Is mindfulness meditation merely ancient attention training?

Just came across this Tweet by Michael Inzlicht. Discussed similar topic briefly with @Enrico.Fucci yesterday. What do you think, Enrico? Anyone else with thoughts on this?

Mickey’s tweets (

“Is mindfulness meditation merely ancient attention training? Given what we now know about attention training (ie, does not lead to generalized improvement in attention), should we expect meditation to improve attention & awareness?”

“Yes, mindfulness meditation probably boosts mood and decreases stress, but lots of other less effortful and more enjoyable things do that too (eg reading book, listening to music, playing sports, sex, etc).”

“I was always seduced by meditation’s touted ability to improve attention (and acceptance of that to which we attend), but now wondering how much to reasonably expect from this practice. Is it possible that main attentional outcome of meditation is improved ability to meditate?”

“Just a few years ago, I too preached from the gospel of mindfulness. But, as with many things these days, I no longer know what to believe. [Link to paper:]”

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The problem is not what meditation is, but how it has been and is packaged and sold to western audience (not everywhere fortunately). Here an interesting, divulgative reading on the topic:


Now a podcast episode on whether meditation works and whether it’s possible to do good research on it.