You’d be forgiven for thinking this newspaper story is from the New York Times.
It’s not, but it’s a close approximation via its Left Coast would-be competitor, the LA Times:
Meditation, primarily a 2,500-year-old form called mindfulness meditation that emphasizes paying attention to the present moment, has gone viral.
The unrelenting siege on our attention can take a good share of the credit; stress has bombarded people from executives on 24/7 schedules to kids who feel the pressure to succeed even before puberty. Meditation has been lauded as a way to reduce stress, ease physical ailments like headaches and increase compassion and productivity.
When Suze Yalof Schwartz opened her pristine, white-walled West L.A. meditation studio nearly a year ago, she kept in mind just the sort of people Marturano knows well.
Unplug aims to be a place where “my husband, who’s a venture capitalist and has zero tolerance for woo-woo things, won’t walk out.” There are no zafu cushions or incense sticks. Instead, meditators come into the studio and take a sleek black folding floor chair — no sitting cross-legged required. The lighting is a pink-violet, inspired by the artist James Turrell.
Unplug appeals to the meditation skeptics, to “the people who don’t want to meditate but their shrinks told them they should,” said Schwartz, who calls herself a spiritual entrepreneur. The formula for classes is simple, she said: Tell people what the point is, show them how to do it.
Meditation, said Schwartz, who spent years as a makeover maven and fashion editor in New York, speaks to our moment.
“We’re all over-stimulated. It doesn’t matter whether you are 3 or 93. People are not going to the bathroom without their iPhones, and if they tell you they are, they’re lying,” she said. “We need a place to take a time out.”
I’m trying to decide if the always present “yoga/meditation/mindfulness for skeptics” theme really exists, exists to an extent or is largely at this point a creation of the storytellers — or of their subjects. And when we’ll move past it — and to what we’ll have moved.
Posted by Steve