I’ve been quite enjoying the speculative non-buddhists and their very amusing opinions on the rise of Buddhism in its various forms in the West. One the phrases coined so far is “mindfulnista” which I like very much.

Every person and their dog seems to be sitting on a cushion these days. There are countless courses, books, retreats, audio tracks and even smartphone apps taking people to the wonderful lands of mindful meditation. And there’s a proliferation of teachers too.

So, I thought I’d add my 2c worth of mindfulness teachings to blogland:

1. Find a quiet enough, not too warm, not too cold or draughty spot.

2. Sit comfortably in a way that does not hurt and will not send you to sleep.

3. Close your eyes and breathe naturally.


5. When you notice yourself thinking, go to step 4.

6. When you notice yourself focusing on a sound or a feeling, go to step 4.

7. When you notice yourself nodding off, open your eyes and keep them open, go to step 4.

8. Do this for 25 minutes, once a day. If you are very keen you could go longer.

There are other techniques out there so shop around but this is the simplest version.

It may help to let go of any expectations as to what sitting around like this is supposed to give you. If you find yourself reading or writing about meditation and its supposed benefits, stop immediately and meditate instead.

Look, monsters! Monsters look.

Whatever happened to movie monsters?

There was a time when pod people wandered the streets pointing out the filthy capitalists humans amongst them and emitting some sort of sonic scream. When women became 50 foot feminists giants and stomped up and down main street. When huge black africans apes stole blonde women and bestrode skyscrapers.

These days, the only monsters left are some vampires (if they even count any more), serial-killers and way too many zombies. Of all of these, zombies are the most promising, if depressingly boring and single dimensioned on the screen: a disease, often human created, turns people into unreasonable, untiring, ever hungry, cannibalistic creatures.

If that’s not the definition of a model consumer, I don’t know what is.

But is that it?

Have our collective nightmares been reduced to just a bunch of peeved shoppers?