Neoliberalism, consumer capitalism, globalisation - these are all terms that go some way to describing our current socio-political system. A sense in which our economic worth is one of the upmost importance. Our impulsive need to consume is prioritised, encouraged and heavily exploited, angled toward material possessions. Most of us have this as the backdrop to our lives and are quite content existing in this cultural archetype.
But there are many who do not wish to be defined by the parameters of this world. Many who feel trapped, depressed, manipulated and removed from our most basic and fundamental needs as human beings. They want change.
Mindfulness is a powerful practise that can alter your relationship with the exterior world, bring a level of clarity to your everyday existence and strengthen your resolve against those unwarranted distractions.
Both mindfulness & meditation have the potential to be truly disruptive.
And yet, mindfulness has been co-opted by many of the leading figures & institutions of our capitalist environment - Goldman Sachs, Google, Nike - as a performance enhancer, a tool to become more effective at work, to make more money. This universal practise can frequently be found hidden behind pay walls, subscription services and targeted at a more affluent, money orientated clientele.
So how has this culture incorporated mindfulness into its economic framework, what are the potential issues with this approach and does it still have the potential to create meaningful change?
In this two parter, I want to ask the questions:
How has capitalism harnessed mindfulness?
How does it manipulate it to fit our current system?
Should we be concerned about the removal of spirituality from mindfulness?
Should mindfulness always be rooted in tradition?
Is there anything inherently wrong with this crossover?
Is our system resistant to change?
... and so much more!
This also includes an in-depth explanation of what is meant by mindfulness, neoliberalism, consumer capitalism & globalisation, so you won't feel left behind by any of the terminology!
There's plenty to explore here, so why not dip your toe in and explore the world of these two odd bed fellows.
The Savage Balance Podcast is a weekly podcast offering a new story, essay, interview, thought or leftover scribble from the back of a napkin.