|She meditated too much|
From the Huffington Post
Eden Kozlowski teaches a secularized version of Buddhist mindfulness meditation in businesses and educational settings. However she's meeting resistance from Christians who believe that the 'mind is evil', and 'clearing the mind opens a gateway to demonic/evil forces, thoughts or actions.'
Apart from the risks of demonic possession by Satan and his minions, they claim that "As a Christian, mindfulness goes against my theology, as it is a Buddhist practice."
She counters this by arguing that 'It is true that mindfulness has roots in Buddhism. However, the mindfulness that is typically taught in business and academic settings is completely Westernized. It is purposefully devoid of spiritual or religious connotations and focuses simply on the act of awareness. And if you want to take it to a level that we can all relate to and understand, at its core is stress reduction.'
|Attendees at a meditation class|
The article raises a number of issues, apart from the obvious superstitious paranoia about the unknown:
One of the effects of meditation is to clear memes and memeplexes (parasitic mental processes) out of the meditator's mind. It may be that the leaders of some of the more control-freaky Christian sects realise this, and don't want their carefully-nurtured memes cleared out of minds of their brainwashed adherents. 'For the good of your religion, think less'.
(2) In addition, some of the more extreme Christians believe that the mind is evil.
Literalist Christians believe in 'original sin', which was passed down from Adam and Eve to all their descendants as a result of their eating the apple. Consequently, literalists believe that our minds are fundamentally evil from the time of birth, even if we do nothing wrong.
So from this point of view, any exploration of the mind will inevitably mean exploring corrupt and demonic regions of experience. This evangelical belief in the fundamentally corrupt nature of the human mind is incompatible with Buddhism, which sees the mind as ultimately pure, but temporarily clouded by defilements, like a clear blue sky obscured by clouds.
|The evangelical view of the mind|
(3) Can you really secularize Buddhist methodology by cherry-picking one part of the system and trying to keep it isolated from the rest?
'Here's a bunch of round red sweet things. We're going to examine them, feel them and eat them. But please don't ask where they came from and what they're actually called, or what the hard thing in the center is for. And if you find any green bits attached to them, take them off immediately '
|Don't mention the B-word!|
Isn't it likely that once people have begun to explore their minds, curiosity will lead them to learn more about the philosophy of what they're doing?
So should Buddhist techniques of mind-management be presented without any reference to their origin? Is this a form of plagiarism?
|It's Buddhism Jim, but not as we know it!|
Or is it skillful means to sneak dharma teachings into the secular business establishment under the radar of the religion-detectors? If people learn a little about meditation techniques, might they want to find out more?
(4) Fruits of the tree
Returning to the fruit-picking metaphor, perhaps the Buddhophobic evangelicals should take Jesus' advice and judge the tree by its fruit, which in the case of meditation includes...
Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Cutting healthcare costs
Reducing adolescent stress
Purification of Guilt and Negative Thinking
Treatment of Alcoholism
The webcrawler in your mind.
TIP - If some aspects of Buddhist beliefs seem unfamiliar, obscure, or confusing, then bear in mind that Buddhism is a process philosophy. Difficult aspects of Buddhism often become much clearer when viewed from a process perspective.