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Meditation by Script?

Incredible. Now you don’t actually have to guide people in meditation anymore. You can just buy a script and — VOILA! — you’re a Zen master. With the proliferation of meditation apps out there these days, it must have become such a business that you can nowadays purchase a script to “guide” someone’s investigation of their own mind. “Meditation can be HARD!” they say in this ad. But actually, meditation is not hard or easy. Only thinking seems hard or easy; meditation has nothing to do with that. Why would you sell such a thing, except perhaps to catch the understandable fears of people who have tried for a few minutes some badly led experience?

Anyway, saying that meditation “can be HARD” is like saying “the blue sky above the clouds is heavy.” This does not make any sense to anyone who has ever meditated truly. It is not hard; it is not easy. Meditation means only being patient enough to be present for the raw content of your mind. And then hopefully you can turn the gaze over the inner horizon of thought, tracing thought back to its origin. While maintaining some soft awareness of the movement of breath, which happens anyway. Very simple.

But, alas — this is just another piece of evidence of the commercialization of the practice.

I’m not posting here to snark or really even judge: people have to make a living. But when you read advertising that offers to “help you lead others in meditation with more confidence and skill, and grow your business or practice by increasing your credibility, allowing you to add new products and services, and helping you convert more leads into clients” — well, man, you just want to cry.

As part of the upcoming “online course in Zen,” I also listened to advice and added some guided meditations to help people build up the confidence to be able to sit for up to 40 minutes.

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