Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018 | Last Update : 05:01 AM IST
A growing body of evidence suggests regular meditation is linked with benefits including lower stress and better focus.
There is a beautiful Haiku by the incomparable Zen master Basho: “Sitting silently, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.”
Apparently, it looks like a license for the lazy to leave their responsibilities and sit somewhere in the forest, doing nothing. But that is an old worldview. Now the busiest and the most intelligent people of the world are propagating silent sitting in the midst of a busy schedule. So much so that meditation has become the in thing in Silicon Valley. CEOs have adopted the practice, and apps devoted to it have proliferated.
The idea of sitting in a quiet room doing nothing for a few minutes each day might sound absurd — unless you understand how meditation works and why it is in dire need today.
“The pace we go at and all the distractions and demands that technology brings generate a huge amount of psychological and physiological stress,” said Dr. Kerry Kravitz, a Portola Valley psychiatrist who treats patients in high-tech’s ground zero. “When we worry, our body can react with a fight-or-flight response. That’s not good for our health.”
A growing body of evidence suggests regular meditation is linked with benefits including lower stress and better focus. A large review of studies involving close to 3,000 people found that mindfulness meditation was linked with a reduction in feelings of depression, anxiety, and even physical pain. Experienced meditators’ brains appear to have well-developed regions that may be connected to things like awareness and emotional control.
This is why Osho has created a worldwide movement for meditation. He harps on the urgency of teaching meditation to each and every person. Meditation is no more a prerogative of the chosen few, it is a survival need. Ironically, technology and the wealth created by it has pushed people into meditation. All rich societies have felt a tremendous urge to find inner richness because they have found that the outer richness is only a false substitute: it keeps you in a kind of illusion that you are rich. Deep down you remain poor because the outer richness cannot change your inner world. On the contrary, it enhances the inner poverty.
Osho says, “ There are two kinds of poor people in the world; the poor poor and the rich-poor — but both are poor.
And in fact, the rich-poor person is far poorer than the poor-poor, for the simple reason that he has contrast. He can see that the outside has become rich and in contrast, his inner poverty shows more clearly.
The poor man cannot feel that. Both sides are poor, in and out, so there is no contrast. It is like writing with white chalk on a white wall... The rich man is like a blackboard on which you write with white chalk; it comes clear and loud.”
Meditation brings you tremendous richness, inexhaustible richness, and a deep longing to share it... for the sheer joy of giving it. So sitting silently is not an escapism, it is waiting for the inner spring that will bring thousands of blossoms.