Can Meditation be Taught?
Meditation is a personal journeySamiksha Seth
One of my friends recently asked – Where did you learn meditation? For a second I was speechless and trying to recollect from where have I learned meditation? How do I know meditation? Who or what introduced me to it? My mind was in playback mode looking for an answer – When did I knowingly or unknowingly started meditating?
And there was my friend, patting me to get back to reality and an answer she was looking for. Looking at his inquisitive eye, I said – I never learned meditation, it just happened to fall in place. I do not remember the instance when I was introduced to this concept or when officially I started practicing. I just meditate.
So can you teach me? Another bouncer threw by my friend as she changed her facial expression to a toddler who is looking for answers. I said – give me a day to think about it. And I changed the topic.
Though our conversation continued for another half an hour my thoughts were still lingering with her query – Can I teach her? Or instead, Can meditation be taught? This question posed another one – If I haven’t learned meditation, how can I say I know? I mean How can anyone vouch for he/she has discovered the right way of meditation? And the first question – What is meditation? If I need to teach someone “to meditate” do I have a proper course structure? What my student would take away from it? Would there be a test to pass? How can I say I have taught him? How can my student say they have passed in flying colors?
Fitting Meditation in Data-Centric World
Blame it to the wiring of the materialistic world everything is analyzed with “data.” I tried browsing the internet to look for stats that shows “Right way of meditating” or a scientific analysis that offers the electromagnetic frequency emitted during brain with this particular meditation matching the other person’s frequency when he is meditating. What I get is the aftereffects of meditating. People are more productive, calmer, no injuries better health, more time, etc., etc. So these are the parameters that measure meditation. Isn’t it? Then whether you are doing mantra meditation, spiritual meditation, Osho meditation, or reiki meditation, it shouldn’t matter.
What matters is the after effects of doing a process. There are no grades awarded and passing certificate. All that would be shown is on you.
Teaching Meditation – Am I Capable?
But then again I was in the dilemma of whether I can teach meditation? As I analyzed I doubted my capability, but why? After brainstorming with myself, I realized I have a perception or belief that Meditation is an Experience and while the steps to perform can be taught, the experience a person feels can never be taught and differ with each person. So I rephrased my query – Why mediation cannot be taught? Or What all things in meditation can be taught? I thought of putting this chaos onto rest and meditate.
As I resumed my posture on the floor cross-legged, hands held in Gyan mudra and closed my eyes my mind was bombarded with thoughts on meditation. Suddenly a new movie started playing it gave me insights on meditation.
Meditation is a personal experience crafted by an individual’s thought process and actions, while the steps like close your eyes, the dream of a lush green forest or focus on a candle could be dictated, the journey is of your own. No teacher/mentor could co-pilot it, you are on auto-pilot mode traversing through your beliefs. Meditation is ideally done with no goals in mind, a period of silence to reflect yourself. A time when with all your faith you are just yourself — no peer pressure of excelling, a moment of truth that you can see.
With so much clarity I picked my phone to dial my friend. Yes, I can HELP you with meditation, but you have to drive it.