A recent research report, “Potential negative consequences of mindfulness in the moral domain” came up with a mind-blowing conclusion: that practicing mindfulness makes you less caring. Surprising given that some of the biggest names in spirituality practice mindfulness and advocate its use; people such as the Dali Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. Similarly, Eckhart Tolle teaches being present, focusing on the moment, which is very similar to mindfulness.
How can this be?
Karma has altered mindfulness. Because everything has karma, everything picks up karma and over time this begins to change and alter the original intent or purpose of things, whether it be mindfulness, a religion, an organization, a discipline, or… What do I mean?
When I was working on my latest book, Everything Has Karma: Learning to Embrace Our Interconnectedness, I wanted to show how wonderful practices such as the energy healing technique of Reiki have devolved over time. To do this I turned to a book I had read a few years earlier, What's Wrong with Mindfulness (And What Isn't): Zen Perspectives. Editors Barry Magid and Robert Rosenbaum argued that Mindfulness has been misappropriated by the Western marketplace and been commercialized; and is now being practiced on business retreats, at medical centers, by sports teams, by the military and more.
All of these various practitioners (business people, athletes, soldiers…) of mindfulness have had an influence in shaping what it has become today. Sadly, they have run over its reverence and spiritual dimension. Because of this mindfulness has suffered.
As Simon Schindler, the author of the study, noted “Mindfulness — without being embedded in an ethical context — may thus have downsides regarding interpersonal and moral behavior that have been so far ignored by researchers and also practitioners…”
So, yes, it may well be the Mindfulness today can be a drag on your morality.
If you are serious about your spiritual development (practice meditation, attend religious services, practice social justice, work with the poor…) you have to get karma right, and understand that everything has karma.
PS I have several author talks coming up for Everything Has Karma that will give you the chance to learn more, Author Talks--Everything has Karma