A repost from 1/30/14 from my own blog.
The above image is entitled “Quantum Buddha,” and it captures the essence of this post: the intersection of Buddhism and modern science. Meditation as medicine, mindfulness for many purposes, research data to support their usefulness seem to be in the headlines almost daily. Some links are below to articles like that.
Being called The Third Metric, and The Way of the Future for politics, leadership, business and family life, mindfulness is now almost mainstream.
Will meditation cure your depression? Your cancer? Your diabetes? Your stress?
What are the facts? What is true? What is correct? How do you know?
There was recently a forum on meditation led by the actor, Goldie Hawn, at a World Economics conference!
You decide, after learning to meditate, researching via personal experience as well as reading and watching videos, attending conferences and talking with others, what YOU believe. The Buddha would want you to do that. Really.
When you have time and want to learn a lot more, watch this amazing documentary. Yogis of Tibet.
Oh, I forgot to mention Yogi Berra’s words of wisdom on living in the now…
Fellow baseball team member: “Hey Yogi, what time is it?”
Yogi Berra: “You mean now?”
Perfect! Thanks, Don!
One of the links from the first article (Time magazine) goes to another Time article on the “dark” side of meditation, noting that a murderer (in Texas, I think it was) meditated regularly. For some startlingly unmindful reactions, look at the comments.
I did meditation research back in the 90s (showing the people with greater cognitive flexibility have more success using mindfulness to reduce pain). I’ve also been a regular meditator for several decades.
There’s so much that could be said about the article, but perhaps the simplest guideline would be to say, there’s “attempts” to meditate, then there’s “meditation.” I assume everyone here – and probably everyone who has ever “attempted” to meditate, knows there’s a good deal of time (the majority of it:>???:>)) when we’re attempting rather than actually meditating (or more simply put, being there – or here!).
It reminds me of Eckhart Tolle’s recommendation of how not to get your kids interested in meditating. Gather them into the living room at 8 PM sharp and every Sunday night (using his best German accent here), tell them, “You vill now be in zah moment, und you vill stay zere for exACTLY 15 minutes…. starting… NOW!”
And for all of us, in those “attempts” to meditate, we may have all kind of dark, disturbing, thoughts, feelings, images, etc come up. For some who are mentally unstable (like above mentioned murderer) meditation may not be the best thing!
I recall a patient I knew with obsessive compulsive disorder. He was a musician and completely ungrounded. When he heard that I meditated, and asked me how, I strongly recommended he do some kind of grounding physical activity instead of meditating. he did and it was actually such a big help, that a few months later he was calm enough (and fluid, relaxed enough) to be able to non-obsessively meditate (gave him imagery instead of following or god forbid, counting the breath – he already counted everything already – he knew how many tiles were on the ceiling of the therapy room by the end of the first session!).
so yes, we may attempt to meditate (like “trying” to be in the moment) and may be far from just being there. It’s good to have a wide view of meditation and realize it can mean lots of different things to lots of different people.
Thanks again Sally for a great post.
Yes, Don: meditation has many forms and there are certain types that require a strong and stable ego,and for meditators to have no chemical or personality disorders. Meditation is NOT for everyone. People can have psychotic breaks during or after intensive meditation retreats if they are prone to such. Thanks for your comments. Best to you, Sally
What a thoughtful, educational post. One of my top ten favorites on the subject of Buddhism thus far. Kudos!
Thanks! I’ve been enjoying your posts as well!