“Mindfulness” is poised to become the Next Big Thing. Here is the likely trajectory of the movement: “mindfulness” will be thoroughly co-opted by corporate interests, embraced as a fad by the public at large, discredited through its association with corporate power, and then rejected as cynically manipulative bullshit, all within ten or twenty years. In the short term, the credibility of all contemplative practice will suffer as a result. A shame, that. I wonder what will replace it?
Meh. There will always be trend-chasing dabblers, there will always be dedicated practitioners, and there will always be those completely uninterested. Those demographics might fluctuate, but I don't see any reason to fear wholesale changes. Contemplative practice in all its forms is far too widespread and deeply-rooted around the world to worry about temporary dips in quarterly performance in the American market. "Mindfulness" will make a quiet difference in the lives of many who practice it, just as "spirituality" has. Marketers will no doubt invent a new term in order to sell people the same old contemplation in a redesigned box or bottle, but nothing's really being "replaced", except in the most superficial sense. As panta rheism teaches, the current stays in endless motion, but the form of the river endures.
For more of my thoughts on this topic, be sure to pick up a copy of my book, Water, Water Everywhere: The Alluvial Wisdom Contained Within the Neo-Ancient Principles of Panta Rheism, or visit my website for other fine products to assist you in your journey to the Sea of Enlightenment.