The Problem of Other People
Sartre once said in a play he wrote, “Hell is other people.” and indeed, when it comes to meditation, hell can sometimes be other people, particularly when they don’t understand what you’re doing, or what meditation is.
People who don’t meditate can be judgemental, dismissive, ignorant and utterly annoying when it comes to expressing their views on the subject of meditation to someone who DOES practice it.
Which brings me to a question I’ve received from Alan, who is currently using the Practical Meditation Audio Course:
“This might seem a strange question but it is concerning a strange problem.
First off let me say I’m a normal guy living a normal life with normal people. I work in the Tax department, play footy on weekends, drink with my mates and even smoke dope sometimes.
Last year I took up meditation after I read your first book ‘Happy to Burn’ – because what you said made sense. Then recently I bought your audio course, and I’ve been using that. But my problem is this. Nobody I know meditates, and they don’t know anything about it but because they all know I meditate, they keep making cracks about me being a hippy and loony.
Even my girlfriend says things that make me self conscious. Sometimes when I’m meditating she’ll make fun of me. I asked her to read your book but she said she didn’t want to be in a ‘cult’. So we had a fight and now I’m not sure I want to be with her anymore.
The other thing is if I get angry the first thing I get is people throw meditation back at me saying things like ‘I thought you meditated.’
It I go out to eat and order a meat dish I get people making remarks about how I should be vegetarian because I meditate.
It’s like everyone has put me in a box and I’m not allowed to feel anything any more and when I try to explain that it’s not what they think, nobody listens.
Sorry I’m going on a bit but before I started meditating my life was okay but now its like everybody is turning against me just because I meditate.
I’m wondering if you ever had this problem and what you did about it.”
‘BEING STILL – MEDITATION THAT MAKES SENSE’, Roger’s new book, is available now.
(The audiobook includes all the exercises, as well as ebooks of Being Still, to fit any device.)