My good friend Jennifer W Alters has put together a very unique guest post for my blog that will change how you think about meditation and chanting Om.
She recently listened to a guided meditation by a man named Victor Demko who is widely respected in the meditation field. He studied and practiced meditation with Sufi Master Pir Vilayat Khan for 12 years, Swami Sundaranand in the Indian Himalayas, and the Dali Lama amongst others. He’s even directed and edited 3 full-length films on meditative healing arts including the highly respected “Personal Time with Swami-ji.”
Today, he leads meditations in The Sufi Order International on topics such as breath, the chakras, chanting, light, mantra, sound, concentration, contemplation, and realization.
Jennifer has been thinking a lot about meditation since she listened to Om Unplugged. She says it’s one of the best step-by-step guides to meditation she has seen.
Here is the post by Jennifer W Alters:
A meditation on meditation.
Some ask what possible good can come from meditation, the dedicated and disciplined practice of chanting Om? They say, didn’t we go through this in the late sixties and early seventies after the Beatles went to India, introduced the sitar into their music, and inspired a generation to submit to “eastern” influences? Is it really more miraculous because it comes via broadband or digitized on a plastic disk? Would it not make just as much sense to read and experiment with sacred Hindu texts via an iPad? What does anyone, more specifically anyone who is you, gain from chanting Om?
How about if we wait until we see the Nike Air “Meditator” before we get all revved-up over this Om-chanting business? How about we just wait until Sanjay Gupta flashes that toothy grin and announces, “The Surgeon General today issued a strong recommendation that all people with pulses begin chanting Om”?
Didn’t we outgrow our penchant for psycho-babble just before college graduation? Among grown-ups, that stuff seems kind of silly, doesn’t it? Why not focus on taking our spirits in their distilled form and achieving altered consciousness with a little barley boost? Is a psycho-spiritual awakening going to keep the bank from foreclosing on my house, repossessing my car, or sucking the equity out of my three children?
Then again, what if…?
Of course, no one really can find any harm in meditation. How could it possibly hurt to spend twenty quiet, peaceful minutes chanting Om? Maybe not while I’m driving, but can’t I find some otherwise wasted time for collecting and quickening my mind, body, soul, and spirit? How much time do I waste on FaceBook every day? I’ve seen the studies; why should I reject clinical evidence that chanting Om really does benefit my cardiovascular and pulmonary systems? Why should I dismiss convincing research that shows meditation is just as effective as anti-depressants and mood regulators? I overheard Ol’ Murphy at the office saying that he’s been doing some transcendental stuff, and he was an employee of the month last month; so it can’t be that weird, can it? Doesn’t cost anything. Doesn’t leave you sore afterward. How can it hurt to try it? What’s the worst that can happen; I fall asleep? I can live with that.
To discover the benefits of meditation and the power of chanting Om, here is a great guided meditation CD that will teach you what you need to know:
Shanti Om and Peace