New York Times Op-ed: The Morality of Meditation

New York Times Op-ed: The Morality of Meditation

Work by Gaëlle Desbordes and the Lama Willa was recently mentioned in a New York Times Op-ed titled The Morality of Meditation. Congratulations Gaëlle and Lama Willa!

By DAVID DeSTENO
Published: July 5, 2013

Meditation is fast becoming a fashionable tool for improving your mind. With mounting scientific evidence that the practice can enhance creativity, memory and scores on standardized intelligence tests, interest in its practical benefits is growing. A number of “mindfulness” training programs, like that developed by the engineer Chade-Meng Tan at Google, and conferences like Wisdom 2.0 for business and tech leaders, promise attendees insight into how meditation can be used to augment individual performance, leadership and productivity.

This is all well and good, but if you stop to think about it, there’s a bit of a disconnect between the (perfectly commendable) pursuit of these benefits and the purpose for which meditation was originally intended. Gaining competitive advantage on exams and increasing creativity in business weren’t of the utmost concern to Buddha and other early meditation teachers. As Buddha himself said, “I teach one thing and one only: that is, suffering and the end of suffering.” For Buddha, as for many modern spiritual leaders, the goal of meditation was as simple as that.

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