Eventually one experiences the moon itself directly.

    “Etymologically “mindfulness” (smr-ti) is derived from the root [in Sanskrit] for “to remember”, and it may be defined as an act of remembering which prevents ideas from “floating away”, and which fights forgetfulness, carelessness and distraction. The manifold techniques of mindfulness can be read up elsewhere. What concerns us here is the function of this virtue, and the theoretical assumptions which underlie its practice. In accordance with yogic tradition the mind is assumed to consist of two disparate parts – a depth which is calm and quiet, and a surface which is disturbed. The surface layer is in perpetual agitation and turmoil. Beyond both conscious and unconscious minds as modern psychologists understand them, there is, at the bottom of the mind, a centre which is quite still. The deep calm is, however, usually overlaid with so much turbulence that most people remain incredulous when told of this submerged spot of stillness in their inmost hearts.”

    “Mindfulness and concentration are the two virtues concerned with the development or reconquest of inward calm. “Mindfulness” is the name given to the measures which are taken to protect the inward calm which slowly grows within us. A line is, as it were, drawn round this tranquil domain, and watch is kept at its boundaries for trespassers, the principal enemies of spiritual quietude being the senses, the passions unless dissociated from the ego, and discursive thinking.”
    – Buddhist Thought in India (1962) p. 52 Edward Conze

    Hope this helps (and your eyes aren’t too glazed!),

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  46. Glt says:

    Thanks for the link. My understanding was the first part of this definition from your link:
    “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens”

    I find it a helpful concept. Contrast reading on your phone all the time vs. that awareness. I’ve come to think reading on the phone alleviates boredom at a snap but overall is not good for me. I think intentionality might have been the last buzzword for the same thing but that was a bit before my time (ngram viewer says it peaked sharply late 90s) so I’m not sure.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  47. Anon[277] • Disclaimer says:

    Don’t get all huffy about ‘mindfulness.’ Real Buddhism has little to do with the Americanized, touchy-feeling stuff. They had kings, wars, etc., it wasn’t all communes. Evola considered it a true Aryan tradition, unlike Christianity. Ever hear of the samurai? Zen monks were ardent nationalists during WWII. The Dalai Lama himself is pretty based: “Europe is for Europeans.”

    • Replies: @Rosie
  48. @Steve Sailer

    They’ve moved on to calling it a Ketogenic diet, if it is mostly fat, and there are both Clean Ketogenic and a Dirty Ketogenic versions that will both help you lose weight but affect your blood chemistry in different ways.

  49. Sean says:

    Kelly McGonigal (born October 21, 1977) is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who is known for her work in the field of ‘science help’ which focuses on translating insights from psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies that support health and well-being.[1] Mainstream media articles about inner-conflict-related aspects of modern lifestyles regularly quote her. A longtime advocate of self-compassion and mindfulness as stress-coping strategies, McGonigal has lately altered her focus on the problematic aspects of stress; in a talk at the TEDGlobal 2013, she emphasized the importance of an individual’s subjective belief in themselves as someone who is able to cope successfully as being a crucial factor in their actual response to stress.

    She is the identical twin of game designer Jane McGonigal

  50. @Roderick Spode

    More to the point: “California Girl Buddhism.” I’ve only see (and heard) women use this word. Namaste is their other favorite.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  51. @El Dato

    El Dato, however, putting up posters announcing a “White Graduation Ceremony” would probably get you barred from any graduation ceremony and escorted off campus.

  52. @Steve Sailer


    I’m on the IPA diet, which is horrible preparation for getting beach body ready.

  53. By the way, what is “mindfulness?”

    According to Smithsonian Magazine, the Indian Vitarka Mudra hand sign (aka the OK sign in the West), “evokes mind and mindfulness.”

    Use it early and often while meditating, scuba diving, at baseball parks, etc.

  54. Dtbb says:

    Steve, thanks for that link, because through it I discovered a guy named Bill Burr. Funniest guy I have seen since Sam Kinison.

  55. @Corvinus

    Some of these losers seem to have really convinced themselves that the Nazis were favorably disposed toward the Polish or the Czechs or the French etc. (Or maybe they are just German supremacists like the actual Nazis, but they usually depict themselves as more broad-based white supremacists.)

    Mindfulness = yoga, as far as I can tell.

  56. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The best food, comfort food that is, not haute cuisine, combines sugar/starch with protein/fat quite aggressively: burgers and fries with a coke/shake, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, mac ‘n cheese, cakes, ice cream, etc.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  57. Rosie says:

    I find it a helpful concept.

    No doubt. Since you seem curious, I would encourage you to do an experiment. Find your favorite junk food and go to a quiet place and eat it mindfully, taking note of the smell, taste, and mouthfeel. Then determine whether or not you are enjoying it. Report back.

  58. Rosie says:
    @Days of Broken Arrows

    More to the point: “California Girl Buddhism.” I’ve only see (and heard) women use this word. Namaste is their other favorite.

    If that is true now, it wasn’t always so.

  59. Rosie says:

    Evola considered it a true Aryan tradition, unlike Christianity.

    If that’s true, then Evola had a very curious notion of what it means to be “Aryan.” If you reach the ultimate end point of Buddhism (“enlightenment”), you will live out your days very peacefully… drumming your nails and waiting to die.

    The Dalai Lama himself is pretty based: “Europe is for Europeans.”

    Tibetan Buddhism is an amalgamation of the indigenous Bonn religion and Buddhist influence from both India and China. There is, therefore, a blood-and-soil quality to Tibetan Buddhism that is wholly absent from other Buddhist traditions.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  60. ChrisZ says:

    Hammer, I too have noticed the an uptick (and perhaps normalization) in overweight women, and what seems to be a downtick in workout-honed, surgically enhanced female bodies.

    The latter were all the rage in the 1990s; do you think today’s slovenly female look is a reaction to it?

  61. @Anonymous

    Yum …

    So, basically, my latest diet is to not remind myself that these delicious foods exist. So don’t take just a little pizza and then try to use my willpower not to take any more. I don’t have much willpower, but I do have strong powers of overlooking and being distracted.

    Sugar & starch tend to make me instantly hungrier, so even if I just eat one slice of pie, then I will eat too much of my usual protein and fat staples.

    So, best is to not get started on sugar and starch.

    It seems to be working at the moment, but maybe I’m wasting away with tuberculosis like a 19th Century garrett-dwelling bohemian? It doesn’t seem that way, but who knows?

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @anon
  62. If you can explain what the word means without my eyes glazing over, please do.

    I believe “Mindfulness” is, like, when reality is a drag but you don’t mind because your mind is busy minding your own mind. Or something like that. I am told it’s totally awesome.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  63. Rosie says:

    I believe “Mindfulness” is, like, when reality is a drag but you don’t mind because your mind is busy minding your own mind. Or something like that. I am told it’s totally awesome.

    Pretty much.

  64. Olorin says:
    @jim jones

    What a relief.

    It’d be a disaster if we American peons had elected a US president that Jonathan Harmsworth and Daily Mail and General Trust plc didn’t like.

  65. Anon[330] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    I’m unconvinced by that article, which is in the opinion section, not the news section, by the way.

    I don’t consider having to beg for money from friends or going into debt to be “able to cover a $400 expense.” Did you even read the article?

    And when he says it can’t be true because everyone in his office can afford to replace bald car tires: That’s the same fallacy that causes New York writers to think blacks can’t have low IQs on average, because “we have a few black people writing for our magazine, and they can totally hold up their end of a conversation. “

  66. I’ve always associated mindfulness with deep breathing, which lowers the heart rate and appears to have a number of benefits mostly associated with increasing activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. There is also generalized and nonspecific evidence that meditation improves cognition, primarily executive function. My theory is that by lowering the impact of emotions, it increases the ability of the prefrontal cortex to function versus the limbic brain.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    , @Rosie
  67. @Edwin Arnold

    Most of the Buddhists I’ve met are just this side of nuts. And it rules their lives.

    • Replies: @Edwin Arnold
  68. @Rosie

    Thank you for correcting the unfunny bonehead who thinks he’s funny.

  69. Olorin says:
    @Daniel Chieh


    In practice “mindfulness” means turning OFF the prefrontal cortex, which is the source of much self-inflicted suffering for many people of normal-and-above intelligence.

    “Mindfulness” was a term stolen from Buddhism (translation of a Sanskrit [or Pali] word) by New Agers. But it had a technical meaning prior to that. Something like “be here now” extended beyond the now-moment. A continuum of heres and nows.

    People distract, spur, and torment themselves with worry, imaginings, emotion-steeped rationalization, etc. This is the cause of most human suffering. (First two Noble Truths.)

    The point is to teach one’s mind to be quiet, still, and at the center point of consciousness. To do that means being completely aware (mind-ful) of where one is in the moment…while also letting it go, meaning letting each moment slip past, noticed but not clung to.

    It’s an exercise, because there’s so much to observe/be aware of in any moment, and because it’s hard to let go of both good and bad moments, albeit for probably different cognitive reasons.

    It’s intended to become a habit of thought to cancel out other habits of thought that lead to ill effects (worry, imaginings, and such). Completely being with what you are doing in each moment.

    I’m reaching here, but iirc in the 19th c Thomas Rhys Davids translated the Pali word sati as “mindfulness,” with more technical precision than that word in English. It implies the memory of correct thinking as well as the ongoing attentive calm that ime is similar to Stoicism’s.

    This implies a constant renewal of focused purpose and also taking note of what is happening/passing before the field of consciousness…but without hanging a label on it. Thus very much not a prefrontal cortex thing, since that part of the brain–the “executive function”–undisciplined can wreak havoc just as being completely limbically driven can.

    Again, it’s an exercise. For some it can become a habit. For me it most consistently meshes with woodworking and being out in “nature.” Also sometimes musical improvisation.

    Back in the ’90s this was a favored topic for the regulars of alt.buddha.short-fat-guy (Usenet group, not the Google Groups spinoff of today). It was widely agreed that one of the most skilled practitioners of “mindfulness” was Dupree the Iguana. This was a large green iguana in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Boulder Creek, who had her own Web cam in the ’90s.

    If you want to know what “mindfulness” means, go find a content iguana and watch her bask, eat, sleep, etc., for 24 hours without yourself stirring…but while being aware of what you’re thinking, how you’re moving, etc. While not putting interpretations on any of that, or labels. Just being.

    That’s mindfulness.

    I suppose some would bicker that Dupree did not have a mind, but that observation would be the opposite of mindfulness.

    Anyway, that’s my take, and it’s got a lot of xylem and phloem in it.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  70. Yes, it is a ridiculous-sounding word in English. Those with a sense of poetry, of the subtleties of diction, will understand this.

    And yes, no doubt the term is misused and abused by countless charlatans and alternative douchebags.

    But the Buddhist concept itself is a wise, valuable, and enlightening concept. Would that more of us were capable of actual mindfulness.

    (Especially Sailer. Maybe then he wouldn’t write so many ignorant things.)

  71. @Steve Sailer

    The trouble begins when you notice the urge to start belting out numbers from “Rent”.

  72. @Rosie

    Buddha was not an Aryan and his religion is antithetical to Aryan sky-god beliefs. Moreover, he was not a prince. He lived in a Republic.

    Buddhism is a rationalization the prehistoric religion of what is modern Northeast India.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  73. @Reg Cæsar

    Haha! For the kiddies? Or, is it just a virtue-signaling way to avoid going all the way out to the recycling bin?

  74. @obwandiyag

    . . . Like Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, all of which developed around the same time, it represents an indigenous reaction to the religious impositions of the Aryans.

  75. “I’m not a Namaste kind of guy.”

  76. Rosie says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    My theory is that by lowering the impact of emotions, it increases the ability of the prefrontal cortex to function versus the limbic brain

    At which point, the question becomes how far one can take this process before one becomes not fully alive, at least in the way humans ordinarily understand it.

  77. The main thing I know about mindfulness is that The Teaching Company has courses on it.

  78. Anon[403] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    He heard a powerful Jewish media figure say it once (or perhaps multiple times) and decided to to repeat it.

    Anyone who grew up in the UK pre-90s would’ve spent nearly all their time in all-White social situations. Even a Londoner, provided he was affluent, would seldomly have encountered diversity (except when he bought his evening curry).

    Until the 90s, the Brits had no inclination towards diversity or any type of cuckery. They used to view it as a peculiar American obsession.

    However, under Major and then especially Blair, certain (((American))) cultural norms took root in the UK.

    Today’s UK is very different from what it was back in the 80s.

  79. anon[793] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    MMMMmmmm. Twinkies.

  80. Rosie says:

    People distract, spur, and torment themselves with worry, imaginings, emotion-steeped rationalization, etc. This is the cause of most human suffering. (First two Noble Truths.)

    I agree with your definition of mindfulness, but here you profoundly mischaracterize the Noble Truths. Buddhism does not simply exhort practitioners to avoid hysterical self-talk and unwarranted dread and anxiety. The Noble Truths are a more thoroughgoing indictment of existence itself. What is demanded is a repudiation of self altogether.

  81. @Anon

    Yeah, it was also given massive meme power by those best selling Ekhart Tolle books, eg. “The Power of Now”. Stop living in the past! Stop dreaming of the future! Live in the moment. Be mindful!

  82. @Chrisnonymous

    LOL. That’s as stupid as low carb causes kidney failure, which was the lie being circulated back in 1998 when I lost weight on Atkins (and didn’t die).

    And Rush Limbaugh’s grandfather smoked cigars till the age of 102, so we should all light up? Atkins was just one more in a long march of fad diets. People’s mileage will vary. Sam didn’t get much range, did he?

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  83. MBlanc46 says:

    Nazism wasn’t anti-immigration. The plan was to send German immigrants all over Poland and Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  84. Wilkey says:

    This attitude is just stucking fupid.

    “Hey, how can we make people not think the alt-right is full of Nazis? I know! Let’s praise the Third Reich and talk about how we wish they had won.”

    No thank you, very much. The Axis was as evil as they come. Just from a “white nationalist” standpoint Hitler started off by invading nearly all of his white neighbors. Tens of millions of Europeans died. I would not want to live in the world the Nazis would have made for us.

    The insane policies we pursued after the war were no way necessary or forseeable or somehow a continuation of our wartime policies. The fact that we embrace a lot of idiotic ideas in the decades following the war had nothing to do with the effort to defeat the Axis.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  85. guest says:

    “Mindfulness” far as I know is just meditation without the religious aspect. Keeping your mind focused on the present? Or maybe just not thinking.

    I’m other words: banality. The Banality Movement.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  86. dfordoom says: • Website

    This attitude is just stucking fupid.

    “Hey, how can we make people not think the alt-right is full of Nazis? I know! Let’s praise the Third Reich and talk about how we wish they had won.”

    Agreed. But the alt-right really does include a lot of nutters. I’m not sure the alt-right could ever be made respectable. That’s the trouble with any dissident group of the Right, or that identifies itself as being of the Right – it’s going to attract Hitler fans, crazy conspiracy theorists, people who think everything is a Jewish plot, people who think everything is a Masonic plot, apologists for the Confederacy, and people who really do sound exactly like everyone’s idea of a stereotypical Klansman.

    Of course every movement has its lunatic fringe, but the right-wing lunatic fringe is particularly damaging.

    It’s one of the reasons I don’t think right-wing nationalism has any real future – there’s just too much ugliness and nastiness associated in most people’s minds with the political Right.

  87. I can’t believe no one has explained mindfulness in terms Steve can understand.

    Steve, mindfulness is noticing.

    I liked the idea of Huxley’s mindfulness-reminder mynah birds in Island, though practically implemented they’d probably just be annoying.

    “Attention”, a voice began to call, and it was as though an oboe had suddenly become articulate. “Attention”, it repeated in the same high, nasal monotone. “Attention” (…)

    “Is that your bird?” Will asked.

    She shook her head.

    Mynahs are like the electric light”, she said. “They don’t belong to anybody.”

    Why does he say those things?

    “Because somebody taught him”, she answered patiently…

    But why did they teach him those things? Why ‘Attention’? Why ‘Here and now?’

    “Well …” She searched for the right words in which to explain the self-evident to this strange imbecile. “That’s what you always forget, isn’t it? I mean, you forget to pay attention to what’s happening. And that’s the same as not being here and now.”

    “And the mynahs fly about reminding you—is that it?”

    She nodded. That, of course, was it. There was a silence.

  88. anon[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Kinda surprising how many commenters took your usage of Twinkee literally. Pretty clearly (I think) just a stand-in for junk food, like bon bons.

    Or maybe everybody realizes that, but people just like to talk about food…

  89. Doc Bob says:

    Mindfulness is being aware of what you think, feel, and sense as you are thinking, feeling, and sensing. It’s also the ability to focus.

    someone who is mindful knows when they’re happy, sad, or tired. They dont stay up all night chewing on a cutting remark their office rival made at the water cooler.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  90. @MBlanc46

    Yes, yes, but you know what I mean. Had the Germans won, no one would have proposed the Turkish guest worker program of the 1960s or that France allow in Algerians, etc, and were someone to have propose the Million Merkel March today, they would have been strongly opposed.

  91. @Wilkey

    The fact that we embrace a lot of idiotic ideas in the decades following the war had nothing to do with the effort to defeat the Axis.

    This is perhaps a bit too strong. I think our current insanity is most attributable to the domestic situation in the United States–contemporary leftist Christian theology, the self-defeating harshness of race relations, leftist academics, the failure of the primary and secondary education system. One of these factors that I think is not commented on enough is the influence of globalizing entertainment at the time.

    However, I suspect there may have been a contribution from anti-Communism, too, although I don’t know anyone who has written about this. I mean that, for example, developing allies around the world, and especially in East Asia, involved processes that would tend to break down ethnocentricity. And the position we found ourselves in at the end of WWII set us up for the kind of containment strategies we adopted.

  92. @Reg Cæsar

    Rush Limbaugh’s grandfather smoked cigars till the age of 102, so we should all light up?

    So, what’s wrong with this line of thinking? (1) Specifically, there is a large body of good research suggesting that “Limbaugh’s grandfather” is an outlier. (2) Generally, this is an anecdotal approach.

    So, what about Sam Francis?

    (Well, first of all, Francis died from complications of aortic aneurysm, which is not connected to diet. But let’s set that aside for a moment…)

    (1) Is there a large body of good research suggesting that people die when they go on the Atkins Diet? No, there isn’t. In fact, there isn’t any research that shows that at all (don’t quote me marginal increases in future all-cause mortality studies, which is something different). Just as in 1998, despite the grave pronouncements of doctors and dietitians, there was no evidence that Atkins Diet caused kidney failure.

    (2) “Sam Francis died after going on the Atkins Diet, so you will too” is entirely anecdotal. Moreover, if you want to start collecting anecdotes, there are thousands and thousands of people who have gone on the Atkins, Very Low Carb, or Ketogenic diets going back to Atkins original diet book in the 1970s. There are also anecdotes from history and anthropology. Where are all the stories of people dying after going on Atkins? Where?

    Look, if you want to believe that the Atkins Diet isn’t as good for you as the USDA food pyramid you grew up with, go ahead, but don’t spread bullshit.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  93. You might prefer the pop-psych book “Flow” by Mikhail Somethingsomething.

  94. @Doc Bob

    That’s also known as maturity.

  95. @Chrisnonymous

    I didn’t say “you will too”. People differ. I’m just against Diets of the Week in general. Dr Reuben, the sex doctor, beats all the diet doctors. Eat good food. How hard is that?

    AA also does wonders for some, and nothing for others.

  96. @Jim Don Bob

    Sadly, there are many folks with “broken wings” in Western Buddhist circles. That speaks more to the degeneration of our culture than to the sanity of Buddhist teachings.

  97. @James Kabala

    The last SS unit to surrender in Berlin were Frenchmen.

  98. Tulip says:

    “Mindfulness” is a set of practices popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the early 1990’s:

    Kabat-Zinn studied Buddhism, and Buddhism is a religion, “Mindfulness” is an attempt to secularize Buddhist practices and re-interpret them in a secular context. Depending on your point of view, it is good or bad. Some Buddhists object because “Mindfulness” may be viewed as a profaning Buddhist practice and meditation is a means for realization of the Buddhist path and taking it out of this context can be either useless or downright spiritually harmful. Non-Buddhists object because they see “Mindfulness” as a stealth campaign to promote crypto-Buddhism and avoid Separation Clause arguments in school and public institutional contexts. Others object because the literature on meditation suggests that it has limited efficacy in solving the problems many of its proponents claim that it solves.

    In a “spiritual but not religious” age, “mindfulness” is a near-ally of “woke”.

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