I remember when an article came out saying that eating too much spinach had negative health effects, or at least the possibility there of. So when I came across the following ARTICLE on the ill effects of meditation, my little brain jumped up and down again. Oh goody, more bullshit!
Read it if you get a chance. The basic gist (IMO), is that there is a possibility for psychiatric distress, and/or high levels of anxiety from meditation. Much of this is because us Westerners are approaching meditation without the spiritual guidance of old.
I honestly thought this was an Onion article when I first found it. Here’s a snippet:
“Although sitting and thinking may seem like an innocuous process, the fact remains that meditation is an altered state that we use as a tool to transform our bodies and minds. And like any tool, although intended for good things—like introspectively confronting our thoughts and feelings and coming to terms with troubling realities—it can wind up causing harm when set towards tasks that it just isn’t meant for (like acting as a quick-fix concentration booster or anesthesia for emotional strife). In the case of meditation, as the practice proliferates in the West, we’ve become increasingly aware that for some people, especially those with mental or personality conditions, mindfulness can trigger anxiety, depressive episodes, or flashbacks to past traumas.”
Yes, this passage does say “especially those with mental or personality conditions” but the rest of the article goes on to warn us non condition having folk that we too are entering a dark land. It’s true though we do enter “an altered state” in meditation…one where we are not distracted by cell phones, the inter web, Facebook, and the litany of other noises and flashy things vying for our attention every second of the day – and are just breathing quietly. If sitting down quietly and breathing i.e. “an intense and complex practice” makes you go a little apeshit, there’s probably more to the story.
That being said, now we’ve all been warned. Those of you (hopefully all), who engaged in meditative practices during the EC and are still continuing, please let me (actually talk to Baker, he’s our GM) know if you’re having issues after meditating.
If you get a chance, also check out the Netflix documentary Dhamma Brothers. It’s about a group of prisoners in the South who underwent a 10 day intensive meditation course and the positive effects it had on their outlooks and behaviors…until the program was shut down by conservative Christians who were worried that meditating was turning the prisoners from violent, explosive followers of JC, into peaceful Buddhists. The horror.