A non-believer who believes in meditation

As I started going deeper into meditation, I realised that its silence is more melodious than all the songs of the world.

As I started going deeper into meditation, I realised that its silence is more melodious than all the songs of the world. A close friend of mine recently asked me why I have faith in meditation when I’m actually an atheist. I too had this misconception earlier that meditation is a part of religion and the former cannot exist without following the latter.

One day, as luck would have it, I read a book on meditation by Osho. I was left spellbound by his clear-cut explanation of meditation and spirituality. He attacked religions and explained how meditation has been exploited down the centuries by those associating it with different belief systems. That cleared my misconception that spirituality and religion can’t be separated and led me towards meditation. Ever since I started practising it, I am witnessing a sea change—the useless thoughts of the mind are transforming into mindfulness.

Firstly, meditation has nothing to do with any religion or God. It is the most secular and liberal thing one can conceive of. Anybody, no matter which religion, gender, language or country they belong to, can meditate successfully. Even Gautama Buddha did not talk about God and yet revolutionised meditation, and spread it far and wide.

Secondly, there is no such thing as faith in meditation. Meditation is just like a cool breeze, you have to experience it yourself rather than believing in someone else’s story. Faith is a part of religion because one has to just believe it without reason or evidence. Meditation is like a lullaby to the mind. Like the body, the mind too needs rest; otherwise psychological problems may arise. In our worldly life, we seldom put the mind to rest. In psychology and medical science, the merits of meditation on our mental health have been acknowledged. 

Meditation is a simple phenomenon wherein we become totally mindful and all daydreaming ceases. Our consciousness centres in our being. Our being is not confined to this few-feet-long body and our consciousness is not confined to a place called the head. During deep meditation, consciousness becomes one with existence. This can only be experienced individually. Like birth and death, meditation too can be undergone personally. A Buddha can only teach you how to meditate, but no one can take you to the higher levels of meditative states. You have to reach there on your own.  

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The New Indian Express