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Western Mind Control and Basic Buddhist Meditation

Does anybody encountered Western mind control being proliferated on the internet and the media? These mind stuff (as they claimed) is a form of active meditation/programming of mind. Infused and ignites strong desire and passion to whatever ones goal such as wealth, power, mostly material things. My question is - Is this an opposite of what buddhism view on meditation on making the mind still - rather than active? Here are some links of western mindstuff that uses mind for programming. Can this (active meditation/programming) be considered meditation? Thanks.



  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    It's a bit like 'the secret'. It's bullshit.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I think it is something that will likely just pass as a lot of those types of fads do. I don't pay it much attention or worry that it is sullying the reputation of Buddhism or meditation. I find it kind of bizarre that people have taken meditation and determined it is a good way to make people more productive and thus the result is they make more money and make their higher ups even more money. It seems deceptive to me to use meditation for stuff like that. However, learning to rest the mind, however one does it, has benefits no matter what, so perhaps it doesn't matter if their meditation mantra is "I want to be wealthy. I want to be wealthy. I want to be wealthy." I guess the way it seems deceptive to me is when corporations use mindfulness and meditation as a way to get more out of workers. They present it as a way to care about the workers when really it's mostly just about squeezing even more work out of them. I don't trust western marketing one bit, it's always always about the bottom line. I doubt it is any different in eastern cultures, either. The entire point is to make money for the people at the top.

    I personally wouldn't consider it meditation, but it depends how you look at it. My reasons for meditating are different than my mom's that are different from my sister's that are different from the people at Google 's offices. I can't really say if any are bad, though I know meditation can have ill effects on some people when it is incorrectly taught and they start to learn things about themselves they are not capable of dealing with and don't have the proper support. It just seems sad to me that they are doing the work to train their brains...to get even further entrenched in all the stuff that takes them farther away from liberation.

  • As one who lived through the "Power of Positive Thinking" revival cult back in the 1970s, I can safely tell you it's nothing but the same old meatloaf dug out of the back of the fridge, warmed up and given a new name. Same thing with "The Secret" and all those other self-help books and courses. That includes groups that focus on meditation instead of motivation like "TM" by the way.

    The sad truth is that none of these "Think your way to wealth" methods work. Like pyramid selling schemes, the person who gets rich is the one selling you false promises.

  • Indeed the mind is powerful that should be handled and watched with care. Using the mind for money making stuff creates more of "becoming" which eventually leads to more rebirth. Ajahn Chah always reminds people to watch their own mind.

  • @mockeymind said:
    Can this (active meditation/programming) be considered meditation? Thanks.

    No it is no more meditation than behavioural modification used in army training is meditation. Breaking somone down, then building a new persona is effective but is often referred to by another name: brainwashing.

    Aspects of Buddhism and some paths are psychological in nature, attempting to balance ones extremes in order to have a stable base. However that is only the start. B)

  • @lobster - hence they trained the mind to attached on sense objects of desire and wanting. These doesn't arrived at peace as said in various dharma talks of Ajahn Chac. Correct me if I am wrong - in meditation it is ones duty to look mind object/impression when arises as temporary, impermanence so we can let go of them. As a new buddhist I came into knowing that the mind is pure in nature (that is before corruption by various elements)
    In Theravada tradition talks I often hear of developing Morality, Concentration and Wisdom as a path.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    there are many ways to meditate. Sometimes we contemplate, sometimes we visualize, sometimes we practice awareness, something we just relax and let thoughts go. So many meditations.

    But remember we are looking at meditation as one thing-as a way to clear the impurities of mind to arrive at clarity (generally speaking). Others meditate for different reasons. Some people meditate solely for health benefits. My mom meditates so that she can sleep at night. She's not interested in the same way I am. Using meditation as a way to further achieve suffering (by accumulating items, status, wealth and so on) seems very strange to me indeed. But just saying Buddhist meditation is not the only meditation.

  • @mockeymind your understanding is correct as I understand it. Bear in mind that you are on a way that potentially and radically shifts awareness, not just a better, more relaxed ego that sleeps better that @karasti mentions. The capacity to deepen in compassion, wisdom, and moral/ethical behavour is unlimited.

    It is true that some of us, me for example, are so unbalanced that we need regular brainwashing just to remove accumulated delusions . . . ;)

    Others need to cope with dramatic life and psychological trauma, illness and such. Buddhism is a broad tool set. There are many ways in. Much to do. The rewards are sometimes subtle but very real. How wonderful . . .

  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    All desire is not bad. The desire to cultivate sometimes needs to be nurtured.

    Up to some point it is necessary to actively grow your desire to practice.
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Though it has nothing to do with meditation, before Louise Hay, before Silva and the secret, the man who began it all was the French Emile Coué.
    In the early 1900s, he created a method called "autosuggestion," which has been known as "the Coué method" eversince, and consists in self-hypnosis and programming oneself by the use of positive affirmations.
    It has been clinically proven that his method delivers astounding results in the healing of many illnesses and self-created neurosis.



  • I think there is plenty of "mind-control" going on. That is a strong term. But it isn't magic, it's psychology. Advertisements are a form of mind-control. They use psychology in an attempt to control the things that you want (and therefore will buy).

    I do my best to avoid advertisements, and I do it remarkably well. I don't have television. I use AdBlock on my computer. But coming across the occasional advertisement is inevitable. When I do see an ad, I always find it jarring and an imposition. Yet, most everyone else seems to be just soaking in the advertisement consciously or unconsciously. The general population's complacency with the sickening barrage of advertisements seems like one example of mind-control that works/has worked.

  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    I think there is plenty of "mind-control" going on.
    -Agreed. As an aside, I would argue we are, on a daily basis bombarded by propaganda seeking to manipulate and motivate us towards attachments of various sorts; ad men as agents of dukkha. "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine..." :-)

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