Drive-Thru Enlightenment –
June 2, 2019 – A few years ago my wife told me an amusing story about something that happened on the way to her yoga class. As she drove there, she was tailgated aggressively by a driver in a fancy sports car. When she was able to get over to let him pass, he zipped dangerously close as he sped around her car and quickly changed lanes to pass the car ahead of him.
When my wife arrived at the studio, she was surprised to see the same car in the parking lot, and the man setting up his yoga mat in her class! We laughed when she told me the story because he fit a certain stereotype of the person who does mindfulness practices like yoga or meditation but doesn’t seem to partake of the deeper elements of the practice—someone who might push ahead of you after meditation class to get their kale detox smoothie…Well before this incident I’d wondered if the popularization of mindfulness—”McMindfulness,” as some have called it—had hollowed out its core. Could this potentially transformative practice be distilled to a 10-minute-a-day “hack” for better relationships, concentration, and mood? To be honest, I asked this question of my own practice, which felt rather tacked on to my life-as-usual.