Author Topic: Meditation could cause mental crisis?  (Read 1339 times)

Offline Richard1980

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Meditation could cause mental crisis?
« on: March 30, 2016, 05:55:04 pm »
Dear colleagues,

My name is Richard and I am a newcomer in this forum. Another day, I was reading in the BBC Brazil webpage (I am Brazilian) a text in which the author stated that meditation, instead of relaxion, could cause some mental crisis as panic attacks, based on a research produced by a British psicologist called Tim Lomas. I have practiced meditation and it always have incredible and real benefits, as calm me down when I am anxious and, for this, these kind of statements were really strange for me. Considering it's the first time I've heard critics about meditation and I don't know whether it's accurate or not, I would like to know what do you think about it.

Thank you for the attention!

Offline Richard1980

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Re: Meditation could cause mental crisis?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 04:13:39 pm »
Although I haven't read the paper informing the results of the research (just the article of BBC's website), the correlation between meditation and mental crises seems fragile to me. We don't know, for example, if the sample of people analyzed already had a board of mental disorders. In this sense, it's pretty questionable to say whether mental crises are really caused by meditation or by previous problems related to particular individuals.

Anyway... sometimes I think that we, Western, practice meditation seeking therapeutic results, such as decrease anxiety, stress and even depression, what is absolutely ok (that is definitely my case). But the ancient monks, in their everyday practice, "sought" someting maybe different, as the expericence of enlightment, albeit in some schools, as Soto Zen, there is a conception that every person is alreary enlightened (hongaku). 

Offline H1ghwayman

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Re: Meditation could cause mental crisis?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 12:06:54 am »
Yes it can and here's why.
When you start to get in touch with aspects of yourself that you've pushed aside it can be painful especially if you're mind has compartmentalized it's self to keep you from killing yourself. As mine has.  It's called disassociative disorder.  People literally don't know they're feeling something because their mind keeps it away from their consciousness. So instead it's like this hollowed out part just fills up until the person has breakdowns and panic attacks and literally doesn't know why.  As I did.
I'm engaged in this practice so that I can reintigrate these parts that were isolated so that I could survive.  I want to be whole again but it's very painful and the hardest part is that so many meditation teachers want to focus on making people feel safe.  Mentioning the word safety or trying to make me feel safe is something that immediately reminds me that I've never been and it shuts down the whole process... I don't know what to do with this.  Buddhism is the only thing that feels right on a philosophical level I just wish people would stop teaching like such pussies.  I know it's the touchen up mentality that was forced on me as a child and I wish that had never happened but it did.  I can't engage in a group practice because I can't get a teacher to stop trying to 'make me feel safe and loved'.  It's the hardest part and people telling me I have to work through it isn't helpful.  You don't make someone do the hardest thing first unless you're trying to make them quit.  I need a teacher that will just let me come back to that part on my own and move on to the rest. I've heard that's not "The way to do it". But they're wrong. It's just not the way they want to do it.

Offline Richard1980

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Re: Meditation could cause mental crisis?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 04:28:54 pm »
I still don't think the correlation between meditation and metal crises is conclusive. However, I understand your point and suggest you the reading of a preface written by Carl Gustav Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, published in the Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki's book, "Introduction to Zen Buddhism (I think Jung's text is also published in the book "Eastern religions", part of complet works of Jung). In this material, Jung makes a psychoanalitic interpretation of enlightment experience generated mainly by meditation. He argues that meditation allow you to meet yourself, in that it's a introspective experience so unnusual in West. In this sense, enlithment is the major encounter with yourself. It's not coincidence, thus, that Psicology is so closer of Buddhism.

Anyway, a person that begin to meditate must be aware that its practice is a door (or maybe a window) that allow you to meet his unconscious dimension. According to Jung, our existence is not just made of light of reason, but also of shadow of being.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 04:42:21 pm by Richard1980 »

Offline GoWithTheFlow

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Re: Meditation could cause mental crisis?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 10:02:00 pm »
The BBC is well known for attempting to show it provides balanced coverage by digging deep for opposing views to the norm (the norm being that meditation provides benefits and assists calmness). They are simply attempting to provide both sides of the argument but unfortunately this can give rather more weight than is due to a particular side.

Adam

 


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