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December 4, 2012 / Dale Melchin

Why Meditation is Dangerous for You Part One: Incorrect Rescripting

Meditation and other forms of relaxation are a central part of any long standing tradition.  It is a great tool for transforming your own character and personal psychology from where you are to where you want to be in life.  However there are several dangers one must deal with when preparing to take up a daily meditation practice.

The first danger is if you put in the wrong thought processes you will fill yourself with delusion and you’ll need damage control.  When starting off it is best to focus on simple relaxation and breathing techniques, coupled with believable internal affirmations that will re-script your thinking process.

If you cannot find a guide or your schedule does not permit you to go see one, get a book on meditation, preferably one from either the Buddhist, Taoist or Christian tradition.  The recommendation is based purely upon experience and is what the author is familiar with and is not the function of any particular bias.  If you can find a guide, see him or her frequently in the beginning.

You will want to avoid guides from the New Age movement.  While some of their sayings are good, the biggest challenges of that group are the following.

First the entire movement is a reaction to repressive Western legalism.  I am not bashing Christianity, I am pointing out a flaw of Western Christianity, even C.S. Lewis went through a time where he threw out repressive Calvinism.  With that said, here are some reasons why you want to avoid something that is based on reaction.

Things that are based on reaction are a function of collective and individual suffering is a shaky foundation to base one’s tradition and following on because it is unstable and uncontrollable.

The other challenge is that there is a high emphasis on thought and feeling rather than internal discipline, which is part of the point of meditation.  You cannot have crops without labor.  Just like with external wealth, there is no internal wealth without internal work.  They do not have a long standing foundation that is hundreds of years old.  The advantage of choosing an ancient tradition, even if you are just borrowing there meditation is that it works because you are drawing of the of the collective experience of an age old community.  The New Age movement tries to make everything seem new and fresh.  Our answers as human beings are not new, they are just obscured

Also as a group the new age movement is young and disorganized you have a higher probability of running into charlatans.  This is not to say it isn’t possible in an older tradition either.  But in the case of an older tradition you have recourse, and even then what is taught is still true regardless of the person teaching it.

I will go into more detail on this tomorrow, however, if you wish to comment please feel free to do so!

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