Isn't mindfulness is difficult for a thinker which usually philosophers are?

Mindfulness by definition is bringing awareness to present moment non judgmentally and I agree it may relax you. I believe it happens because you shrink your attention to such a short span, in a moment by moment fashion that complex thoughts can't be formed and thus you relieve yourself from any unpleasant (or pleasant) feeling that may arise from complex thoughts. In simple words, you reduce your suffering, if any, to at it's minimum by limiting input to senses.

However, is avoiding complex unpleasant thought always desirable? aren't these thoughts and their uncomfortable feelings motivates and inspire us introspect and change?

For example: In early childhood I had my belief and respect for patriarchal social system(disbelief in gender equality). It were some uncomfortable thoughts that made me correct myself and disregard such systems which causes unnecessary man made suffering. If every time I felt uncomfortable and practiced mindfulness to avoid them, I might passively be supporting such system till date.

You may say some thoughts are useful and worth attention & others not. Like worrying about upcoming college exam won't do any good, you may just use best of the time left. However can we say that with 100% certainty? The worry is something bringing your attention and focus to a problem at hand, may be you could be one in a million who will get a brilliant idea to handle such situation or device a undetectable way to cheat, or it may just help to focus and put 100% to prep for exam or it could keep you panicking, unproductive and prove itself a useless thought pattern. Similarly if you fail on an exam, there is no good in being sad about it or is there? may be the sadness is useful in making a neural pattern in brain to put more effort and time next semester.

Hence I even find judging thoughts worthiness is difficult and inconsistent. However if you are having too many negative thoughts keeping you on the edge on a regular basis may end up in health issue, in which we can regard it as certainly a problem.

To summarize, wouldn't being too much mindful may make you too adaptive to be mal-adaptive? wouldn't it may stop your thought processes which might have produce some good for society? or simply stop you from growing intellectually?

Edit: I am trying to simplify the question as following:

Would a life, where each and every moment is lived by the technique of mindfulness, be nihilistic?

Edit 2:

some articles that share my thoughts:

ref: https://aeon.co/essays/mindfulness-is-loaded-with-troubling-metaphysical-assumptions

ref: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/14/the-mindfulness-conspiracy-capitalist-spirituality

ref: https://www.quora.com/How-is-Buddhism-not-nihilism

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    This sounds more like a question of psychology than philosophy, this site focuses more on academic issues than personal choices. Perhaps Psychology SE might be a better place to ask. – Conifold Jun 24 '20 at 17:27
  • There are a lot of critiques of mindfulness out there, some philosophical but more psychological. This piece from Aeon might be a good place to start. – Brian Z Jun 24 '20 at 17:43
  • @BrianZ The article address my question very well. Thanks. – old-monk Jun 24 '20 at 19:16
  • @Conifold I agree 'mindfulness' is a topic more close to psychology but isn't its evaluation in context of its utility to self & society falls under philosophy? I meant, when each & every moment of life is lived in mindfulness, would it be nihilism? – old-monk Jun 24 '20 at 19:25

You don’t need to practise mindfulness all the time. Try putting aside a regular, say, up to 20 minutes, up to twice a day for it. Less if that’s all you can manage. Plus, if particularly worried or stressed, a brief extra few minutes now and again. If uncomfortable thoughts come, let them come - and then let them go, don’t suppress them. And let your mind and your thinking take care of itself the rest of the time. I think you’ll find the benefits. In my experience mindfulness, if anything, acts as a mental stimulant, not a soporific


Mindfulness as a skill builds up over time. When you begin, you will be mindful only for a few brief seconds until your attention wanders. The long-term effects of mindfulness in adepts is described by Daniel Goleman & Richard J. Davidson in The Science of Meditation, a book I thoroughly recommend. After a few decades of determined meditation, mindfulness becomes a permanent state of mind. Even when philosophising, they are mindful of their philosophising.

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