Getting it Right

I am a fan of Daniel Goleman. I read his “Emotional Intelligence” when it first came out, wading through “reptilian brains” and “evolutionary development” to get to the good stuff. It was worth it.

A whole entire industry was spawned. Not because emotional intelligence didn’t exist before Daniel Goleman but because he made understanding our emotional lives – and how important this is – so easy to grasp and apply. Since then, myriad resources have sprung up, some good, some …not.

Along with this new paradigm came ‘mindfulness’ and out of that, a renewed interest in meditation. As we all know (of course we do) that meditation is millennia-old, practiced by everyone from King David to Buddhists everywhere (and countless other anonymous practitioners of self-regulated mental health through the ages).

As always, when something becomes very popular, it tends to morph into a form acceptable to the populace. Which usually means it becomes virtually unrecognisable to practitioners of the real thing – take music, for instance. There are very few things in common between an unplugged version of ‘Bad Romance’ and the stage version a la Lady Gaga, other than the fact that both use the same words and (mostly) the same tune. (I’m being facetious here). What came to mind as a specific example is this truth…

The popular version resembles the real (original) thing only coincidentally.

Anyway, back to Mr. Goleman and meditation. As he so rightly points out, mindfulness and meditation are not to be confused, and neither one takes the place of therapy. The practice of both is necessary to optimum mental health, but neither one will solve cognitive dissonance or your impending divorce.

Read Daniel’s post here. Then go meditate.


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