What Meditation is Not

It is helpful for the beginner to understand what meditation is- as a first step to understanding the truth. A condensation of this post is included on the “Quick Study” page.

The meaning and practice of meditation has been twisted by promoters in modern culture who erroneously include a host of “feeling good” self visualizing, self relaxing, self exploring and self-examination techniques and practices. These may or may not yield results in their own domain, at times limited to narrow personal objectives – sometimes our personal goals try to defy the laws of nature! But this is not true meditation. Allow me to get “personal” for a moment.

I studied and practiced progressive relaxation in the late 20’th century under the late Dr. George Blake and therapist Eli Bay because I felt anxious most of the time and drugs were not helping me.  Progressive relaxation helped me feel better temporarily – relieving the symptom – but did nothing to the deep seated unrest within. This was not meditation.

For a time I entered psychotherapy, not because I thought I was ill, but seeking to discover my true self… the roots of my unease. Drug therapy brought more unease. I was given lessons in visualizing the good and positive. This was not meditation.

Under the tutelage of Bob Monroe from the Monroe Institute I practiced and completed the Gateway Experience manual and series, developing a sense of resisting distraction and discovery of self but found the practice appealed more to my entertainment of ego. This was not meditation.

It was not until 2008 meditation classes from Jenni Burke, a Yogini from Port Hope, Ontario, that I began to understand the true nature of meditation.

More specifically, I discovered what meditation is not;

  • not mental relaxation
  • not positive thinking
  • not visualizing what we want
  • not trying to repel discomfort
  • not free association
  • not seeking specific “feelings” (good, euphoric, positive)
  • not seeking out of body “astral travelling” or hallucinatory events

In future posts we will examine how although some of the above may come to occur through meditation, they are not the global goal.

Peace and abundance to all!

Published by

Rob Owens

I have been working online as Meditation Teacher since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. I started teaching public Yoga classes in 2022 through the City of Quinte West Community Services.

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