Author Topic: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?  (Read 4231 times)

lokariototal

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How would you explain the whole idea of meditation for all those hard-nosed skeptics who see meditation as an esoteric, kind of hippie thing? How would you explain it to them in a matter that makes sense?

garyblackhouse

Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 11:29:24 AM »
I'm only in the very early stages of my practice, but it seems to me to be something that can't really be explained. I've had the thought in my head that "If I tried to explain it on words, I would fail at the first letter." Perhaps it can be described for people to get some sort of a grasp on the idea, but it's something that has to be experienced to be understood. As seen in the "why do people stop meditating" thread, meditation is mostly uncommon, alien or confusing to a lot of people in the west. I (we) live and hope that people will see change in us as an outside observer, maybe some day they will stop directing the question at others and instead look for themselves.

Maybe there are more experienced meditators here with a better answer. But that's where I'm at at the moment.

Peace.

James the Giant

Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 12:26:27 PM »
How would you explain the whole idea of meditation for all those hard-nosed skeptics who see meditation as an esoteric, kind of hippie thing? How would you explain it to them in a matter that makes sense?
Point them towards the large number of serious, methodical, double-blind clinical trials on the benefits of meditation.  Then when they don't bother to read anything about the trials, accuse them of being dilettante skeptics, sloppy, and only into skepticism because it's cool.

It won't make you friends, but it will be satisfying for a short time.

Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 03:57:53 PM »
people learn from what we are no what we try to teach.....  ;D

let them see you. no one can be blind to good deeds. they might ignore it for some time because of their fears towards it, but eventually everything will turn around... patience is the key.

Quardamon

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Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 09:20:33 PM »
I would focus on having a good relationship/ talk with the sceptic. I would not explain. I would say something like: "Yes, people have weird hobbies. Some people go fishing an whole afternoon, and they could have bought the fish and spared them a lot of time. That is something I do not understand. Maybe understanding others is an art in itself, and maybe I am not so good at it."

(I fact, with the last sentence I indicate, that he might not be good at this 'art' either. Sorry to be mean.)

At any rate, I explain when there is the wish to understand. Not when there is the wish to proof me wrong or proof me stupid. Also not when someone calls his scepticism "interest".

Masauwu

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Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 07:19:15 AM »
How would you explain the whole idea of meditation for all those hard-nosed skeptics who see meditation as an esoteric, kind of hippie thing? How would you explain it to them in a matter that makes sense?
With science. (more)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 07:22:37 AM by Masauwu »
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Sylvia1982

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Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 04:43:08 PM »
Totally agree with Siddharthgode's approach.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 10:14:40 PM »
To put it succinctly I’d say it’s the separation and identity of the mind that is always thinking, measuring, planning and judging from the one which is witnessing the here and now.

The best analogy is that it is like the immediate attention one has while practicing coitus, without the physical interaction.

lokariototal

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Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 09:38:29 PM »
Also not when someone calls his scepticism "interest".

You mean when people say "I'm just not interested in it" without knowing anything about it?

Quardamon

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Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 10:40:30 PM »
Also not when someone calls his scepticism "interest".

You mean when people say "I'm just not interested in it" without knowing anything about it?

On the contrary. I mean when people say that they are interested, but in fact are not.
Some people are so mean to say that they are interested, simply to get a discussion going. These people are sure that they will "win" the discussion. Probably they have done that trick a dozen times - with people that believe in astrology, and people that believe that love is the key to everything, and with people that say that prayer helps, and so on.

With introductions about mindfulness training in the style of Jon Kabat-Zinn, a three minute exercise is done. In fact a super-short meditation. Then people have the experience and can take it of leave it. There is no explanation given to sceptics that just want to fight or just want to be right.

chintan

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Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 11:42:17 AM »
I am a rationalist - atheist - skeptic and still believe in and practice meditation. Maybe other rationalist-atheist-skeptic would not classify me as a part of their tribe. I have had polite debates with some on Quora. What Quardamom says is correct most of the time people are not interested in really knowing.

Ask them what type of evidence will they believe in. Only those who practice meditation themselves know what is happening to them - putting it in words is pointless and most of the measurable experiments have already been done.

Ask them to design an experiment which will prove (or disprove) that "Mediation causes X" with a 100% certainty and some of us from this group here can volunteer to be guinea pigs...

jaanns

Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 09:38:21 AM »
Hi!
I don't know, if I can put links here, but I have an article about meditation in my blog. I explain my opinion there. So maybe check it out - http://iamluckynow.blogspot.com/2013/02/meditation-is.html

Actually, meditation is about how you live your life.

TCozy119

Re: How do you explain the whole concept of Meditation to the skeptic?
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 08:47:03 AM »
"i bet YOU cant sit still for 20 minutes straight..."

 

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