Osho’s sentences (the real ones) and Westerners’ Karma

According to a report commissioned by Petit BamBou, one in five Italians meditates regularly. An interesting contact between West and East has been going on for years, from Osho’s phrases – the real ones, not those of Federico Palmaroli – to the song that won the 67th Sanremo Festival: Occidentali’s Karma

At the end of 2020 a report which analyzed the link between the Italians and the meditation. The year is not accidental, marked by the quarantine and all the problems that have arisen from it. So much so that someone goes further to report mental health as sanitary emergency. In short, a difficult period for many people, especially if we add war to the pandemic (in this regard, I would like to point out an article by Fabio Mini published on Daily fact of 31 March 2022).

From Osho’s phrases to meditation

Premise: this short article does not in any way want to talk about Eastern philosophy in depth, but not even in a broad sense to tell the truth. Rather, it is a reflection in a pop key on those snapshots of the East that the West has decided to take. First of all, I was interested in the oriental vision of things, which also takes on a certain, so to speak, exotic charm. And so, starting from Osho’s phrases up to meditation, I tried to bring new thoughts to my identity.

Start meditating

As of today, there are many apps that try to teach you the practice of meditation. Not only that, many YouTube videos and Spotify podcasts also take up the same challenge. As far as I’m concerned, I approached meditation almost by accident, under the advice of a friend. Like everything, it’s not easy to concentrate at first and it’s also difficult to grasp the true meaning of what you’re doing. With a little patience, however, you can reach those moments that are also a part of ours psychology western defines of “mindfulness”. This term refers to a state of extreme self-awareness in the present moment and its origins are to be found in the Buddhist philosophy.

Western Bestsellers of Eastern Thoughts

I guess most of you are familiar with “The Secret,” that famous early 2000s documentary based on the book of the same name written by Rhonda Byrne. In that film also appears Joe Vitale, author of many bestsellers on self-help and more generally on Zen thought- one of the most famous is “Zero Limits”, a book that talks about a traditional Hawaiian forgiveness technique, the ho’oponopono. Naturally, the authors and books cited here are only a quick introduction to this recent genre of books. You will certainly have gone to the bookstore and come across this section halfway between mental well-being and oriental culture. So we are not talking about any spiritual niche but about a line of practices and thoughts that has found many adherents here in the West over the years.

I contact a psychology student and ask her a few questions about the relationship between Western psychology and the Eastern practices mentioned earlier, this is the summary of what we said.

What could be the bridges between Western psychology and meditation, as well as mindfulness?

Psychotherapy can be helped by meditation, sharing some points with it. For example, the basic concept of ho’oponopono is the child within us, a view also present in psychoanalysis: human beings must take care of themselves and of the child within them. Meditation, when done wisely, can relieve stress and anxiety in mild cases.

Doesn’t talking about self-help risk underestimating the importance of a psychotherapeutic journey?

Yes, it’s partly a risk. It is therefore necessary to distinguish people according to the seriousness of the needs that lead them to meditate. It could happen, alas, that presumed spiritual awakenings are actually signs of the onset of a psychosis. Or that thoughts of positive attraction can lead to real delusions of omnipotence. In short, we need to be careful.

Meditation is self-awareness in a world affected by an infodemic. How to teach this need to carve out a space for yourself?

Every person should learn to stay with themselves, in order not to face life as if it were an uncontrollable flow. Unfortunately, this enormous flow of information in which we are immersed only generates more anxiety for the future, as well as partially distorting our perception of reality. Psychoanalysis provides tools for getting to know each other, but on a daily level it is very difficult to transmit such habits. It is more probable that this occurs following a rupture of the person in a given moment of her life, and it is there that a psychoanalytic journey could begin.

Summing up, we can conclude by saying that meditation is certainly a positive practice, but certainly not a substitute for psychotherapy, which remains the most credible choice for serious mental health problems. Meditation also helps to carve out that space for ourselves that we need, especially in such a noisy world.

Matthew Petrillo

Print this article

Osho’s sentences (the real ones) and Westerners’ Karma- with an interview with a psychology student