The Goddamn Truth About PROPER MEDITATION In 2021

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Somehow, we have gotten to the point in 2021 where we need to clarify between proper meditation and pseudo-meditation, or what Jon Kabat Zinn [founder, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction] calls “McMindfulness”.

“McMindfulness” refers to the cheesy, commercialised form of meditation you will find in online videos and apps like Headspace and Calm.

As David Forbes, a professor of contemplative education at Brooklyn College, says, capitalism and our consumerist nature is destroying meditation. Our society and its focus on self-improvement, ego, and aggrandization, flies against the tradition of meditation from a religious and spiritual context. But worse than this, we have all been lied to.

Yes, as usual, we have all been lied to by brands who mislead us with erroneous advertising. It happens in food, in medicine, in… well… everywhere.

We have been lied to in order to buy into meditation products.

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Simply put, the majority of meditation products do not work properly and are a poor replacement for actual meditation.

Consider:

  • 2019 research shows that meditation apps do not work
  • 2021 research shows that app developers use research falsely to convince us to download their products. Note that virtually all independent research on meditation is done using proper meditation techniques and not apps.
  • Worse, research shows that the vast majority of so-called “mindfulness apps” do not teach mindfulness at all.
  • Somehow, everyone has been duped into believing that guided imagery is the same thing as meditation (here’s the difference between guided meditation and actual meditation).

What kills me is that now, after all this consumerism, next to no one understands what proper meditation is. Thankfully, I’m about to change that, as I explain the difference between proper meditation and McMindfulness.

Proper Meditation VS McMindfulness

If you truly want to glean the benefits of meditation, you need to practice proper meditation, not McMindfulness. So, what’s the difference?

McMindfulness is the overly consumerised version of meditation. It is usually done using an app or another commercial product that often requires a subscription. And, as we looked at above, it simply does not work.

So, what is “Proper Meditation”?

Proper meditation is the formal practice of traditional meditation techniques. It is usually done in silence and is taught via a trained expert. It most certainly does not involve being on your phone and it does not involve listening to “guided meditation” (which is more accurately called “Guided Imagery”).

The reason this matters so much is that proper meditation actually works. If you read through the research above, you will see that meditation apps a) do not work and b) often are not meditation at all. In other words, if you want to benefit from meditation you need to practice proper meditation and proper meditation techniques. And get off the phone.

A snapshot of proper meditation:

  • Usually done seated and with proper posture.
  • Uses proper meditation techniques (for instance, Anapansati, Vipassana, Samatha).
  • Often done in silence (although not necessarily, as some meditations, such as mantras, involve sound).
  • Taught by a meditation expert (if you look at the people who develop most meditation apps, and a lot of bloggers, you will find that most of them have no background in meditation).
  • Involves actual mind training. If you are not putting any effort into your development, you are not meditating properly.
  • Here, let me give you a guide to meditating at home the right way, no monthly subscription required. 

How To Meditate Properly

You want to get the real benefits of meditation. And to do that you need to learn how to meditate properly. Here are some pointers that will help you avoid “McMindfulness” and enjoy the benefits of proper meditation.

1: Avoid the Cheese

There are a lot of cheesy meditation products on the market. I’m confident you’re smart enough to know the difference between proper meditation and cheesy, commercial products. Generally, speaking, if it involves being on your phone it probably is not proper meditation. After all, it’s hard to imagine Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh meditating with his phone.

2: Find a Proper Meditation Teacher

If you want to learn proper meditation techniques, you will need professional guidance. Find a meditation teacher who is an expert in teaching proper meditation techniques. I personally teach more than 30 forms of meditation and have more than 15 years of experience. What is most important is that you learn from someone who actually knows how to meditate properly. That sounds stupid, but in truth, most app developers and many online writers are not meditation experts.

3: Take it seriously

If you want to get the most out of meditation you have to take it seriously. If your idea of meditating is lying down and listening to a recording you are not really meditating, you’re just relaxing. You won’t get the same benefits from this as you will from proper meditation.

Consider that meditation is a form of mind training and is done for your health. With that in mind, you should take it as seriously as you would take therapy, exercise, and nutrition.

Now the good news

The good news is that if you do commit to proper meditation, and proper meditation techniques, you will enjoy a calm mind, a stress-free life, and optimal health and wellbeing. Yes, the benefits of mediation are real. The only thing you have to do is meditate properly.

I’d love to teach you proper meditation, but…

There is nothing in the world that would make me happier than teaching you to meditate properly. In my lessons I teach proper meditation techniques that genuinely work. And as an expert with more than fifteen years experience I am pretty confident in my abilities. And I know from my students that my lessons do wonders.

BUT…

You don’t have to take a lesson with me. That really isn’t the point in me writing this. I’m writing this in the hope that you will not fall into the trap of “McMindfulness”, that you won’t use an app or other cheesy product. I hope that you will recognise the difference between McMindfulness and proper meditation. Because if you want to get the most out of meditation, you need to take it seriously. Get off the damn phone already and meditate properly.

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Meditation Techniques 

Different Meditation Techniques

Meditation poses and positions.

How to meditate properly at home.

Guided meditation scripts. 

Mantras (including our popular mantras for protection, and the all-powerful Shambhavi Mudra)

Mudras

Taoist Meditation  

Chi Exercises

Buddhist Meditation 

Zen / Zazen:  

Tukdam Meditation Technique:  

Loving Kindness (Metta Bhavana):  

Vipassana:  

Anapanasati:

Samatha:  

Yoga Meditations 

Dhyana yoga

Pratyahara:  

Trataka / Candle Gazing:  

Kundalini meditation:  

Self-Inquiry meditation:  

Chakra Meditations 

Third Eye meditation

Mindfulness

Mindfulness Meditation Exercises. 

Breathing meditation: 

Deep meditations:  

Jedi Meditations

Contemplation:  

Merkaba Meditation:  

Meditative Dance  

Meditation For Atheists

Biblical:  

Alpha:  

Osho:  

Chanting:  

Forest Bathing:  

Jon Kabat Zinn Body Scan:  

Benefits of Meditation

list of benefits of meditation.

Become A Meditation Teacher:

 Free teacher training course.

Risks Of Meditation:

 Crying during meditation!

Couples Meditations For Intimacy:

Meditation for attracting love.

Become more attractive:

 Confidence

Focus and concentration.  

Meditation for Weight Loss

weight gain.

Meditation For Athletes

Meditation for fertility / childbirth

Stop feeling tired / get energy

Meditation for panic attacks

Mental Health

Meditation For Anxiety:  

Meditation For Depression:  

Meditation For Bipolar Disorder

Control your emotions

Stop Stress

Happiness

Quit Addictions

Quit Drinking:  

Quit Smoking

Develop psychic power

Become Enlightened 

Concentrating on studies:   

Access your subconscious mind

Overcome grief

Tap into your insight and intuition

Products

Online meditation lessons

Top Meditation Tools You Need

Apps like Calm & Headspace

Music

Games

Tibetan Singing Bowls

Wellness Retreats

Courses in Buddhism

Gifts for Buddhists

Gongs:

Herbs

Mindfulness CD and DVD

Meditating with Crystals

Mala Beads

Furniture:

Create a meditation room

Benches

Meditation Chairs: 

Yoga chairs: Improve your asanas with a good yoga chair.

Zen Gardens

Cushions 

Plants

Buddha statues

BOOKS: 

Meditation books

Chakra Books:  

Mantras Books:   

Zen books

OTHER

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By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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