Why Do People Think Those Who Meditate Are Saints?


I meditate on a regular basis. I find that I am the most calm and centered when I meditate first thing in the morning after I wake up and right before I go to bed. The morning meditation gets my mind right for the day and the evening meditation allows me to release any issues or tensions I may have surrounding how my day went. I am fortunate to never have had a problem with sleeping. But now I go to bed relaxed and content instead of just tired!

I have a friend who meditates on a more regular basis than I do. Whereas I may meditate 30 minutes a day, she typically meditates one hour in the morning and another 20-30 minutes at night. (She gets up an hour early to do this.) Just as for me, meditation has helped her move from a Type A personality. However, unlike me (I’m a reformed Type A, not fully laid back yet!), she exudes calm and coolness, even beyond that of a laid back personality. Because of this, people attribute all of her calm and coolness to the fact that she does yoga and meditates. She occasionally complains that people think those that meditate are saints.

Meditators are not saints

My Dad saw this quote on the Dark Goddess’ Facebook page and thought it sounded like me!

My friend, K. (name abbreviated to protect the innocent!), says people refer to her as a “meditating yogi.” I had a good laugh at that one. K. does not teach classes nor does she have a following but that’s what some people call her. When she shows the slightest bit of anger, people look surprised. She’s not a Buddhist monk! She doesn’t pretend to be, but apparently some think she is.

I must not yet exude the same level of calm because people don’t have the same expectation from me! I radiate confidence but sometimes I think my calm comes across as the calm before the storm. People don’t run from me but they never expect me to be a saint. So I shall count my blessings. People who know me appreciate that I am calmer as a result of meditation but understand that I am a work in progress. And they’re happy for the progress instead of wondering why I’m not a saint!

Back to K. The purpose of meditation is to calm and center you, relax your mind, drastically reduce and eventually eliminate, with practice, the continual stream of thoughts that stress you. By emptying your mind or focusing on one or a few positive thoughts you de-stress and detoxify your mind, which helps your mental health and your physical health. Meditation is a spiritual practice, working above the level of pure thought. So I can see where people get visions of saintlihood for those who are avid practicioners.

But note, a morning meditation or evening meditation practice is there to make you a better you. NOT a saint. You and K. are still human. You become less reactive, typically significantly less reactive over time, but you still react on occasion. So, if you know someone who meditates and you treat her like she should be a saint, relax your judgment. Just let that person be and be happy that she is typically calmer than most around you! If this is you, relax! Who cares what others think? Appreciate how you are compared to how you were and commend yourself on your continued growth.

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