A Possible Way to Convince Skeptical People that Mindfulness is a Good Thing

Recently a student asked me whether mindfulness optimizes the information processing capacities of the body and mind.

Here’s how I replied:

Your idea that mindfulness optimizes the information processing capacities of body and mind both makes sense and may be extremely important in terms of convincing skeptical people that it’s worth putting time and energy into the practice.

If you think of my “putatively operationizable” definition of mindfulness–Concentration Power, Sensory Clarity, and Equanimity–this would exactly translate into an electronic receiver with: 


Does that not pretty much sum up what one would want in an optimal information processing system.

If we assume that optimal information processing in the human nervous system is advantageous (evolutionarily, functionally, hedonically…) and if indeed mindfulness training does significantly improve information processing as defined by a generally agreed upon metric, then there’s good reason for humans and for humanity to adopt it.