So you heard the news that meditation is evil, meditation is satanic, meditation is for bad people. And you actually listened? Let’s discuss two secs.
As a meditation teacher I’m often faced with students who are struggling to make their practice work.
Their automatic response is “Meditation isn’t enough.”
Or, they may say one of the following:
“Meditation is hard.
Meditation is dangerous.
Meditation is bad for you.”
“Meditation is satanic.”
Now, I take most of those comments seriously. Except the satanic one. The idea that a practice which is proven to make people more peaceful is actually satanic. . . I mean, really. . .
But as I said, I take the rest of the comments and questions seriously.
I’d like to answer some of the questions that people have. So let’s get right to it.
It’s is Hard
Every time someone says it is hard, the reason is fairly straight forward: They’re expecting too much too soon.
Yes, it can be hard to focus your mind without getting disrupted. The first time you practice , you’re not going to have the concentration of a monk.
You coldn’t run a marathon the first time you went out for a jog. Why would your mind be able to focus for hours on end without becoming tired?
It should never be hard. It is meant to be an easy, comfortable practice.
You need to realise that you are at a beginners point in practice, and then try and build on what you have. Don’t try to run a marathon when you’ve just started walking. Simply say to yourself, “My focus might not be perfect yet, but I’m working on it.”
Meditation is Dangerous
This is a completely unfounded statement. Scientific research has proven time and time again that it offers many health benefits. It cures stress, helps with depression, improves your immune system, is instrumental in beating addictions and much much more.
Back in the 1950s in the West people thought it was dangerous and satanic. It was seen as a cult practice that was against god. Times have changed. Now we know that meditation isn’t satanic. It’s not necessarily even spiritual or religious (take a look at this article about non-religious meditation for atheists for more on this).
Times have changed so much that it is now practiced in the Christian faith—the one group that years ago thought it was a dangerous cult.
There are a couple of very specific techniques used in Kundalini Yoga that are considered unsafe. . . but they are rare exceptions and the simple fact of the matter is that most meditators don’t go anywhere near these practices anyway.
Traditional techniques are 100% safe and very, very healthy.s
Meditation is Bullshit
Another negative comment I’ve heard a few times. Whenever anyone says it is bullshit I immediately ask “Why do you say that?”
Most people say, “Because supposedly you can ascend to Nirvana and all this other spiritual mumbo jumbo rubbish.”
It’s very important to separate the practice of meditation from the spiritual mumbo jumbo trash.
Saying it is bullshit because you don’t personally believe in certain spiritualities is like saying “Books are bullshit because the bible is a book and I don’t believe in God.”
Separate the practice from all the beliefs that go with it. You don’t have to be spiritual to meditate. You don’t have to believe in God to meditate. Anyone can practice. And if you don’t like the term Meditation because of its spiritual and religious connotations, just say Mindfulness.
Meditation is Evil!
. . . seriously? This doesn’t actually deserve a response. . .
It Isn’t Enough. Honestly if you think meditation is evil then just take a sec to examine your thoughts here.
The idea that meditation is evil is actually one of the more interesting comments.
In a world where we’re told we need to eat ABC, be CDE, do FGH and think IJK it can be very hard to think that simply sitting with your eyes closed and focussing on your breathing is enough.
But here’s the thing: it is so powerful BECAUSE it is so minimal.
Your mind has been conditioned to think that you need more and more and more. That’s why so many people are scatterbrained. Their minds jump from Facebook to TV to Twitter to the iPhone around and around and around in a chaotic dance that never ends.
This makes your mind dizzy and fills your mind full of gunk.
The precise reason why it works is because it says to your mind, “It is okay to be still and just focus on one thing. You don’t need to be frantic. Relax.”
It’s because meditation is minimal that it works. And the only reason you don’t think it is enough is because you have learned to race through life.
Stop. Relax. Give your mind a break.
Meditation is Boring
This is very closely related to the idea that meditation isn’t enough. The problem is, you have taught your mind to need instant gratification and constant stimulation.
Constant stimulation is fun. It just isn’t healthy.
When you stop the constant stimulation your mind is naturally going to ask “Why’s nothing going on?”
Think of it like a spoiled child. The child grows up being brought presents every single day of their life. This isn’t healthy. It just leads to a spoilt child. Then one day there isn’t a present. One whole day without a present. The child cries. “Why haven’t I got a present?! You don’t LOVE ME!!!!!”
You know that for the child’s good it shouldn’t be spoilt. But the child still wonders why the presents have stopped.
The mind is the same. It learns from habit. If you constant stimulate your mind, your mind is going to expect constant stimulation. When that stimulation stops, your mind is going to think “What’s going on? This isn’t enough? Give me more!” You know that relaxing your mind is healthy, but your mind is still going to wonder why the stimulation has stopped. The result is the feeling of boredom, of “I’m not being given enough.”
And now for the really important bit.
Making Meditation Work for You
There is one massive problem with meditation. The problem is that it hasn’t been modernized properly yet.
The practices we use today are the same practices that have been used for millennia.
Times have changed. Meditation needs to change too.
Most people don’t have time to dedicate to meditation. And they don’t have the lifestyle that leads to sitting in a temple next to a candle.
It needs to be modernized.
That’s why I’ve written the complete guide to How to Meditate Properly Anytime, Anywhere . It’s a guide that shows you how to meditate properly within your (modern) lifestyle.
This guide will answer all your questions about why it isn’t working for you, and it will give you a new understanding of meditation in the 21st Century, an understanding that will change the way you think about meditation and change your life.
Read it here: How to Meditate Properly Anytime, Anywhere