Problems that can arise in meditation practice

I’m posting a video interview with Leigh Brasington about the dark stuff that can come up when we meditate. This can be quite common among those who’ve been labeled with psychiatric diagnosis so it’s well worth being aware of this when pursuing a meditation practice.

The reason people who’ve had psych diagnosis are at risk is simply because people with trauma histories are more at risk. Most people who acquire psychiatric diagnosis have unrecognized histories of trauma. Psychiatry does nothing to help heal such histories. Meditation and a combination of other healing arts can be a very important part of healing from trauma. This post is not meant to dissuade anyone from practicing meditation. It is instead simply a heads up. Being aware of these sorts of possibilities means one can make better choices and be prepared should anything difficult arise.

Meditation has been a vital part of my healing from the drug withdrawal and iatrogenesis. In addition to meditation, I’ve needed a lot of body oriented work. Yoga has been what has worked mostly for me. There are many other modalities as well. I’ve also been blessed with mentors and teachers as needed.

Below the videotaped interview I’ve cut and pasted another post with commentary as well where I’ve compiled a collection of posts on this issue.

hat tip Aloha Dharma

Meditation: not all bliss and roses

A very common misunderstanding about meditation that can lead to discouragement is that it’s supposed to be all bliss and roses. That is simply not the case on the ground, so to speak. Sometimes meditation is about being with the dark and ugly and anxious parts of our being too. Meditation is about being with the whole spectrum of human psyche and emotion. We cannot know ourselves without becoming intimate with those parts too. That means it’s just not always fun or peaceful or calm to practice meditation. Though it can lead to all those things in time. It can help us learn to live more skillfully in general.

I’ve collected posts that look at this side of meditation as there are both risks and benefits to understanding the full spectrum of our minds through practice. It’s good to be aware of all that is possible on the journey:

●  Risks of meditation

●  There is no such thing as a bad meditation

●  Meditation can be an emotional rollercoaster

●  Finding Peace in the Midst of a Storm

●  Meditation and Trauma / PTSD (risks and benefits)

●  Freedom To Sit: Welcoming People with Psychiatric Labels at Buddhist Retreats — by Will Hall

●   The trouble with mindfulness

●  Meditation practice not for the fainthearted

●  Life as a meditation: my contemplative adventure

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters