An excerpt from the new book by Chaitanya Keerti, ‘Mindfulness: The Master Key’.
A recent issue of the New York Times, in one of its articles, tells us that meditation is exploding in popularity. There are classes to learn meditation in all its forms: mindfulness-based stress reduction, transcendental meditation, Zen and more. There are meditation events with power-networking opportunities built in. Drop by the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (commonly called PATH) in New York, and you can mingle with people in tech, film, fashion and the arts. Pay a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and you get to do an early morning guided meditation with global leaders. As the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Arianna Huffington said, CEOs are increasingly coming out of the closet as meditators.
Another newspaper reported that researchers mapping the brain activity of tango dancers suggest that tango has the capacity to transport a person to the same mental state as people who meditate. One experiment, presented by the US National Library of Medicine, established that Argentine tango could be as effective as mindful meditation in reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
The notion about the effect of meditation that it reduces stress, anxiety and depression has become prevalent all over the world. And it is a fact. It does. But in ancient time, this was not the original purpose of meditation. When the ancient sages were practising meditation, they were not thinking of freedom from stress or anxiety. They were meditating to attain self-realisation or illumination. It was self-enquiry or self-actualisation. Now the meditation is being sold on a very large scale to the corporate world by most of the modern gurus with temptations, with certain packages of decision-making, increasing the productivity of the workers in the factories, etc. The power of meditation is being exploited for the mundane achievements.
The people are being misled on a very large scale. For example, Patanjali yoga has been reduced to mere physical asanas for better health and nothing further or deeper and the same is being done to meditation. All kinds of new methods are being invented and promoted as the short-cut to happiness and ultimately the enlightenment by those who want to turn into a big business, comparable to yoga. These teachers are mostly flourishing in the West as well as in the Eastern countries such as India and Japan, the sacred home to Vipassana and Zen. The mystic saint Kabir had warned about such teachers: “Andha andham thelia dono koop padant (The blind led the blind and both have fallen into the well)”.
Describing this situation, Osho says: “The ordinary man is living a very abnormal life, because his values are upside down. Money is more important than meditation; logic is more important than love; mind is more important than heart; power over others is more important than power over one’s own being. Mundane things are more important than finding some treasures which death cannot destroy.”
Excerpted from the new book by Chaitanya Keerti, ‘Mindfulness: The Master Key’
Chaitanya Keerti travels around the world to facilitate Osho meditation retreats. He is an editor of Osho World and the author also of ‘Osho Fragrance’. More articles by the same author on Osho News