This is the reason why no one can ever do meditation
With the rise of corporate culture and the establishment of the modern way of living, stress has become an inseparable part of our generation. No doubt the previous generations had their own allocation of stress in their life but it was due to valid reasons and most of which were not self-imposed.
We as a generation got so much involved with chasing the idea of living rich lifestyles, that we induced a lot of stress upon ourselves followed by packages of misery in our lives.
With the rise of expectation of human beings to satisfy their desires for the approval of being called successful and happy by the society which itself is struggling with its own share of issues, we have made a mess of our lives just to impress others.
With the rise of stress and anxiety in modern life, the demand for tools, tricks, and techniques to eradicate them also have given rise to a whole new market.
Just like two sides of a coin, this story also has a flip side, which is the rise of the self-help industry.
In this industry, the meditation market was estimated to be valued at $959 million in 2015, growing to $1.08 billion in 2016 and $1.21 billion in 2017. Average annual revenue growth is forecast to be 11.4%, to $2.08 billion by 2022.
What was supposed to be an ancient process for the realization of the ultimate, is now a popular product of the self-help industry which is both good and bad.
The uprise of meditation as a revolutionary tool can be compared to that of nuclear power, which was invented to provide us with better options for sustainable energy but some smart people made bombs out of it.
You might be thinking that why I am so much against the idea of meditation and what’s wrong when a set of people are trying to uplift the mindsets of all those who find it difficult to do it by themselves.
Isn’t helping others a good thing ???
Yes, of course helping others is good but sometimes we have so much information in the hand that it becomes difficult to know which one will work for us and that is the purpose of this whole blog to give you equitable information without any glitch or glam.
When I started doing yoga, I was introduced into a lot of different practices including meditation. Initially, I was very confused and later on got frustrated because I was not able to find any specific definition or practice which could help me understand what were we referring to as meditation.
This is when I started enquiring. I read a lot of books, took some courses, saw tonnes of videos on youtube, discussed it with many people in the same field and these are the points which helped me to broaden my perspective about this whole confusion about meditation.
Meditation, as we know, has its roots in the ancient Indian scriptures, dating back to as old as 5000 years, which belongs to the Vedic tradition. If you enquire about the origin, you will find a reference given by Maharshi Patanjali’s, who was the author of the principle text on yoga, Patanjali’s yoga sutras, where he has given 8 steps to reach enlightenment, in which last three are something which we resemble as what we think as meditation. Those three steps are
- Dharana – the state of concentration with conscious effort.
- Dhyana – An effortless state of concentration.
- Samadhi – Enlightenment or Nirvana.
The term “Dharana” refers to the state when a person fixes his attention on a single object and uses his will to concentrate upon its attributes. For eg: a symbol, a mantra, any deity, any sound, feeling, etc.
This stage requires conscious efforts to fix the attention on the object between the stream of thoughts.
When the concentration becomes effortless and there is no longer any intervention of any other thoughts and the mind is fixed upon the object without putting any conscious effort, this stage is referred to as “Dhyana”.
When the person who is engaged in the process becomes one with the object upon which he chooses to fix his attention and he enters a state in which he sees no difference between himself and the object. This state is referred to as “Samadhi “which is popularly called enlightenment or “Nirvana” by the westerners.
These are the final 3 steps in the Maharishi Patanjali’s 8 fold method for reaching “Kaivalya” which is the term he used for enlightenment and the term meditation doesn’t justify any of these steps or can be used cumulatively to describe all three steps.
There no such thing as meditation
In modern times the word meditation was taken from Old French term meditacioun, in turn from Latin meditatio from a verb meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder”. The use of the term meditatio as part of a formal, stepwise process of meditation goes back to the 12th-century monk Guigo II.
(For reference you can check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation)
When we talk about meditation as taught by the modern teachers, they either use concentration or visualization or some technique to define the activity or process to reach a certain state where a person becomes thoughtless and there is no activity in mind.
The context in which the word meditation is used needs some refinement because surely meditation is not an activity.
This whole topic is so huge and confusing that even if we read the whole yogic scriptures it might not be enough to understand it because it is just like the tip of the iceberg. The best way to understand all these concepts is to have our own experience rather than going by whimsical concepts running around in the market.
If it doesn’t exist how can we do it
Well, the answer is pretty simple. You do not need to do meditation. Just like you cannot do happiness because happiness is something that happens to you and you feel it. Just try saying I am doing happiness and see how stupid it feels.
You can not do happiness because it is not an activity, but it is a result, a consequence of an activity which you did which puts you in a state where you feel happy.
In the same manner, it is confusing to say I am doing meditation because most of the people when they say I am meditating they are either trying intensely to stop their thoughts, trying to control their mind, concentrate with lots of effort, visualizing a scenario, focusing on sensory perception or mentally chanting a mantra in order to reach this state of where they are free from the fluctuation of mind and its chit chat.
The real meditation
The main reason why the majority of the people fail at experiencing a meditative state of being is that they have not enquired enough about it and they start it with very less or no clarity about what they are doing. It’s like you are cooking continental cuisine but you really do not know what dish you are cooking and whatever comes in your hand you put it into the dish and what comes out totally baffles you.
The same thing happens when we try to do meditation.
Just like how you do all the preparation before you go on a trip. First, you choose a destination, then you make time to travel, book your tickets, pack all the necessary stuff, create a schedule, and mark all the places you want to visit.
In the same manner, if you plan this too, you will have a better chance of experiencing the meditative states which you were expecting too.
If you look around yourself, you will not find a proper definition of meditation. Just like God, consciousness, divine, yoga, enlightenment, truth, and many more.
All the words above are so much exploited by people that if you go out searching for the correct meaning or definition wither you will end up fighting with someone, offending someone’s views of becoming completely mad.
Everybody has come up with their own definition and they’re often found contradicting each other’s methods.
Meditation has also become a word like that, whose actual meaning nobody knows but everybody seems to talk about it as they have discovered it all by themselves.
It’s just a matter of the little research followed and a little change of linguistics, that can make you understand the whole concept of this experience, which we are referring to as meditation.
So, the best way is to take out little time before you put yourself through any such practice and check it for yourself what works for you and what doesn’t.
This is one of the reasons why I have kept the name of my blog as infinite inspiration. There are infinite ways in which truth can be realized, it’s just a matter of time and some serious effort, who knows you might come up with your own definition and way of reaching to this enlightened state of meditativeness which we all commonly call meditation, just like “Gautama Buddha”.
I hope this article helped you to clear some doubts and misconceptions about meditation.
If you still have any doubt you must check our previous post which has some tips which can help you to have a blissful meditative experience.
I hope you start your research soon and get the board with the beautiful journey of mystical experiences.
Until I see you next time, make sure you take very good care of yourselves and your family.
Stay safe and Be Inspired
PS: I really want to thank https://unsplash.com/ and https://www.pexels.com/ for providing us with a gigantic collection of beautiful high definition images that anybody can download for free without worrying about any copyright issue. It’s such a blessing for all bloggers and content creators.