Prerequisites to a Meditation Practice

In Christian monasticism, a period of years of rigorous study of Sacred Texts and spiritual practice were regarded as prerequisites for meditative practice and expression of the Teachings in daily life. Many other religious traditions have the same view.

This suggests that the modern Western search for spiritual experiences, frequently divorced from serious religious study and practice, may be problematic. Because, once inner spiritual experiences are separated from ethical and/or traditional contexts, they can lose their sacred and transformative quality and become merely peak-experiences — temporary gratifications for an ego hungry for subjective spiritual heights, but often leading to further self-absorption and narcissism — the exact opposite of what the Spiritual Path is about.