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"Seven common myths about meditation" (May 22 Guardian article)

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    (May 22 article)

    I didn't find this article brilliant but it raises some interesting points or ideas.

    Mindfulness-based therapies have started to be promoted for health conditions including CFS, Fibromyalgia, "functional somatic syndromes" (which would incl. CFS and FMS), etc. So I think it could be useful to learn about other viewpoints on them.
  2. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

    East Coast, USA
    I've seen articles recently in dedicated buddhist magazines about practitioners becoming mentally unstable during meditation retreats.
    barbc56 likes this.
  3. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

    I think one point here regarding taking up meditation is; that it's a matter of intention. The idea of living with more awareness in the moment--of really being there not thinking of other things but focussing awareness on your present action --is definitely helpful to ones life but it is an amoral usefulness. Achieving that has little or nothing to do with anything spiritual ie being completely mindful and in the moment can facilitate an evil agenda as easily as a benign or positive agenda. This is the more popular form, I think, in the west.

    As a side beef since I'm here, it seems there isn't anything that comes to 'The West' that can't be overly commercialised and then sold as good/spiritual/benefitting humanity. I've said elsewhere that I spent a decade in Vancouver. It is home to a wide variety of eastern thought/religious practices. There were in fact some truly lovely, good and caring people that I met there. I would qualify most of the interest in eastern practices as the equivalent of the millennial selfie. Goodness was measured by whether your yoga mat matched your yoga carrier bag which matched your yoga Lulu Lemon togs which matched your environmentally safe toenail polish and your metal water bottle. Admittedly this takes us beyond just meditation.

    This whole look would be worn to pick up your kids at school, do your groceries, going for lunch or morning/afternoon coffee/chai tea/health smoothie. Nothing wrong with any of these things until they became some sort of hallmark of personal spiritual worth.

    The idea that things of this nature can be achieved without pain seems odd given the whole western 'no pain-no gain' mantra.
    So where did this idea start? My guess is somewhere someone saw a marketing opportunity and simply downplayed anything negative.

    For more negative backlash of meditation:

    Why now?
  4. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

    It looks like a myth-busting article targeted at new-agey claims about meditation.

    If you spoke with any serious and experienced meditation teacher he would agree with most of the points in the article.
    barbc56, Effi, Ema and 1 other person like this.
  5. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

    I agree with most of the points in the article. In my case meditation and other practices conventional wisdom considers helpful were an obstacle to my recovery.
    I'm not surprised. I never went on a retreat but had a similar negative experience.
    barbc56 likes this.
  6. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

  7. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    I have heard that monks who go into extended solitary retreat tended to develop a pattern of serious physical and mental health problems.
  8. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

    reasonable article from the guardian. the problem is not meditation the problem is that the psychs have hijacked it for their own silly agenda.
    ahimsa, barbc56 and ahmo like this.

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