Recently my anxious mind has been taking its toll on me. I’ve not been quite the version of myself that I wish to be so I thought to myself that I was going to try meditation classes for beginners and my second session in, I accidentally joined a cult.
A few blog posts previous I mentioned how my friends and I went to a meditation class in Sheffield and although it wasn’t what we expected I had a decent experience in achieving some present-day awareness; that said, I didn’t really get a ‘cult vibe’
However yesterday, in Manchester, I went to the same meditation class run by the same group. I walked in and something felt a little off. The room wasn’t exactly setup with a meditative vibe; big florescent lights on, no atmospheric music or anything that made the room relaxing and inviting, and a big photo of Shri Mataji displayed through a projector. I thought to myself ‘well this is a bit lazy and worshippy’ if there is such a word.
Upon ‘meditating’, when the person guiding the meditation wouldn’t stop talking through it which defeats the purpose of silence in meditation, we were told that ‘if we have any thoughts to tell them to shut up’… Nice one.
Then the person guiding this thing (because that is all I can call it) put on a video of Shri who, for what I could understand as the quality of the video was so poor, said that ‘all English people are filth because all we care about and all we talk about is sex, sex, sex’ and we have no control of our desire.
I definitely lost any relaxation then, not that I even relaxed for one second. I thought ‘firstly, what the hell am I watching? Secondly, what an earth has this got to do with meditation and present-day awareness and finally how rude can you be? Playing this video to a bunch of English mancunians?’
I looked around and saw a lot of other young people who must have made the same mistake as me. Their body language definitely changed and they were definitely thinking the same as myself. As my shoes were being put back on, I looked at my friend and said ‘I’m offended, I want to leave.’
Upon leaving and a Google later, we found out this was in fact a cult.
As someone who is trying to practice mindfulness and meditation this was not a great start for a beginner at all. This is hardly a true representation of meditation at all. But it is not fair to advertise it as ‘free meditation’ when you’re going to watch some preachy video insulting English people and their enjoyment of sex.
You can’t be a very ‘zen’ or ‘present-day aware’ individual if you concern yourself with how other people live their lives. Each to their own but if you are interested in going to a free Sahaja Yoga Meditation class – be warned.
I think from now on I will have to start going to paid meditation classes to avoid joining a cult.
So yeah, fantastic experience with meditation so far.