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Meditation has gone viral, says Los Angeles Times

Viral flu, Flickr, CC-2

Viral flu, Flickr, CC-2

Meditation, primarily a 2,500-year-old form called mindfulness meditation that emphasizes paying attention to the present moment, has gone viral.

Originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times

  1. of the nature of, caused by, or relating to a virus or viruses.
  2. relating to or involving an image, video, piece of information, etc., that is circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another.
    “a viral video ad”

Meditation: cure for the agitated American psyche

A sign outside Unplug calls passersby to find that peace: “Hurry up and slow down.”

Olivia Rosewood, a teacher at Unplug who said she learned to meditate from former Beatle George Harrison when they happened to meet in Fiji, pointed to other 21st century stresses.

“We’re all over-stimulated. It doesn’t matter whether you are 3 or 93. People are not going to the bathroom without their iPhones, and if they tell you they are, they’re lying,” she said.”We need a place to take a time out.”

[Meditation] has moved from its Asian, monastic roots to become a practice requiring no particular dogma on a path not necessarily toward nirvana but toward a more mindful everyday life. Some serious advocates worry it’s becoming another feel-good commodity.

Meditation is a hot commodity

Meditation is hot, feverish in the popular press. Mindfulness is spreading like a virus, says the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s mind-blowing,” said Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and one of the people who brought Buddhist meditation to the United States in the 1970s. “It fits a lot about the American spirit,” she said. “You don’t have to join anything. It’s very private. It’s a very direct answer to an awful lot of stress and confusion.”

Stripped of the monastic tradition of Asia, meditation has been packaged and distributed for the average American household. Meditation made to fit any life-style or pocketbook. A perfect product. A jack of all trades. Master of…

Jason Garner, caught the virus and turned to meditation.

A child of poverty who grew up in the Arizona desert, he rose to become CEO of global music at the concert promoter Live Nation and on Forbes list of Top 40 Earners Under 40. Through all that, he never felt “good enough.” He was unhappy, married and divorced twice, more wrapped up in quarterly results than in his true self.

Read the full article Meditation booms as people seek a way to slow down, Los Angeles Times/Health & Fitness

Question for readers outside of North America: How has meditation been treated in the popular media in your country? What does your society say about meditation?

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