You might have heard that there are people who did retreat but came back rather insane than sane? Then there are people for whom meditation works very well, they become more grounded. Why is this? And if you do meditation or intensive retreat isn’t there a chance to also get deeply confused and disturbed? Yes, there is. In the following video Leigh Brasington – who studied under Ayya Khema specializing in concentration practices and Jhanas, and who led more than 91 residential Jhana retreats – speaks about the dangers of meditation and gives advice how to deal with upcoming problems. (IMO, there is no danger with meditation, the danger is rather the ignorance that doesn’t know that you might face problems which you are not prepared for or that you cannot resolve on your own.) Leigh Brasington says in the following interview that it is not uncommon that unresolved psychological issues (like trauma or bad parenting) will probably show up if you are getting more tranquil because they don’t come to the surface due to the daily distractions and because the energy was used so far to keep them down. Though for Asians, because they have another way to raise up their children, meditation might sort out also their psychological issues, for Westerners highly likely meditation cannot resolve all the psychological stuff and there is the risk of spiritual bypassing and other problems you can face. http://vimeo.com/61893225
Leigh Brasington – What are Jhanas?
David Treleaven – Meditation and Trauma
Dr. Willoughby Britton – Progress or Pathology
- The Refugees of Mindfulness: Rethinking Psychology’s Experiment with Meditation
- The Varieties of Contemplative Experience Study
- Various Resources and Online Support
- NEW: What If Meditation Isn’t Good for You?
Thank you Carol, for pointing out this material!
Too much wind energy (lung problems)
- »Balanced Mind Balanced Body«
- http://www.meditatorswindimbalance.org (Be aware that the Facebook page of this site is close to Kelsang Gyatso and Shugden. If you follow them you might really get lung and a lot of other problems.)
- A Meditator’s Handbook: Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator’s Handbook by Ajahn Brahm
- Practicing the Jhanas: Traditional Concentration Meditation as Presented by the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw by Stephen Snyder & Tina Rasmussen
Update May 2015
- Be mindful of mindfulness: drug-free doesn’t mean side-effect free – The Guardian
- The Dark Knight of the Soul – The Atlantic
- Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you? – The Guardian
- Mindfulness isn’t going to cure our mental health crisis, and we need to stop pretending like it could – The Guardian
Last edited by tenpel on May 22, 2015