As a NYC therapist, I couldn’t help but respond to Ruth Whippman’s recent New York Times opinion piece “Actually, Let’s Not Be In The Moment.” In the article, she points out the problems inherent in the current self-help trend of mindfulness.
As a philosopher (so to speak), I’m not sure I actually believe there is such a thing as “the moment.” But as a therapist, I think the activity that people tend to do when they chose to be mindful is, at worst, harmless and often quite helpful. The value implicit in the notion of mindfulness is that we can make intentional choices about where we focus our minds. But, it is important to say that we don’t have full choice in this regard. Just as we can’t control our dreams, there are thoughts and impulses floating around in there that we just can’t control.