moyen brenn
By Melody Lima

When I meditate, sometimes I sit on my cushion, or go for a walk in the woods, or on the beach—maybe I eat slowly,savoring every morsel of organic goodness.

I never reach for my phone to take a picture to post online. Apparently, that’s just me!

The meditation selfie has arrived to a social media site you may be logged into, mindful friends. And this new path of enlightenment is glamorous!

Stillness, reflective, exploring, uncovering, contemplative, quiet—even restlessness are qualities I use to describe my meditation practice; I certainly don’t think of super models glammed up, or nude, with lotus flowers in their hair, their eyes closed while they bathe in perfectly placed tropical sunlight.

But wait! Yoga selfies exist and stride a blissful path of their own.

Everyone takes yoga selfies at the beach, in the studio, on a hike, with their students or alone practicing advanced asanas in bikinis, with shoes on or again, nude.

Why not meditation selfies?! Maybe it is a way to promote a very accessible mindful practice and lifestyle with familiar faces, eyes closed, like promoting a fundraising marathon after a natural disaster. Famous faces promote exercise, healthy foods, vitamins, organic clothes, green juices and clean water. Meditation fits the marketing plan.

The more famous the peaceful meditating face, the more likes, follows and shares the selfie will get and the more regular folks will buy into the mindful life. The cost to the non-mindful folks is free. It is bliss, bliss for everyone.

Thus, peace and harmony to the picture-posting world and beyond.

Maybe it is mindful advertising? Spiritual materialism? Good old American consumer greed?

Do we really want what they have? The over scheduled, multi-tasking, keep pushing forward, competitive life-style. Meditation is a tool for releasing the stress, clarifying the priorities and experiencing stillness and calm.

Buddhist Monk Thίch Nhat Hẩnh suggests:

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

A translation of that text could be to connect to the soil, become grounded in nature, or walk with compassion and rooted-ness—not tilt your head to the side, peering into your smartphone wearing a duck face.

But maybe that is just me. I am not a famous, glamorous face and I do not wear a big red sticker on my chest when I focus on my mindfulness practice. I like my meditation old school: quiet, searching and private.


Photo: (Moyan Brenn, Flickr)

Editor: Bronwyn Petry