Can Meditation Be Used as Therapy?

February 13, 2018 Meditation No Comments

Yes… but with caution.

Western medical therapies are designed to fight symptoms or disease. Some recommend the use of meditation as another element in this fight – as another kind of therapy.

Yet there is a deep mismatch.

The goal of meditation ultimately lies at the unconscious level. Some call it ‘enlightenment’, or ‘human growth.’ Contrary to this, the goal of therapy lies at the conscious level, namely: a diminishment of symptoms or disease, as efficiently as possible, in a kind of fight against the symptom. These goals are very different. Evidently, confusing the two may be problematic. Fighting and growing do not easily match.

The way you relate to your symptoms is crucial in this.

Let me explain.

In meditation, you need to let yourself go without consciously grasping the goal – or even being able to grasp it. You meditate pretty much on trust. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for guidance by someone who has ‘been there’, who has experienced profound meditation. In the East, this could be an enlightened Zen master. In the West, a person who knows meditation as well as therapy can keep you from confusion.

If you use meditation to straightforwardly diminish for instance your feelings of depression, you will have no easy time. Choosing for ‘meditation as therapy’ while keeping the usual therapy’s fighting stance within your meditation itself, chances are you close your own doors. Meditation simply is not compatible with fighting against yourself – or your symptoms. While meditating, there is a need to forego the fighting. The real goal of meditation then lies beyond the symptom, not fighting it.

As a metaphor, picture now a straight line that you can travel on, starting from you as you are now and going through your symptom that you picture nearby you and towards far beyond. With a meditative approach to your symptom, the direction towards this far-beyond goal – enlightenment – is still the same. In the meantime, your symptom may diminish as a side-effect.

So what is a meditative approach to your symptom?

It’s not trying to get rid of it at any cost. It even starts with accepting the symptom. It’s looking at your symptom as an invitation from your deeper self – a meditative invitation. So the symptom is indeed a worthwhile focus for your meditation. You can look at it as a gift. You can be grateful in a certain way. Your gratitude also is worthwhile and helpful.

The goal of meditation is enlightenment.

Your symptom is like a source of energy that you can use towards that goal. Symptom relief is a byproduct of getting nearer to the goal. In meditation, mere symptom relief is never a goal by itself.

This is the case for any psycho-somatic symptom. Western medicine is not being developed in order to be used towards the goal of enlightenment. It’s good to keep clearly in mind that you run counter to this tradition. But who knows, maybe in some near future, two streams become one? You can even already be part of this yourself.

AURELIS is guided meditation. It is no therapy.

Within AURELIS, the symptom is not attacked, nor is it accepted just like that. It is valued in the first place as a means of communication towards inside, to then support you towards growth.

Growth and enlightenment thus are lying within this same endeavor. East and West come together in a nice synthesis.

 

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