MARIA KONNIKOVA author of “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes" and a doctoral candidate in psychology at Columbia wrote "The Power of Concentration" for the NYTimes. In the article she equates the concentration of Sherlock with the practices of mindfulness.
MEDITATION and mindfulness: the words conjure images of yoga retreats and Buddhist monks. But perhaps they should evoke a very different picture: a man in a deerstalker, puffing away at a curved pipe, Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself. The world’s greatest fictional detective is someone who knows the value of concentration, of “throwing his brain out of action,” as Dr. Watson puts it. He is the quintessential unitasker in a multitasking world.We have practiced mindful meditation in our lives for over twenty years and we can say that Maria is wrong. She confuses common misconceptions about meditation as a practice of acute focus with the entirely separate practice of mindfulness.
More often than not, when a new case is presented, Holmes does nothing more than sit back in his leather chair, close his eyes and put together his long-fingered hands in an attitude that begs silence. He may be the most inactive active detective out there. His approach to thought captures the very thing that cognitive psychologists mean when they say mindfulness...
If her article contains a wrong and misleading characterization of mindfulness, then her book must present that as well. Elementary deduction, my dear reader.