Often when I suggest to my clients to find time for daily meditation, the response is: “No, I don’t have time for that” or “We don’t meditate in my religion” or “Meditation seems weird.” Fortunately I’ve gotten quite good at reading between the lines, because I’ve come to realize that more often than not, what the client is telling me is “I don’t know how.”
Preconceived notions about meditation:
Though Eastern philosophies are more prevalent and widely accepted in Western culture than possibly ever before, many Westerners still picture a Ghandi-like figure sitting in full lotus position, wearing nothing but a loincloth, and chanting “OMMMMMMMMM.” Familiar?
Another image might be that of a Buddhist monk wearing an orange toga-like garment, holding mala beads and chanting mantras over and over again in a temple full of other people, with the thick scent of incense wafting through the air.
While these images are certainly real–meditation has long been associated with Buddhism, Hinduism, yoga, and other Eastern religions and practices, but it’s done in the West too. The difference is that most Western religions use a different word to describe it: prayer. Think about it–are rosary beads really that different from mala beads? Is reciting prayers in a church or temple really that different from chanting mantras? Not really. […]
Written by Rachel of Holistically Haute