Anyone who says Seattle or Washington is behind the meditation times, just check out a class at EastWesticism. Seattle may not have as many green juice bars or compost parties as Portland. However, we are catching up with modern times in how we’re rediscovering the ancient tradition of meditation. If you are thinking to practice meditation in Seattle or Washington, read on.
It’s certainly an odd thing to see, an ancient and transformative spiritual practice becoming hip and trendy. But if you look at the benefits of meditation—patience, focus and concentration, better sleep, more energy, lower blood pressure, less stress and chronic pain, and lasting peace and joy. We live in modernized technology and a fast-paced chaotic world. Hence, there’s never been a more important time to meditate in the history of humanity.
While the ancient tradition of meditation may seem on the surface as an out-of-date mumbo jumbo ritual based on superstitions that have no relevance to our lives (trust me, I’ve heard it all before), the fact of the matter is, there have now been hundreds if not thousands of rigorous scientific studies performed, all demonstrating the almost magical benefits that just a few minutes of meditation a day can do for literally anyone.
In this blog, I’m going to talk about how meditation is spreading all across the country, what meditation is and why it matters, the history of Eastern meditation in America, what EastWesticism is doing in Seattle as well as in Washington and what the future of meditation and spirituality may look like.
Why Does Meditation Matter?
Everything we do, every problem we have, and even nearly every physical ailment we have stemmed from our minds. It is our most important tool, yet we never train it to be more joyful, more present, more mindful of its thoughts and our actions.
When we behave unmindfully, we make decisions that make us less healthy, whether it’s eating unhealthy food or not dealing with stress, or not exercising properly. Just as the placebo effect means that our mindset can cure us if we believe a treatment will work, so too can our mindset cause disease in the first place.
Rather than living as a victim of an uncontrolled mind, meditation helps us create the circumstances in our mind to generate health, happiness, love, gratitude, and compassion.
The History of Eastern Meditation in the West
As we’ve already talked about, meditation is an incredibly powerful and transformative practice. The only reason we even know what meditation or yoga is because every generation for over 2,500 years noticed their incredible benefits and passed the knowledge down to the next generation.
Unfortunately, the people who first brought meditation to the West, mainly high-ranking Buddhist lamas or Indian gurus in the 60s, came over with nefarious purposes. They used the ancient wisdom from their cultures to garner immense wealth and power over unsuspecting hippies.
These charlatans abused their power, abused their followers, abused drugs and alcohol, and abused their responsibility to their ancestors. They started cults, often claiming that their bad behavior was all part of the teachings.
They told their followers that if they have a problem with their tactics and methods and behavior, this is because the followers have mental blocks that they need to overcome by accepting the abuse of the leader.
One only needs to watch one of the dozens of documentaries made about these cults, like Wild Wild Country or Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator.
We Are Our Own Gurus…
In reality, we are each our own guru. No one is more divine than anyone else or has a better antenna to God than anyone else. There is no perfect master to follow except your own heart. There is never any need to short circuit your own intuition and gut instincts in search of some divine insight. Retain your power, strengthen it, and there is never a need to give it over to anyone else.
Luckily over the decades, word got out, most people wised up, and these cults began to dwindle. Simultaneously, as more and more people began traveling back and forth from the West and the East, experiencing these ancient practices firsthand, they returned to the West to share what they had learned with a benevolent purpose and to a more astute Western population.
As more and more westerners experienced the incredible and countless benefits of eastern traditions like meditation and yoga, they spread like wildfires.
Meditation in Seattle, Washington?
Until very recently, learning meditation in Seattle was limited to Buddhist monasteries, centers founded by Hindu Indian gurus, places founded by a Catholic religious order, as well as hippy crystals and astrology kind.
Nowadays, there are apps and Youtubers, podcasters, and giant corporations all trying to dazzle you with life-changing transformative guided meditations you can do while driving your car to work.
But the truth is, meditation is an ancient and universal practice that requires no religious beliefs whatsoever. You can be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist and still get all of the incredible benefits that meditation provides.
At EastWesticism, that is exactly what we offer. The founder spent 8 years mastering techniques for spiritual transformation from 5 continents and over 35 countries around the world.
After his life-changing journey, he meticulously dug through all of the peer-reviewed scientific literature. He did this to find which methods provided the greatest results in the shortest amount of time.
EastWesticism has combined these methods into a unique, efficient, and simple step-by-step process to ensure that everyone can become their happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest selves.
Why do we use the word spirituality? It is a word that has many different meanings to many different people. What we really mean is the non-material world. And by non-material, we mean our thoughts, emotions, and mindset. At EastWesticism, we think of spirituality as a person’s psychological wellbeing.
There really is nothing to buy into, believe, or accept blindly. Whatever is true for you is true for you. We even encourage people who practice with us to not accept anything we say just because we say it. Try it out and see for yourself.
Where is Meditation Going?
We know now about the transformative power of meditation. Now, we can only hope that we teach it to every child in every school.
There are places where it has been taught in schools. Here, grades go up, behavioral problems go down, and once filled detention halls suddenly become empty. Sounds amazing right? It’s tried and tested.
When I was a kid, I rarely sat still. There was a punishment called “time out”. That was the only time I ever sat quiet and alone. And that was the only time I was with my thoughts in meditation. I used to think that why I am being made to do this. However, now I understand that was needed so much. No wonder so many adults today find it difficult to meditate!
You know, learning to meditate as a child is so important? It can set your child up for a lifetime of emotional intelligence and a mastery of his/her thoughts and emotions. Don’t think it’s not important for you. Meditation is equally beneficial for adults.
One can only hope that every office building and factory will have a meditation room with meditation instructors coming in regularly.
For companies that have done this, workplace mistakes go down. Moreover, productivity goes up, job satisfaction increases, sick days are reduced, employee retention increases, and profits skyrocket.
Just imagine a future where everyone creates a little bit more space in their lives, more peace, and more inner joy radiating from them and affecting everything else they do. The world will become less addicted, more compassionate, more patient, more thoughtful, and more peaceful.
Science Says Meditate? Yes, It Does.
Scientific neuroimaging technology is advancing. It will tell us even more about how and why meditation works. This way, we’ll soon be able to definitively show how meditation improves brain function as well as physical health.
Where meditation shows promise in areas like overcoming addiction and PTSD, creating inner peace and joy, expanding love and compassion, improving memory and focus, generating more gratitude and less pain, and reducing stress and anxiety, may soon be proven once and for all.
One potential downfall for the future of meditation will be the further commodification of meditation by giant corporations that will aim to sell people a beautifully packaged and entertaining “meditative” experience that won’t actually help them. Capitalism is all about giving people what they want and pretending like it’s what they need. This is why you’ll never see an ad for vegetables.
As a nonprofit charitable organization, making money will never be our goal at EastWesticism. Making sure the wisdom of our ancestors lives on. Not only this but also creating a better future for all living beings on this earth will always be our mission.