Unhappiness is the easiest thing to get in comparison to happiness. This is the reason most of the people are unhappy and sad. They choose the easiest way, the way of sadness. And truth is also that all of us want to be happy as well. There is the contradiction here, they wish for happiness and walks towards the sadness. There is no matching between their words and the body language. There mind wants something else and their body does something else. The harmony is absent between the needs and the work.
However, there is a small group who really works for happiness, joy, and freedom. There are only two paths in this journey – drug or meditation. The thought between these two people is not different but they have the same intention. The same ambition leads them to take a drug or to practice a meditation. Each of them is doing different act for the same purpose. They both aim for freedom; freedom from society, family, friends, enemy, business, freedom from stress, sadness, boredom, anxiety, poverty, and so on. They want mental freedom. Mediation and drug might give different result but at the end intention is the same, they both want peace.
Now let us compare these two paths. First, come through the drug. What drugs do inside our body?
Really, the recreational drug brings about lot of positive changes in our body and mood. For instance the drug named amphetamines gives us more energy, cannabis makes us feel happy and relaxed, cocaine makes us feel super-confident, and alert, heroin makes us feel happy, calm and relaxed. And so, this is one of the most important reasons, why people prefer drugs. Now, is this only the changes that the drugs do inside our body and mind? No. It also brings lot and lot of negative changes in our body rather than the positive changes. Again let’s take the same example of the above drugs and let us look at its negative side too. Amphetamines can make us anxious and may leads to the mental problem, psychosis (lose contact with reality, hear and see the thing which really does not exist). There is lot of chance to have mental illness like schizophrenia, and paranoid personality disorder (long-standing suspicious and generalized mistrust of others) by the use of cannabis. It also helps to lose the concentration power. Use of cocaine can leads to depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Heroin is very addictive; the overdose may leads to unconsciousness and even to the death. So, despite the fact that drug may provide pleasure and improve life in some way, they can also leads to addiction, physical and mental problem, social problem and crime. It not only hurt the person who uses it, but also to the person around them, including their families, kids and also to the babies who are not yet born. There is more negative than the positive effect by using drugs. For the short period of time, it may show some positive sign, but after it there are numbers of, long term, negative effect, physical as well as mental, and sometimes it may even kill us.
And yes, meditation alone can give all the positive things that we can gain from the use of drug. It makes us feel happy, calm, relax, self-confident, alert and energetic. If so, why the meditation differs from the drug? It is because there is only and only positive sides in meditation. Is there no side effect in meditation? Yes, there are many side effects in meditation; it removes fear, anxiety, sadness, boredom, stress, tension, gives you a sound sleep, improve social relationship, make it easier to share love and compassion, and so on
Meditation and drug affect the same part of the brain in different way. They help in activating the part of brain, which as a result helps in releasing the hormones making us feel something new. So from this we can generalize that the chemical which make us feel pleasure is inside our body. It is not because of the drugs that we feel great but it is because of the positive hormones that releases inside our body. It can also be said that the drug is not making us addict, but the pleasure which we get after using the drug is making us addict. Actually people are not running after the drug, but after the pleasure. Drug is only the means. People are not dying for the drug, but for the pleasure. If one day they realize this, they will search for the safest way to enter into this pleasure. Meditation is the safest way, it is the safest path. Meditation is not the means but ends. Because it is not the gateway to enter into the kingdom of happiness, joy, freedom; meditation is itself a freedom, it is itself a happiness and a joy. The path of meditation is full of pleasure. Drugs give the hallucination of freedom, but meditation gives the real freedom. Drug is to run from oneself, to the unconsciousness. Meditation is to know oneself; the whole confusion get dissolve with it, and the new dimension of awareness take place into our mind. Like drug, meditation also kills, it kills our jealousy, confusion, fear, desire, anger but unlike drug, it gives us the new life with full of clarity in the mind. Drug is a way to slavery; it makes us the slave of your own mind, of our own thought and desire. But meditation is the way to mastery; we can become the master of our own, through meditation.
Furthermore, meditation is free of cost, available any time at any place. It is our birthright. Meditation is not necessary to search anywhere but in fact the journey of searching gets stop here. Meditation is to do nothing, nothing with your mind. The body may run in hurry but the mind is in still. The body may do its duty but the mind is dancing; dancing with the pleasure, with freedom. There is a Zen saying “sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself”. Yes after the meditation, the grass of pleasure, happiness, joy start to grow by itself. It is not necessary to do anything; it is not compulsion to run after the drugs, to run after the alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. The flower which we are searching is inside you, it is in the form of seed; give it the water and fertilizer of meditation and it is sure you will get the flower one day; with the pleasant smell and beauty.
(The writer is Psychology graduate and also very interested in Meditation and Spirituality)