As an atheist and skeptic, I enjoy thinking, reflecting, pondering.   The idea to deliberately stop thinking appears ludicrous to me.   

Over the years, I have read many definitions of what meditation is supposed to be, but behind many big words it seem essentially to be just an attempt to stop thinking.  Personally I am puzzled, how not thinking can attract anybody.  

Yet so many people claim, that meditation is beneficial for them.   They obviously feel something they call spirituality and it seems that by meditation they can enhance it.  It is elusive to me, just as the idea of somebody claiming to be spiritual but not religious is beyond my comprehension. Feeling interconnected with some cosmical power is as alien to me as is the belief in a deity.   
Sometimes I am wondering, if some spirituality module is lacking in my brain.   Or rather, that I am free of it.   I do not miss spirituality, whatever it may be, but I am puzzled, why it is of so much importance to so many people.   The belief in a deity and in the power of rituals like praying can be explained by extrinsic influences.   But this elusive spirituality seems to be intrinsic.  

Do other atheists experience something like spirituality?   Are there others, who are as void of it as I am?  

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Philosophically, I don't believe the fundamental wiring of a brain can be that much different, so I guess I'd have to agree with your second possibility. I've seen no recognition of any comparable perceptions in his replies, even on the most simple mental experiences, so they're probably falsified responses.

Focusing my attention on my breath is NOT self-reflection!!!!   

I can either focus on my breath or on self-reflection, but not on both at the same time.   Self-reflection is much more interesting than my breath and I am doing a lot of it.

I am NOT ADD, and I am not under any medication.  

I am defining my understanding of words to avoid misunderstandings, because English is not my native language.   For example the Enlish word thinking may not mean exactly the same as the German word 'denken'.   

And I am female, but that is not important.  

People are different, and my brain is not wired to belief in a god and not wired to focus on my breath without feeling bored.   I did not join AN to be called a troll.

to abandon your attempts in 10 breaths is very, very shallow.

It is not shallow, only realistic.   A very unpleasant feeling like boredom is counterproductive to any positive effects.   When I feel relaxed, start to focus on my breath, get bored, get tense as a consequence of the unpleasant boredome, focus longer on my breath and get more bored and more tense, then it has a very paradoxical effect.  

For example, Jacobson's progressive muscle relaxation to me is a very comprehensible and rational technique.   But I need to be tense to feel a need to do it.   When I am fully relaxed, starting to do it would make me feel bored in no time and make me tense.   


I have taken in the information, that focusing on their breath can be beneficial for some people and I have not doubted this.  But it is obviously not the case for all people.  I doubt that meditation is suitable for any person, who gets easily bored with any routine chores of any kind.  

There are many other ways to self-reflection, self-awareness and self-monitoring, that are as successful as meditation for people, who have a different personality and a differently wired brain.  

Whoever claims as a consequence of having personally benefitted, that meditation were good for everybody, projects. 

Focusing your attention on your breath is not meditation. It's been explained every which way but you refuse to budge from your Straw Man, so it's hard to believe this is actually dialogue.

There is no dialogue.   Because my own statement, that there are many ways to gain self-awareness, self-reflection, self-monitoring, that are probably as successful as is meditation to some people, is also ignored.  

Introspection does not require to get bored by focusing on one's breath.  

Hi - I haven't kept up with all the conversation - but meditation can be done by focusing on the breath - that is one of the meditation techniques that is taught and practised.  How come you don't accept that?

but meditation can be done by focusing on the breath - that is one of the meditation techniques that is taught and practised.  How come you don't accept that?


I accept every statement of those, who relate their own experience of meditation as beneficial for them.   I have never doubted this. 

But it cannot work for people like me, who get bored by such exercises. 


yes, well I have been bored with such exercises in the past also... but more recently I have needed something to help me sleep and I found that this technique was most helpful, as it not only got me to sleep, but calmed and caused me to feel greater well being.  I suppose you need to have a positive attitude towards the technique, and some sort of idea that it's going to be successful also - otherwise it's going to be a negative tiresome experience.  After all, meditation is about your state of mind.  Meaning that it's about focusing the mind in a calming manner - I suppose it doesn't matter much what you are focusing on - others do it via fishing, swimming, jogging etc....  not conducive to going to sleep... :)

Thanks for your clear-minded, wonderful post. Don't think I've ever concurred with a post on this blog more and feel exactly the same way, having also, like you, never experienced that feeling of cosmic connectedness, gotten "all-tingly"  - or whatever. Nor do I have any desire to do so. Nor do I feel remiss for not having done so. Frankly, I cannot understand why so many insist that there is an assumed overwhelming desire in humans to do so.


I read, somewhere, that spiritualism is a parasite that weakens our intellectual immune system and am continually gobsmacked by fact that seemingly intelligent persons equate a beautiful, momentary rush of happiness with woo-woo nonsense. You're happy. Good. Enjoy it - and move on.

I appreciate to be in I such good company of learned people like Dr. Meandon and Stephen McMahon in my lack of being attracted to meditation.

That's the problem with the word "spiritual". It's a label for things--like feeling interconnected or awesome--that don't have to be religious or woo. People can have feelings like the ones you described without thinking them supernatural or religious experiences.

This problem was my own trigger to start another thread (Is There Non-Woo-Woo Transliminality) which did not lead to many answers.




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