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Meditation risks, safety, goals, methods (thread on Twitter)


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  • 3 weeks later...

Maybe I'm too simplistic with my mediation practice or how I view it, but I do not relate to this thread. How can just focusing on the breath and how your body feels lead to psychosis? I have a hard time grasping how just training your mind to be satisfied with the present can lead to psychiatric hospitalization? I'm being a little critical because I'm so skeptical of what this is saying. Are there other forms of mediation that can lead to this issue? To me a person must have some other underlying issue to have a psychiatric illness develop like this. 

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5 hours ago, IanSDW said:

I'm being a little critical because I'm so skeptical of what this is saying.

It's a complex issue, but difficulties in meditation are not uncommon. Of course, this is a spectrum, and how we perceive and respond to difficulties might be the only difference in whether something is considered psychosis or not.

If you're interested in exploring this further, Cheetah House is a great place to start. They have some relevant videos available on their website.

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I have been a meditator for 30+ years, and have run a large number of retreats as well. I have never seen meditation lead to psychosis and have never heard of it, directly, either. Of course if someone with a pre-existing condition does meditate seriously, there is always the chance that the condition can worsen or manifest in a more extreme way. Of course, if you have a condition like schizophrenia, you are at risk anyway. @IanSDW: If you personally do not have any condition, I would not worry about it.

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I guess if someone is suppressing the memory of a traumatic event, in meditation the suppression may be lifted, and the memory of the event can come to the fore. However, in that case, the suppressed event definitely needs to be dealt with separately, as it is clearly a major issue for the person (the "pre-existing condition" referred to earlier).

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