From an article on yoga
meditating is like running, or any sport or form of training – injuries happen. And injuries are to be avoided if possible! They ruin the fun. But the denial system in meditators is so intense they can't stand ANY hint that their practice may be less than perfect. And this denial, of course, is one of the hidden dangers of meditation. Go figure.
From an article on two paths--renunciate practice and householder practice and problems that may arise if detachment practices are wrongly prescribed for persons whose actual life path is through relationship not detachment from relationship...
Almost all books on meditation available today are written by people who were inspired in one way or the other by the great monastic traditions of India and other Asian countries. Almost all teachers of meditation are either monks or nuns, were trained by monks or nuns, or were trained by students of monks or nuns. So attitudes of renunciation have come to be synonymous with meditation.
When householders practice meditations designed for renunciates, they inadventently damage the psychic and energetic structures they need to make their way in the material world. Meditation works, and it works on you on a deep level. If you go into meditation with the idea that you have to detach from the world, you may get more than you bargained for - you may find yourself gradually getting dissociated, removed, alienated, and depersonalized. It is always easier to destroy than to create, and detachment means to cut off or separate. It can take years to rebuild connections that you have severed through mistakenly practicing detachment.
In a nutshell, monks and nuns evolve by living a life of detachment, disconnection, and aloofness. They may be very attached to their robes and their spiritual order, but their practice is about renouncing their desire for "worldly things." For them, spirituality is irrevocably tied up with denial.
Non-monks, on the other hand, evolve through working with the material world. Detachment is not the primary attitude to cultivate. Rather, the opposite of detachment is indicated: being involved, close, committed, and intimate. For some odd reason, this distinction is not being honored, and the wrong techniques are being taught on a wide scale.
The Path of Attachment and Involvement
People who have families, jobs, pay rent or mortgages, and live in the real world, have very different needs in meditation. Recluses call us householders. Houeseholders do not need to constantly kill off their natural impulses. As a matter of fact, the last thing they need is to weaken their desires, instincts and intuition. The path of the householder involves working with attachment. It is very daring to be attached. Tolerating the experience of attachment takes courage. Personal bonds are attachments. Loving someone is an attachment. Householders, when they meditate, should savor every sexual impulse, cherish every desire, honor and listen to all their instincts, and cultivate their general enthusiasm for life.
When The Paths Become Confused
When householders practice meditation in the style of a recluse, and practice detaching from their desires, they often find that over time their instincts become weaker, their intuition becomes flawed, they become confused about their desires, and they start looking for an external authority to dominate them and tell them what to do. This is what happens when you practice detachment. When you internalize toxic attitudes (such as advocated in The Precious Garland) toward your desires, attachments and your identity, you will indeed find over time that your individuality is weakened and you start longing for some dominant male to tell you what to do. You will long for shelter in a religous organization, spiritual collective, or cult. As you separate yourself from your personal desires, you become magnetically attracted to people who have strong, dynamic egos. In other words, the center of life is moved from being inside your body to being out there, somewhere. This process of depersonalization usually takes several years, and people are generally surprised at how deep it goes. It is not unusual for it to take ten or fifteen years to recover from several years practicing meditation in a mood of renunciation.
It is not the meditation per se that is harming you, it is the attitude of detachment that you are practicing. In other words, taking on reclusive attitudes is like taking the treatment for a disease you don't have. If you are healthy and strong, but your doctor thinks that your strength is a sign of a rebellious spirit that needs to be broken, and gives you chemotherapy and radiation, you will get sick. When householders become weak from meditating, monks and nuns think this is great, that you are stepping onto the spiritual path. But it is one thing for a monk or nun to have no money, be celibate and obedient. When a householder is influenced by monastic thinking, she just becomes broke, lonely and submissive. This is not evolution, this is just damage, unless it really is your destiny to leave everything and everyone and go join a religious order.
A lot more research needs to be done in this area. For example, some people can breeze through years of Nagarjuna-type teachings and then just slough it off when they are done. It was no weirder than their family of origin, and maybe it helped them to expunge something. Others are deeply affected in a negative way...