Maum is a syncrenic religion that was founded in 1996 by Woo Myung in South Korea, and involces a rather…. interesting meditation technique.
The word Maum means “Memory” and the basic concept of the meditation is to overcome “false mind” by imagining dying or falling down a black hole.
We’ve covered many different meditations on THE DAILY MEDITATION, and Maum is one of the most controversial. [READ: Top Spiritual Meditation Techniques]
Indeed, it’s entirely about making someone believe they are living in a false world. That they are trapped in a “false mind”.
People who practise Maum believe that it helps them to move out of the false world and into the real one. You might notice that this is similar to Huna Healing Techniques.
Many people have accused Maum of being a cult. They say it tricks people into believing their world is fake. And there definitely is some merit to this argument. Indeed, Maum is one of the least known meditation techniques because it has been so heavily criticised ever since it was created.
What is Maum Meditation?
- Created by Wo MyYung in 1996
- A Korean meditation
- Subtraction technique (removes things from the mind)
- Uses the idea of “False Mind”
- Some research shows it is good for self-esteem
- In its own marketing it is said to be good for stress, anxiety, and depression
- Possibly a cult
Is Maum A Cult?
Maum is the most widely known form of Korean meditation and has organisations around the world. But is it a cult?
I truly believe in creating a safe space for my readers. So let me say upfront that there are lots of risks of Maum and they are far worse than the common side effects of meditating.
Firstly, many people have stated that Maum is a cult and is dangerous.
Personally, I take that with a big pinch of salt. Because fifty years ago, people thought that Buddhist meditation was dangerous, a cult, evil, going to kill you.
In the West, we very quickly label things as cults and then decades later change our minds.
Back in the fifties if you told someone that you practised meditation, they would presume that you were cutting the heads off chickens and putting curses on everyone and their mum. I exaggerate, of course, but it is well documented that people used to consider meditation “voodoo-hoodooo”.
Quora user Mack More says:
“All cults share the same set of control tactics because there is only one method of non-chemical mind control that works. So, if you learn that set, you are protecting yourself, not only against one cult but all cults.
Psychological and social pressure
Maum applies a lot of psychological and societal pressure.
All of the pressures are applied simultaneously, such that the recruit is overwhelmed, and in response to that overwhelm, the cult hopes the recruit will “voluntarily” give up their critical thinking faculties and subordinate their free will to the will of the group.” CONTINUE READING.
Doesn’t sound good. And there are more reasons to think it could be cultist.
- You have to pay to learn
- The final stage requires that you pay several thousand dollars to complete your training
- Each meditation lasts 3 hours (this is much longer than the ideal meditation time recommended by most researchers)
- There is pressure put on individuals to sign up
- Zero information is given about the technique before individuals sign up.
- Most people who have discussed their experience online are extremely negative about it
- It’s marketed in an overly aggressive way, with videos showing hundreds of people smiling
- It is a little bit too much like Scientology!
Is it legit?
Whether Maum is a cult or not is not for me to judge. If you want a website that judges you’re on the wrong one. THE DAILY MEDITATION believes in an open mind. Whether or not Maum is a genuine and helpful technique is not under our authority to argue.
It is worth noting, however, there that is a study published on the National Institute of Health that says that Maum is good for self-esteem. The study was conducted by the Korean University and Kunsan National University.
Let me show you how to do it, and then you can decide for yourself.
How To Do Maum Meditation
The best way to learn is through Woo Myung’s books.
I am presuming you have read the warning about this potentially being a cult, so I will share what I know of this technique for educational purposes only.
As with all techniques on this website, we strongly advise that you read the instructions slowly and carefully, so you fully understand the procedure first. We also recommend contacting a healthcare professional before beginning and perhaps hiring a meditation teacher.
Maum is a form of subtraction meditation that uses eight stages. The first seven stages prepare the practitioner to leave the false world and enter the real world.
- The first stage of Maum aims to create oneness between the practitioner and the universe. To do this stage, sit comfortably on a meditation cushion or yoga mat. Now visualise the death of your physical body and imagine your soul floating off into space.
- The second stage gets the practitioner to recognise “False Mind.” This stage moves you past feelings, emotions and thoughts. To do this, imagine that you are in space and there is a black hole next to you. Now visualise yourself throwing your emotions and thoughts into this black hole. Now throw your spiritual self into the black hole.
- This stage destroys your emotions and memories. To do it, imagine that you are putting everything that defines you (your possessions and such) onto a conveyor belt. Visualise your possessions moving along the conveyor belt into a fire. They are destroyed.
- The fourth stage of Maum meditation requires that you do a simple chore like cleaning the dishes. Associate this task with the destruction of your physical form.
- 5, 6 and 7: Stages five six and seven are repeats of stage 4 with different chores. With each chore you do, imagine your physical form being destroyed increasingly.
So, you’ve learnt how to do Maum meditation, the controversial subtraction meditation from Korea. But there’s an important question to ask: Is Maum a cult?
What do you think?
Giving Is Caring
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison