Hinduism Today Magazine Issues and Articles
Is Meditation Boring or Harmful?
Category : October 1992

Is Meditation Boring or Harmful?

Gajjar, Bharat J.



Meditation helps in reducing stress. It brings inner peace, freedom and happiness. It happiness. It helps to achieve mastery over one's life and attaining self realization. Therefore, it subsequently leads to God realization and brings ultimate liberation. There are four basic types of people who practice meditation: 1) those who believe and practice meditation, 2) those who believe in meditation but do not practice, 3) skeptics who do not believe or care and 4) those who believe it is harmful.

We do not have to talk about the first type, those who practice yoga. The second type who believe in meditation but do not practice find it boring and rarely practice it. These people do not find it fruitful or satisfying because they lack patience. They want instant gratification. Meditation seems quite simple, like tennis, but to enjoy both meditation and tennis, one has to practice patiently and regularly.

The third type of people, who are skeptics about meditation and do not care about it, are the ones who need it the most. They try to escape their traumas by taking tranquilizers and other drugs rather than solving their problems thorough the healthy technique of meditation. It is a proven fact that meditation reduces mental and physical stress. Some people suffer so much with stress and depression that they succumb to drinking and hazardous drugs and ruin their lives. Let's enlighten these people about the benefits of meditation. The fourth type of people, who believe that meditation is harmful, need to reevaluate their beliefs in respect of its positive effects and scientific facts.

I was teaching yoga and meditation while I was working for E.I DuPont de Nemours and Co., which is one of the largest US Companies. My company's doctor had heard about my classes, so during my annual physical examination he said, "I understand you teach yoga and meditation, and you seem to have benefited a great deal from it. Would you teach me meditation?" I told him I would love to, so I told the health director of our company about that conversation and subsequently she organized and announced a 7-week course for our department's employees. Some Christian fundamentalists however, objected. They told our management that meditation should not be taught because 1) during meditation a vacuum is created that allows the devil to enter a person, and 2) it is a blasphemy to teach that in meditation one can eventually become united, at some level, with God. Our management discussed the issue and concluded that science has proven meditation to be good for mental and physical health. When the course was announced, 60 employees signed up. Almost of all them were professionals, including our medical staff. As we could not take all 60 at one time, we divided the group into three sections. The meditation course went extremely well. They enjoyed the philosophy, learned mediation techniques and started practicing meditation regularly. They rated the course outstanding. One woman in the class was so impressed that she enrolled herself and her neighbor's children in my Sunday children's yoga class.

Prayer has to do with the mind whereas meditation has to do with the heart. If prayer is talking to God, then meditation is listening to God. Mediation is great way to love God and attain self-realization. It is a way to create metal peace, gain a stress-free life in this fast moving modern world and thus achieve happiness.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.