Meditation or Superstition
Recently there was a discussion on a message forum whether meditation was superstition.
If you have not practiced meditation before and do not know what it is, you
may have such doubts. To know the answer, first you have to understand what
meditation means. Meditation has the same advantages as relaxation. If relaxation
is superstition, then certainly meditation is. The practice of meditation involves
any or all the following.
- Limit the sensory activity. In meditation you close your
eyes and limit the amount of information that comes in.
- Relax the mind and body. You relax all the parts in your
body from head to feet by focusing on each of them and relaxing them.
- Breathe deeply. You take a few deep breaths or a few slow
breaths, which will help you relax further and go into a still deeper relaxation.
- Focus your attention. As you relax, you focus your attention
on your mind and thoughts or on a particular spot in your body such as the
place between your eyebrows, the tip of your nose or your breath.
- Pay passive attention. You pay attention to what goes on
in your body or mind without controlling or resisting anything, such as your
breathing, body sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, or on anything
that happens around you or images of places, people and things that spontaneously
- Pay active attention: You choose any subject or object of
interest and pay attention to it, without stressing yourself. The object can
be secular or religious.
There are many methods and techniques of meditation, which we cannot list here
because of the scope of this discussion. You can find them in many books and
articles. Technically, any act of contemplation, deliberation, reflection is
meditation. It is an act of letting go of mental restraints so that the mind
can be more plastic and you will have an opportunity to break free from routine
thinking and habitual responses and spend quality time with yourself and knowing
In meditation you let your mind do its work, while you watch it. It helps you
relax and know your deeper thoughts and hidden feelings. Your meditation does
not have to be a religious or spiritual practice. You do not have to think
of God or spiritual subjects. You can even think of people you love or things
you hate to know why you have such thoughts or feelings towards them.
Meditation can help you overcome weaknesses, behavioral problems or habitual
responses. For example, you can visualize situations that disturb you, or cause
fear and you can visualize alternative approaches to cope with them in different
and healthy ways. You can also consider meditation a fun activity just as you
watch a movie or a play a game. It is a controlled day dreaming and a good
past time, if there is nothing else to do. You can even practice it with open
eyes, which many who regularly practice it do.
You can also use meditation to solve problems, think creatively, analyze a
situation, gain insight or know your intuition or gut feelings. Meditation
may not solve all your problems. However, it is the cheapest and the most easily
available technique to change your thoughts, feel relaxed or become familiar
with your deepest thoughts and feelings.
Therefore, meditation is not a superstition unless you are superstitious or
prejudiced about it.
For Further Reading