Hmmmm. A mighty interesting article passed my eyes, questioning the claims about yoga and meditation. It actually made a lot of sense to me, and is consistent with my experience. Plenty of benefits for sure, but it’s not a panacea, and it doesn’t resolve assholism. 🙂
When someone you know well has been meditating as a serious practice for many years, and over many years you have experienced their behaviour not only not improve, but actually at cross purposes with what they say and what they claim, it’s quite an eye opener. I have experienced a few people who have yoga and/or meditation as a big part of their lives and yet still behave like assholes.
When someone who has done that much meditation (and other modalities said to have similar benefits) is rarely in their heart and rarely present while thinking they actually are and convincingly giving the impression that they are when they are ‘on display’, one can be excused for being a tad cynical. One can easily embrace and align with, and feel good about, the idea of it more so than actually living it.
A wonderful holistic counsellor I know well believes meditation can be used as a form of escapism, and more specifically as a way to avoid being mindful and present. I have observed this to be true in some cases.
And of course there are plenty of kind hearted, sweet souls who practice yoga and meditation (and actually, some of the sweetest hearts I know don’t do either).
I did a bit of a (nebulous, totally unscientific) social experiment on myself many years ago, where I had a regular discipline of meditation twice a day for about three years. It happened alongside a lot of other actively pursued personal evolution, but intuitively my awareness was that I barely noticed the meditation making any difference in the big picture sense. Of course it was complementary, but the other things were where I made the bulk of my progress.
My take on it is that it boils down to character, beliefs, influences and how much woundedness/unworthiness/fear people have held onto, or have done the work to evolve from. Meditation and yoga can knock the edges off, and they have a huge value, but they are subject to being made into a convenient mask for the ego, and even when being fully and genuinely embraced and applied they’re only slices of a much bigger pie.
And like all of us, I have certainly taken my turn with behaviour stemming from woundedness etc. My focus here is about an interesting topic and observations from my experience rather than about right and wrong. I feel compassion towards us all. Nor is it gospel of course – it’s all just my point of view. 🙂
The most awesome thing about meditation in my experience is being in stillness and presence for tapping into the creative source for insights to come through. Fair to say though, that insights and inspirations come through often even when my mind is busy and distracted.
(Yoga has been less the focus of my ruminations here, but for sure when I’ve done Yoga it has been totally beneficial.)
Interesting to see that someone is exploring these in a deeper way, asking useful questions and being scientific about it. An article that is well worth the read.
© Maia Kshemya 2016