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Stress and meditation dr shriniwas kashalikar

Stress and meditation dr shriniwas kashalikar






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    Stress and meditation dr shriniwas kashalikar Stress and meditation dr shriniwas kashalikar Document Transcript

    • Beware of mediation! “Beware of meditation”? Why should we or any one; bother about such caution? Isn’t such caution itself; actually misguiding and harmful? What is wrong in the instructions given at the time of meditation workshops also? These instructions also appear to be meant for composure and relaxation of mind. For instance, these instructions are; “Lie down in the open on your terrace; focus your mind on the blue and clear sky, gradually the sky would enter in you and you would have transcended mind”, “Sit in lotus position. Let the atmosphere in your room be free of insects, free of dust, free of noise and free of other distractions. You may light an incense stick. You can have a photo or painting of your Guru or a deity who elevates your mood or inspires you. Then begin by breathing slowly and observe your own breathing”, “Sit in a lotus
    • posture. Breathe slowly. Focus your mind on a spot at your navel”, “Observe a round spot on a plane background of the wall. Sit quietly. Let the thoughts flow”; and so on! There appears to be nothing wrong in these! Yes! All this is absolutely irrefutable and undeniable! Actually there is nothing wrong in the meditation per se and there is nothing wrong in the instructions as well! Meditation is a state that follows the process of evolution of body, instincts, emotions, intelligence and perspective! The word meditation has its root, which means healing. Meditation is in practice in different forms for millennia in countries like India. Meditation has no religious bias or cultural prejudice. Meditation has whatsoever no element of any kind of coercion. Apparently meditation relaxes and endows peace! Hence we should differentiate between the “SO CALLED meditation” (which has become a commodity and mirage that is hyped, marketed, sold; as if it is an
    • instant panacea for all the problems of universe; which we purchase or pay for; heavily and happily and with great hopes!); and meditation proper!!! Let us understand that such “so called meditation” is actually a gimmick, caricature or even a vulgarization of meditation. Let us ask ourselves following questions! Can we feel relaxed simply by meditation even as we are in the STRESS of paying about 30 percent income tax (apart from sales tax, property tax etc.) without knowing how it is spent? Can we feel relaxed by sheer practice of meditation; even as we have to undergo STRESS of taking such decisions under some pressure and against our conscience? Can we feel relaxed just by meditation; even while taking all such decisions lying down and suffering from them?
    • Can we conquer the STRESS of commuting irrespective of the crowding and other traveling menaces; merely by meditation? Can we conquer the STRESS of lack of housing, water, electricity, education, medical care etc. by meditation alone? No! Never! Hence; let us reiterate to ourselves; Beware of the “so called Meditation and study, practice and propagate Total Stress Management (TSM) i.e. individual and global blossoming!” What is the difference between “so called meditation” and Total Stress Management (TSM)? 1] Total Stress Management (TSM) constitutes; understanding the concept of STRESS, going to its root causes, effects, pathophysiology, mechanism, dimensions, support systems, holistic measures of management; as completely as possible! This requires active intellectual efforts by the participants. Active
    • intellectual participation makes it more difficult and less popular. Relaxation programs; meditation, pranayama, bhajan, arbitrary tips in the management books; as well as ready to use products; are easy and provide; instant emotional solace and relaxation; even if it is temporary and/or counterproductive! 2] TSM constitutes efforts towards simultaneous welfare of one and all and not merely individual welfare. This requires broadening of perspective. We can call this paradigm shift. This is time consuming and may not give instant results in terms of tangible petty gains! This also makes it more difficult and less popular because everyone is already preoccupied and hard pressed with personal problems of one kind or the other. Coming out of one’s own “individual and petty universe” is a Herculean task for most of us, because we fail to understand how welfare of others would contribute to our welfare!
    • The gimmick of meditation does not require this. In fact it provides; much cherished indolence, inertia and easy temporary escape. 3] Most of us are not aware of the concept of STRESS. The STRESS is equated with tension, anxiety, worry, sleeplessness, irritability, depression, frustration etc. Actually this is only a small and conscious part of STRESS. STRESS is universal. Every living being has STRESS. STRESS is actually conscious and also unconscious. Unconscious STRESS forms a major part and is not perceived! This leaves most of us to commit the blunder of believing that we do not have STRESS! The mercenary marketing of “vulgarized caricature of meditation” has made us believe that we can sit in a cozy room and solve all our problems, without any kind of evolution! We remain in fool’s paradise that through the short cut of such “so called meditation” we can manage stress; without making any difference to the
    • material life of ours and the others! We forget the importance selflessness and simultaneous global blossoming in all the fields of life. 4]TSM teaches that perspective, policies, planning, execution of sound intellectual solutions to personal and social problems can not be substituted by un- intellectual emotional games and gimmicks; such as so called meditation and so called devotion and so called charity. It teaches that real meditation, real devotion and real charity are impossible in absence of intellectual efforts to rectify the social homeostasis! But acquiring and spreading wisdom; so as to solve individual and social problems; is unique in satisfying our conscience, i.e. our true self, but it is not easy! Most of us have yet to appreciate that; giving parties, donations, gifts and doing charity in other forms can at best satisfy our ego. Even though, there is nothing unnatural or unphysiological in such emotional gratification; we do not realize that it can not help us to manage stress effectively!
    • Most of us feel that it is impossible to solve social problems and hence fail to do our own bit in this direction and choose to get or passively get dragged into; the caricature of meditation (as is a part of many stress relaxation or stress management programs), which is least demanding and does not involve thinking, questions, arguments and action, but pampers our passivity! We simply have to “take the trouble” of joining some group by paying fees and pamper our basal needs, petty emotional wants and intellectual escapism; through similar company, ambience, food and glamour associated with it! 5] The concept of TSM is not new in essence; but is new, novel and holistic in its exposition. Many of us; from media, politics, religion and other fields are not aware of TSM. It is also true that due to the frenzy of material success; we do not feel the thirst of our innate self [soul] and hence may not care to learn about TSM. It is strange; but true; that most of us; in scarcity (due to frustration) and in abundance (due to delirious obliviousness) are not able to grasp and practice TSM!
    • Marketed gimmicks of meditation never ask us to study (uphill activity) any social problems! They pamper our indolence and pettiness! Hence most of us find them comforting as compared to study, practice and propagation of Total Stress Management! 6] TSM aims at harmony between perspective, intelligence, emotions, instincts and body; and aims at best efforts of global welfare through laws, rules, and conventions and so on. The farce of meditation has nothing to do with anybody else other than the individual himself or herself! There is no botheration about the world, society or family! 7] TSM firmly upholds individual freedom to achieve Total Well Being and suggests us to acquire and practice such freedom! The marketing of the gimmicks of so called meditation; is a part of promoting our individualistic pursuits of petty pecuniary goals, through fashionable escapist
    • tantrums, which alien us from rest of our brothers; and degrade us as human beings! 8] The conceptualization, conviction, accuracy and appropriateness of TSM are not popular today amongst us, because TSM is not an explicit part of already existing tradition or religion or atheist [non-believers] tradition; and does not get any promotion. Since it is devoid of any profits; and does not pamper any personal ego; it is not sponsored by any multinationals or corporate houses, even though it is an irresistibly incoming thing; that would be a universal force that would govern and blossom the universe. The escapist gimmicks of “so called meditation” have support and sponsorship from; the multinationals, corporate houses, celebrities, businessmen and political leaders; apart from the sense of praise, awe and respect from common people amongst us (even though they are not benefited at all)! This support and sponsorship is far more than even that for any entertainment business and personality! Hence “marketing meditation” is a far more popular and flourishing a business!
    • 9] Total Stress Management suffers demoralization due to non acceptance by; the pro-tradition, theist, anti- tradition and atheist groups! The so called meditation does not interfere with any policy matters and does not come in the way of our own and others’ vested interests or prejudices; and hence has no opposition; from theist and atheist traditions! 10] Relative delay in publication, reading and consensus building of TSM; is often misinterpreted as God’s will! It is true; that such a delay; is God’s will! The success of the crass mercenary, treacherous and mean gimmicks of meditation is also God’s will! But the change that is imminent; is also God’s will, which we find difficult to see! 11] The Total Stress Management (TSM) being a relatively new exposition can be misunderstood, ignored or criticized; hence there is delay as well as obstacles. But it is bound to
    • succeed; because it is God’s will, cosmic decision and the plan of absolute enlightenment or writing on the wall! The so called meditation has no such fear! It is going to perish because of the inherent limitations, vanity and contradictions, whether understood by us or not! 12] TSM can involve real dynamics of life. Thus there can be dominance of asceticism followed by frustration and inaction or non-assertion. Sometimes this can lead to escapism of one sort or the other; also. The caricature of meditation lacks the genuinity, honesty, intensity, involvement, dedication and the adventure of pursuit of truth! Hence it is trivial, irrelevant, ineffective and insignificant in every respect. It does not involve any risk and ups and/or downs in the life of an individual and the society! 13] The TSM involves unavoidable uncertainty of life! This is because there is no false assurance about tangible gains such as; health, money, fame, power, or even moral superiority! One gets engrossed in the understanding and experiencing the uncertainty of life. This leads to the sense of urgency of TSM and SUPERLIVING mission amongst
    • the proponents but are not shared by most individuals, which leads to delay in propagating TSM. The mediocrity of so called meditation makes it superficial and farcical. It does not have anything to do with our (and others’) hearts and souls; and our wellbeing! Since it does not need serious involvement it keeps on appealing most of us as a casual activity; and hence it spreads like a wild fire! 14] The TSM totally lacks the dictatorial attitude and nurturing of vested interests e.g. forming a cult or establishing an institution or organization! It is universal and hence; even though it goes on making a definite and significant difference in several ways; nobody is eagerly waiting to claim and devour the credit or earn profits by making even a deserving hype of it! The traders of “so called meditation”; succeed; largely because of the business and/or vested interests and the inevitable games of management! 15] TSM lacks the excitement associated with glamour and glitter involved in entertainment businesses such as cinema, sports etc. Hence it does not pick the fancy of even talented individuals.
    • The so called meditation and stress relaxation programs are emulating the entertainment and showbiz and hence no wonder; are amassing money, glamour and glitter. But with globalization, the passivity is dwindling (though imperceptibly) and compelling the global political and intellectual leadership to study and practice TSM (even though in different forms). 16] Some of the books on TSM are comparatively less lucid and little more tedious, because of the emphasis given on accuracy and efficacy rather than literary qualities. But, when the social psyche gets ready for digesting certain concepts (e.g. oneness of spiritualism and materialism and oneness of theism and atheism); TSM is bound to spread like wild fire and become vogue of the day. The mirage of “so called meditation dwells” in hallucinatory utopia and hence easily sold! We are bound to understand its true nature and hollowness; as all of us are evolving; and hence abandon it forever; due to its being palliative, alien, escapist and thus counterproductive in nature (multiplying problems in individual and social life)!
    • 18] It is also possible that there are still some inaccuracies and or deficiencies left in TSM, which have to be rectified, while studying and practicing it. This is going to happen as the world is already coming together and blossoming together; in spite of the apparently dismal picture! The hyped and marketed stress management and stress relaxation have built in contradiction of pettiness. Hence they are bound to vanish. 19] The personal deficiencies of any one who studies TSM; are considered as human and hence neither glorified nor hidden. TSM does not flourish on such falsities; but aims to blossom together. The deficiencies of the traders of the vulgarized meditation however; are concealed and hidden; and often an unjustified and unphysiological asceticism is claimed, hyped, glorified and sold! All this is due to utter darkness (TAMAS) of ignorance; and bound to vanish with rapidly spreading enlightenment of TSM. 20] Most importantly, the NAMASMARAN i.e. being connected with God is a hallmark of TSM.
    • The “farce of meditation”; ignores, neglects or even discards this aspect completely! This is because; the fashion, fancy or whim of meditation and yoga can be “marketed and sold”; and have a greater potential to cheat and (and for common people to get cheated) financially. Whereas NAMASMARAN is free; and hence without any scope for financial cheating or getting cheated. (Many self styled gurus and cults organized around them; can sell the “specialization of giving or advising name of God”; though NAMASMARAN as such is not directly marketed or sold). Can the practice of MEDITATION, “help” the leaders, policy makers, decision makers, planners, administrators and the sufferers amongst us; to evolve and transform the scenario, and if yes; when? Is the philosophy and practice of MEDITATION, mere “running after the mirage of STRESS MANAGEMENT? Are these questions erratic, irrelevant or heretic? Is it arrogant to think; that it is “self inflicted spiritual castration; to neglect every evil; merely and keep practicing the called MEDITATION, without any reference to the objective material conditions”? The answer provided is that; all religious precepts, spiritual endeavors, spiritual disciplines, festivals, celebrations and a variety of rituals including; MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN are basically meant for evolving objective or holistic perspective and working in accordance with it.
    • If we take the analogy of the body functions, then the MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN; constitute the biochemical, biophysical and bioelectrical activities in brain; and holistic international perspective, policy making, programs and implementation at ground level; constitute intellectual, emotional, instinctual and physical manifestations. MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN never were, never are and never would be sterile in terms of individual and global blossoming; but when marketed, sold or freely distributed, if they are cut off from ground realities; and devoid of the holistic solutions, then they are merely the “so called MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN” or just caricatures of them; and hence sterile and often counterproductive! Looking at from another angle; MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN are actually the states of being when we are connected with our true selves or our innate core; in as much the are procedure or methods! As the methods; they are really incomplete and inadequate; without certain essential prerequisites. In other words; MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN as methods; are like breathing OXYGEN and are essential for life; but incomplete and inadequate without other physiological activities required for optimum health; so as to reach the ultimate enlightenment; the states of culmination of the practice of YOGA, MEDITATION and NAMASMARAN.
    • Let us remember that as methods; MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN are NOT complete and certainly NOT the ENDS in themselves. Taking example from day to day life; all of us know, that as a rule; we have to finish, primary, secondary and college training before we take up the study or research of Ph D. Similarly; we have to; as a rule; go through; physical, psychomotor, productive, instinctual, emotional, intellectual, creative and spiritual study and practices; for our inner growth and blossoming; and arrive at, understand and practice the holistic solutions in the fields of health, education, agriculture, education, industry, environment (schools, colleges and universities) and reach their culmination the final enlightened states of MEDIATTION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN (Ph. D.); The practice of “so called MEDITATION” in absence of such solutions is harmful and a schizoid and knowingly or unknowingly hypocritical and hence detrimental activity of trying to convince ourselves and preach others; that we are ATMA. SOULS, BRAHMA, YOGIS, SACCHIDANANDA i.e. the eternal bliss personified etc; when in fact we are in agony and misery. MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN are actually the evolved states of being as we blossom; in the process of active efforts to implement holistic solutions to individual and social
    • problems! The validity of this statement can be verified through our experience; but NOT merely by a casual approach and casual enquiry; without any study and practice. While we are talking about the so called or caricature of meditation; we have to realize that there is a problem of fear; when we deal with true MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN. This fear is not of death, disease, dejection, debility etc; but of depersonalization; i.e. living without a particular identity; such as lawyer, artist, scientist, and farmer; because of MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN. These are advised as solutions during STRESS; because even though every identity has some capability, some skills, some influence. But during STRESS the power becomes less, and the drawbacks and liabilities of the identity start mounting. Thus; a lawyer may lose his/her practice, artist may not lose his/her popularity, scientist may fail in his/her experiments and the farmer may suffer loss due to drought. The reason we suffer and build up our STRESS; is not merely because of the financial loss; but due to the unbearable burden of the liability of our identity! Our identity is a part of our ego. Since the identity becomes a liability; our ego is hurt, which produces unbearable STRESS!
    • The solution to this problem is to retrieve the strength from the deepest core that is beyond our ego and identity. Naturally most of the traditional and rational stress management experts advise the practice of MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN, which help us disperse the clouds of our identity and ego (akin to depersonalization); which is essential and inevitable for reaching our core; the source of light and power! But since we are habituated or addicted to live with our identities; egos or personalities; we find it dreadful and insecure to live without them. We question; “How to (and also why) forget ourselves; in MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN? Isn’t it frightening to forget ourselves? Moreover, isn’t forgetting ourselves voluntarily; almost impossible? Besides isn’t it akin to a defeatist state of total self effacement, self denial, escapism and cowardice?” This question is asked; especially because; MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN are devoid of any tangible assurance or support! They do not provide any sensory pleasure. They are neither pleasant to look at nor melodious to ears! Neither they have haunting smell nor do they have gustatory charm. Neither they are a matter of sexual excitement nor are they a matter of melodrama. Neither do they satisfy intellectual urge nor do they produce any humor! Neither do they bloat our ego nor do they provide any emotional solace.
    • When we begin the practice of MEDITAITION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN; we are afraid of this life without any identity, ego; and without any concrete security and support! This appears like death! We have to appreciate that; even as this peculiarity of MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN; makes them dreadful; it is this very peculiarity of them; that makes us capable and empowered to live without any support! It is this peculiarity that makes them the most sought after and cherished treasure for the seekers of truth; through millennia and through out the world. Let us understand that this “supportless living”; without the clouds of identity and ego; empowers us to be support ourselves! This life is not the same as; (in fact quite different from) debilitating depersonalization when we becomes oblivious to our personality due to dementia, unconsciousness or ignorance as well as state of getting excited, elated, disturbed, agitated or unhappy in a variety of situations due to our identities or ego. In this state there is forgetting of all individual and subjective doubts and suspicions; while we are engaged in satisfactorily remedying the situations from the root cause! In this state; we are focused on; as well as active and in harmony with the controlling center (which is beyond the concept of change and often referred to as BHAGAVANT or PARAMATMA) of all
    • situations, which are ever-changing and illusive (and hence often referred to as MAYA in Indian literature). In other words; in this state of “being the support ourselves” we do not think that “we need support”, or “we provide support” as we feel when we are caged in our identities, egos and personalities. In this state of empowerment we have outgrown them! There is no “kick of doing”; but in stead; there is “ecstasy of being harmony”; with nature or God. But mere intellectual explanations; and theoretical discussions, arguments and deliberations and controversies on the intricacies involved in stress management; without actual experimentation; are NOT useful. They do not reach the seeds of our being; the seeds of our happiness! The practice and propagation of NAMASMARAN; however; reaches and nurtures these seeds of our being and the happiness blossoms! We need not believe or disbelieve in any of this blindly and impatiently! It is better accept provisionally; think over, study and give TOTAL STRESS MANAGEMENT (the core of which is NAMASMARAN) a fair trial, if and when we feel the urge!