Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:35 am
I don't like it.
I don't like when people ascribe all this teleological emphasis to it. Yes, meditation is central to many Eastern religions. If you are a genuinely pious buddhist who isn't appropriating Eastern culture, then obviously I am not going to be critical of you. Nor am I going to be critical of someone who is getting benefit from meditation.
What I am critical of is when people try and shove it down my throat about how wonderful it is and how it can make all my problems go away. I know someone who does this. He has completely fetishized the concepts of Eastern religion (probably bastardized them too) and is obsessed with this mindset of pure nothingness and nothing being real, and meditating to tap into this. The fact he is able to get something out of it is fine, but the fact he is convinced I need to gets on my nerves.
Let's take meditation outside of the religious framework. In psychological counseling, there is a coping practice they teach called mindfulness. It isn't just something you do but sort of predicated on this belief that thoughts will pass if you don't think about them, and to just experience your thoughts without any judgement or negativity to let them pass. So when you practice mindfulness, you sort of meditate trying to let the thoughts leave your mind. This is what I understand meditation is like. The fact that they use it in counseling shows that it does work! But only for certain people.
I don't have the kind of mind where I can meditate. I do struggle with many issues that people do use meditation to successfully cope with, but because of my mind it just doesn't work for me. Having bipolar disorder, if I am suffering duress I can't just let things run their course in my mind until they pass. They won't, the very act of the thoughts running their course is flawed and skewed. It is the thoughts AND the ways the thoughts are coming about and moving that are problems. I'm not saying pills are the only solution (though they are essential in bipolar disorder), but there are other techniques that work for me better.
You're so vain. You probably think this signature's about you.