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August 08, 2015


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Brian, I hope you don't mind if I present an alternative viewpoint here. You say "All that counts is if these mental exercises have positive effects, in the same way as physical exercises do".

I once went to a hypnotherapist because I was very stressed at the time. I was finding it quite relaxing and then realised I was not happy with having someone taking 'control' of my mind and stopped myself from going too deep into my subconscious. I have since then been very wary of anything which might be hypnotic and I think this fellow is doing just that.

I watched his Ted talk and he seems like a really nice fellow. I also did some research on Headspace looking at reviews and comments. This comment is negative and quite extreme, but I do always like to see the alternative viewpoints and then make up my own mind:

"Andy tried desperately for more than 10 years to get enlightened, he traveled from country to country. burma, thailand, india, tibet. monastery and what not. The problem wasn't the country, the teaching or teacher - it was Andy Puddicombe - thinking he could blast his ego with meditation. He spent up to 18h/day meditating, according to him. Where did it get him? He is a millionaire. He doesn't miss any chance to promote and push his app - using every interview. He doesn't talk about meditation and mindfulness but of headspace. Headspace has many benefits, no word of the practice itself. What a despicable person to use something that is so peaceful, helping, meant to promote compassion, love and unity for his own greed and ego. Some people have no shame, You would have hoped that some humanity would have been evoked in andy after spending so many hours meditating but if all you focus and want to gain is more money, being better and greater than others, having power over others - you are practicing being an egomaniac. Not peace, love and compassion."

Jen, that person sounds much more like an egomaniac than Puddicombe does. I'm going by my own experience of the Headspace guided meditations, not what some zealous Buddhist, or whoever, says about Puddicombe.

A guided meditation has virtually nothing to do with hypnosis. What Headspace guides the meditator toward is pretty much exactly what I was doing before on my own: following the breath, observing bodily energies, catching myself when thoughts or feelings took me away from the present moment.

After more than thirty Headspace sessions, I get no sense of the criticism or drawbacks you mention. But everybody is different. I'm enjoying the Headspace experience. Lots of other people do also. I think Puddicombe is challenging Buddhist/meditation traditionalists because he doesn't incorporate what I called the "bullshit" part of Buddhism.

I give him credit for that, not criticism.

"Andy tried desperately for more than 10 years to get enlightened, he traveled from country to country. burma, thailand, india, tibet. monastery and what not...Where did it get him? He is a millionaire."

My kind of enlightenment.

Yes, sounds like Andy did better than the Buddha, who also travelled around looking for enlightenment. Andy found peace of mind and ALSO a lot of money. He wins!

Hello Brian you are in for a big wake up call

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