Thread: Can westerners meditate successfully?

  1. #1

    Can westerners meditate successfully?

    Soto Zen teacher Brad Warner talks about "Can westerners meditate successfully?" (approx 15 minutes)




    Any comments about what was said in the video ?



  2. #2
    Global Moderator
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    Yes, people are people wherever they are, and meditation is an individual endeavour and just as difficult for everybody. However, although meditation usually has a good press in the West it is still looked on as a strange activity by many people (I know from personal eperience), so there may be cultural influences acting against people taking it up here. On the other hand people in places like Sri Lanka assume that 'their' monks do all the meditating for them, so they don't need to.

    There is also the question of who defines 'successful' meditation. There are plenty of people willing to tell you that 'that's not really meditation' or 'you are mistaken about your meditation eperiences'. There is an abundance of people pushing non-Buddhist meditation too, taking it out of its cultural context perhaps, so who knows what the true picture of meditation in the West is?

    Interestingly the UK government have made the observation that they consider meditation to be essentially a 'human activity' which, in this respect, is free from any cultural input whatsoever.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
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    Buddhist meditation has to do with the mind essence which is the same for all kinds of people.
    Last edited by Esho; 13 Jan 22 at 23:12.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by philg

    There is also the question of who defines 'successful' meditation. There are plenty of people willing to tell you that 'that's not really meditation' or 'you are mistaken about your meditation experiences'. There is an abundance of people pushing non-Buddhist meditation too, taking it out of its cultural context perhaps, so who knows what the true picture of meditation in the West is?

  5. #5
    I found the video interesting when Brad was talking about the time when he was living and working in Japan, and when he was speaking about different cultures in general.


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