Saturday, 28 March 2015

Nothing religious about meditation?



From The Huffington Post 

by David Gelles

"Bosses can transform their businesses and the happiness of their employees using meditation, author David Gelles has argued - and it's definitely no longer a religious practice.

Gelles, a New York Times reporter and author of the book Mindful Work, stressed that mindfulness meditation had moved away from its Buddhist origins and didn't have to involve "sitting for hours on end with our eyes closed".

He told an audience at The World Post Future of Work conference that there was a quiet revolution going on in businesses around the world - including in Britain.

After holding two meditation demos with the audience, Gelles said “there’s a lot of closet meditators out there. I’ve just outed you.”

He said mindfulness was “an innate human quality” but that he couldn’t “hide the ball” that it was originally a practice deep-rooted in Buddhism.

“But over the last 30 years, and I cannot emphasise this enough," he continued, "it has become a truly secular pursuit. Mindfulness has really been taken out of its religious trappings and presented in a purely secular form.

"There’s absolutely nothing religious about what the people of Goldman Sachs, and Facebook, and General Mills are doing... That is why big companies are embracing this and finding true value in it....”  more 

 
However...

"Although most of the meditation techniques are based on Buddhist methods, they are usually presented in a secular manner.  The marketing ploy seems to be: ‘Although the Buddhists have by some accident discovered techniques for calming and healing mind and body, let’s forget about their theories and all that religious stuff, and just concentrate on the practical methods for the here and now’.

But can such secular meditation lead on to spiritual meditation? Can meditation for mundane purposes introduce people to the Buddhadharma?  Is this an opportunity for the growth of Buddhism in the West? more at  'Meditation - short term craze or long term opportunity for the growth of Buddhism? '

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