Meditation for the Living
Every experience I’ve had with any sort of so-called “meditation”, where I’ve been told to perform it in a sort of ritualistic fashion while
being still and focused of breath and thought and muscle in a controlled way of doing nothing, and with the sort of magical Hollywood way they
represent it in the media with gongs and sunsets and the whole nine-yards, one thing stood out to me: “meditation” is boring—and as they try to
get it in schools, in the corporate workplace with all its religious overtones, infesting in the minds of the insatiable young—“meditation” is
becoming an institution.
Upon mentioning my qualms to whoever would listen, everyone told me I must be doing it wrong, and on basis of divine authority, denied my reasoning.
But, in my mind, it was they who were doing it wrong. I mean who am I to tell a life-long practitioner of this exercise that he’s not making the
most of moments, but it all seemed a simple trick to tame an already docile creature, which, according to the popularity of “meditation” nowadays,
seems to work well on a culture already addicted to escapism.
But step back and look at these people on their knees, eyes closed, perched like parodies of plants, meditating in a group-setting but with rarely a
sign of life in the whole place. Is this experience? Is this mindful? Or is it retirement, an early bedtime, a plant with withering leaves?
As it is sold in the west, it appears to be a temporary resignation, a pharmaceutical drug, a fad diet, or a placebo. It is self-hypnotism; not a cure
for the disillusion of life, but its mere antidote for a variety of symptoms. It is no wonder that there is a need for this quick fix. People need a
break from the rat-race they find themselves in, but only so that they can quickly pick up from where they left off, after that brief moment they
were, however slightly, concerned with something more important.
Of course, meditation will never become an institution, and it cannot be limited by the way one talks about it, or the way one practices it, with
rules and piety and strict methods and celebrity endorsements—or the most insidious of insults— how spiritual one is. It is a God-given right to
every thinking being and is indeed a fundamental method to his good health—to think deeply, to contemplate, to be mindful of himself as an
individual within his surroundings, no matter what other individuals would tell him are the proper settings, moods, positions and techniques for doing
Sure, sit, relax, don a monk’s poise, don’t forget your posture, and, luckily for you, that man has offered to play a sitar for you only enhancing
your peaceful state; or maybe, if that sounds too boring, find yourself somewhere you’ve never been, go outside, take a walk, look around, discover
something, climb a mountain, kayak a river, make love, make merriment and make the most of every moment, always learning, always swimming, matching
wits with the current rather than letting it take us where it pleases.
We always get better at what we do, and maybe getting better at sitting isn’t for me, but in all my waking moments, you will never find me not
How do you meditate?
edit on 15-2-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)