"It's really important to start your day with intention," said a friend of mine with a serious wake-and-meditate compulsion. His decline into ritual mindfulness had been sad to watch. What started as innocent breathwork progressed into harder practices. Just last summer, he went on a ten-day meditation retreat.

What's the point of meditation? Why is thoughtlessness some kind of ideal? I, for one, have lots of things to think about, and I'm constantly battling against the clock to get in sufficiently many thoughts each day. You're asking me to take time out of my day, to silence my mind, to switch off contemplation, to quiet the internal monologue, which is as close to a self as I can reasonably claim to have?

Yes, everyone says meditation is amazing. But everyone says cocaine is amazing too. If we, as a society, were to advise adolescents on whether to experiment with mental relaxation, especially when it comes to that hard, transcendental stuff, we should counsel them to just say no.