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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: dharmabum ()
Date: July 19, 2015 09:10PM

SeePony Wrote:

> A lot of avdertisments for almost all kind of
> products are centered around atractive women (or
> sometimes men).
> Apparently it's good for marketing. And it's
> scientifically proven.
> I'm not sure if actually meditation cults
> advertise like this, but certainly I would expect
> this from your average local gym.
> And keep in mind that certain yoga schools include
> in the actual curriculum practices for a fulfilled
> sexual life :P

Sad. The ancient yoga was meant to aid in mindfulness and self-realization. Whatever physical enhancement involved was incidental; the sexual part is purely a misrepresentation and has been overly exploited by the West. I grew up in a yoga cult, The Science of Identity, they have a very puritanical view about sex; even they have succumbed into this sexual representation of yoga, lately (imho). I guess the yoga brand is such a lucrative business and has become a commercial force in modern society. I wish India demands royalties from Lululemon, the likes and the Western gurus, that are mostly clueless what yoga really is.

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Become a yogi, turn into a laptop using peon
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 21, 2015 08:54PM

If India got royalties, that money would vanish into the pockets of a multitude of baksheesh bureaucrats -- and be used to pay off gang bosses.

Sadly, the West has been extensively colonized by mental attitudes that have kept India poor, both psychologically and socially.

* Caste mentality in which allegedly enlightened persons are better than
ordinary people.

* Powerholders are automatically righteous. Victims of abuse are automatically inferior or they'd not have "attracted" abuse to themselves.

(In Hindu India power = legitimacy. If you have immense power it proves you did something right in a previous lifetime. There is no way to distinguish illegitimate power and legitimate power, power corruptly used, power benevolently used.)

* The physical world and people's suffering are all illusion, therefore you
are entitled to ignore it all.

* A bad situation must be adjusted to, rather than analyzed and changed for the better.

* That if you incur disaster it is your karma due to misdeads in previous lifetimes. If you are born a woman, born poor, kinapped and mutilated so as to beg money for a crime boss, you get this for misdeeds you committed in a previous lifetime. Or you create this suffering for yourself via victim

And anyone who is outraged by this kind of abuse is a deluded, ego ridden fool.

There is no such thing as an enlightened being who is abusive. Anyone who sees an enlightened being behaving in a manner that is morally repugnant (cussing out disciples) or downright criminal (fill in the blank here) -- the person who
perceives that abuse is delusional and ego ridden, and fails to see the glorious hidden magnificence of the guru's teaching.

There is no tragedy. No pathos. Only the leela (divine play) of God or the gods

Nothing is more disgusting than gurus and yoga tycoons who claim westerners are
ego ridden and materialistic.

They flock to the US in droves, because the US dollar has greater purchasing power than the indian rupee.

Those of you guru blokes who regard us with such contempt and consider us materialistic, stop pawing at our bodies and return all the money we have so trustfully given you.

India not materialistic?

Its baksheesh baksheesh wherever you go.

Anyone not Indian or a Non Resident Indian will be called a 'hater' for pointing this out.

A myriad of conscientious Indians are doing all they can to protest and remedy these abuses. Too often they are called traitors to India's glorious tradition.

And mobs may terrorize their publishers.

An example of an attempted ban here.


India bans gang-rape documentary where victim is blamed for 'being out at night'
Mukesh Singh, convicted over the 2012 attack, said the victim was to blame
Physiotherapy student died after being savagely attack in New Delhi
But Singh said she brought the murder on herself, 'for being out at night'
'She should just be silent and allow the rape,' he added
His comments were made in a documentary by a British filmmaker
Home Minister Rajnath Singh denounced the comments
He told India's parliament they were 'an affront to the dignity of women'
Indian court has ordered the banning of the documentary, India's Daughter

Read more: []
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2015 10:33PM by corboy.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: dharmabum ()
Date: July 24, 2015 02:18AM

I agree, Corboy. I've been to India and have witnessed the squalor that will shock the humanity out of you. If only the elite Westerners could see the sadhus who practice yoga there, it is far from the beauty secret they practice yoga for. When a cow enters a shack, the tenants get out -- young mothers, barely in their late teens carrying their malnourished babies. If I have a malnourished child and myself have not had a decent meal for ages, that cow becomes a burger. I asked how could that happen? The same dogma Western gurus peddle here as the way to spiritual liberation sustains it.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: dharmabum ()
Date: August 30, 2015 11:57PM

Sexy Yogini

Down by the Ganges walks a 12-year old girl
Strapped to her is her 10-month old baby
Ain't got enough milk yet, she begs for rupee
As she scrounges rubbish for a day old roti

Yes, yes, swing your hips, sweat your armpits
Refresh yourself after with avocado smoothie
Think, think, for your 30 dollar Lululemon outfit
A dollar was paid to that poor Bangladeshi

While the Western sky is pregnant with rain
The Eastern shore stinks death and infamy
A little rain will cool down the baby's fever
Pray, pray to Lord Sri Krishna, little Vaishnavi

Yes, yes, stretch those long arms and legs
Give your skin a glow from organic Zucchini
Feel, look good at the end of the day
Pay a hundred bucks to the ogling Swami

Married at 10 to a 90-year old Brahmin
Disowned by her parents for a measly dowry
Widowed at 11; ah, her poor sweet baby girl
Who would take care of her, after her sati?

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Date: January 31, 2016 03:29PM

Is mindfulness making us ill?

It’s the relaxation technique of choice, popular with employers and even the NHS. But some have found it can have unexpected effects

Dawn Foster
Saturday 23 January 2016 10.00 GMT

I am sitting in a circle in a grey, corporate room with 10 housing association employees – administrators, security guards, cleaners – eyes darting about nervously. We are asked to eat a sandwich in silence. To think about every taste and texture, every chewing motion and bite. Far from being relaxed, I feel excruciatingly uncomfortable and begin to wonder if my jaw is malfunctioning. I’m here to write about a new mindfulness initiative, and since I’ve never to my knowledge had any mental health issues and usually thrive under stress, I anticipate a straightforward, if awkward, experience.

Then comes the meditation. We’re told to close our eyes and think about our bodies in relation to the chair, the floor, the room: how each limb touches the arms, the back, the legs of the seat, while breathing slowly. But there’s one small catch: I can’t breathe. No matter how fast, slow, deep or shallow my breaths are, it feels as though my lungs are sealed. My instincts tell me to run, but I can’t move my arms or legs. I feel a rising panic and worry that I might pass out, my mind racing. Then we’re told to open our eyes and the feeling dissipates. I look around. No one else appears to have felt they were facing imminent death. What just happened?

For days afterwards, I feel on edge. I have a permanent tension headache and I jump at the slightest unexpected noise. The fact that something seemingly benign, positive and hugely popular had such a profound effect has taken me by surprise.

Mindfulness, the practice of sitting still and focusing on your breath and thoughts, has surged in popularity over the last few years, with a boom in apps, online courses, books and articles extolling its virtues. It can be done alone or with a guide (digital or human), and with so much hand-wringing about our frenetic, time-poor lifestyles and information overload, it seems to offer a wholesome solution: a quiet port in the storm and an opportunity for self-examination. The Headspace app, which offers 10-minute guided meditations on your smartphone, has more than three million users worldwide and is worth over £25m. Meanwhile, publishers have rushed to put out workbooks and guides to line the wellness shelves in bookshops.

After meditation I would do things that were out of character, acting erratically. I had panic attacks
Large organisations such as Google, Apple, Sony, Ikea, the Department of Health and Transport for London have adopted mindfulness or meditation as part of their employee packages, claiming it leads to a happier workforce, increased productivity and fewer sick days. But could such a one-size-fits-all solution backfire in unexpected ways?

Even a year later, recalling the sensations and feelings I experienced in that room summons a resurgent wave of panic and tightness in my chest. Out of curiosity, I try the Headspace app, but the breathing exercises leave me with pins and needles in my face and a burgeoning terror. “Let your thoughts move wherever they please,” the app urges. I just want it to stop. And, as I discovered, I’m not the only person who doesn’t find mindfulness comforting.

Claire, a 37-year-old in a highly competitive industry, was sent on a three-day mindfulness course with colleagues as part of a training programme. “Initially, I found it relaxing,” she says, “but then I found I felt completely zoned out while doing it. Within two or three hours of later sessions, I was starting to really, really panic.” The sessions resurfaced memories of her traumatic childhood, and she experienced a series of panic attacks. “Somehow, the course triggered things I had previously got over,” Claire says. “I had a breakdown and spent three months in a psychiatric unit. It was a depressive breakdown with psychotic elements related to the trauma, and several dissociative episodes.”

Four and a half years later, Claire is still working part-time and is in and out of hospital. She became addicted to alcohol, when previously she was driven and high-performing, and believes mindfulness was the catalyst for her breakdown. Her doctors have advised her to avoid relaxation methods, and she spent months in one-to-one therapy. “Recovery involves being completely grounded,” she says, “so yoga is out.”

Research suggests her experience might not be unique. Internet forums abound with people seeking advice after experiencing panic attacks, hearing voices or finding that meditation has deepened their depression after some initial respite. In their recent book, The Buddha Pill, psychologists Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm voice concern about the lack of research into the adverse effects of meditation and the “dark side” of mindfulness. “Since the book’s been published, we’ve had a number of emails from people wanting to tell us about adverse effects they have experienced,” Wikholm says. “Often, people have thought they were alone with this, or they blamed themselves, thinking they somehow did it wrong, when actually it doesn’t seem it’s all that uncommon.”

People don't talk about the risk of injury. You need a good trainer
One story in particular prompted Farias to look further into adverse effects. Louise, a woman in her 50s who had been practising yoga for 20 years, went away to a meditation retreat. While meditating, she felt dissociated from herself and became worried. Dismissing it as a routine side-effect of meditation, Louise continued with the exercises. The following day, after returning home, her body felt completely numb and she didn’t want to get out of bed. Her husband took her to the doctor, who referred her to a psychiatrist. For the next 15 years she was treated for psychotic depression.

Farias looked at the research into unexpected side-effects. A 1992 study by David Shapiro, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, found that 63% of the group studied, who had varying degrees of experience in meditation and had each tried mindfulness, had suffered at least one negative effect from meditation retreats, while 7% reported profoundly adverse effects including panic, depression, pain and anxiety. Shapiro’s study was small-scale; several research papers, including a 2011 study by Duke University in North Carolina, have raised concerns at the lack of quality research on the impact of mindfulness, specifically the lack of controlled studies.

Farias feels that media coverage inflates the moderate positive effects of mindfulness, and either doesn’t report or underplays the downsides. “Mindfulness can have negative effects for some people, even if you’re doing it for only 20 minutes a day,” Farias says. “It’s difficult to tell how common [negative] experiences are, because mindfulness researchers have failed to measure them, and may even have discouraged participants from reporting them by attributing the blame to them.”

Kate Williams, a PhD researcher in psychiatry at the University of Manchester and a mindfulness teacher, says negative experiences generally fall into one of two categories. The first is seen as a natural emotional reaction to self-exploration. “What we learn through meditation is to explore our experiences with an open and nonjudgmental attitude, whether the experience that arises is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral,” she says.

The second, Williams says, is more severe and disconcerting: “Experiences can be quite extreme, to the extent of inducing paranoia, delusions, confusion, mania or depression.” After years of training, research and practice, her own personal meditation has included some of these negative experiences. “Longer periods of meditation have at times led me to feel a loss of identity and left me feeling extremely vulnerable, almost like an open wound,” Williams says. As an experienced mindfulness teacher, however, she says she is able to deal with these negative experiences without lasting effect.

Rachel, a 34-year-old film-maker from London, experimented with mindfulness several years ago. An old school friend who had tried it attempted to warn her off. “He said, ‘It’s hardcore – you’ll go through things you don’t want to go through and it might not always be positive.’ I suppose sitting with yourself is hard, especially when you’re in a place where you don’t really like yourself. Meditation can’t ‘fix’ anyone. That’s not what it’s for.”

After a few months of following guided meditations, and feeling increasingly anxious, Rachel had what she describes as a “meltdown” immediately after practising some of the techniques she’d learned; the relationship she was in broke down. “That’s the horrible hangover I have from this: instead of having a sense of calm, I overanalyse and scrutinise everything. Things would run round in my mind, and suddenly I’d be doing things that were totally out of character, acting very, very erratically. Having panic attacks that would restrict my breathing and, once, sent me into a blackout seizure on the studio floor that involved an ambulance trip to accident and emergency.” Rachel has recovered to some extent; she experiences similar feelings on a lower level even today, but has learned to recognise the symptoms and take steps to combat them.

So are employers and experts right to extol the virtues of mindfulness? According to Will Davies, senior lecturer at Goldsmiths and author of The Happiness Industry, our mental health has become a money-making opportunity. “The measurement of our mental and emotional states at work is advancing rapidly at the moment,” he says, “and businesses are increasingly aware of the financial costs that stress, depression and anxiety saddle them with.”

Rather than removing the source of stress, whether that’s unfeasible workloads, poor management or low morale, some employers encourage their staff to meditate: a quick fix that’s much cheaper, at least in the short term. After all, it’s harder to complain that you’re under too much stress at work if your employer points out that they’ve offered you relaxation classes: the blame then falls on the individual. “Mindfulness has been grabbed in recent years as a way to help people cope with their own powerlessness in the workplace,” Davies says. “We’re now reaching the stage where mandatory meditation is being discussed as a route to heightened productivity, in tandem with various apps, wearable devices and forms of low-level employee surveillance.”

One former Labour backbencher, Chris Ruane, recently proposed meditation for civil servants, on the basis that it would cut Whitehall costs by lowering sick leave through stress, rather than making the workplace and jobs less stressful in the first place. “The whole agenda is so fraught with contradictions, between its economic goals and its supposedly spiritual methods,” Davies argues. “It’s a wonder anyone takes it seriously at all.”

Mindfulness has also been adopted by the NHS, with many primary care trusts offering and recommending the practice in lieu of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). “It fits nicely with the Nutribullet-chugging, clean-eating crowd, because it doesn’t involve any tablets,” says Bethan, a mental health nurse working in east London. “My main problem with it is that it’s just another word for awareness.”

My main problem with mindfulness is that it’s just another word for awareness
Over the past few years, Bethan has noticed mindfulness mentioned or recommended increasingly at work, and says many colleagues have been offered sessions and training as part of their professional development. But the move towards mindfulness delivered through online or self-help programmes isn’t for everyone. “It’s fine, but realising you have depression isn’t the same as tackling it,” she says. “I don’t see it as any different from the five-a-day campaign: we know what we should be eating, but so many of us don’t do it. We know that isolating ourselves isn’t helpful when we feel blue, but we still do that.”

Part of the drive is simple cost-cutting. With NHS budgets squeezed, resource-intensive and diverse therapies that involve one-on-one consultations are far more expensive to dispense than online or group therapies such as mindfulness. A CBT course costs the NHS £950 per participant on average, while mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, because it’s delivered in a group, comes in at around £300 a person. “It’s cheap, and it does make people think twice about their choices, so in some respects it’s helpful,” Bethan says.

But in more serious cases, could it be doing more harm than good? Florian Ruths has researched this area for 10 years, as clinical lead for mindfulness-based therapy in the South London and Maudsley NHS foundation trust. He believes it is possible to teach yourself mindfulness through apps, books or online guides. “For most people, I think if you’re not suffering from any clinical issues, or illness, or from stress to a degree that you’re somewhat disabled, it’s fine,” he says. “We talk about illness as disability, and disability may arise through sadness, it may arise through emotional disturbance, like anxiety. Then, obviously, it becomes a different ballgame, and it would be good to have a guided practice to take you through it.” This runs counter to the drive towards online mindfulness apps, delivered without supervision, and with little to no adaptation to individual needs or problems.

But for Ruths, the benefits outweigh the risk of unusual effects. “If we exercise, we live longer, we’re slimmer, we’ve got less risk of dementia, we’re happier and less anxious,” he says. “People don’t talk about the fact that when you exercise, you are at a natural risk of injuring yourself. When people say in the new year, ‘I’m going to go to the gym’ – out of 100 people who do that, about 20 will injure themselves, because they haven’t been taught how to do it properly, or they’ve not listened to their bodies. So when you’re a responsible clinician or GP, you tell someone to get a good trainer.”

People may not know they have a bipolar vulnerability until they try mindfulness
Certain mental health problems increase the risk of adverse effects from mindfulness. “If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, there is a certain chance that you may find meditation too difficult to do, as you may be re-experiencing traumatic memories,” Ruths says. “Once again, it’s about having experienced trainers to facilitate that. We’ve seen some evidence that people who’ve got bipolar vulnerability may struggle, but we need to keep in mind that it may be accidental, or it may be something we don’t know about yet.”

Of course, people may not know they have a bipolar vulnerability until they try mindfulness. Or they might have repressed the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, only for these to emerge after trying the practice.

How can an individual gauge whether they’re likely to have negative side-effects? Both Farias and Ruths agree there isn’t a substantial body of evidence yet on how mindfulness works, or what causes negative reactions. One of the reasons is obvious: people who react badly tend to drop out of classes, or stop using the app or workbook; rather than make a fuss, they quietly walk away. Part of this is down to the current faddishness of mindfulness and the way it’s marketed: unlike prescribed psychotherapy or CBT, it’s viewed as an alternative lifestyle choice, rather than a powerful form of therapy.

Claire is clear about how she feels mindfulness should be discussed and delivered: “A lot of the people who are trained in mindfulness are not trained in the dangers as well as the potential benefits,” she says. “My experience of people who teach it is that they don’t know how to help people if it goes too far.”

There is currently no professionally accredited training for mindfulness teachers, and nothing to stop anyone calling themselves a mindfulness coach, though advocates are calling for that to change. Finding an experienced teacher who comes recommended, and not being afraid to discuss negative side-effects with your teacher or GP, means you’re far more likely to enjoy and benefit from the experience.

As both Claire and I have found, there are alternative relaxation methods that can keep you grounded: reading, carving out more time to spend with friends, and simply knowing when to take a break from the frenetic pace of life. Meanwhile, Claire’s experience has encouraged her to push for a better understanding of alternative therapies. “No one would suggest CBT was done by someone who wasn’t trained,” she says. “I’d like to see a wider discussion about what mindfulness is – and on what the side-effects can be.”

Some names have been changed.

• Dawn Foster’s new book, Lean Out, is published by Watkins.


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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: Misstyk ()
Date: February 07, 2016 03:35AM

dharmabum Wrote:
> >
> Sad. The ancient yoga was meant to aid in
> mindfulness and self-realization. Whatever
> physical enhancement involved was incidental; the
> sexual part is purely a misrepresentation and has
> been overly exploited by the West. I grew up in a
> yoga cult, The Science of Identity, they have a
> very puritanical view about sex; even they have
> succumbed into this sexual representation of yoga,
> lately (imho). I guess the yoga brand is such a
> lucrative business and has become a commercial
> force in modern society. I wish India demands
> royalties from Lululemon, the likes and the
> Western gurus, that are mostly clueless what yoga
> really is.

This comes across to me as an upside-down statement. I'm not aware that the sexual part of yoga has been exploited in the West. Do you have examples? To the contrary, the sexual side of it was kept carefully hidden, and took students (the female ones, mainly) completely by surprise and resulted in scandals.

Yoga evolved as a discipline to prepare the body for tantric practice. Yoga was designed to eliminate blockages in the chakra system, so the Kundalini that's stimulated by sexual tantra can move through the system without causing extreme discomfort, even madness. Furthermore,it's been proven that yoga increases testosterone in the body. NY Times writer William Broad published a book with the results of his extensive research on this, a couple of years ago.

Tantra is behind pretty much every movement that has come out of India to the West, including yoga, Hare Krishna, and Vedanta. The tantric aspects were always very carefully hidden. The same dynamic of hidden tantra catching students unaware, and scandals resulting has been playing out in the Tibetan Buddhism scene now since the 70's. It can be very insidious.

I haven't seen that exploited by the West. To the contrary, it has been denied by some practitioners who want to protect their guru or religion from criticism and scrutiny on the one hand, and deplored on the other hand, mainly by women who have suffered from exploitation and abuse by unethical gurus, both Eastern and Western.

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Concealed Tantra - Muktananda -Siddha Yoga
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 07, 2016 07:32AM

Baba Muktananda also concealed his tantric background.

An article about Muktananda's Kashmiri Shaivite background by Sarah Caldwell.



Muktananda was close friends with Werner Erhard, founder of Erhard Seminar Trainings, currently known as Landmark Education.

Those who were involved with Muktananda and who later left, reported that Muk
incorporated Large Group Awareness Training techniques into his Siddha Yoga Intensives.


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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: dhammahuasca ()
Date: March 15, 2016 06:07AM

Life is dangerous. In fact none of us survive it and its filled much suffering and
dissatisfaction in ways sublte and profound.

Could mindfulness be "dangerous"? Practiced in certain ways it could bring about some psychological disturbance which will certainly occur anyway. Still its best to learn from good teachers.

And to remember to that in the Buddhist tradition meditation is nested in moral conduct, generosity and a range of practices and inquiry to work with the vicissitudes of the body, heart, mind, relationships and life.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: March 21, 2016 12:11AM

Hi Dhammahuasca,

I think people who have had good experiences of meditation often have no awareness that other people could have bad experiences, or that it could be damaging for them. And I include meditation teachers in this. Obviously, it worked well for them, or they would not have chosen to teach.
However, imo a good teacher has to know who not to teach, and what the signs are that things are going wrong. In fact a good teacher needs to know when to tell someone to stop, and that maybe a different kind of relaxation is better for them.
For some people, a nice walk in nature, a soothing bath, tai chi, coloring, reading a book, or any of a myriad other forms of relaxation may be much happier and better for them.
Your statement about side effects "it certainly would have happened anyway' really worried me. In the case openmindedsceptic described, it seems highly likely the woman would have been fine without a meditation practice that she was not suited for. 20 years of treatment for psychosis is a a horrible result.

I admit, that is a phrase that worries me in many contexts. It seems to denote an absolute refusal to admit responsibility for side effects. Most things that can have positive effects can also have negative effects. The "it would have happened anyway" defense is imo a way to refuse to acknowledge this.

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All Meditation Teachers Should Mention Serotonin Syndrome
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 27, 2017 01:00AM

Disclaimer: Corboy is a layman, not a health professional. CEI does not provide health care advice.

This essay must NOT be interpreted or used by anyone to support arguments against prescribed use of medications.

This essay must not be used by anyone to decide to change or end their use of prescribed medications.

I want to direct this essay to persons who have done some meditation practice, lived and made friends in groups where meditation is practiced.

It is my hope that these readers will look at the articles listed here describing serotonin syndrome in the context of usage of [rescribed anti depressants. My final hope is that readers will look back at their own meditation experiences and those of friends and see if any of these matches the descriptions of serotonin syndrome.

Many recommendations for meditation practice are given by persons who love meditation practice and are sincerely in favor of it and also recommended with little experience (health care professionals in managed care who are instructed to
"push" company sponsored "products" such as mindfulness based meditation.

(Corboy does not like this. I saw a doctor at my HMO and the HMO later
sent me a survey to rate this MD. Among the questions asked was whether Dr
X recommended HMO sponsored products such as mindfulness based meditation.

I was disgusted that doctors were rated according to their ability to sell

This essay reports some discussions of problems caused by excess serotonin levels.

There is some early research that Maharishi's TM meditation produced elevated serotonin levels.

Later discussions by former TM practitioners tied their meditation associated symptoms to serotonin syndrome.

These days most non commercial discussions of serotonin syndrome are in the context of
discussions of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

It would be valuable for meditation practitioners and instructors to
look at these discussions then see if they have observed any side effects
that resemble drug related serotonin excess.

We hear again and yet again that meditation is good for you, it elevates serotonin.

We are not told nearly as often about excess serotonin being not a good thing.

Meditation does affect body chemistry. That means it can have side effects.

There is such a thing as too much serotonin in the body.

How often do meditation instructors teach participants about excess serotonin and what signs and symptoms to look for? And that if they continue to explore
meditation elsewhere they must *must* always monitor themselves for signs
of excess serotonin and know when to stop, even if an instructor tells them to continue. Because -- some instructors will tell you that symptoms of serotonin excess indicate progress and to keep doing it.

Some former TM practitioners have suggested a strong link between TM meditation and serotonin excess. These reactions might be mistaken for purification, kriyas, or kundalini.


Serotonin Syndrome

One subtle side effect of Serotonin Syndrome is a very serious type of passivity both physical and emotional.

In the context of meditation and spirituality, this might be explained
as progress, as detachment from materialism and earthly matters, when it
may signal serotonin excess produced by the meditation, chanting and other
devotional exercises prescribed by the group.

I suggest this because Joyce Colin-Smith, one of the earliest members of Transcendental Meditation, and an early assistant to Maharishi intensively did
TM for years. Then, she lost interest in everything she was good at and used to enjoy. She'd made her living as a fiction writer then lost that talent, lost her juice. Former TM members who were artists told her they'd lost interest in what they did. Colin Smith described all this in her memoir, Call No Man Master. She noted that Maharishi needed a high volume of new recruits in those early days because people who did TM became so passive they were useless in carrying out his projects - TM turned them into sloths.

Recalling Joyce Colin Smith's description, I read this article below with some interest.

Discussions of side effect of excess serotonin produced by drugs
mention loss of interest in things one formerly enjoyed (known as anhedonia)


Elevated Serotonin and Transcendental Meditation

SSRI Induced Apathy - an early report in 2004



J Psychiatr Pract. 2004 May;10(3):196-9.
SSRI-induced apathy syndrome: a clinical review.

Barnhart WJ1, Makela EH, Latocha MJ.
Author information
The authors review the literature pertaining to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)-induced apathy syndrome. A literature search of Medline and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts from 1970 to the present was performed for relevant articles. Twelve relevant case reports and one open-label treatment trial were identified. An amotivational, or apathy, syndrome has been reported in a number of patients receiving SSRI treatment over the last decade. This adverse effect has been noted to be dose-dependent and reversible, but is often unrecognized. This phenomenon has caused significant negative consequences for adults as well as social and academic difficulties in adolescents.

PMID: 15330228


J Neural Transm. 1976;39(3):257-67.
Serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine metabolites in transcendental meditation-technique.

Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010 Oct; 7(10): 14–18.

SSRI Induced Indifference

Bujatti M, Riederer P.


"SSRIs may be associated with another unwelcome clinical side effect—behavioral and affective indifference. This clinical phenomenon has not undergone substantial research to date. However, we suspect that most practicing clinicians have, at some point in clinical practice, encountered a patient on SSRI therapy who reported the experience of apathy and/or emotional blunting. In this edition of The Interface, we discuss this unusual but not unheard of side effect of SSRIs.

A Syndrome of Indifference

In the published literature, SSRIs have been associated with a general syndrome of indifference. However, this meager literature appears to have separated into two general paths of description: indifference as a behavioral syndrome and indifference as an emotional syndrome."

For the full article, which has quite interesting descriptions of the indifference syndrome, go here:


There may be a subgroup of persons in whom increases in serotonin may induce

If your new practice of meditation appears to be making you sad or agitated,
STOP, even if the group leader insists that you continue.

Have a look at this article. Is it at all possible that some persons
might, if they boost their serotonin through intensive meditation be
especially susceptible to a type of depression triggered by excess serotonin?

"Serotonin depression"--a biochemical subgroup within the affective disorders?
M Asberg, P Thoren, L Traskman, L Bertilsson, V Ringberger

Science 06 Feb 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4226, pp. 478-480
DOI: 10.1126/science.1246632


The take home message is that anything capable of increasing serotonin levels
needs to be used with guidance from someone who is aware of the potential side effects and capable of telling you to stop or reduce the 'dosage' of a given drug, or of meditation itself.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2017 08:57AM by corboy.

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