merely hypnosis without suggestion.." -is what most hypno-therapists will
And whilst this in some
(very few) instances may well be true, it is unfortunate that this view is
promulgated, as this only describes a very limited aspect of meditation, and
does not consider the phenomenal number of forms of meditation that are in fact
out there. It also does not consider the true nature of most forms of
To illustrate this I
would suggest that one consider the incredible number of guided meditations
that are offered, sold, and promoted by various profit and not-for-profit
organizations. Of course to fully understand the impact of this one has to
consider the makeup of most of these guided meditations, which include a few
primary elements :
designed to create an alternate state of consciousness.
designed with a specific life / meditative objective in mind.
objectives are even sometimes pursued in some form of metaphor, visualized
- Can be
administered by oneself, or by another, or in a group context, with great
When this is reviewed, it
is clear that there is almost always an objective which is pursued in guided
meditations. One then also has to acknowledge that no objectives can be reached
without some form of suggestion to prod the practitioner in the right
direction. Of course there are various other forms of meditation in which
suggestion, in itself, plays a lesser role. It should be remembered though,
that meditation without objective is usually fairly pointless, and as such most
forms of meditation is practiced with some objective in mind. And not
surprising is also then the fairly obvious deduction that there has to be some
suggestion, even in these.
A further example of this
would be a simple application of meditation for the purpose of relaxation. (a
fairly common practice). In this instance there remains an objective.
"Relaxation". And whilst suggestion is not usually passed during the
meditation, they are usually pre meditative suggestions, which are then acted
out during the meditation, and usually with desired results.
So to reduce in
definition meditation to a pointless exercise, would be less than fair. This of
course brings to mind another point of consideration.
Is there really a
difference between hypnosis and meditation?… After all they do seem to have
similar primary properties. And if so, wherein lies the distinction, if there
is one ?…
Whilst the answers to
these questions remain somewhat more complex, it should be considered that
whilst this may not be recognized at this stage, meditation is clearly a less
formalized form of hypnosis, and in fact qualifies as hypnosis in most analogies.
Especially when the properties of an average meditation is considered.
In fact when this analogy
is considered further, it comes to mind that meditation sets out to do in
principle the same as hypnosis. It also focuses on creating mental states
within which it is possible to manipulate the mind towards achieving objectives
that have been set. One thing to remember though is that this is usually
practiced in a far less formal environment, and more so in a solo situation,
essentially resembling self hypnosis. Of course there are group environments
wherein meditation is practiced, and usually in guided form. These however
still maintain similar properties and as such can be as effective as most forms
of hypnosis practiced.
With this in mind it
would appear that there is virtually no distinction to be made in definition,
except for their uses as therapeutic tools.
- It is
possible to therapeutically utilize hypnosis to manipulate and monitor
responses from patients. This making it possible to apply direct, and instantly
adaptable mental therapy in a controlled environment. This offers
therapists an opportunity to treat more severe mental ailments for which
meditation would not be suitable. Essentially this is achieved by the
creation of externalized control through hypnosis, which is conducive to
safe mental healing, of fairly severely ill patients. This also offers a
fairly simple alternative to meditation for those who do not possess the
inner ability and strength, to self hypnotize / meditate.
meditation can also be used as a therapeutic tool, it requires more
practitioner internalized ability. Considering the nature of meditation,
and the significant similarities that exist between meditation and
hypnosis, meditation can be used as efficiently as most self hypnosis
techniques, and even some therapeutic uses like regression and other forms
of related hypnotherapies, are available to advanced meditators. It is
possible for a practitioner to achieve similar result with meditation as
with hypnotherapy, on things like say "helping you quit
smoking". However when it comes to more severe mental ailments /
conditions hypnotheraphy is without a doubt better for dealing with the
issues that may come forth, due to the externalized ability of the
therapist to monitor and improvise a session as needed.
Accepting this I would
suggest that meditators should not be afraid to explore their own minds and
abilities using meditation as a platform, and expanding it to include what
would traditionally be considered selfhypnosis techniques. Noting that if this
is done with care, one can achieve a lot more from your meditation, in a lot
less time. Especially when combining techniques from both genres when focus is
placed on inner self ability, rather than the traditional hypnosis requirement
for externalized control. Applying this, one is also offered a unique
opportunity to set your own hypnosis / meditative goals, which is not normally
possible with hypno-therapists, as they usually want to decide what is
best for you.
Of course there will
always remain room for externalized hypnosis / meditation, and if the therapist
can be trusted, this can also come with amazing benefit, and probably somewhat
quicker results, than expected from attempts to do it on your own.
Author Bio :
The author, Pieter Heydenrych is a Reiki master who maintains both sites Learn how to meditate as well as The Order of Perfect. In both instances the sites are dedicated to enlightenment and the spread of knowledge to all who wish to learn.