Headline: A Meta-Critique of Mindfulness Critiques: From McMindfulness to Critical Mindfulness

Online magazines and blogs are attempting to translate mindfulness into the cultural mainstream, but online discussions often reproduce assumptions and patterns of thinking which are divisive, leading to an increasingly polarized debate. This chapter presents a discourse analysis of mindfulness critiques circulating in online media over the last few years in order to identify the fault lines that frame public debate on mindfulness. It combines critiques to present a coherent summary of critics’ concerns, and it outlines the conditions for renegotiating how mindfulness is framed. Overall, this chapter argues that neoliberalism has transformed mindfulness into a variety of depoliticized and commodified self-help techniques and that universal, asocial and ahistorical views of mindfulness should be replaced by critical, socially aware and engaged forms of mindfulness.

Publication Year
Publication Type
Monographs and Edited Volumes

Walsh, Z. (2016). A Meta-Critique of Mindfulness Critiques: From McMindfulness to Critical Mindfulness. In R. E. Purser, D. Forbes, & T. A. Burke (Eds.), Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context, and Social Engagement (pp. 153-188). Cham: Springer.

Projects involved
A Mindset for the Anthropocene (AMA)