You believe meditation gives peace of mind, right?
Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not completely true.
And guess what, half-truths are dangerous. They can harm you, like really harm you.
I guess you have a right to know the complete truth about meditation. And since I see nobody willing, I’ll do the dirty work. But you’re going to hate me for what I am about to tell you.
The truth is this: One can go insane in meditation. Hence the title – ‘Meditation is not for everyone.’
So, before you try another session of “mindfulness” or “living in the present”, read this article, and then decide if meditation is for you.
You with me?
Let me give you an analogy:
Sunglasses are useful. They protect your eyes from the harsh sun and you can see the world with ease when the lenses are sparkling clean.
But things change as soon as dust and dirt accumulate over them. And if you’re not careful, you might take dust on the lenses with ‘something is wrong with the world’ attitude. And it’d be natural because the people, the trees, the flowers, everything shall appear distorted.
What would you do in such a situation?
Would you wipe people’s faces or clean the lenses?
The answer is obvious.
Your mind is also like sunglasses. It lets you experience the joys and sorrows of the world naturally until the dust of suppressed emotions settles over it. And when that happens, you start assuming something is wrong with the world.
Confusion, frustration and anguish seep in.
That’s exactly what happened to me.
I Couldn’t Speak My Heart Out
I was born into a middle-class family.
Resources were limited. And eventually decreased to almost none. Circumstances and people were unfavourable; it was nothing short of horrible. Bad luck destroyed my childhood and also the prime of my youth.
To cut the story short, I was fucked.
During this 20 years-long journey of misery and suffering, my mind and body were in terrible shape. I did not get proper attention and love–I was skinny, frail and prone to sicknesses.
The overwhelm turned into depression. Later I came to know that it was the result of living in an unfriendly atmosphere for so many years. And it was natural.
I could barely talk about how I felt. And I had no close friend or relative either who’s willing to listen.
Even talking to my parents was not possible because they were already facing hard times, and I did not want to burden them even more.
So, I decided not to speak.
And that cost me.
What Happens When A Pressure Cooker Is Not Allowed to Blow a Whistle?
The steam and pressure inside keep rising – until it explodes and kills itself.
It could have happened to me. I was almost on the verge of ending my life, but then, things changed.
The Universe introduced me to Meditation.
I was aware of meditation since childhood but had never taken it sincerely. But now, it was the question of life and death–I had to do something to save myself. And so, I started experimenting with intensive meditation techniques.
In fact, I am alive only because of meditation.
So, here I am–telling you that meditation saved my life, and also want you not to meditate. Isn’t that weird?
Can Anyone Meditate?
Yes, but the question is, should you?
What if meditation is not for you? What then?
The so-called experts claim that meditation works for everyone. And not only that, they even suggest meditation as the perfect remedy for stress, depression and lack of direction in life.
Meditate for approximately 10 minutes in the morning, and you’re all set. That’s the Recommended Dietary Allowance of meditation, right?
Well, the bad news is (actually there are two).
Meditation is not easy.
It is not a quick fix.
It’s so damn important I’d repeat it:
Meditation is not easy, and it is not a quick fix.
Meditation is a process of opening a can full of worms. So, don’t take meditation seriously unless you’re ready to face your demons.
Am I challenging the widespread belief that one should meditate daily?
That’s exactly what I am doing.
Stay with me, for just a little more time.
Can You Clean Cobwebs, Dirt and Filth Without Puking?
A typical household has three kinds of rooms – a living room, bedroom and others.
Ever noticed the difference between your bedroom and drawing room?
You keep the drawing-room in pretty good shape. The sofas should be clean. The table should sparkle. The curtains must be dust-free.
You get the picture.
The drawing room is for entertaining guests, and you want to make a good first impression, correct?
The bedroom, though is not that important to you.
And it’s understandable.
The guests rarely enter your bedroom, so it can stay a little shabby, and what the hell, even a little dirt on the floor won’t hurt, right?
And then we have ‘storeroom’–the most neglected of them all.
A storeroom is a perfect place to hide things–objects you don’t want others to see. This room is usually full of junk all year round except the festive season–Deepawali, to be precise.
When Deepawali is around the corner, you give the storeroom a thorough cleaning.
Can you recall the uninviting sight it presents, and how annoyingly difficult it is to breathe in there? You feel like puking. Your head starts spinning, and you wonder where you should start.
Well, guess what, your mind is also like the storeroom. Whatever you did not want others (or yourself) to see, you hide it there.
You want people to see your smile, so that’s what you show them. And the sadness, the depression and the frustration? What about them?
Since you don’t want people to see your ugly side, you dump them in the dark corners of your mind.
So, your repressed emotions are waiting for you to release them – for years, or maybe lives.
Can You Breathe for 10 Minutes and Go About Your Day?
I’d be crazy to ask you to breathe for only 10 minutes each day, don’t you think? I mean, can you breathe for a couple of minutes every morning and then forget about it?
No, you must breathe 24 hours days, even when you’re asleep.
And that is exactly the loophole in the ‘expert theory’ that meditating for 10 minutes a day is sufficient. No, it’s not.
Meditation is not an act that you can ‘do’, but instead, it’s a state of being.
Meditation and Its Consequences
Just the other day I met an old classmate who complained that I ruined his life.
“What the fuck? How did I ruin your life?”
“You should not have told me about meditation. I could not focus on making a career, and now I have no direction in life.”
It’s a classic example of blaming others for one’s misfortune when one doesn’t dare to admit their mistake. This guy had undertaken meditation way too seriously, too early in his life.
Yes, I introduced him to meditation, but did I put a gun on his head to do that? Certainly not.
He attended a lot of meditation camps and then all of a sudden stopped completely.
Now, when you leave something incomplete and drop it just like that, there will be consequences. So, be clear why you want to get into meditation and also if you dare to complete it.
You’re responsible for what happens to you in meditation; you cannot blame anybody else.
So, let me repeat:
Meditation is NOT for Everyone
You will have to pass through hell before you can get even a glimpse of heaven.
Only courageous (and a little crazy) people willing to put everything at risk should consider going into deep meditation.
There’s no shame in admitting if you’re not one such person.
Because once you’re in, there’s no turning back!