Mindfulness has a certain modesty about it. People who practise diligently develop a taste for that. They find themselves appreciating the company of other modest beings. There is no ‘big talk’ about one’s practice. Such behaviours are a hallmark of equanimity, a key ally to mindfulness. If reports of meditatively expanded egos and statistically significant self-enhancement scores amongst meditators are true then they indicate that there are varieties of ‘junk mindfulness’ – conceptually slack, functionally pointless, ethically sterile – operating at large.
Many people who learn mindfulness on courses such as MBCT and MBSR derive sufficient benefits to continue practising long after their basic training. Some go more deeply into phenomenological enquiry through meditation. Some channel mindfulness into creative and compassionate engagement with the world. Some do both. But others do neither, instead getting stuck in cul-de-sacs of aloof passivity and self-absorption.