Mindfulness meditation can enhance our self-control, working memory, and mental flexibility. But as far as “benefit” goes, awareness can heighten egotism. State University of Buffalo’s associate psychology professor Michael Poulin discusses the “me” in meditation in his recent study.

Based on his research, some people stand with their personal viewpoints; for example, they might emphasize their intelligence or sense of humor if asked to describe themselves. On the other hand, people with interdependent views lean more on their relations with others. They stress social roles or group kinship such as the “daughter” or “father” of somebody. From the results of Poulin’s meditation tests, he discovered that its effects depended heavily on people’s attitudes. Those with interdependent points of view were willing to volunteer in charitable tasks, whereas independent people are more self-centered. Ronald Pursers’ 2019 book “McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality” described how ancient medication practices have detached from the original Buddhist teachings. He further explained that mindfulness has become a way to get ahead of others and “a stripped-down, DIY, self-help technique.” In other words, mindfulness has evolved into a mechanism to practice self-glorification instead of awareness.

Every time we change our mental function, widespread consequences might affect our behavior unconsciously, especially now that technology is advancing rapidly. Any product or service that claims to provide a “quick fix” should be examined thoroughly first. Simply put, it’s time to be mindful of how we present mindfulness.