Meditation/Mindfulness is a can of worms IF you go chasing the science. ‘Tis very hard to tie down in way of effects as ‘feelings’ aren’t statistics.
As a lifestyle I tend to be a tad hostile to because of the oft association with ethereal metaphysics.Gautama Buddha — I’m looking at you, kid.
But I’ve always appreciated the Zen-ness of conscious movement.
Static or sedentary meditation is so unlike me and my fidgets.
Since I do come from an age when Biofeedback was the fashionable rage — at least in my ‘hood — I defer to the physiology of conscious slowness, breath and heart rate.
While working in mental health, I’m no stranger to relaxation therapies, which are essentially guided meditations.
But over time I became interested in drone sounds and especially Sufi rhythms — plying at me from Bandung to Timbuktu. This drew me to an interest in frame drums — especially the Daf.
I love the Daf because it is not essentially religious despite its pitter-pattering.
Then I moved onto soundscapes. And that, my friends, was a revelation which is now an addiction. Anything with water — rain, stream or sea — turns me ‘off’ in the nicest way. ‘Tis a great way to dose off…accompanied by meteorology or aquatics.
The question of meditation makes a surprising appearance at Marxmail. The hostility of the (Marxist) left to such subjects is both classic and yet a liability. The moment of Marx was to make a strong move toward secular humanism, science, atheism, with the result that a kind of scientism appeared in the vacuum created by the absence of religion. That stance was sensible in context but has made historical materialism the vaunted replacement for religion, a stance that can only backfire.
Let us note that the ‘secular’ is far broader than that and if one looks at the modern transition one sees a far vaster field of innovations. The era of Marx cannot be reduced to the limited canon of historical materialism.
We might comment further on this but since I was unsubbed from marxmail (or at least unable to post under moderation) the list hardly deserves any contribution from me.
But I might comment further here in a series of posts. The issue of meditation points to the fact that Marxism is culturally impoverished and can’t deal with the global sphere of culture. The cannon can’t even handle the question of consciousness let alone meditation. We have tried in the Last Revolution to place the eonic model in place as a way to a more inclusive global history of all categories…
But the wariness of Marx is not so far off if much of the so-called New Age movement is entangled in reactionary thinking. The key here is to see that such traditions are far older than the rehash of their current adherents and that a real left can invoke their sources, no doubt very ancient, in the Neolithic.