When Meditation isn’t Enough

Open Democracy

Meditation does not wield dark esoteric powers, but rather draws away the veils covering existing darkness in our own psyches. These veils usually exist for good reason: they are the psyche’s brilliantly inventive answer to violation. Depending on one’s history, meditation may be an insufficient response. Or it may be the wrong medicine entirely.

My introduction to Meditation was different – it was in Los Angeles – and a decayed part of that city. My teacher’s Jewish family saw to it that he was over-educated – including a stint in Japan as a Buddhist monk.

He realized that the meditation retreats he ran would be too much for some of his students – and he always provided time at the end to attend to their needs. He also knew that meditation skills did not make you a good person – this was a much harder job.

Buddhism always recognized the suffering in the societies it was in. But never provided any solutions for this suffering. It helped me see what was going on – and make the only solution I was capable of – I moved to Costa Rica, where there are no Buddhists, but the people there are friendly.

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