Thursday, September 23, 2010

Open Thread for Our Readers — New Readers: Check This Out!

Here is your space.

Discuss anything on your mind—or in your heart—in the comments below.

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New Readers: Some of the most important discussions and information sharing takes place in our comments. Why not check 'em out? And maybe share your thoughts there, too?




John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

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John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

From my reading I discovered that, traditionally, yoga meditation is taught in a one-on-one relationship with the guru, once the guru has carefully screened the prospective student for capacity, stability, etc., and carefully prepared him or her with preliminary practices. The kind of mass initiations into meditation practice that have occurred in modern times is a new phenomenon. As a result, people all over the world are reporting a wide range of problems, as well as positive results. Personal comments on the TM-Free Blog attest to this disparity in individual outcome.

I would just like to ask if anyone has thoughts on why, at this time in history, this diversion from the traditional path is taking place. In your opinion, is it a positive development, or a disaster? If it is a disaster, why would Nature, or God, or whatever name you like, plan for such suffering in the name of higher consciousness? Is it just the ignorance of humans that distorts and corrupts whatever is true and worthwhile in this dark age that we supposely live in? Why would something as powerful as meditation apparently is be unleashed on so many unsuspecting and unprepared individuals? Does the mass of positive outcomes outweigh the harmful ones?

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Hi Avid---- The answer is simple as to why Mahesh started to clone himself and initiate just about anyone ----- money.

Westerners are/were gullible when it comes to things Eastern. The promises were good (enlightenment in 5 - 7 years!) and "everyone was doing it." Why do people follow any fad? It is the most ancient of human instincts to join the group. We are social animals.

For some people a brief experience with TM (20 min. twice a day) works just fine. For others, especially those who went on long courses, the effects were devastating, even deadly. There was no loving guide or guru to turn to when things went wrong, and they did.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

If I might toss in my tuppence here: I think that the "proof" of the value of meditation (TM or otherwise), is largely anecdotal. But some of the legitimate investigations done on Tibetan meditators seems to suggest that some mental changes are actually taking place.

Anecdotally, we have seem a lot of mental changes taking place in the TM community (perhaps I should say the Maheshistic Community to distinguish the True Believer types from the TM-2x20 types). But not everyone who does TM goes bonkers or ends up homeless or on the dole. The only thing I can say about TM (2x20 or hard core Maheshistic types) is that results vary, unlike what Mahesh would have had us believe, but then, he insisted on only ever hearing good news, so make of that what you will.

Yes, Avid, Mahesh made a huge effort to cram TM down as many mind-holes as he could. I suspect he felt that somehow the more he "had" the more successful, the more important that made him.

In other meditation schools in which I have studied, no such push for accumulation of students (points?) exists. The teachers I have worked with have been only too happy to let students come and learn at their own pace and, if they don't feel the "pull" go at that pace. No sense of any teacher "needing" an accumulation of students in order to "prove" something.

I think Mahesh had some scramble in his egg. But I doubt any Maheshite would see that or be able to see that. While I think Meditation, when/where/as appropriate for the individual is useful, Mahesh's modus operandi suggests that there was something amiss with Mahesh's perception and his appreciation of right and wrong was, well, afflicted.

I whole heartedly agree with Karina: money. In India, the more money you had, the "better" you were and Mahesh seems to have had an obsessive compulsion to prove his "betterness".

I apologize for all the quote marks, but the only way I know how to talk about Mahesh is in specialized usages of common words, specialized, but I hope my meaning is nonetheless clear.

While I do not exactly share (as in 'participate in') Karina's view of God and heaven, however, to me, it has all evolved and the only constant is change. Nothing more needs to be explained. The huge problem is that we try to stop or prevent or roll-back change and this is where all the grief comes from. I do NOT KNOW, but I suspect (or SUSPECT) that Mahesh was desperately trying to negotiate some sort of "do it my way" change in the world, the fool's grand folly.

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