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stress and meditation __ doctor shriniwas kashalikar

beware of meditation!

“beware of meditation”? why should we or any one; bother about such a caution? isn’t such caution itself; actually misguiding and harmful?

what is wrong in the instructions given at the time of meditation workshops? these instructions 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; actually; there is nothing wrong in meditation per se and there is nothing wrong in the instructions as well!

the word meditation has its root, in “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. meditation is a state that follows the process of evolution of body, instincts, emotions, intelligence and perspective and relaxes and endows peace!

but there is everything wrong; when the same word; “meditation” is misused to sell an “escapist mercenary gimmick”; as a panacea! it is detrimental to the buyer and seller; because it makes us callous cowards!

hence the word “meditation” is used here to imply; the commodity and mirage that is hyped, marketed, sold; as if it is an instant panacea for all the problems of universe; which we pay for; heavily and stupidly! this “meditation” is actually a caricature or even a vulgarization of meditation.

but beyond all this; to reach the truth, let us ask ourselves the following questions!

can we feel relaxed simply by meditation as is promoted and taught; 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?

conversely; can we feel relaxed by sheer practice of meditation; even as we have to take such decisions 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 crowd and other physical torture; merely by meditation?

can we conquer the stress of lack of housing, water, electricity, education, medical care; by meditation alone?

if not, then we need something far more holistic than mere meditation, especially in the form and way; it is hyped and marketed. we need what may be called total stress management.

what is total stress management?

1. total stress management (total stress management) 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. but if the root causes are not treated, then they prove to be counterproductive!

2. total stress management constitutes efforts towards simultaneous welfare of one and all and not merely that of an individual. this requires broadening of perspective. 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 another. coming out of one’s “individual universe” is a herculean task for most of us, because we fail to understand; how welfare of ‘others’ would contribute to ‘our welfare’!

the mercenary marketing of so called meditation breeds indolence, inertia and socially respectable easy temporary escape.

3. total stress management deals with stress; in totality.

we equate with mere 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 also 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. stress management 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.

total stress management teaches that real meditation, real devotion and real charity; are impossible; in absence of intellectual efforts to rectify the social homeostasis!

many of us feel that it is impossible to solve social problems and hence fail to do our own bit in this direction and get dragged into; the caricature of meditation. it is a part of many stress relaxation or stress management programs and is least demanding. it 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. it often pampers our basal instincts, personal emotional needs and intellectual escapism; through similar peers; and the ambience, food and glamour associated with it!

5. the concept of total stress management 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 total stress management. it is also true that due to the frenzy of material success; we do not have innate thirst to learn about total stress management.

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 total stress management!

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.

6. total stress management 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 implicit or explicit indifference; and no botheration about the world, society or family!

7. total stress management 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. total stress management is not an explicit part of already existing tradition, religion or atheism. it does not pamper any personal ego and does not seek sponsoring by any multinationals or corporate houses. it is an irresistibly incoming thing; independent of all this and would be a universal force that would blossom the universe.

the escapist gimmicks of “so called meditation” have support and sponsorship from; the multinationals, corporate houses, celebrities, businessmen and political leaders for their personal gains. this support and sponsorship is sometimes even more than that for any entertainment business and personality! hence “marketing meditation” is a far more popular and flourishing (but not fulfilling the conscience) 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 total stress management; is often interpreted 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 may or may not be able to see!

11. the total stress management (total stress management) 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 of being misunderstood, ignored or criticized! it is going to perish because of the inherent limitations, vanity and contradictions in it!

12. total stress management involves genuinely honest struggle to engender holistic renaissance. it involves dedicated efforts to overcome; inappropriate asceticism, indulgence, frustration, inaction, non-assertion and even escapism.

the caricature of meditation lacks the genuinity, honesty, intensity, involvement, dedication and the adventure of pursuit of truth! it is trivial, irrelevant, ineffective and insignificant in every respect.

13. the total stress management 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!

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 fashion.

14. the total stress management totally lacks the dictatorial attitude and nurturing of vested interests for example 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 would get a credit or profit from it!

the traders of “so called meditation”; succeed; largely because of the cooperation of other businesses and the games of management!

15. total stress management 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 total stress management; even though in different semantics.

16. some of the books on total stress management 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 (for example oneness of spiritualism and materialism and oneness of theism and atheism); total stress management is bound to spread like wild fire.

the mirage of “so called meditation” dwells in hallucinatory utopia and hence is easily sold!

we are bound to understand its true nature and hollowness; as all of us are evolving. hence; we would abandon it forever; due to its being palliative, alien, escapist and thus counterproductive in nature (multiplying problems in individual and social life)!

17. it is also possible that there are still some inaccuracies and or deficiencies left in total stress management, 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 tricks of meditation and stress relaxation have built in contradictions and or deformity of pettiness. hence they are bound to be shunned!

18. the personal deficiencies of any one who studies total stress management; are considered as human and hence neither glorified nor condemned nor hidden. total stress management 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.

19. most importantly, the namasmaran that is being connected with god; is a hallmark or actually a core of total stress management.

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.

to remain involved in the “trivialized”, “vulgarized” and “mercenarily marketed” so called meditation; without any reference to; and concern for; the objective material conditions in and around; is; “self inflicted ‘spiritual’ perversion”!

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; and merely keep practicing the so called meditation, without any reference to the objective material conditions”?

the holistic 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 respectively.

the holistic international perspective, policy making, programs and their implementation at ground level; constitute intellectual, emotional, instinctual and physical manifestations; of meditation, yoga and namasmaran.

meditation, yoga and namasmaran never were, never are and never would be sterile in terms of individual and global blossoming!

but what is marketed, sold or freely distributed (with ulterior motive), under these same “names and titles”; is cut off from ground realities; and devoid of the holistic solutions; and hence is trivialized and vulgarized caricature of meditation, yoga and namasmaran; and hence sterile or counterproductive!

thus; meditation, yoga and namasmaran; are inseparable from; physical, psychomotor, productive, instinctual, emotional, intellectual, creative and spiritual study and practices; linked with; study and application of the holistic solutions in the fields of health, education, agriculture, art, industry, economy, education, environment; which is called holistic renaissance, superliving or total stress management.

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