This is just a quick note to alert you to a very thought provoking post.

Meditation is usually taken to be at worst harmless and usually very beneficial. In my experience meditation has been beneficial.

This post is about the experience of a zen practitioner who found that meditation was (at least) not enough. His practice fitted his childhood learning of dissociation. During psychotherapy he learned that he wanted a witness to his trauma and an authentic relationship.

I guess advocates of meditation might argue that this was a misuse of meditation.

It is however a very stimulating post. For me it goes right to the heart of what psychotherapy (and meditation) are about. It is called What Everybody Should Know About the Dangers of Meditation. Highly recommended.

If you liked this post you might also like:
Meditation for relaxation
Breathing #1
Breathing #2


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Could you do with more joy in your life?

The answer is living authentically. Buy the book or sign up for the course now from my Living Authentically website.

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7 Comments to “The Dangers of Meditation”

  1. Jim Edmonds says:

    Overdoing meditation is actually not a good thing unless you are in a retreat where a spiritual adviser is present.

  2. Evan says:

    Thanks Jim, I agree.

  3. Barbara says:

    Hi Evan,

    I read this recommened article this morning. It put words to an experience I had a few weeks ago. And many years prior.

    Since 1967 I had wanted to learn to meditate, I was only 13 or 14 then. It took me until 1983 to finally go for formal instruction. Since that time, I have been to many different types of meditation courses, all of which I fell into ‘naturally’, except mindfulness meditation.

    A few weeks ago I had been experiencing some rather extreme distress. I reported the events to my therapist. She asked if I knew what to do to relieve some of the tension. I said, sure, I could meditate and be off in never neverland in no time. But I knew that’s not what I wanted, not what would actually begin to solve the problem, instead just put it on hold until I ‘got back’.

    I, too, have found that dissociation is my natural fall back position, so staying present, as in mindfulness practice, to observe what’s going on is so much effort for me, it can exacerbate pain or tension, not relieve it. I’m better at being in a more conscious state, rather than invoking an altered one, to observe what is happening.

    In other words, meditation for me is an avoidance rather than an observation state. Although it can and does relax me, it has also more often deterrred healing of things I want healed. Things I thought the meditation could assist with, but didn’t.

  4. Evan says:

    Hi Barbara, thanks for your personal and insightful comment.

  5. josey says:

    http://downthecrookedpath-meditation.blogspot.com/

    I spent a good many years meditating until I learned of the dangers. some studies say over 60% of those that meditate have problems, others say 10 to 20%. i think it is a topic that should be made known to others because all i ever heard about were the pluses.

  6. Evan says:

    Hi Josey, I too think we need to look at downsides as well as upsides. Thanks for your comment and telling me about your experience.

  7. Buddha says:

    For someone 10 min is overdoing for someone Else 10 hours is not overdoing
    You need to find your rythem.

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