Most of what you know about Meditation comes from Marketing- Or WHY Meditation Doesn't Make You Happy

Warning: Meditation can be Harmful to Your Health and Happiness

OR Most of what you know about Meditation comes from Marketing

Picture this.

A tense guy, sitting all hunched up on his monitor.

“Damn, Im so stressed!” he says.

Voiceover: Have You Tried the MEDITATION PILL? It will fix all your problems!

Man: All my problems? Golly gee, I better try it then.

Man takes pill. Scene changes.

He is now sitting on a beach, cross legged and meditating. Next to him is an attractive woman in a sports bra, also meditating. The camera lingers on her, especially her cleavage, for a few seconds.

Voiceover: Have you tried the Meditation pill? It has been proven to fix all your problems. No side effects. 100% organic and natural.

Call 0800-MEDI-NOW to get started

The Marketing of Meditation

Meditation is, with rare exceptions, marketed as a quick fix to all your problems, to lower your stress, to make you happy.

The default image of meditation is a PYT – Pretty Young Thing, usually a woman, sitting cross legged while looking very solemn, slight smile, most likely wearing tight yoga pants and a tighter sports bra. If it is a man, he will be all muscly and hunky, and doing splits or some other physically demanding pose on a mountain.

Think of that. Meditation is marketed the same way as slimming pills.

I’ve read dozens of meditation books where the main thrust is basically Medi make you happy, that’ll be $9.99 please

And the public has bought this marketing. Which is why you get questions on forums like I have been meditating for X years but I still don’t feel happy. What am I doing wrong?

And the answer is usually:

-> Change your guru

-> With extreme condescension, Get a TRADITIONAL Guru, preferably one who wears orange robes, not of these new fangled ones

-> change your technique

-> Meditate more (because like in the material world, MORE meditation is better! More more more, how do you like it, how do you like it)

And you get one lone guy who says Maybe you AREN’T supposed to feel better, just accept where you are but everyone ignores him. It’s like someone saying they like purple balloons—interesting, no doubt, but hardly relevant to our “serious” discussion.

I too bought into the Meditation Hype for a long time. And just to say, the myth isn’t completely wrong or bad.

(1) Most people will only start meditating to feel better. To relax, to lower stress etc. So in a way, meditation is better for them compared to what they would normally be doing, which is binge watching TV or porn, or spending hours on social media.

(2) Like all good lies, there is a kernel of truth in his. Meditation does help you feel happy, TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY 😊

Obvious lies are easy to debunk. “Smoking helium makes your blissful” can be easily disproven.

“Meditaiton makes you happy” has an element of truth in it, which is why it is used to sell Spriitual Snake Oil.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN Meditation Won’t make me Happy?

No, actually it can make you MORE MISERABLE

Surely You are mistaken sir?

No I am not. And don’t call me Shirley. Haha 😀

What is meditation?

Meditation is the process of dismantling your false self, the egoic self, the identification with mind / form / body. It is not a lovely-jubbly process. It does not make you happy, or turn you into a beach model.

Most of our suffering is caused by the mind, by our attachment to the world of form, by trying to understand and judge the world using the mind.

As I’ve said before, the mind is a judgement machine. It must judge, it must divide, criticise, or it will die (or so it believes).

So yes, going beyond the mind does lead to peace.

As the Yoga Sutras say:

When the disturbances of the mind are calm/silent, the True Self is seen

This True Self is a Being of Light, Joy and Peace, not us.

This True Self is also common for all of us—there is no “my Spirit”, “my God”, “my enlightenment”. Or indeed my anything.

One problem most people don’t realise is, the vision of the true self isn’t always permanent.

Adyashanti calls this the “I got it, I lost it” phenomena, and it happens to 99.99% of the people. We realise we are the One True Spirit Beyond Death, Abounding In Infinite Peace And Joy. And then we have to go to work on Monday and sit in a meeting with some idiot who orgasms to his own voice and won’t shut up, and you think to yourself, Jeez I just wanna kill him. And then you wonder what the hell happened, how did I go from that Deathless State to stuck in a meeting with murderous thoughts state?

And that is if you have had the vision of the infinite in the first place. People have been meditating for years or decades and never get it.

My own experience, but backed by what I read from people like Adyahsanti and Eckhart Tolle, is:

The first experience is always given by grace, call it from God, Spirit, the Universe. And it usually happens after an experience of extreme suffering.

Basically, in extreme suffering, the ego temporarily dies or becomes paralysed. When you feel extreme helplessness, the ego gives the control and allows the spirit to enter. And we realise that we, the ego, had never been in control in the first place. And for a brief moment, the universe starts to make sense; the True Self shines through and eases all of suffering.

But the ego always rebuilds itself. Often as a “I’m so spiritual I should become a guru” type.

Then we have to work hard to regain that state of infinite consciousness. Often for years, even decades.

And these years are spent in mortal agony, extreme pain. It is like becoming the king of the country for an hour, enjoying the most luxurious life, and then being forced to go back to begging.

The ego says “what did I do to deserve this, why cant I be happy?”, Not realising the ego is the cause of the problems it is so much worried about.

Running towards suffering

And now you see why meditation can NEVER make you happy, at least not the way the mind wants to, not the way the marketing of spirituality sells it to you.

To get a glimpse of the Divine, which ninety percent of the people who meditate will never get, requires going through suffering.

Here I should make it clear: I don’t want to imply that everyone has to suffer, or be nailed to the cross of Jesus. But the mind loves misery, and will create it even in the best of circumstances.

And so we must go through this spiritual pain, this dark night of the soul. This can last for years or decades as I’ve said before.

The problem is, the mind wants to run away from suffering. And yet, the path to Freedom goes THRU suffering.

To repeat the point I made: suffering doesn’t mean you are starving for everyone you love dies and leaves you. Suffering is caused by the mind making stories about the world, out what is. And so you can live in the richest country is of the world, have access to the best medical care, technology and life choices, and still be miserable.

Just go on social media, especially Twitter, if you want to see this in action. 😊

We have to suffer, the suffering shows us where we are going wrong. Where we are not in alignment with the universe.

Our natural state is one of happiness, and if you’re not happy, it is because something has gone wrong. And that “something”, ninety-nine percent of the time is our thinking.

Meditation is the process that speeds up this process of Self-Realisation.

And so, by definition, by design, meditation CANNOT make us happy. Because you cannot live in the mind and be happy; and yet, it is a mind that suffers and wants to meditate to become happy.

The only way out of the darkness is THRU the darkness. You have to go through suffering to go beyond it. You have to analyse very in your life you are not in harmony with the Divine. Where you have failed to live up to your potential.

This is a hard and painful process and can leave you in tears. Certainly, it left me in tears multiple times.

And yet, no matter how many times that the tears come, we cannot go back.

We cannot go back the old ways of materialistic thinking. No matter how much it hurts, we have to go forward. Like a woman giving birth. The process may be painful, but she has to push the baby out before she can feel the joy of birth.

The baby gives her happiness, but there is some pain in the middle, while the babies being born. It is the same with meditation. Eventually, yes, we will be happy; but that doesn’t mean the process will be smooth or joyful.

The Reason we Suffer in meditation

Ultimately, the problem is thinking “I” am the one meditating. Once you start to get serious, you realise you’re like a drug addict, addicted to the thinking mind. That you are dragged around the world against “your” wishes, even as an addict is forced to do drugs or drink, even when they know it is wrong and is killing them.

And how are we different? We are also addicts, addicted to the thinking mind, addicted to the ego, addicted to the material world we find stuck in.

Rather than making our life easier happy, meditation makes us realise we are addicted to the thinking mind. That even though our own thinking attacks us, makes us cry, makes the sufferer, we cannot leave our thinking patterns.

And so meditation makes us more miserable than before. Not because it introduces new pain, but it makes us aware of the pain that we had been suppressing until now. We were happy in ignorance, happy living in the darkness.

It is like you are living in a ship that is slowly sinking. While you are not aware of this, you can party and be merry every night. But meditation or spirituality is like a beam of light that shines through the darkest night.

You cannot both meditate and be blind to the truth, which is that the world, at least the world your mind sees, is a place of suffering; suffering created by the mind itself.

And the problem is, once you have seen the truth, you cannot go back. You can’t go back to the party, pretending everything is fine. That everything is A-OK.

At this stage, the only way out is forward. You must go INTO the suffering to escape it.

And this is that the marketing from meditation often forgets to tell you. By the time you realise it, it is too late.

Meditation will make you miserable. And that’s fine. Because you’re not alone: The Universe Has Your Back.