Wrestling with the practice of mindfulness as someone who self-identifies as Jewish, with help from Sam Harris.
One problem is that most of the people who teach mindfulness, and I know many of the great Vipassana teachers in the West and in the East… I have immense respect for these people, I learned to meditate in a traditionally Buddhist context. …but most people who teach mindfulness are still in the religion business. They are propagating Western Buddhism, or American Buddhism. The connection to the tradition of Buddhism in particular, is explicit, and I think there are problems with that – because when you.. If you are declaring yourself a Buddhist, you are part of the problem of religious sectarianism that has needlessly shattered our world, and I think we have to get out of the religion business.
Whatever is true about mindfulness and meditation, and any introspective methodology that will deliver truths about the nature of consciousness, is non-sectarian. It’s no more Buddhist than physics is Christian. The Christians invented physics, or discovered physics, but anyone talking about “Christian physics” clearly doesn’t understand the significance of what we’ve understood through that means. It’s the same with meditation. There is going to come a time when we are no longer tempted to talk about Buddhist meditation, as opposed to any other forms. We are just talking about turning consciousness upon itself, and what can be discovered by that process.
–Transcribed from Big Think video published 1st, October 2014