There's a generational divide. Geezers like Leonard Cohen and the Beatles went to get their training in being present in the now from religious folks. Today, successful professionals get the secular version. Hold the religion. Mindfulness training, without all the religious trappings, is taking place at Raytheon, McKinsey, Ford Motor, Unilever, and General Mills.
Although a geezer, I have also decided to unbundle mindfulness, or meditating, from its religious platform. I had to. In my search for inner peace and clarity, I had trudged off to Buddhist centers. Actually three of them. That was enough of a sampling to convince me that religion seemed to attract to leadership those needing to control. The experiences were brutal. "Bullying" would not be too strong a word. Acquaintances tell me that there is one Buddhist center in the New Haven, Connecticut Metro area which seems to be bully-free. I plan to check that out soon. After all, given how mirror neurons operate, we affect each other cell by cell. By being in a group of meditators I could pick up on their good vibes.
But for now, I remain in the Happy Valley of pure mindfulness. Several times a day I stop my day. I sit on the couch. Next to Jason my feline companion. We get quiet. We find our way into the now.
In all three Buddhist centers there were few Millennials. Will Buddhism die out in the West, if it can't provide consumers with mindfulness without all the dogma? I might run into different demographics when I sample the fourth Buddhist center in my area. If I do, I will keep you posted.