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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 28, 2015 02:52AM

LaurenRose:

See [www.culteducation.com]

This is an excerpt from the book "Cults In Our Midst" by Margaret Singer PhD.

She discusses how the meditation practices of some groups can be harmful and have damaging effects.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: LaurenRose ()
Date: March 04, 2015 02:07AM

Thanks for the link moderator! I am still having trouble pulling my research paper together because I can't decide where to focus. I feel like I have discovered this vast world of information, some of it shocking and fascinating, that I feel really strongly that I should share. My 5-8 page paper might turn into a 20 pager. I appreciate all the help from everyone on here.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: tia007 ()
Date: March 05, 2015 01:30PM

Danger of meditation depends on your goal and what you are meditating on.

“Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content,[1] or as an end in itself.” This is being quoted right from Wikipedia. So with that being said, the danger doesn't lie in the practice of meditation, but rather what your focus is. What’s your goal?

If you meditate on your body and looks for example, which a very large population does, you will find people consumed with how they appear. It becomes the embodiment of their conciseness. Dangerous result is the dissatisfaction with their appearance and often leading to self-mutilation in the form of plastic surgeries etc...

Another example of a meditation is someone who contemplates on food. What are they going to eat? They contemplate their next meal while eating the first. An obsession, they can’t think of anything else. It’s their meditation and consciousness. Meditating upon; pizza, McDonalds Big Macs, cakes and goodies. They meditate on the flash that they can have on their tongue, the enjoyment of eating. Dangerous result is obesity, diabetes and heart disease etc…

Another meditation that people engage in is pornography. They immerse their consciousness in sexual activities, naked bodies all the acts and imagery related to it. It becomes their meditation throughout their day, it’s were their mind takes them willingly. Dangerous result, inability to have real connection during sex, sex addiction. It leads to objectifying the opposite sex. In the extreme, it can lead one to become a sexual predator.

The meditation of a serial killer. They immerse their consciousness in the kill, the planning, the hunt, the act. By definition this is a meditation, with the obvious dangers.

So what’s your goal? What do want your consciousness to be? That is what we need to be asking ourselves.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: March 05, 2015 10:20PM

tia007:

There are a couple of warning flags that people engaged in meditation must watch out for.

1. Excessive meditation. Are you being encouraged by a group or leader to meditate for hours each day? Stilling the mind for hours a day can have negative residual effects and render people highly suggestible and easy to manipulate.

2. Are you in a meditation group led by a guru? Are many hours of daily meditation mandated by that guru? What accountability does the guru have? Is he or she an absolute leader?

The combination of being in an authoritarian group dominated by an absolute leader who mandates hours of mind stilling meditation daily can be debilitating and lead to undue influence. For example, the leader may employ guided imagery exercises to serve a specific purpose and self interest.

Meditation or trance induction is a form of self-hypnosis and must be approached with careful consideration. Short periods of meditation used daily without undue influence can be safe, meaningful and helpful. But hours of daily meditation mandated within authoritarian groups can be potentially dangerous, debilitating and lead to exploitation.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: tia007 ()
Date: March 06, 2015 03:51AM

There will always be the risk of being exploited no matter what you do in life. Sometimes just maneuvering within so called friends can be a dance of guarding yourself from this. Whether you are going to school, a party, church, work at the office, you name it there is always the risk of someone using their authority to exploit. You are going to find people in any walk of life misusing their position. There needs to be a checks and balance system that we apply to our lives. Does this go along with my belief system? Does this feel right in my heart? Does this go along with the teaching I believe and follow? What is my goal in life, is this going to help me achieve it?

Balance is always a must in any activity. There are dangers in doing too much of any activity, again the goal of your meditation and activity should be looked at. Two hours spent doing an activity towards achieving ones goal is not dangerous. To become good at a sport, music, anything really, you need to be willing to devote a chunk of time to achieve this. As long as this person hasn’t lost their free will, isn’t physically being forced to preform said activities, or isn’t endangering them self physically by clearing the mind, I don’t see the harm in engaging for an extend period of time. In my own practices of meditation I find it takes time before I’m able to let go of the other events of my daily life. It’s not unreasonable to suggest extended meditation hours. It should be a personal activity. Unless someone is put under hypnosis and then becomes subject to suggestions, there is not any true harm in someone having a personal practice of meditation for a set 2 hour period.

When you want to learn anything isn’t the first step approaching a teacher who has mastered an activity? You want to learn to draw, so you approach someone that knows how. Our youth, are sent to classrooms every day and are in the care of teachers who have control over them. Our children are not meant to back talk, but to except their authority, spend a certain amount of time studying the various assignments and subjects, are they not mandated to complete their assignments?

There are professors in college who have beliefs, let’s say that it’s that god does not exist. He’s a professor so he must know, he’s educated and standing in the front of the class speaking with ultimate authority on the subject he teaches. The students are their mandated to take this class to graduate, mandated to agree, or be called out in front of the group for having a different belief. Is that not dangerous to people who do have faith in god? Is that not dangerous to people who might have their beliefs shattered? Is that not undue influence? Is the mass media not using undue influence on people? Is not the news casters and journalist using their influence on the masses?

So how do we protect ourselves from undue influence? How do we protect ourselves from the exploiters in the world? These are not just risks of people who are trying to find a spiritual path, these are problems that every single person faces while maneuvering through this world, no matter your age, sex or religious beliefs.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: March 06, 2015 04:53AM

tia007:

You seem to going in circles and have not directly responded to the two points mad previously.

Are you in a guru group?

Does the group encourage you to meditate for hours every day?

These are two potential warning red flags to watch for; too much meditation time (hours a day) and meditation influenced by a gurur controlled authoritarian group led by some teacher without any meaningful accountability.

Teachers at colleges have educational requirements (accredited degrees) credentials and are accountable to a school administration--guru/teachers are not.

Most churches have democratic church government (i.e. Protestant churches), but guru groups are often little more than dictatorships. Unlike pastors at churches gurus cannot be fired, nor are they held accountable through elected boards.

Other than the red flags cited above it's important to know who you are dealing with and fortunately you can Google a teacher or guru and find out if there is anything negative about him or her on the Web.

To better understand how undue influence is achieved through coercive persuasion see the following links:

[www.culteducation.com]

[www.culteducation.com]

To understand the distinct differences between the persuasion of education, advertising, propaganda, indoctrination and thought reform (commonly called "brainwashing") see the chart composed by Psychologist Margaret Singer below.

See [www.culteducation.com]

There are a lot of shady gurus and teachers out there these days running yoga and meditation groups and you cannot be too careful.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: tia007 ()
Date: March 06, 2015 06:38AM

"There are a lot of shady gurus and teachers out there these days running yoga and meditation groups and you cannot be too careful."

I agree, you need to be careful who you place your trust in and of course there are many Guru's and teachers that are misleading people. There a lot of shady, preachers, boy scout leaders, professors, government leaders etc..
There are also a lot of good spiritual leaders in the world who aren't out to harm people or exploit them. Mentors that are truly trying to make this a better world.

I'm not disagreeing with you. My point is that the same precautions should be applied in all dealings with people who are in a position to influence others. There are dangers everywhere, including so called religious groups who are causing harm to people because of their fanatical and extreme beliefs.

I have been interested in and trying to follow a spiritual path for the last 21 years. I have trusted people that I go to for spiritual advice and guidance but have always treated it as a very personal practice, always checking with what feels right inside. So far, my experiences have been very positive. My free will remains intact, I have not been exploited or miss treated and there has always been a great level of respect. I feel that it has been worth it in my experience to seek out guidance from someone who lives by example, with values and a way of life that I admire. The example and guidance I have received invaluable.

Have you personally had a bad experience with meditation, religion or a spiritual practice? I know a lot of people have been turned off of religion in general because of the hypocrisies they have found with the scriptures and the way their preacher or spiritual leader lives their life. I was raised atheist, my father from a Jewish family, my mother from a Christian family, the both turned off by the experiences they had. Although they never discouraged us to question and seek out answers for our self, which I appreciate. So I had no spiritual guidance from my home life, it became my own personal journey because I have always felt there was more to life than the everyday grind.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: March 06, 2015 09:36PM

tia007:

You seem intent upon going off topic and attempting to pull this thread into another topic of discussion.

The topic here is the "Dangers of Meditation" not "boy scout leaders, professors or government leaders." Nor is the topic about 'dangers everywerhe."

You seem very defensive, as if you are in some guru led group that practices hours of meditation daily.

What group are you in?

Who is your teacher or guru in your group?

How many hours a week do you meditate?

Please stay on topic.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2015 11:11PM by rrmoderator.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: tia007 ()
Date: March 07, 2015 03:06AM

I apologize for steering your chat in the wrong direction. The title caught my interest and lead me along that thought process, I definitely do not feel threatened by it.

I would call my self an eclectic. I've traveled all through Europe and Asia and have dabbled in many experiences, from Bhudist, Bahai, Hindu and many more New Age type experiences. Along the way I have met many very compassionate and intriguing souls who have been invaluable to me on my path of self discovery. Many were labeled Gurus by people who accepted them as such. I have never committed my self to anyone teacher or particular path. So I'm definitely not an expert on every practice out there and would definitely agree that you can't be to careful.

My meditation is a personal practice done in solitude, in nature where I feel most at peace and connected to something higher, whether you call it God, mother nature or the universe. If anything, I might call my self a naturalist. I spend up to 2 hrs daily in solitude and meditation. So there may lie my defense of practicing for prolonged amounts of time. My experience has been positive, so I feel this isn't always a warning of danger.

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Re: Dangers of Meditation
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: March 07, 2015 05:22AM

tia007:

Two hours a day may be a bit too much time spent stilling the mind, but as long as no one is using this time to manipulate you according to some specific teacher or guru's dictates, it may be benign

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