Over at Maclean’s Anne Kingston surveys the world of corporate mindfulness and the Buddhist reaction. “What has gripped Western attention,” writes Kingston, “is mindfulness’s ability to improve performance—of Olympic athletes, parents, and even nations, as promised in U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan’s 2012 bestseller, Mindful Nation.” Mindfulness: the panacea to all our personal and societal ills. Tech entrepreneurs, corporations (benevolent and evil), publishers (Buddhist and non-Buddhist), and life-coaches of all stripes have been quick to capitalize on the “mindful” vogue. With the mindfulness movement in full swing, Chase bank has launched a resource center for “mindful spending” and the people behind the Shambhala Sun have premiered a mass-market lifestyle magazine, Mindful:
The first issue of the Halifax-based bimonthly bills itself as ‘your guide to less stress and more joy’ with features such as ‘The science of changing your brain.’ Publisher Jim Gimian says he wants to send ‘a very broad message that mindfulness is a lifestyle, a broadly appealing part of life and not something esoteric or foreign.’ Even the ads are ‘curated’ to reflect this message, he says; placing a full-page ad for women’s clothing line Eileen Fisher on the first page was strategic: the company also advertises in Vogue.
Although instigated largely by Buddhist monks, the ethnic cleansing campaign, says HRW’s UK director David Mepham, has been the product of “extensive state involvement and planning.” The official report criticizes both the position of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the policies of President Thein Sein, who on Monday was bestowed a peace award from the International Crisis Group. You can read the full HRW report here.