Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Beef with the "Secret"

Michele Happe, MA: Tue, Jun 7th 2011
I watched the movie, The Secret with my husband, also a Buddhist. At about the 3/4 point we both agreed to turn it off.
word secretI found The Secret offensive in the same way I found EST (Ehrhardt Seminars Training) offensive. Both use wonderful age old concepts to promote some kind of self serving, you can win "influence" or "if you do this and think this way you can have this big mansion or this fancy car".
I find the motives to be questionable. The reason to meditate is to know and accept self better…period. If you are doing it to become rich or influence people all the merit generated by the practice is wasted and nullified. It is possible for some people to become wealthy as the result of self realization, only if it is dictated by their Karma.

The goal of all meditation should be compassion and kindness to self and others, not self aggrandizement. We had a discussion of this on my new AMRadio Show, Happe Talk. I had Christine Sande on to speak about "compassion to self" rather than modern psychology's emphasis on self esteem. 
Also offensive to me is the pressure to be a "positive thinker". Positive thinking, in my opinion is just as energy draining as negative thinking. It forces us to be in a state which is neither mindful or open. It takes lots of energy and has not been found to be all that effective. I am a proponent of Possibility Thinking. Possibility thinking enables us to be open to all outcomes. The cyclic existence of the human realm is a cycle of joy and suffering. Both are valid and necessary, to be seen by the Buddhist practitioner as "one taste". Our goal in life is to transform suffering to joy through kindness, compassion, and non attachment. I have worked with many clients who attempted "Positive thinking" only to have limited success. The end result was always guilt and self loathing for their failures…which I would call a negative narcissistic state.
The goal of Buddhist practice is the ability to become neutral and unswayed by the cycles of suffering. Suffering comes and suffering goes to be replaced by joy. To quote a Buddhist saying, "Don't push the river"….until then
Be well...

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