Something like this is only then possible. If I were to say that I offer a relaxation technique, it would be tolerated. Medicine and psychotherapy are unfortunately still very much controlled by ideologies. D. W. : How do you see the tendency? How long will it be before meditation is generally accepted? Prof. Engel : This will take a few more years. The way dream interpretation was the royal path in this century, meditation will be the royal path in the next century. It will prevail everywhere, even in the empirical sphere. We already have a whole series of empirical investigations. It will take a little longer in the clinic. But it will become the central approach. I am fully convinced about it. And in order to push this through, we require empirical work to be done. Any analysis in the past asserted itself in a very simple way. We verified for instance that the days off work and the days in hospital were more numerous before treatments than after. This means that the state and the health insurance companies save money. This analysis was therefore established as a recognised treatment method. A number of concepts of the TM point in that direction. If we were able to verify its effectiveness - the health insurance companies are a priory interested in money - meditation would come to the fore everywhere. If we can prove that it helps, that it's effective and that it saves money - its acceptance rate would rise. D. W. : What form of meditation do you practise? Prof. Engel : I did TM for a long time. But I have to say that Zen is the focus now. I do this on a regular basis every day. D. W. : Why is it that a lot of people that have practised meditation and experienced very intensive and beautiful things whilst doing so, give it up? Prof. Engel : I differentiate here between assumptions and empirical investigations. Up to now, we only have empirical investigations about how many give it up. I personally think that there are two factors responsible for termination: One the one side fear and on the other side annoyance. On the one side a passive form of opposition to resistance and on the other side an active form. These are usually the things that get in the way so that one feels that one can only react with termination. Teachers are very important with such things, because they can show you certain ways and also give you instructions. I always like to tell the following story: Buddha was a loner and his favourite disciple Arnando asked him somewhere along the line: Is it true that to have good friends means being halfway along the meditative path? Buddha then said: Don’t say this Arnando, don’t say this - it is the whole path. Someone who promoted the singular path like Buddha, recognised how important friends are. Everyone must naturally do their own work, but things are not all that different with meditation mentoring from life in general. Basically, loners encounter difficulties with meditation. This might be a little exaggerated. But one should always turn to an experienced teacher, one that one can trust when encountering difficulties.