The craze for meditation, could it be a response to the increasingly acute demands of capitalism?

People who come for therapy, all at one point, seem to consider going for activities such as yoga or meditation. They say they are keen to ‘capture’ these techniques in order to increase their performance and feel they will be more productive in their everyday life. Certain companies are creating outlets for meditation and run their own programme so that their employees can be more focused at work and perform better.

The development of practices today regarding yoga or meditation is not contradictory to the foundations of meditation, but could it at times limit its purpose? There is a hysteria of performance in our urban world, which can make one deviate from the aim to make contact with one’s self.

I wonder if when someone is into yoga, are they aware to what extent they are using it more of as a technique or a space to be in.

Meditation consists of observing one’s sensations and emotions and has the goal to create a safe and free space which reduces less reaction from us to events. It helps us to get to know each other better, to be aware that happiness  is a mental state we can access. The trap is that if it works, then we seek to use it more and more to be more successful and focus on doing it as a ‘task’. But is this the original purpose of the practice?

My understanding is that through yoga or meditation one looks to go deep down inside, to search an understanding of what is happening, to position oneself as a spectator of one’s emotions, to stop and pause from constant mental stimulation. This means we should be able to feel  and sit with the sadness, the discouragement, the anger, the impatience… To accept that we are not able at times to fully “manage” our emotions.

Written by:
Saveria Cristofari
Counsellor

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