Meditating on the Media

The media is the most powerful entity on earth,” said the American black militant leader Malcolm X, popular in the 1960s. For, in his own words, “They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

How does the media do this? How does it control the minds of the masses? By repeating one thing over and over. In the words of my very dear friend the late Dr Setiawan, a neurosurgeon par excellence, “The mind can be manipulated and controlled by intensive repetition.” (more…)

Science Meets the Arts

Hardly? Impossible?

Not in Bali.

Here, science and the arts are not poles apart. Here, science and the arts are not opposed to each other. On this beautiful isle of gods, the two not only meet, but also complement each other.

This is the inner significance of Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge and Music. The Balinese are quite naturally drawn to this particular form of the Divine for She represents the totality of human experience. She is the very personification of power and beauty.

Celebrating Silence

We normally associate celebrations with noise, loud music, singing, partying and of course crowds of people.

Not so with the Balinese; not always.

Here, on this isle of gods, silence and solitude are celebrated too. Indeed, the most important celebration here is that of silence. (more…)

Living Meditatively

There is very famous Zen anecdote of a disciple asking his master, “Master, Master, what were you doing before your enlightenment?”

And, the Master answered, “I was tending my garden.”

“And,” the disciple asked again, “what did you do after your enlightenment?”

“Don’t you see,” the Master asked back, “I am still tending my garden.” (more…)

Becoming Mastermind

Having written last week that “hypnosis or hypnotherapy can be used as tools to open one to meditation,” or to strengthen an already weakened brain, I must, once again, emphasise this. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are not the only tools; there are several other, much, much safer ones, including but not limited to certain yogic exercises.

Why do I say “much, much safer tools”? Do I imply that hypnosis or hypnotherapy is not safe enough as a tool?

Let me try to explain what I mean by “safer.” (more…)

What Is Meditation?

There was a vigorous debate last year whether yoga and/or meditation were part of certain religious rituals, belief systems, science or some sort of physical training.

The census among those who raised the issue was that as long as yoga was done for physical wellbeing only, and without any chanting etcetera, it was safe for practice by people of their faith.

The census, however, was not clear on the issue of meditation. Many still felt that meditation was a ritual, involved the chanting of mantras etc, and therefore part of a certain belief system.

Must meditation involve chanting? (more…)