When one embarks into meditation for whatever reasons or purpose one has in mind, one is unknowingly putting herself into a new mental concept that will bring about a field of unchartered experiences. Just as medication can brings about different results to the body, various kinds of meditation techniques too can and will draw in different mental results to the meditator. One has to bear in mind that since meditation involves transforming the consciousness, one has to be brought into awareness of the long term effect and implication on the mind.
The mind is intangible and non-form and occupies the entire moment to moment experiences of our lives, hence anything that is introduced to it will have a direct implication to the way one looks at life. It changes the perception of life, sometimes entirely. Thus what one receives from a guru, a guide or a teacher would be the yardstick of ascertaining the direction of the consciousness takes. If one does not have the discerning power of questioning or ascertaining what is appropriate to his or her mind, one is embarking into an unknown territory of what may come up from the practice. It may seems like scary information to many, but the fact is that if meditation is for mental training and nothing more than that, our characters and identities would be deeply influence by the training, depending on how much effort is being put to it. It may either magnify or transcend what is already in the mind in terms of perception, feelings and consciousness. Besides, since there is a deep connection of the mind with the body, whatever effect the mind takes will also involve the body makeup to a great extent.
Coming into meditation is like purchasing a house for long term stay. Since house is where one constantly stays in, the nature of the house would have a direct influence on the owner. It was said that an easy way to gauge a person’s character is to look at the house setup in terms of shape and cleaniness of it. It tells much about who or what the person is. The nature of the mind is what tells us about the person. When we explore the character traits of another, we are, to a certain extend, knowing the mind of the person. How we view them also tells much about our mind. Hence, the meditation effect done to our mind, will either bring about ignorance or wisdom to our lives. It will be difficult to gauge that but one thing can be sure – if the practice brings about more self righteousness, more grasping and stresses, one has to review whether the technique is being misunderstood or the training itself is not appropriate to the specific mind, at least for the moment.
Thus it is a valid good practice to first checkout and review the type of meditation training one is interested and its effect it takes by enquiring and reviewing with long term practitioners of that particular training. Again bear in mind it can be a subjective evaluation since each of us have different minds and inclinations, the result of the practice too will vary from one individual to another. There are many types of meditation practises in the “market” and one just needs all the guidances and blessings and good judgments to take on the training, which hopefully, will fulfill the dire need of one’s needs and also improves the quality of living, of relationship with the world and beyond, and of perception.
One last note to bring to mind is the path the consciousness takes. Whatever direction it matures into, cannot just be undone overnight. Of course if the practice yields good result there is nothing to be undone except to bring the practice into full gear. The investment of the practice is not without risk taking, more so when one takes it on without proper guidance and observation of a skilled guide or teacher. Thus it is either wisdom that will carry you safely further or ignorance creating havoc in the process. All best regards!