Meditation has existed since Buddhism has existed, so for 2,500 years, give or take few. Honestly, though, meditation, or more importantly, mindfulness has existed since humanity itself has. However, the practice of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation has gone in and out of style over the years. It is currently having a resurgence in a world that is increasingly more stressful than ever before.
The movie, from Robert Beemer, The Mindfulness Movement, exists as a chronicle of the spread of mindfulness through various channels across the country and the world. We meet many people who are the forerunners in the field, such as Deepak Chopra, Jon Kabat Zinn, Dan Harris, George Mumford, and many more. Surprisingly, Jewel, the singer who was immensely popular in the ’90s, is a huge proponent of the practice. She and Chopra are both executive producers of the film.
“…a chronicle of the spread of mindfulness through various channels across the country and the world.”
For those few of you who might not be aware of what mindfulness is, it is an awareness of one’s surroundings both internally and externally. Mindfulness is almost always linked with meditation. It is the practice of observing one’s thoughts and feelings and trying not to be consumed by them and instead focusing on the present moment. It may sound easy enough, but it is increasingly difficult, especially in a world where distractions abound.
The positive aspect of The Mindfulness Movement is meeting all the people who were changed through this practice. These folks often go on to start organizations to help others. We follow many of them on their journeys from depression, substance abuse, PTSD, prison, homelessness, etc. to a place of peace and giving back to their communities.
Unfortunately, I have to admit that the tenor of the movie is almost unbearably cheesy and sometimes verges on infomercial territory. Several scenes accompany people talking that contain footage of actors acting out different mindfulness activities. There’s a scene of a faceless girl walking around with a backpack while Jewel is talking about her homelessness.
"…it's funny because the movie is about mindfulness but doesn't practice it."