Meditation has been hijacked by capitalism
For thousands of years meditation has been something done in silence.
And now, suddenly, we need a constant stream of audio tracks, background noises, and guided meditations.
This is all just an excuse to sell you something.
Meditation is one thing. Once you understand it, you need nothing else. But we’ve been convinced by these for-profit companies that you need content — more, and more, and more of it — and that not only are you improving your practice by making use of this content, but that you are investing your money in something positive, and in doing so helping others on their spiritual journey as well. Neither could be further from the truth. When we focus on guided meditations, we are not meditating. Only after we can do away with guidance while meditating are we truly meditating, so the reliance on guidance is preventing us from attaining mastery. Furthermore, by investing in such apps and tools we are only propagating the idea that one needs to spend money in order to meditate properly, and as that idea spreads, fewer and fewer people are actually doing so.
And as for the question of music, it’s simple. If we feel that we need a certain sound or background music while meditating, we are missing the basic principle of meditation which is that you should be at peace in the moment, regardless of your external conditions. This is the very crux of meditation. And why is that important? Because this very principle is also the end goal of a meditation practice: to be able to remain calm, composed, and at peace, regardless of what life throws your way, regardless of the discomfort of your material circumstances.
But there’s more to this trend. Why is it that meditation and meditation apps are becoming so popular in the Western world, whereas the original practices were developed/discovered in the East? Again, a simple answer: business opportunity. Once people latch onto a certain trend, or phenomenon, you can count on the ever industrious venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to try to capitalize it, in turn corrupting it at its very core and serving you something very different from what it originally was (except that with their unlimited marketing budgets, they are able to convince you that it was the thing you were interested in all along).
Going even deeper, the fact that spirituality and meditation have been hijacked by capitalism is an ingenious and malicious strategy to keep people from actually achieving any form of awakening; the very result of which would lead you to realize the malice and corruption of the capitalist system, therefore causing you to buy back into it, just propagating the cycle for evermore.
The ironic part is that the founders of many of these apps are so called gurus, priests, or people who have spent years in an ashram somewhere. While their journeys may be admirable, the only reason they feel the need to make an app is because real spiritual teachings and practices don’t make any money. They are too simple, too minimalistic. How can a monk who spent 10 years mastering meditation make a living after leaving the monastery? The best option: monetize his knowledge. But upon monetizing it, it immediately becomes corrupted and hollow. Thus is the nature of the capitalist system. Once commodified, the inherent value of something gets converted into monetary value, and loses all real purpose — whatever qualities it may have once had that could bring a person to better self awareness or inner peace. Thus, the only way to achieve those things is to opt out of the capitalist system, but in this way, we won’t earn any money. Tough choice. So no wonder these gurus have chosen this option. Although understandable, that doesn’t make it justifiable, because any real religious practice would encourage one to remain loyal to their values.
In conclusion: YOU DO NOT NEED AN APP TO MEDITATE. You just need yourself, and maybe a cushion to sit on. That’s all. Paying to meditate is not meditation, it’s just supporting an incredibly destructive and unhealthy paradigm of corporate bullsh** with sole goal of profit and NOT your well-being.