BEWARE OF “MEDITATION”
Dr. Shriniwas J. Kashalikar
M.B.B.S. [PUNE], M.D. Physiology [MUMBAI], F.I.C.G.[ Fellow Of The Indian College Of Gerontology], F.F.F.B.M.S. [Foreign Faculty Fellow In Basic Medical Sciences] [USA]
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“Lie down in the open on your terrace. Focus your mind on the blue and clear sky. Gradually the sky would enter in you. You would have transcended mind.” “Sit in lotus position. Let the atmosphere in your room be free of insects, free of dust, free of noise and free of other distractions. You may light an incense stick. You can have a photo or painting of your Guru or a deity who elevates your mood or inspires you. Then begin by breathing slowly and observe your breathing.” “Sit in a lotus posture. Breathe slowly. Focus your mind on a spot at your navel” “Observe a round spot on a plane background of the wall. Sit quietly. Let the thoughts flow.” These or such varying instructions! Some of them advise reciting some specific MANTRA. The instructions vary according to the different traditions! What is this all about? The readers would have easily gathered that these are the instructions for different meditation techniques. Every where, people are talking about mediation. Some declare proudly that they meditate every morning. Some do it at midnight. Some observe silence MAUNA over several days.
closed room. Let there be sufficient darkness Last week I had the pleasure of reading some books on mediation. One of the questions many of the participants of TSM have is “Why is TSM not as popular as many other programs?” We discussed this question. In our discussion the answer became clear. 1] TSM constitutes understanding the concept of STRESS. This requires active intellectual efforts by the participants. Active intellectual participation makes it more difficult and less popular as compared to relaxation programs in form of meditation, pranayama, devotion, some arbitrary tips in the management books etc. where temporary emotional solace comes easily. 2] TSM constitutes efforts towards simultaneous welfare of one and all and not merely individual welfare. This requires broadening of perspective. This also makes it more difficult and less popular because everyone is already preoccupied and hard pressed with personal problems of one kind or the other. Coming out of one’s own “individual and
petty universe” is a burden for most of us, because we fail to understand how welfare of others would contribute to our welfare!. 3] Most of us are not aware of the concept of STRESS. The STRESS is equated with tension, anxiety, worry, sleeplessness, irritability, depression, frustration etc. Actually this is only a small and conscious part of STRESS. STRESS is universal. Every living being has STRESS. STRESS is actually conscious and also unconscious. Unconscious STRESS forms a major part and is not perceived! This leaves most of us to falsely believe that we do not have STRESS! 4] TSM incorporates everything including solutions to major social problems. Most of us feel that it is impossible to solve social problems and hence fail to do our own bit in this direction. Most of us have yet to appreciate that giving parties, donations, gifts and doing charity in other forms though not objectionable, can at best satisfy our ego. There is nothing wrong in such emotional gratification. But it is usually not understood that acquiring and spreading wisdom to solve social problems is unique in satisfying our conscience, our true self. This is why TSM does not spread. 5] The concept of TSM is new. The powerful people from media, politics, religion and other fields are not aware of TSM. It is also true that in the frenzy of material success they are not able to perceive the thirst of their innate self [soul] and hence may not care to learn about TSM. It is strange but true that people in scarcity [due to frustration] and people in abundance [due to delirious obliviousness] are not able to quickly grasp TSM and practice it. 1] TSM constitutes understanding the concept of STRESS. This requires active intellectual efforts by the participants in contrast to programs in form of meditation, pranayama, devotion, some arbitrary tips in the management books etc. where temporary emotional solace comes easily without active intellectual involvement. 2] TSM constitutes efforts towards simultaneous welfare of one and all and not merely individual welfare. This requires broadening of perspective. We can call this paradigm shift. 3] TSM teaches that STRESS is universal. Every living being has STRESS. Unconscious STRESS forms a major part and is not perceived! 4] TSM incorporates everything including solutions to major social problems. TSM teaches that perspective, policies, planning, execution of sound intellectual solutions to personal and social problems can not be substituted by un-intellectual emotional games such as so called meditation and so called devotion and so called charity. It teaches that real meditation, real devotion and real charity are impossible in absence of intellectual efforts to rectify social homeostasis as stated above. TSM teaches that acquiring and spreading wisdom to solve social problems is unique in satisfying our conscience, our true self. 5] TSM aims at harmony between perspective, intelligence, emotions, instincts and body as well as it aims at expression of the best efforts of global welfare in the past as well as present in mainstream life through laws, rules, conventions and so on.
6] TSM firmly upholds individual freedom to achieve total well being and suggests us to acquire and practice such freedom! In this dialogue we will consider some more reasons for relatively slow appreciation of TSM. 1] The conceptualization of TSM was indeed a slow process. It was quite some time before sufficient conviction was developed in the accuracy and appropriateness of TSM. This was because TSM was not a part of already existing tradition. It did not receive practical support from any atheist [non-believers] or theist [God-believers] tradition. The conviction had to result from one’s own understanding and experiences. 2] The process of developing conviction was delayed partly because of demoralization resulting from rejection or ignoring by the traditions and most of the individuals. 3] Rejection by the majority was coupled by rejection by many publishers. This in turn led to unimaginable delay in publication of many books. 4] There was rejection from media also. 5] The delay in the work was sometimes [though erroneously] interpreted as God’s wish! 6] Sometimes there was apprehension [whether justified or otherwise] of the possibility of being misunderstood and sabotaged. 7] Sometimes there was dominance of asceticism and to some extent frustration that led to inaction or non-assertion. Sometimes this led to escapism of one sort or the other. 8] There was many times a feeling of uncertainty of life leading to sense of urgency of TSM and SUPERLIVING mission. This urgency was not shared by most individuals and hence the delay in the work was further enhanced. 9] Dictatorial attitude and nurturing of vested interests was scrupulously avoided. It is known that most of the times the work gets going faster because of fear or because of vested interest. Since both of these lacked, mission superliving and TSM was further delayed. 10] Lack of glamour and glitter. The excitement associated with glamour and glitter is missing in mission superliving and TSM and hence it did pick the fancy of even talented individuals. 11] Some of the books on TSM are comparatively less lucid and little more tedious. This is so because of the emphasis is given on accuracy rather than literary qualities. 12] Everything has its own time. When the social psyche gets ready for certain concepts they spread like wild fire and catch the fancy of the top individuals and become the vogue of the day. 13] It is also possible that there are still some inaccuracies and or deficiencies left in TSM, which is why it is not as popular as one would have liked it to be.
14] The personal deficiencies of the propounder may also account for inadequate spread and influence of the TSM. 15] Let us all try to refine and enrich TSM and help ourselves and help others. After you go through