Dangers of Meditation

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
alfa
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Dangers of Meditation

Post by alfa » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am

Recently I read something online, can't find the link now.

Anyway, the scholar says something like this:

When we sit down and do nothing, it becomes hard for us, NOT because doing nothing is hard. But when we have nothing to do, we are forced to come face to face with the inner demons, subconscious impulses, suppressed anger, hidden desires, etc.

So what he's essentially saying is: doing nothing isn't the problem. It simply exposes the problems inside, which is why we are constantly engaged in some activity.

Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true? If so, why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?

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bodom
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by bodom » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:51 am

From Bhante Gunaratana:
Everything is dangerous. Walk across the street and you may get hit by a bus. Take a shower and you could break your neck. Meditate and you will probably dredge up various nasty-matters from your past. The suppressed material that has been buried there for quite some time can be scary. It is also highly profitable. No activity is entirely without risk, but that does not mean that we should wrap ourselves in some protective cocoon. That is not living. That is premature death. The way to deal with danger is to know approximately how much of it there is, where it is likely to be found and how to deal with it when it arises. That is the purpose of this manual. Vipassana is development of awareness. That in itself is not dangerous, but just the opposite. Increased awareness is the safeguard against danger. Properly done, meditation is a very gently and gradual process. Take it slow and easy, and development of your practice will occur very naturally. Nothing should be forced. Later, when you are under the close scrutiny and protective wisdom of a competent teacher, you can accelerate your rate of growth by taking a period of intensive meditation. In the beginning, though, easy does it. Work gently and everything will be fine.
https://realization.org/p/namedoc/mindf ... ipe.5.html

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

SarathW
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by SarathW » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:11 am

This the reason why people should practice meditation by following the Noble Eightfold Path.
It start from right view then follow to right concentration.
Without this people get in to wrong concentration which is dangerous.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

justindesilva
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by justindesilva » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:31 am

alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am
Recently I read something online, can't find the link now.

Anyway, the scholar says something like this:

When we sit down and do nothing, it becomes hard for us, NOT because doing nothing is hard. But when we have nothing to do, we are forced to come face to face with the inner demons, subconscious impulses, suppressed anger, hidden desires, etc.

So what he's essentially saying is: doing nothing isn't the problem. It simply exposes the problems inside, which is why we are constantly engaged in some activity.

Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true? If so, why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?
learning Meditation is like learning to swim or cycle. This is something which we cannot learn by reading a book.But it has to be experienced and is not difficult while it need not be feared to start on.
Yet we have to realize that there are mainly two types of meditation of which anapana sati ( meditation on breathing) or metta bhavana ( meditation on compassion
or loving kindness) falls in to the category of samatha or consolation which really cools down with joy and rapture.
The second type is insight ( vipassana) which falls in to many categories. Of course it is good to start vipassana meditation with an experieced person.
The next to observe is that ana pana sati meditation has to be experienced while seated ( best is lotus posture called padmasana) without moving the body.
Vilpassana meditation can be done while being seated, standing , walking or on sleeping posture.
Yet we must realise that mere concentration and meditation is not the same. Meditation is a means to create awareness of consciousness and the link of consciousness with our own internal system along with nature ( damma).

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by salayatananirodha » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:02 am

Because nothing is more dangerous than an untamed mind! Don't let yourself get carried away by the flood; make an effort with hands and feet. It's as if your hair were on fire, it is that serious. We're under a spell like Dorothy in the poppy field. When you see the first noble truth with a measure of clarity, you can't be truly complacent with becoming or sense pleasures. 'Doing nothing' is not meditation; you take your mind and knock out larger (defiled) pegs with smaller, more refined ones. You cultivate what is wholesome with your attention, starving defilements. Jhāna takes a great deal of effort just starting. It's not 'just sitting'.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

form
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by form » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:34 am

The danger as in becoming too engrossed in their own world and lost touch with outside world. Some may be percieved as abnormal in a psychological sense.

If one start to percieve supernatural vision or voice, that is again treated as some serious symptoms by mental health professionals. Geeting help else where, the meditator will need some help from experienced meditators that accept such aspects. Sounds dangerous?

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seeker242
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by seeker242 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:27 am

alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am

Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true?
Not really. Buddhist style meditation is not idleness of mind. Awareness becomes focused and pointed. And then pointed at what is appropriate to point it at and pointed away from what is inappropriate to point it at. That's the opposite of idleness. Idleness would actually be just sleeping in and skipping the meditation.

:meditate:

Dinsdale
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:46 am

alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am
When we sit down and do nothing, it becomes hard for us, NOT because doing nothing is hard. But when we have nothing to do, we are forced to come face to face with the inner demons, subconscious impulses, suppressed anger, hidden desires, etc.
Ajahn Brahm tells a nice story about how Sam Atha and Vi Passana take their dog Metta for a walk in the hills of insight.
alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am
Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true? If so, why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?
For me it's like a journey of discovery. Self-discovery can be very uncomfortable at times, but I also find it fascinating, illuminating and liberating.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by Crazy cloud » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:50 am

alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am
Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true? If so, why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?
Inside is outside, and meditation puts you into a position where you can see this clearly, and with time and so on, maybe find resting peace in the way it is

Best!
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

Saengnapha
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:41 pm

Crazy cloud wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:50 am
alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am
Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true? If so, why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?
Inside is outside, and meditation puts you into a position where you can see this clearly, and with time and so on, maybe find resting peace in the way it is

Best!
It may be nothing more than a drug to help make you more insensitive and then call it tranquility. :shrug:
I don't think peace has anything to do with time or watching inside/outside. Peace is another thing we grasp because we are led to believe there is such a thing.

binocular
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by binocular » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:31 pm

alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am
Recently I read something online, can't find the link now.

Anyway, the scholar says something like this:

When we sit down and do nothing, it becomes hard for us, NOT because doing nothing is hard. But when we have nothing to do, we are forced to come face to face with the inner demons, subconscious impulses, suppressed anger, hidden desires, etc.

So what he's essentially saying is: doing nothing isn't the problem. It simply exposes the problems inside, which is why we are constantly engaged in some activity.

Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true? If so, why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?
The type of meditation described above where one "does nothing" sounds like some kind of lite pseudo-Zen.
It is only to be expected that troubles will come from that type of "meditation".

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by Crazy cloud » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:07 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:41 pm
Crazy cloud wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:50 am
alfa wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 am
Now if this is the case, then wouldn't it make the 'idle mind-devil's workshop' saying true? If so, why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?
Inside is outside, and meditation puts you into a position where you can see this clearly, and with time and so on, maybe find resting peace in the way it is

Best!
It may be nothing more than a drug to help make you more insensitive and then call it tranquility. :shrug:
I don't think peace has anything to do with time or watching inside/outside. Peace is another thing we grasp because we are led to believe there is such a thing.
That's what I say, mate ... ;)
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:32 pm

Crazy cloud wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:07 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:41 pm
Crazy cloud wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:50 am


Inside is outside, and meditation puts you into a position where you can see this clearly, and with time and so on, maybe find resting peace in the way it is

Best!
It may be nothing more than a drug to help make you more insensitive and then call it tranquility. :shrug:
I don't think peace has anything to do with time or watching inside/outside. Peace is another thing we grasp because we are led to believe there is such a thing.
That's what I say, mate ... ;)
:thumbsup:

cookiemonster
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:42 am

Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by cookiemonster » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:32 pm

SarathW wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:11 am
This the reason why people should practice meditation by following the Noble Eightfold Path.
It start from right view then follow to right concentration.
Without this people get in to wrong concentration which is dangerous.
:thumbsup:

Sadly - as I see it - Westernized Buddhism and newcomers to it tend to focus on teaching meditation, almost to the exclusion of the other seven factors, as if meditation was all that Buddhists do.

Like you said, right view is needed to be established to produce right intentions, and right intentions give strength to right speech, action, livelihood, and effort, all of which prepares the mind with the necessary foundation for proper right concentration & meditation.

2600htz
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Re: Dangers of Meditation

Post by 2600htz » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:52 pm

Hello:

Well i disagree with the "meditation is doing nothing" statement, but yes, like with everything, there is a potential danger in doing the meditation.
Why bother with meditation when it's only going to bring out the worst from inside of you?, i also don´t think that is right, it shouldn´t only bring out the worst inside of you, but it could. If that happens, either you overcome it, getting emotional relieve, or you take it the wrong way, and that is the danger.

Regards.

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