It is not just Indian Yoga that has become commercially successful in the Western world, a deeper and a higher science of meditation is also growing on the same lines.
It is not just Indian Yoga that has become commercially successful in the Western world, a deeper and a higher science of meditation is also growing on the same lines. Suddenly, so many scientists and psychologists have become so interested in researching the benefits of something that the East has been practising since eternity. The East with its inexhaustible treasures of meditative practices has always mystified the West. But the West does not accept anything without scientific examination.
Today, Western science and psychology are supporting the beneficial effects of meditation on practising individuals. A recent research published in Biological Psychiatry, coordinated by Carnegie Mellon associate professor J. David Creswell, demonstrated that meditation does, in fact, change the brains of practitioners in positive ways that appear to equip them to cope better with life stresses.
The East didn’t practice meditation for mundane gains — becoming successful in the world or slowing the process of ageing — but to find the deeper meaning of life and existence i.e., the innermost realms of conciousness.
The seekers sacrificed their material world for the spiritual world and to share their realisation with the world at large. The end result of meditation has been compassion.
But the West has a totally different, diametrically opposite approach.
In a report, the co-founder of the Wellness Project said her company is finding success selling meditation trainings to companies for their employees in New York.
Most clients, she said, are small to medium-sized businesses and she noted that “companies are more open to this today”.
She elaborated: “Companies that take a vested interest in meditation and wellness could see vast jumps in their bottom line, not just from better work produced by rested and more focused brains, but also from the production of more creative ideas and more honed problem-solving skills.”
This influences practitioners from the East to travel to the West and sell their practice.
There’s an ancient story told by Osho.
King Bimbisara once went to Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainas and said “I want to attain to the truth and I am willing to give anything that I possess, I must have the truth that rids man of all sorrow.”
Mahavira saw that the ruler wanted to conquer truth in the same way he was trying to conquer the world and that he even wanted to buy the truth.
The master told Bimbisara to first go to Punya shravak, a poor citizen of his empire and get from him the fruit of meditation.
Bimbisara went to him and said, “I have come to ask something. I want to buy the fruit of your meditation. I will pay whatever price you may require”. Punya Shravak replied, “My lord, meditation means serenity. It means keeping the mind free from temptation and hatred and remaining steady in one’s self. You want to buy it, but this is impossible. I cannot sell meditation.”
Meditation is like love and prayer. It is self-realisation. It cannot be sold like a commodity. The fruit of meditation is compassion.
Swami Chaitanya Keerti, editor of Osho World, is the author of Osho Fragrance