A while ago, I wrote about the typical meditation cliches and stereotypes. These are times when meditation is exploding in the market. Virtually anyone with a bit of knowledge of meditation wants to make a quick buck. Capitalize on the trend as they say. While there definitely are effective forms of meditation that we appreciate a lot, an exceedingly high number of meditation offerings in the market like to dumb meditation down to something very simplistic and often frivolous, either deliberately because they think the audiences cannot take something that isn’t too simple or likely because that’s all they know.

Ease and convenience are always going to sell to any audience. Think of how long weight loss pills have been around. Each day, someone comes up with a new pill they want the poor American consumer to swallow – the one they claim has all the most powerful ingredients that they managed to pick on their trip into a deep African forest. So making something sound exotic is another great way to sell it. And this concept has been transported to meditation too. Just make it look magical, mystical and a Himlayan-peak experience and it’ll sell well to any number of people. Yoga mats, incense sticks, charms and other products that you can buy offer them even greater business.

 

At Sahaja, we like to argue that meditation should make you smarter, not dumb itself down to the lowest common denominator of the practitioner. The world needs to see the different layers of benefits it can offer and how deep it can run into our physiological, cognitive and emotional systems. And into our spiritual beings. Meditation takes patience and hard work after adopting it as a lifestyle. After all, how do you expect to gain anything without going through the grind? How would you like it if the bar were lowered so much that virtually anyone could pass the test of focus, patience, and fortitude to change their lives? Not worth it, right?

 

A one-size-fits-all meditation that isn’t customized to you and your specific problems is unlikely to be effective.

 

We feel it’s our responsibility to keep telling people to recognize the risks of dumbing meditation down and how people do it all the time. Here we go…

 

  1. Meditation is easy, anyone can do it with very little effort.

 

Sahaja: Meditation can be easy provided you have the will to be patient and can put in necessary hard work to see long-term benefits.

 

  1. A few minutes of meditation a day can do magic.

 

Sahaja: No, it can’t. You need at least 15-minute sessions and preferably twice a day. You also need to supplement it with other techniques like clearing and balancing. More than everything, it is the outcomes that matter, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get those outcomes.

 

  1. A stray dog taught us the power of humor, love, and acceptance, so we created the Stray Dog meditation method (if you’re laughing, then know that this is borrowed and loosely inspired from a true story, but you get the point – this is how people create yoga and meditation offerings these days.)

 

Sahaja: We rest our case.

 

  1. Join our newsletter list and thy will be enlightened.

 

Sahaja: You cannot read your way to becoming spiritual and enlightened. More knowledge does not mean being more spiritual.

 

  1. Buy our yoga mats, meditation CDs, and books for maximum benefit out of your meditation.

Sahaja: Sigh!

 

  1. Who has the time to meditate in this busy world? Our short-term courses are just what you need.

 

Sahaja: Mediation is a lifestyle change. It produces deeper and broader set of benefits in the longer term. You are unlikely to benefit from short-term courses.

 

  1. Research shows that…..

 

Sahaja: Where did you find this research and what does it really say? Or are you just saying it because everyone uses the phrase? We spent 5 years carefully researching what meditation can or cannot do in producing the Sahaja Online website. Point is, you should be wary about frivolous claims people make about meditation, especially if the benefits come with very little effort or hard work.

 

  1. It has worked for many people, so it should for you.

Sahaja: Meditation will only work for you if it can give you the tools to analyze yourself, build a custom strategy for you and help you address your individual problems and needs.

 

  1. Learn and do it all by yourself.

 

Sahaja: Unfortunately, if you’re serious about benefits from meditation, you need meditation to be guided by instructors until the time you’re strong enough to guide yourself. Meditation works best through a combination of “do-it-yourself” sessions at home, group meditation sessions and instructor guided meditations.

 

  1. Close your eyes, sit in a cross-legged pose, curl your index finger, feel like a yogi…rave about your meditation class to everyone you know.

 

Sahaja: Meditation is not about postures, rigid techniques or attires. It’s not a fashion or fad. It’s something much deeper.

 

At Sahaja, we’ve been cut from a different cloth. We believe that meditation is a serious pursuit of life, a way of life. It has to be uniquely customized by you for yourself for it to work. It cannot be paid for and it should produce life-changing outcomes deep inside you. And it takes patience and hard work.