Dark side of meditation?

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Dark side of meditation?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:09 am

That meditation could trigger psychosis is new to me.

Did 10-day meditation retreat trigger woman's suicide?
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/06/yo ... _vogt.html

"When Megan's parents asked if she was taking her anxiety medication, the volunteers didn't know what they were talking about."

So she was having psychological trouble before she went to the retreat, and did not inform the staff that she was on medication. The staff should have made it routine to ask everyone about their health and medications before they are admitted.

"Meditation leaders say they typically have a psychologist or expert on site at retreats who can intervene quickly if a meditator shows signs of trouble.
A meditator then can be pulled from meditation to do a "grounding" activity such as walking or working in the garden. Sometimes meditators can be sent home."

Your thoughts?
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby seekinghga » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:54 am

AliceKnewIt wrote:Your thoughts?

My thought is a desire to know why such activity is equated with the term "meditation." Meditation, dhyana as the Hindus call it, is sustained, one-pointed concentration. This young woman's unfortunate episode has nothing at all to do with anything that this forum should call meditation.
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:59 pm

AliceKnewIt wrote:That meditation could trigger psychosis is new to me.

If you haven't yet, you might want to read Kundalini by Gopi Krishna. He managed to pull himself back from the ledge at the last moment, but it wasn't an easy fight. True meditation opens up natural forces that can be much stronger than expected by the meditator. Without proper training and/or self-awareness, those forces can overcome an unprepared psyche.

So she was having psychological trouble before she went to the retreat, and did not inform the staff that she was on medication. The staff should have made it routine to ask everyone about their health and medications before they are admitted.

The staff does. She chose to withhold that information. Do what thou wilt, after all.

https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/about/code wrote:People with serious mental disorders have occasionally come to Vipassana courses with the unrealistic expectation that the technique will cure or alleviate their mental problems. Unstable interpersonal relationships and a history of various treatments can be additional factors which make it difficult for such people to benefit from, or even complete, a ten-day course. Our capacity as a nonprofessional volunteer organization makes it impossible for us to properly care for people with these backgrounds. Although Vipassana meditation is beneficial for most people, it is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment and we do not recommend it for people with serious psychiatric disorders.
...
Those taking medicines or drugs on a doctor's prescription should notify the teacher.

One's psychological history and history of drug use is also an explicit question on the application.

seekinghga wrote:My thought is a desire to know why such activity is equated with the term "meditation." Meditation, dhyana as the Hindus call it, is sustained, one-pointed concentration. This young woman's unfortunate episode has nothing at all to do with anything that this forum should call meditation.

Actually, Vipassana Meditation is precisely a practice of one-pointed concentration, initially focused on the bodily processes beginning with breath.
Go in all ways contrary to the world.
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby seekinghga » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:04 pm

seekinghga wrote:My thought is a desire to know why such activity is equated with the term "meditation." Meditation, dhyana as the Hindus call it, is sustained, one-pointed concentration. This young woman's unfortunate episode has nothing at all to do with anything that this forum should call meditation.

Actually, Vipassana Meditation is precisely a practice of one-pointed concentration, initially focused on the bodily processes beginning with breath.[/quote]
Y3A:)
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:47 am

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:If you haven't yet, you might want to read Kundalini by Gopi Krishna. He managed to pull himself back from the ledge at the last moment, but it wasn't an easy fight. True meditation opens up natural forces that can be much stronger than expected by the meditator. Without proper training and/or self-awareness, those forces can overcome an unprepared psyche.


Thank you so much
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby AliceKnewIt » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:52 am

Kundalini by Gopi Krishna - Ah, he has several books out by that title! :shock:

Kundalini: Path to Higher Consciousness
Kundalini: Questions and Answers
The Awakening of Kundalini
Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man
Kundalini: The Secret of Yoga
Living with Kundalini: The Autobiography of Gopi Krishna

and more.... there is one book which is simply titled "Kundalini" - is it that one?
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby seekinghga » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:26 pm

AliceKnewIt wrote:Kundalini by Gopi Krishna - Ah, he has several books out by that title! :shock:

Kundalini: Path to Higher Consciousness
Kundalini: Questions and Answers
The Awakening of Kundalini
Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man
Kundalini: The Secret of Yoga
Living with Kundalini: The Autobiography of Gopi Krishna

and more.... there is one book which is simply titled "Kundalini" - is it that one?

Possibly the last one. I know that's the one that Jim has recommended in the past.
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:15 pm

His original book is Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man. I'm guessing the rest are later elaborations or rewrites of the same material.
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby FiatYod » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:39 am

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:The staff does. She chose to withhold that information. Do what thou wilt, after all.

Are you implying that her True Will led her to commit suicide?
I remember asking a similar question in this thread, and I was told that such a thing would not be possible.
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:37 am

She chose to withhold her psychological history and current medications, despite direct instruction that this was a dangerous idea.
She chose to put herself through a rigorous 10-day meditation retreat, despite warnings that it was not recommended for those with unresolved psychological history or who were on psychiatric medication.

These are the events that occurred.

Th OP implied that the staff was negligent ("The staff should have made it routine to ask everyone about their health and medications before they are admitted."). I was simply pointing out that this was their routine and that it was her choice to ignore their warnings. My use of "Do what thou wilt..." was to highlight the idea that, in a Thelemic worldview, it is not incumbent upon the staff to go beyond that point in order to attempt to protect an individual from their own decisions.

In the other thread, Jim shared his working definition of TW as: "The resultant of all vectors (conditions and characteristics) expressed through the focus of a specific incarnation; nearly synonymous with life-purpose or deepest impulse of self-expression." In this example, her decisions to withhold relevant information and to put herself through a contra-indicated experience are two of her vectors. If her psyche were stronger than it apparently was, the experience might have taught her some really important things about herself. Unfortunately for her, it apparently fractured under the pressure.

She chose her path; the results are her karma, playing itself out.
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby gerry456 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:31 pm

AliceKnewIt wrote:Your thoughts?
.......................................


AliceKnewIt wrote:"
she was having psychological trouble before she went to the retreat, and did not inform the staff that she was on medication.


End.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: Dark side of meditation?

Postby seekinghga » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:32 pm

gerry456 wrote:
AliceKnewIt wrote:Your thoughts?
.......................................


AliceKnewIt wrote:"
she was having psychological trouble before she went to the retreat, and did not inform the staff that she was on medication.


End.

Kudos, gerry.
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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