Tricycle magazine has an excellent article entitled “From Monastery to Marketplace” that explores the ways in which the term “mindfulness” is being used to sell soap, books, and apps — to name only a few.
The author, Jeff Wilson, ultimately argues that what is being sold is a particular type of lifestyle — one that requires its own material accoutrements (new clothes, eco-friendly shampoos, maybe a Prius) and perhaps some self-branding as well.
I hope to write more about the increased presence of mindfulness in contemporary culture in the months ahead. (In the interim, I’m just trying to get through the opening weeks of school!) Some of this increased prominence may be for good — such as mindfulness programs in schools and prisons — and some of it may be less so.
The article is here: http://www.tricycle.com/blog/monastery-marketplace