Why do people meditate? A good question, and if you ask someone, it might take them some time to answer…honestly that is. Sure it has its health benefits. And yes it will most definitely help with stress. But what about the spiritual component of the practice?
In this insightful (and quite confronting) Costa Rico News post from Martin LeFevre, not only does LeFevre question a person’s motives for picking up the practice, but also sheds some light on the catch phrase, mindfulness meditation. According to LeFevre, mindfulness meditation is redundant. For him, meditation is about play, experiment, discovery, and insight. Not control, which the word mindfulness alludes to.
As such, not only is “Mindfulness Meditation” (the approach most often taken in the West) a redundancy, but it misses the point of meditation completely as I see it.
People are told that meditation is “about bringing the mind back to the here and now, as opposed to letting the mind drift.” But who or what brings the mind back to the here and now? That implies a separate entity making an effort to do so. And upholding the separate self is antithetical to meditation.
Indeed, to initiate authentically meditative states one has to let the mind drift, and watch it as it does. Control is an illusion, and effort is a diversion from what is. Letting go of control and effort opens up space in the mind, releases emotions, and allows insight. It is insight that changes the brain.
Read more from LeFevre and his take on mindfulness meditation here.