Year by year, meditation gains more street credibility.
I noticed two examples of this in the last week. Nshorna, my daughter, who lives in nearby Torquay, suggested that I become a ‘named’ driver on her insurance policy. I had to fill out the usual details for the policy, name, address, age, any driving convictions and so on. (I renounced car ownership eight years ago). One of the questions asked my occupation. I typed on the screen “teacher.” This followed with a drop down list of what kind of teacher – head teacher, deputy head teacher, college teacher, lecturer, primary school teacher, and so on.
To my surprise the list included one kind of teacher outside the usual profession of teachers – namely “meditation teacher.” Wow. We have arrived. Society acknowledges us.
Last week on BBC Television at peak time (9 pm to 10 pm) showed a documentary totally devoted to meditation – as part of a series on “Alternate Therapies.” The BBC must have provided quite a budget for the documentary since the reporter travelled to
Her experience in meditation reminded me of the countless number of occasions that meditators on my retreats have touched deep places of personal history – old wounds, rejections, abuse, traumas, terrors and nightmares. Some Vipassana teachers insist that the meditator simply goes back to the technique but, in our network of insight meditation, we give personal attention to the suffering that the meditator goes through. We are not psychotherapists but certainly blessed with a broad range of resources, inner and outer, for the meditator to work through unresolved old pain.
I was also watching on television a replay of “A Tribute to (the late) George (Harrison, the Beatle) documentary on television. As well as his wife and guitar-playing son, many of George’s best friends were there – Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar and his daughter. I remember a year or two before his death, a reporter from The Times asked George: “What can we do to solve our problems? “
George Harrison replied in one word “Meditate.” I couldn’t agree more. George loved Krishna and
As the Buddha frequently said at the end his talks. “Meditate. Meditate. Here is a tree. Here is an empty hut. Meditate. Don’t regret it later.”
I often wonder how people can get through life with any real peace of mind, contentment and happiness without meditation. Without meditation, without that break in the patterns of the mind, our tendencies push and pull us around while we hide behind the language of “choice.”
Meditate. Meditate. Don’t regret it later.