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Dangers of meditation!!!

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by ellisd, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. ellisd

    ellisd Member

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  2. CharlieBrown

    CharlieBrown Member

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    Interesting reading. I think some of them make sense, it's just up to us to keep a watchful eye on our practice.

    I can see, for example, why having a great pleasure in meditation, someone could use this to "escape reality". Just up to us, though...

    Interesting food for thoughts, for me.
     
  3. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Just be aware that there are "scare stories" about all sorts of things on the internet.
    Yes, people who have done TM or other meditation may have suffered from issues, but there's nothing concrete to say it was the TM or meditation at fault and not some other factor in their life.
    There are far more people who have benefitted from meditation than have had issues apparently relating to meditation.

    There is also a lot of stuff out there by people (trolls) who just like to cause issue with anything and everything they can as well as people who have had issues in their lives and have a "need" to blame something, which often turns out to be something they've been involved in that they either haven't been taught properly or they haven't got an understanding of, when really the issue lies within themselves (their ego mind).

    I attend a course myself called Practical Philosophy (run by a branch of the School of Economic Science), which teaches about the true Self based on vedic teachings and other stuff. I can go out on the internet and find "reports" about how the school is really a cult and they'll brainwash you and take all your money. It's all rubbish. I've been attending for 2 years now, and it's an informal course (cost is just enough to cover the cost of hiring the room we attend in), where we are given some "teachings" to listen to and then we discuss these as well as have a go a putting them into practice in our lives over the week to experience/observe for ourselves what effect they can have (hence why it's called practical philosophy and not just theoretical). The one thing they say is "don't take our word for it, try it yourself and see. If it works then fine, if not that's also fine". The course also leads to them teaching us meditation, which is essentially the same as TM (I learnt my meditation already elsewhere and they're fine with that). It's no cult, there's no secrets, in fact it's very much the same teachings as Eckhart Tolle gives in his books, but done in a group discussion setting where we can share ideas and experience.

    Be cautious of what you read on the internet, including what you read here. Experience it for yourself and make up your own mind. We're are responsible for ourselves, and blaming others is just the ego taking hold.

    ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  4. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    This can only be written by someone who never, or only for a short amount of time, meditated or is absolutly in no connection with himself. Absolutly nonsense i´d say.
     
  5. CharlieBrown

    CharlieBrown Member

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    Well, actually the author (right or wrong) is not challenging the benefit of meditation (quite the opposite - he is saying: "I consider meditation one of Nature's miracles"), but he is challenging a specific organization, which is Trascendental Meditation Org (I have no clue what is this about, though, so I stop my reply here :p )
     
  6. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Indeed the TM organisation has come under fire in recent years, especially since they decided to increase the cost of learning meditation to exorbitant amounts of money.

    When TM was first brought to the West, the Maharishi (sp?) taught TM with just a couple of mantra's (one for male, one for female) and even said that any mantra or word could be used. He also said that the goal of the TM organisation was to make meditation available to all.

    Since then, it seems the original intentions and generosity have been sidelined (for reasons unknown), the list of mantras has increased to 16 (the last I knew) and these are now given out based on the age of the person at the time they learn TM, rather than gender. The person learning is however told that the mantra is personal to them and that they should not tell it to anyone else. They are also told that TM is non-religious and that the "ceremony" when learning is part of an initiation into meditation, but the words used in this initiation are actually giving praise to Hindu deities so, although one could argue that Hundiusm is a philosophy rather than a religion, one can also argue that the person being taught TM is not necessarily given all the facts.

    There has also been a lot of secrecy about the teachings of TM and only those who undertake to keep the secret are allowed to teach, and they must learn the teachings verbatim as nothing should be written down and all documentation about the teachings is kept within the TM organisation and not for public viewing (although you can find copies leaked onto the internet).

    When the costs of TM were increased by the organisation several years ago, many of the existing teachers did not agree with this and left the organisation to become independant teachers of meditation, simply without having the ability to call it Transcendental Meditation or TM (which are trademarked names). We must bear in mind however, that the TM organisation does still offer meditation to anyone who wants it and the cost is actually determined by what you can afford up to their standard payment (I think it's about £1200 now or thereabouts). So, if you're on low income you can still learn with them and they will work out the cost based on that. However, you can come to Project Meditation and learn it for free. ;)

    So, whilst the TM organisation could be critisized on one hand, they can also be praised for the good of meditation that has been growing steadily across the world. Without them, Project Meditation itself, probably wouldn't exist.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  7. Itlandm

    Itlandm Member

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    I'm not aligned with the TM movement myself, but I can't help but think that 70% of people who drink water regularly would probably have at least one of those symptoms. I know precious few people who don't.

    To the casual readers, things will look worse and worse the longer the list is. But in fact, given that the claim is that TM participants suffer from "at least one" of these, the longer the list is, the greater the overlap with the general population. So basically we get a convincing argument that TM users are still thoroughly human. This may or may not conflict with their teaching, I don't know.
     
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    I have read reports about people at the TM org that meditate for 8 hours or more every day.

    This is one of the things that Project Meditation warns about, to not over-meditate. A lot of the described side effects to meditation can be caused by that alone.
     
  9. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Ok thanks, my comment was a bit overhasty, especially because i didnt read the whole article :p
     
  10. Matti

    Matti Member

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    LOl, that site is a joke. Guy who wrote thouse things doesnt have understanding about meditation. For excample eating disorder, when you meditate all kinds of things will rise from subconscious mind. So when something comes up, you hold on to it and stop meditating you can have eating disorder,depression... To ease the pain. Its however not because of meditation, meditation is natural thing. Only if you start to resist the progress problems start to show up.
     
  11. NeuralNet

    NeuralNet Member

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    Yeah I find that site pretty silly and I agree that anyone can have any of those symptoms and attribute them to anything in their lives. I think you have to meditate and make a decision yourself as to whether it improves your life.

    It's interesting that the quoted Government report that questions the validity of research in his paper have the following statement on the overall physiological and neuropsychological effects of meditation practices:

    "The physiological and neuropsychological effects of meditation practices were evaluated in 311 studies. The majority of studies have been conducted in healthy participants. Meta-analysis revealed that the most consistent and strongest physiological effects of meditation practices in healthy populations occur in the reduction of heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. The
    strongest neuropsychological effect is in the increase of verbal creativity"

    source - http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/meditation/medit.pdf

    I agree that most research based on something as subjective and amorphous as meditation needs better tools like fMRI, but the overall summary of the paper is that meditation is very positive. That certainly isnt reported by Knapp despite his initial view of meditation.
     

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