Re: Dangers of Meditation
Date: October 09, 2019 11:38PM
Lots to read on this thread...I can't wait to read some of the earlier posts!
Mindfulness meditation and other spiritual practices can be used for what is called spiritual bypassing. (recently learned this cool term.)
For me, spiritual bypassing had been a factor for several reasons. First, my father had a meditation practice, and the way he practiced & lived his life was an example of spiritual bypassing. He is a good man, but he was not a good father. He started meditating when I was 2. This doesn't happen to everyone who meditates, but my father was very neglectful. I believe he didn't want to face problems or responsibilities. He literally checked out.
When I learned the same meditation technique at age 11, I too learned to check out. Monkey see--monkey do.
Later, when I unfortunately had a head-on collision with a cult...I became involved with the cult. I suffered immensely as I was abused by the guru. Through this terrible experience I dissociated to avoid the pain (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) of the abuse. This dissociation, combined with the thought reform, and spiritual practices of setting up an altar to a deity, chanting, listening to lectures (zoning out in a hypnotic state), and following everything the guru said, was spiritual bypassing.
Later in my life, as I was trying to heal from the abuse, I did what I had learned to do to help myself. I went back to the cult mindset and I didn't know I was doing it.
Finally, I got the psychological help I needed to de-cult my brain. The therapy I went through was the healing I needed all along.
Now, I would like to have a spiritual meditation practice because I know there are benefits. However (!!!) I question all of my habitual ways of doing ANYTHING...so I must be very careful not to fall into the cult mindset. No more checking out.
I'm currently practicing yin yoga which is a straight forward, non-elitist form of meditation. It's a moving meditation. The practitioner moves from one posture to the next with awareness and presence of mind. Postures are held for many minutes, the focus is on the breath and noticing what arises. There is no doctrine, no guru. It's a self-led process and it's simple.
I believe meditation is good, but can be harmful if the practitioner has unresolved issues & tries to use meditation to escape the problem.
I think meditation should be more like brushing the teeth...or cleaning the mind as it were. We should use meditation as a tool, not as a way to worship an unseen deity in the hopes that somehow the unseen will save us from what we can't face ourselves.