Mindfulness is not a fashion
The huge interest in meditation/mindfulness today made this ancient practice, a huge market in the world. Why then great masters did not market it but kept highly guarded and guided practice through traditional wisdom.
Science is repeating what ist proved for seven decades
Scientists have proved again and again the same benefits of mindfulness/ meditation, barring few who argued as it is a waste of time, self-hypnotizing and self- fulfilling without any success. Still, others have shown, how the practice can damage the brain, make memory loss and are a danger to the brain and the mind.
Scientific community first proves their irrational and unfounded arguments, that meditation/mindfulness is something vague and illogical. Then they try to prove that it has no foundation at all. Later, they return to their objective approach and define mindfulness/meditation.
Objective research into the first-person experience
The science may try to redefine the practice objectively, prove that what they are doing is right based on evidence; they cannot reject the notion that the mind is not – who we are. We are different from body, breath, brain, mind, intellect and functional -I which is a part of the mind. The real- I, is different from all parts of our personality. Buddha and other masters declare the goal of meditation is ‘know thyself’ and not what scientists are trying to prove.
How can we find our true nature in the world outside?
What researchers are researching lies in the field of objective reality. No doubt, this material world, and objective reality are important for the physical and psychological survival for the society and nation but the first-person, or the reality is behind the veil of the mind and the brain. The wrong belief of these researchers starts from the notion that 3000 years old tradition of meditation /mindfulness which was tested and validated by thousands of masters repeatedly is false, ill-conceived and without any evidence. It is quite surprising that these researchers claim that meditation/mindfulness is true, but its foundations, teachings, and teachers are wrong. So they research and try to find evidence. How contradictory is it?
Eastern Wisdom -manuals, principles, and practices
Meditation is a technology, discovered, tested, validated by not one but more than 3000 masters over a period of more than 6000 years. This tradition, I call Eastern Wisdom. The proof of meditation lies in the fact that every master taught the same principles expressed differently. The masters taught different steps of meditation/mindfulness. They did not teach different types of meditation/ mindfulness. But scientific community believes in the objective reality, what they perceive through their mind, has destroyed the very soul and purpose of meditation.
Objective research is fine only to a limit
I don’t dispute the claims and counterclaims of objective findings of meditation/ mindfulness. It is good and remarkable. The problem is that they try to define meditation/ mindfulness while escaping the fact if one is a meditator or not. Science suggests prerequisites and necessary qualification of any discipline, except meditation/mindfulness. They convince people of utopia for 3-4-5 weeks of research in meditation, forgetting if a person is qualified to meditate. Buddha spent more than six years in preparing for mindfulness, until a great master of his time, Alar Kalam, found him, being exploited by another master taught him physical practices in the name of meditation.
We adore Buddha and other masters for our selfish end
We adore Buddha, not because of his arduous journey to mindfulness, but for the sake of proving that he was a secular mediator.
We cannot objectify the first-person experience. Hence, it cannot become the object of a research study for science. Buddha says ‘ know thyself’ is what is the goal of meditation/ mindfulness. But researchers declare that they know – who and what is a human being. Master says that – we do not know who truly we are. And to discover – who we truly are is the goal of meditation. Science starts with the notion that it is some physiological and psychological state. They try to find the changes in the brain in meditation, but the state of meditation is above and beyond the brain.
Research ignores the person if qualified for meditation/mindfulness
Every meditation needs a meditator. A person needs to be qualified to become a meditator before he can practice meditation/ mindfulness. All details are found in the teachings and texts by great masters of Eastern Wisdom. The moment any researcher takes help of any text and real teachings of the master, they will not receive a grant for research. Therefore, it is easy to disprove and discredit the principles and teachings of great masters and redefine meditation for their benefit.
First, follow the six steps before starting mindfulness, says Buddha
The simple example is mindfulness from Buddhism. In the eightfold path, Buddha describes mindfulness as the seventh step. First six steps explain the prerequisites for mindfulness. Researchers do not dare to touch these steps, because the protocol of research will be destroyed by doing so.
‘Paying attention’ seems a good word that people find attracting. Science has yet to prove, what ‘attention to anything’ means. They have yet to prove if the brain is the seat of consciousness or consciousness manifests the brain and the mind.
Are we destroy the age-old tradition of mindfulness
The science has yet to know- what it means by withdrawing the mind inside that helps one to meditate. Paying attention to anything is objective. The goal of meditation is to drop the objectified mind. The dropping of the objective mind is the objectless state – it is mindfulness, according to the great masters of Eastern Wisdom. The goal of mindfulness/meditation was never physical. When we make it physical, it destroys the meditation and its very objective, according to the teachings of the masters.
Majority of research studies on mindfulness/meditation depends on attention and concentration. The science believes that mind cannot be focused for a longer period, what they are trying to achieve through mindfulness research – to disprove what they believe.
Mind in Eastern wisdom – easy to understand and practice
The Eastern Wisdom understands the mind in totality. When matter ( Prakriti) and consciousness ( Purusha) are in contact, the mind is created. The mind has two flows unlike river has one flow. One flow of the mind is known as Shreyas – to know, examine and understand – what is right and good ( right view of knowledge – the first step of the noble eightfold path). The second flow is known as Preyas- what is pleasant is good. When we understand this principle through regular contemplation and reflection, it removes doubts and confusions from the mind. The mind that is devoid of confusion regains its focus naturally. It is this reason masters suggest scanning the body, feeling sensations in the body, breath awareness, and mantra recitation loudly or mentally, depending on the level of mind of practitioners. Masters explain in detail as what causes the mind to wander, lose attention and focus.
What we, when there is a storm outside- we do in mindfulness
There is a storm outside, what we normally do. We do not fight with the storm. We rush inside the house, close the door and find calm within. Mindfulness/meditation is such a beautiful journey.
How do we know, that the sky is not blue
We see the sky above, it appears blue, but it is not blue. What we do to remove the wrong notion that it is not blue. We understand it. After knowing, we still find the sky appears blue, but now we know, it is not. Similarly, when we know wandering mind is objectified mind, we find the subjective reality behind that never wanders. What type of attention and concentration is required to meditate to know as taught by researchers?
How do we know the iron ball is not red
The iron ball is dark, but when put into the fire, it appears red iron ball. Is the iron ball is red? No, it borrows the qualities of fire and appears red. Leave the iron ball for some time away from the fire. It loses red color and returns to its original state. This mind borrows the qualities of the world outside and becomes wandering, distracted, anxious and agitated mind. Allow the mind to settle within, it drops the qualities of the constantly changing world and returns to its original state of calmness and peace that it borrows from the consciousness. The consciousness in its purest state is the objectless state of mind. The objectless state of mind is the state of mindfulness.
About the author
38+ years of experience in teaching, research, educating thousands of people includes diplomats, engineers, doctors, kids, professors. Many Himalayan masters have mentored Girish Jha. He studied psychology, philosophy, applied mindfulness, Tantra, Yoga, Spirituality. He has a master’s in psychology and applied mindfulness.
He has helped people overcome the challenges of HIV, Substance Abuse, Opioid addiction, Stress, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, depression, relationship problems. Know more about Girish Jha