Question the Zen: Embracing Skepticism, Cultivating Curiosity and Avoiding this One ThingJul 07, 2023
My many years of medical training and practicing medicine taught me to be skeptical of almost everything, especially something like meditation.
When I first started my meditation practice, I approached it with a hefty dose with curiosity and skepticism. But the skepticism was an open-minded type. Meditation, mindfulness and Ayurvedic practices were so profoundly life altering for me that I became a certified teacher many years ago.
I’ve taught mindfulness and meditation classes for quite some time, and one thing I welcome in every class is skepticism. Open-minded skepticism.
If you consider yourself to be a skeptical person, great!
You see, I believe skepticism can be incredibly valuable in our journey of self-discovery and exploring mindfulness. It helps us question and examine teachings, techniques, including published studies about meditation and beyond.
When we pair skepticism with curiosity, there are huge benefits. And, we can of course cultivate curiosity in all areas of our lives.
With curiosity, we’re approaching something new or even old with a truly open mind. This creates space for learning and exploration. Then, we become true seekers, willing to challenge preconceived notions and discover what truly resonates with us.
I also believe that when we combine skepticism and curiosity, we avoid blindly accepting every claim about meditation, Ayurveda or anything else without true examination.
In my groups, I ask each of my students to become discerning practitioners who question, experiment, and verify the benefits for themselves. This empowers us to find what truly resonates with our unique aspirations.
Personally, I’ve found the harmonious dance between skepticism and curiosity has allowed me to approach all aspects of life with an open heart and an open mind. This practice enriches my daily life and I enjoy knowing that my growth never needs to stop.
There is one thing to avoid when considering a practice like meditation.
While skepticism and curiosity help us grow, cynicism, on the other hand, can keep us feeling stuck and pessimistic. Cynicism might even lead us to outright reject a practice like meditation without exploring or understanding much about it.
I think it is so essential to be aware of this distinction – between skepticism and cynicism.
If we find ourselves becoming cynical, it may be a sign to cultivate curiosity and move into skepticism instead.
If you’re feeling skeptical and curious about meditation, mindset, breathwork or Ayurveda, please join me in my group program, where we only open doors four times a year.
You’ll find a beautiful community of like-minded skeptical, curious seekers inside.
Let's stay connected!