I just read an article in Quillette here - http://quillette.com/2017/10/24/mindful ... s-problem/
It discusses how this has become a fad in the Western world but it needs to be measured and tested. The results of any tests so far are non conclusive. I almost laughed at lack of understanding of the writer. I wrote a short comment:
October 26, 2017
'The article is a strange one but SOOO! western.
It is based on an idea that we will define and test something that defies all description and the effects of the work vary dramatically from person to person.
There is nothing to gain in meditation but lots to lose. How do you measure the bits of you that you were convinced were an intrinsic part of your makeup? Then to find that they have fallen away and were false, whilst something you did not value at all has far more impact on your life?
At its centre is death and the ego knows that you are aiming at it. It feels like real death and takes a very strong (or desperate) person to step off that cliff edge.
The damaged and seekers are attracted to it, yet the grace of the final solution falls on very few.
No wonder it is amazing and the great mystery in life, yet it can be dangerous to a small minority.
It is not something to play with, it demands to be taken very seriously. Yet if you stick with it for a few years, all get very subtle gifts.'
I have a close friend who runs a practice and uses mindfulness/psychology to deal with the damaged ones who cross her path.
It is very strange that we Westerners have to take everything to pieces and analyse it before we will accept it.
Interesting article, for all the reasons you mention. Great comment too :)
"Yes, it may lead to "loss of personal identity", which is - paradoxically - one of the most beneficial things about it. It is this make-believe "personal identity" that makes people unbalanced and sometimes plain crazy.
Meditation frees one from this deranged belief in something that actually doesn't exist: "personal identity", and things really start looking up after that.
There is nothing to be gained, however, in meditating to get something out of it. It's what you are able to dispense with, that brings the rewards."
You can never really lose your true identity, by any means. It's what you are, whatever that is. What you can lose, though, is what you "think" you are, and that's always a good thing.