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 appear.
- 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 yourself.
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
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
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