Mindfulness meditation is often seen as an austere practice (possibly because of all those monks getting up at 4 am and meditating before breakfast). While simplicity has its place, it also pays to remember that Mindfulness is first and foremost about compassion towards yourself and to others. Enforced austerity should play no part in the practice at all.
I can agree with that. Richard Geller said, "I've practiced all major styles of meditation and what I've seen is they boil down to two activities: concentration and mindfulness."
So, yes, austerity can play a part in it if one chooses, but the two are not mutually exclusive.
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