"Sacred" Meditation Trap

Excerpt from Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


One of the most popular "sacred" traps for most New Age folks is meditation. If someone said that they meditate every day for two hours, the standard New Age response would typically be along the lines of: "how wonderful, how spiritual, that is great!" Consider instead if someone says that she drives her car (make it solar powered in this example) for two hours every day. The response likely would be "what for, why, what do you get accomplished?" There is a clear perception that the automobile is a vehicle for use in accomplishing other things. The vehicle is not the destination. Likewise, meditation is a tool and is not spiritual in and of itself. It may lead to spiritual experiences or it may not.

Meditation, however, is considered the destination by millions of New Age people. So, what does it accomplish for them? They use meditation as a tool for temporarily shedding the tensions, stresses and worries of everyday life. This tool helps in centering and calming. It keeps them occupied. These folks never "get it" that they are often avoiding important growth lessons by using meditation to make themselves calmer. The reasons why they are tense and stressed are never explored and changed so that these everyday experiences stop causing tension and stress. People use the meditation like a Valium or Prozac pill.

As a temporary fix, meditation is OK, but not as a regular means for avoiding life lessons. Then it becomes addictive and unhelpful. Most people recognize that those who use Valium or Prozac are dependent upon their drug for feeling good. Few recognize meditation dependency. If you are using meditation to feel good, as a tool to have peak experiences, or think it is very important to you, then you are likely trapping yourself in attachment and/or dependency.

The goal of meditation is to help us reach into and participate in the realms of spirit, in such realms to be taught, to be guided and/or to learn. If we attach ourselves to the form of the meditation or its helpers (rituals, ceremonies, sacred objects, chanting or drumming), then we have usually limited ourselves to lesser spiritual realms and have often overlooked the overall purpose of meditation.

In Awakening Spirits (Brown, 1994), there is much discussion of Stalking Wolf's ideas about both external (objects, rituals or ceremonies) and internal (bodily feelings, images, or impulses) helpers/triggers used to reach spiritual realms. Stalking Wolf recommended that an important goal was the ability to reach spiritual realms instantly without the need for meditation. Therefore, he taught that we could ultimately discard all helpers (triggers). Is your meditation practice leading you to its abandonment? Or, are you glorifying it and holding dearly to it?


Book Excerpts

Real Love, Infatuation, & Conditional Love
Admiration Trap
"Sacred" Meditation Trap
Empty Mind Meditation
Is Your Meditation Valuable?
Attachment and Non-Attachment
The Path of Non-Attachment

© 2008 by Thayer White