Author Topic: Meditation withdrawal symptoms  (Read 4738 times)

Offline Wonky Badger

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Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« on: December 22, 2009, 01:38:16 am »
I remember posting about this at E-sangha, wondering if it could be possible to have withdrawal symptoms when not meditating for a while. I had noticed that I got agitated and easily annoyed if I didn't meditate for a few days. Then, most people seemed to think that I was just plain silly.

But again I have noticed this. I usually try to meditate a bit after breakfast. Lately, I've been eager to check up on what's going on at FreeSangha instead, missing out on my meditation. Again I started to become easily annoyed and stressed out. I didn't connect the dots until the day before yesterday, but then I decided that I would not compromise my morning meditation any more. Now I feel OK again! :meditating: So I'm still wondering if there is such a thing as meditation withdrawal symptom... Because I certainly don't remember being that easily irritated before I learned how to meditate.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
---
What would Buddha do?

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 08:49:04 am »
The pragmatist me says "absolutely". My partner can tell when I haven't been meditating, and will say something. He observes that I become more irritable and less patient, and I am more prone to engage in impulsive behavior, when I haven't been meditating.

The scientist me says, "sure, why not?" I've worked with clients who have shopping addictions, gambling addictions, kleptomania, etc. I imagine meditation addiction must work on similar brain pathways. I would not have admitted to meditation addiction before, but now that my practice is vipassana... I find myself sneaking into the bathroom at work to get a few extra minutes of vipassana fix. (My dirty little secret!)

The spiritual practitioner me says "maybe". Some traditions teach that once you become a stream-enterer, to back away from that practice will cause negative karma, i.e. more suffering than if you had never practiced at all.

So in all things practical, I say experiment, and decide for yourself.

m0rl0ck

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 01:07:48 pm »
I remember posting about this at E-sangha, wondering if it could be possible to have withdrawal symptoms when not meditating for a while. I had noticed that I got agitated and easily annoyed if I didn't meditate for a few days. Then, most people seemed to think that I was just plain silly.

But again I have noticed this. I usually try to meditate a bit after breakfast. Lately, I've been eager to check up on what's going on at FreeSangha instead, missing out on my meditation. Again I started to become easily annoyed and stressed out. I didn't connect the dots until the day before yesterday, but then I decided that I would not compromise my morning meditation any more. Now I feel OK again! :meditating: So I'm still wondering if there is such a thing as meditation withdrawal symptom... Because I certainly don't remember being that easily irritated before I learned how to meditate.

I notice it if i dont do it, when i do im happier and more even tempered. Recently i skipped a couple of days in a row because of work schedule changes and i was noticeably more depressive. i have a tendency towards depression anyway and my practice is the best antidote i have found for it.  i have gone for long periods over the past 15 years or so when i didnt sit and it was hell.

It just makes sense to me that one would notice the lack of it, besides all the research that indicates that meditating increases happiness and reduces stress a focused mind is necessarily calmer.

I have been thinking recently about what my practice has given me. im happier and by that i mean a more unconditional kind of happiness that doesnt depend so much on externals. Im more comfortable with myself, more patient with myself and others, people that i have despised im now at peace and even friends with. i can better understand the faults that i perceive in others may just be my prejudices coloring my view, or at worst, conditioned actions that dont express that persons true core, i can better see myself in others. im still a deluded rat :) but i dont even want to imagine what my life would be like currently without my practice, because i remember what it was like before.

i think it may be a tough road to follow for most tho, in my case anyway it took considerable desperation to muster the surrender and determination needed to have a consistent and sincere practice. i guess some come to it more easily than others.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 03:22:15 pm by idi0t »

Offline humanitas

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 06:57:55 pm »
Your brain chemistry becomes dependent on "feel good" chemicals which are released by your system when you engage your mind in activities like meditation, exercise, eating, etc.  If meditation allows you to "calm down" there is obviously something happening that when it's gone your body misses and craves... 

That's just a guess. ::))
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TMingyur

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 11:05:41 pm »
It is not that I don't know that but if meditation entails withdrawal symptoms if paused isn't this just a sign that the method as such is just another "tool" to produce good sensations? One may go running instead since this also produces good sensations and relaxation. Are we are all on our ways to be propelled into deva realm instead of being on the path towards liberation?

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Offline Wonky Badger

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 04:02:47 pm »
It is not that I don't know that but if meditation entails withdrawal symptoms if paused isn't this just a sign that the method as such is just another "tool" to produce good sensations? One may go running instead since this also produces good sensations and relaxation. Are we are all on our ways to be propelled into deva realm instead of being on the path towards liberation?

Kind regards
That is a very interesting thought. I'm thinking that maybe I'm doing it wrong? Or my ego is messing things up. Anyway, I'm expecting to have some years ahead to work it out. I'm wiser now than I was a year ago, and hopefully I'll be wiser after another year. And if not, maybe in the next life. Or a life after that. I'm not in a hurry.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
---
What would Buddha do?

overmyhead

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 08:34:21 pm »
I've wondered this as well.  It's hard to tell.  Sure, I become irritable and stressed if I don't meditate.  But maybe that's just how I am when I don't meditate.  Or maybe it takes a little bit to relearn how to deal with all the BS that comes with a messy mind.  I wouldn't really say it "feels good" so I'm a little hesitant to think there is a psychological addiction.  I'm more inclined to think that we can develop a bit of a dependency.

TMingyur

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2009, 11:35:06 pm »
Since such a kind of meditation is suffering it may be advisable to meditate on the first truth. If the first truth is not perfectly penetrated there does not arise an attitude of perfect renunciation. If there does not arise an attitude of perfect renunciation everything that is undertaken on the path may just perpetuate suffering.

Kind regards

Offline Karma Sonam

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2009, 06:34:32 am »
I stopped all practice for about 6 months.  I found that over that time EVERYTHING was getting to me, I had NO sense of humour, was touchy, stressed and even a little depressed.  That was the catalyst actually.  I woke up a few mornings feeling low, very low. No real reason except lots of little things piling up.  I even contemplated going to the doctor for counselling or happy pills.  I knew what would help and started to practice again.  I remembered to let go, not to follow thought streams, basically, I began again.  And felt A LOT better, almost immediately.  So (she said, finally getting to the point)  I don't think it is just a body chemistry thing.  I think meditation gives you the tools to deal with life and when you don't use them, you fall heavily into samsara and believe that it is someting solid and tangible.
Practice reminds me to do this  =)) when life seems a little too much. :)
Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha

Don't forget to stop and smell the daisies.

and then the monkey pushed the button

Offline humanitas

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 02:40:55 pm »
Practice reminds me to do this  :heart:  =))  :hug:  when life seems a little too  :beat:  :headwall:  :cryin:
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Offline Karma Sonam

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2009, 04:30:21 pm »
 :D
Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha

Don't forget to stop and smell the daisies.

and then the monkey pushed the button

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2009, 06:13:24 pm »
Practice reminds me to do this  :heart:  =))  :hug:  when life seems a little too  :beat:  :headwall:  :cryin:

Imagine how the Dharma might have been if Buddha had access to emoticons!

Offline humanitas

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 01:43:27 am »
Practice reminds me to do this  :heart:  =))  :hug:  when life seems a little too  :beat:  :headwall:  :cryin:

Imagine how the Dharma might have been if Buddha had access to emoticons!

Completely non-Sectarian? 
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Offline katersy

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2010, 06:56:08 am »
Practice reminds me to do this  :heart:  =))  :hug:  when life seems a little too  :beat:  :headwall:  :cryin:

Imagine how the Dharma might have been if Buddha had access to emoticons!

Completely non-Sectarian? 


I love your signature Ogyen (the Sartre part) .

The quotes in mine are also from Sartre  :wink1:
"Everything has been figured out, except how to live."

"She believed in nothing; Only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist."

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Meditation withdrawal symptoms
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2010, 07:24:26 am »
...meditation withdrawal symptom...

I'm definitely addicted to meditation. :lmfao:

Spiny

 


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