Marketing Yoga and Meditation to a Capitalist Culture
To be so good for you, yoga and meditation sure do turn people off. Meditating and doing yoga actually make your DNA express its more positive aspects, so that you are literally younger and healthier than before you practice it. But most Americans won’t touch the stuff. Why is that?
We have a serious PR problem with yoga and meditation.
When I read about meditation and yoga, I almost always read about discipline and focus, about life as suffering and the need to detach. This whole thing comes because yoga and meditation are art forms that have been most deeply developed by Buddhist monks who renounce all their worldly possessions and leave their wives and kids and go live in caves. All of that is well and good when you live in a cave and take vows not to own anything or to attach yourself to your family or anyone else. But what if you live in the suburbs and have a family that you would like to keep and a job, too?
We have to translate yoga and meditation into American culture for it to help us.
Now, yoga and meditation do not need to become materialistic art forms, like everything else in America tends to. Their power lies in their ability to wake us up to what we have already. But no one in America is going to pay money to take their precious time to embrace the idea that life is suffering. What a freaking downer!
Meditation and yoga get us over the rainbow.
There is this end of the road where Americans make tons of money and get all the success and find out that it is not the happiness that they were looking for… Americans love to feel good. And meditation and yoga help you feel good. It is a different kind of good feeling than we are used to. There is no thrill involved. America and western society is based on the thrill involved in winning, in spending, in going fast, in being the best. No one ever wins in yoga or meditation. But they reframe our view of the world and of ourselves in it.
There is no thrill. There is no excitement.
But what there is instead is a steady background ease. The world takes on a lighter hue. Good experiences and bad experiences alike come and go with a little less grip on you when you practice yoga and meditation. And because your lows are less low, you find yourself more stable, more able to cope with the good times when they come. You are more able to relax and enjoy them. You are more able to connect with others and with yourself. You become more real and so does everyone else in your life.
There is no need to sell your house.
You may very well find yourself enjoying things that don’t cost much- like yoga and meditating, and making art, and listening to music. But you can still spend money and own things and be married and have a job. Just with more ease, more authenticity, and more connection.