Practicing mindfulness at work represents labor power

It’s been more than a decade since psychiatrist Miles Neal Coined The term „McMindfulness”. It soon became a buzzword For criticizing a kind of fast-food mindfulness practice marketed by everyone as a panacea for stress Companies And schools to do Prisons And Governments.

The rise of McMindfulness raises a question Fracture continues Meditation Community: Is spreading meditation always a good thing, regardless of its purpose? For Neal, the marketing departments and the profit motive were „like using a rocket launcher to light a candle” to drive mindfulness toward its most superficial potential.

Ronald Purser, professor of management and Zen teacher, went further, calling McMindfulness „The New Capitalist Spirituality.”

In his account, mainstreaming mindfulness has not only missed the point and led to another A $300+ million industry. By using mindfulness to alleviate the stress of exploitative corporate practices or to maintain a steady focus and focus Military operativesIt has become counterproductive Original ethical frameworks Meditation is derived from it.

His 2019 book In this case, Purser argues that McMindfulness pacifies and breaks down collective discontent that can be organized to achieve large-scale changes in the workplace, such as unions, or ultimately in the economy. Instead of galvanizing energy for collective struggle and reform, he said, „it seems to have become a lubricant for capitalism.” Tricycle: Said in an interview with The Buddhist Review.

As someone who devotes part of my life to sitting still and doing nothing, I am of the Buddhist thought that the habitual ways of the mind are the sources of stress and suffering, and that meditation can help unravel them. External conditions are important.

If companies want to help relieve that stress and suffering, I’d rather subscribe to a mindfulness app like a shorter work week or a raise. Quiet business. (Though you can see why the latter might appeal to CEOs—one year of the app for a team of 100 costs the company $5,400 a year, which equates to an annual salary of $54 per employee.)

However, employers providing applications are not a big deal. My concern is that the growing interest in corporate mindfulness programs will pave the way for businesses to become more proactive. Interest in mental life of their employees. At the corner of a new era of neurotechnologies that will provide unprecedented levels of surveillance and influence over the mind, it’s worth asking where that road will lead.

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Corporations are not the best stewards of mental health

In the third quarter of the 1984 Super Bowl, Apple — another insurgent start, not yet World’s largest company – aired A business Depicts an Orwellian society of total conformity. Apple is portrayed as a rebel, a hero who frees human mind-slaves from surveillance.

In his 2014 book PsychopoliticsPhilosopher Byung-chul Han notes the paradox: Apple „marks not so much the end of the surveillance state as the beginning of a new kind of control society—one whose functions will surpass the Orwellian state by leaps and bounds.”

Corporate interest in mental health has an uncanny resemblance. At the moment of depression record highBurning is widelyAnd employee engagement revolves around it 30 percentHere comes workplace mindfulness, designed to be the hero to free us from our ills.

Already, there are more than 20 million employees in 3,000+ companies is reported Use Calm’s business software and dashboard, which provides analytics on employee utilization. (I can envision a future where meditation analytics become resume candy.)

But the nature of society, where corporations care deeply about the mental lives of their workers and use a suite of apps and programs designed to better refine consciousness, will shape what mental health means to a business. Because the business of business is business, not well-being for well-being’s sake, the corporate vision of mental health is necessarily tied to productivity.

This creates a few knots, as the drive for productivity can be a source of labor distress. Amazon, for example, implemented a small “Genbooths” It is within the company culture to direct employees to watch videos about contentment Avoid bathroom breaks Fear of job loss. At worst, McMindfulness forces us to look inward for the sources of stress, blinding us to their true location in the outside world.

Part of the tension that McMindfulness critiques: Buddha emphasized understanding the root causes of stress. According to him, it is Nostalgia and attachment An illusory, permanent self-belief invades our minds. But when, on a trivial scale, is work the root cause of stress? What if the real path to better mental health is allowing productivity to decrease? Or wither the companies that pay us for our memory apps?

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In early 20th-century America, it almost was Intelligence. Economist John Maynard Keynes is believed The need for labor is contrary to human virtue. As economic growth continues, we will gradually free ourselves from work and use „freedom from pressing economic concerns” to learn how to „live intelligently, harmoniously, and well.”

It didn’t happen. The length of the average work week is Barely moved For the better part of a century. Even today, the movement for shorter work weeks is growing Revival, are mostly on the table in industries where they don’t harm productivity. A Increases mental health not enough; Employers need to believe that this is also good for business.

Memory, voice and exit

Back to the original question, Neil, about whether more meditation is always good, regardless of the means got to know Basically right: „[T]The more attentive he is to anyone, anywhere, the better off we all are. But to actually practice stress and get to the root causes of stress, we have to remember that even in Buddhism, mindfulness was only part of it. The Eightfold Path It covers everything from how one lives to non-violence against all living things, to avoiding abusive language.

as Neurotechnologies bring awareness Increasingly in the field of corporate interests, it is critical that workers have at least two things with their memory subscriptions: representation in safety nets that provide corporate governance and real exit options.

Voice and representation – unions, sectoral bargaining or Index determination – Ensure workers have a say in how new neurotechnologies or mental health protocols are integrated into the workplace. That is, workers will not be subject to the corporate vision of mental health, but they will help shape it.

Reweaving the social safety net Anyone, especially the lowest-paid, most precarious workers, can leave a stressful situation and seek a job that aligns better with their values. reformation Unemployment insuranceActivation or Termination of Guaranteed Income Health care Everything can go a long way from work. But if you look at anthropologist David Graeber’s survey Stupid jobsEven if the pay is good, you will find that the stress of a bad job can be detrimental to mental health.

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com Business’s landing page says: „The future of work depends on a mentally healthy workforce.” What if mentally healthy workers weren’t employees, and people were free to do something other than spend most of their lives doing work they didn’t particularly enjoy? The future of mental health may depend on being free from work.

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