Shining Tree
Shining Tree

Meditation has been featured on Breakfast television on BBC over the last two weeks. Usual format, a reporter gives a stereotypical Western viewpoint of what Meditation is, speak to some scientists, joins a group that meditates and see if there is  any improvement in any of the participants; say: “mind over matter”, another time slot on the programme filled. Maybe I am been a bit cynical.

There does seem to have been a ground swell increase in interest about “meditation” lately. I can’t figure out whether it is a natural increase in people’s consciousness in their search for spirituality or whether there is some market led manipulative force at work here- i.e. very soon their will be “meditation lounges” in all Tesco stores and Gyms, and sheeple being sheeple will all flock to do meditation because if  Tesco and Gyms have it, it must be good!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am really looking at a gift horse in the mouth. I should be jumping on the bandwagon, getting in  touch with local papers, local radio, saying “look at us, we do meditation at Shining Tree”. But we have never been very good at marketing ourselves – ranting and raving yes.The outcome of the BBC feature was positive. Basically it concluded that meditation brings about a change in your brain activity and relief of pain  It also featured a lady with Lupus ( an auto immune disease characterised with imflammation and pain) who said that meditation helped her. Basically, it finished off with saying its “mind over matter” if it works use it.

My concern with the feature is that Meditation in the Western mind is still perceived as something that is done by wise man and sages and that it is just about sitting quietly. It is of course not-  the article on this link will show you that Meditation is a state of mind, it is mind, body and spirit. The lady with Lupus looked quite unwell to me, and I wonder wonder whether she has a full life style plan such as good nutrition and a comprehensive body awareness programme which covers Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong…………and yes, meditation.

Meditation is not something that you “do” to  suppress symptoms. Meditation is a way of life, it’s an attitude, it’s a synthesis of mind, body and spirit.It is not “mind over matter”, it is “mind and matter”. Whenever I watch programmes which show a very shallow understanding of a subject matter, it reminds me of a young child playing with the box rather than the present. We need to grow up.