Is meditation bad for you?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
SarathW
Posts: 10514
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Is meditation bad for you?

Post by SarathW » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:06 am

Is meditation bad for you?

You can type anything and find what you want in Google.
So I typed this and found the following article.
I thought it is better to discuss the issues brought up in this article.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 68291.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
budo
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: The world

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by budo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:09 am

I can tell you that Jhana is the probably the best possible thing a lay person can achieve in this life and nothing comes close to it. It really is night and day. If people knew about Jhana and how to access it consistently, it would put so many industries out of business like pharmaceuticals, psychotherapy, entertainment, etc..

Assuming your biochemical composition is normal (and Right Livelihood should help with that via intermittent fasting/nutrition/sleep), then Metta and Jhana is really all you need to be happy as a lay person.

Society would also be a lot more respectful as they would know how valuable jhana is and that being a negative person, or loud and obnoxious, would prevent not only others from entering jhana, but themselves.

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2270
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Zom » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:25 am

If people knew about Jhana and how to access it consistently.. Jhana is really all you need to be happy as a lay person.
The thing is, people keep talking about it, but no one has it .)

And again, why "jhana"? Why not "full enlightement, nibbana"? 8-)

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4619
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:42 am

This has been discussed a couple of times here, the earliest seems to be here:

viewtopic.php?t=2854

There have also been threads about meditation precipitating a "dark night of the soul", etc.

Most UK newspapers that cater for the educated middle classes (i.e. those people who will have been exposed to excessively positive promotions of mindfulness and associated fads) have also run articles on how meditation can be harmful. Controversy and anxiety generate clicks on that site, which generates advertising revenue and kudos for the writer.

User avatar
budo
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: The world

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by budo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:08 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:25 am
If people knew about Jhana and how to access it consistently.. Jhana is really all you need to be happy as a lay person.
The thing is, people keep talking about it, but no one has it .)
How do you know no one has it? Do you have access to the contents of their mind and memory or do you base it off your interpretation of text?

If the latter, then you cannot know. If it is the former, then you have a supernormal power and you would then know that jhana is possible.
And again, why "jhana"? Why not "full enlightement, nibbana"? 8-)
Because I wrote lay person, and if a person attains full enlightenment then they must ordain within 7 days or die, and if they ordain, then they are not a lay person.

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2270
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Zom » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:21 pm

How do you know no one has it? Do you have access to the contents of their mind and memory or do you base it off your interpretation of text?
Because no one can demonstrate it at least as a prolonged period of sitting meditation. If you state "people have jhanas", it is you who should provide evidences for that - not me, who doubts such statements 8-)
do you base it off your interpretation of text?
This, of course. Yes, I strongly doubt that people often (or even rarely) attain "superhuman states" nowadays -) What what once a samaññaphala (fruit of recluseship) became popularized, demystified, simplified, secularized "attainment" for everyone. A part of McMindfulness trend, really.

auto
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:02 pm

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by auto » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:45 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:21 pm
How do you know no one has it? Do you have access to the contents of their mind and memory or do you base it off your interpretation of text?
Because no one can demonstrate it at least as a prolonged period of sitting meditation. If you state "people have jhanas", it is you who should provide evidences for that - not me, who doubts such statements 8-)
do you base it off your interpretation of text?
This, of course. Yes, I strongly doubt that people often (or even rarely) attain "superhuman states" nowadays -) What what once a samaññaphala (fruit of recluseship) became popularized, demystified, simplified, secularized "attainment" for everyone. A part of McMindfulness trend, really.
"Because no one can demonstrate it at least as a prolonged period of sitting meditation"

Sounds like a memorandum from Dictator regrets.

if you have sit so long yes it comes harder to discern things and even be awake or show normalcy, maybe thats why it is not possible to demonstrate jhana after sit so long.


definetly a mindset if you are not A student you suck. I doubt dhamma is that shallow. Strawman arguments, arguments just to drain empty of energy whoever reads the message and try to picture it in their minds how it suppose to work.

dharmacorps
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:35 pm

Its not good for everybody. For some people with mental illness or severe trauma, it can cause problems. Like most things in the dhamma, it is a skill, not a end in and of itself.

auto
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:02 pm

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by auto » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:44 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:25 am
If people knew about Jhana and how to access it consistently.. Jhana is really all you need to be happy as a lay person.
The thing is, people keep talking about it, but no one has it .)

And again, why "jhana"? Why not "full enlightement, nibbana"? 8-)
jhana is a set of factors what keep you on a chosen object that object is acquainted to senses. It takes many hours to become acquainted.
A person learns to play violin it works the same, you can learn any object.

Only a new or fettered won't become angry or without any sense of failure. Sense of self arises too- 'you playing a violin'. When you come aware of yourself then you can become aware of earth and acquaint objects on earth.

it is by getting over the resistance obsession, form, you get to see what is on earth(how rare actually is to become aware of the surroundings of ourselves).

regular person doesn't discern that the seeign is veiled illusioned, after death no access to surface of earth or the seeing is limited the power of getting acquainted is weak.
Fundamentals are same but you can discern obsession earlier, defeat one form you work with next one, rise in ranks.

rightviewftw
Posts: 2219
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:59 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:21 pm
How do you know no one has it? Do you have access to the contents of their mind and memory or do you base it off your interpretation of text?
Because no one can demonstrate it at least as a prolonged period of sitting meditation. If you state "people have jhanas", it is you who should provide evidences for that - not me, who doubts such statements 8-)
Can you claim to have a perfect understanding of what constitutes a jhana and having personally tracked down for verification the meditation practitioners, monastic and lay to know exactly how long they can sit and what states they are or are not attaining?

I would be interested in your studies of meditative attainments in the population but i doubt you actually did any extensive research.

What is the sample size of your research and what is the confidence interval of the conclusions reached?
Last edited by rightviewftw on Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

User avatar
budo
Posts: 635
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: The world

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by budo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:38 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:21 pm
How do you know no one has it? Do you have access to the contents of their mind and memory or do you base it off your interpretation of text?
Because no one can demonstrate it at least as a prolonged period of sitting meditation. If you state "people have jhanas", it is you who should provide evidences for that - not me, who doubts such statements 8-)
[[All my edits below are for grammar, punctuation fixes, and better wording to get my points across]]


So a few points and questions:

- I never stated people "Have" jhanas, you are the one that used "Has" first and I used that term in response to your response, but if you read my first reply you'll see I never used the possessive term. I stated they can enter jhanas or have mastered the steps/routine to entering jhanas
- Even if people sit for 48+ hours it doesn't mean they have attained jhana, so you don't know from watching that either, and you'll never know from watching someone. As I asked, how do you know?
- Can you please provide me with a sutta that says how many hours one should sit to attain first jhana. Last I checked the only qualification for entering jhana is overcoming the 5 hindrances, and not based on duration of how long you sit.
- So are you saying that several monks like Henepola Gunaratana, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Brahm, Ayya Khema, Bhikkhu Analayo, Pau Auk Sayadaw and many many more have not experienced jhanas because there is no evidence of them sitting for several hours?
- Are you saying that the noble eightfold path is not possible to practice and experience, and if you do not believe in the noble eightfold path then why are you a follower of Buddhism?
- I personally do not need to provide you with any evidence so I am not proving anything to you or anyone. You should ask me how I know instead of asking me to provide evidence, two separate questions. Now if you're saying something specific like "you need X amount of hours to enter jhana" can you please provide a sutta source for that.
- The closest thing you'll find as evidence is ECG and MRI scans https://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2013/653572/
do you base it off your interpretation of text?
This, of course. Yes, I strongly doubt that people often (or even rarely) attain "superhuman states" nowadays -) What what once a samaññaphala (fruit of recluseship) became popularized, demystified, simplified, secularized "attainment" for everyone. A part of McMindfulness trend, really.

And what evidence do you have that attaining jhana is no longer possible, do the suttas not say that wherever you find the dhamma you find enlightened monks? and if the dhamma is so distorted and long gone, then why do you follow it? According to your perspective then, you shouldn't be even following Buddhism, since the real Buddhism has disappeared, so why waste time? If the Buddhism we have today is the wrong Buddhism, then there is nothing you can do and you are simply wasting time being on this forum. If jhana is already corrupted then by extension the rest of Buddhism is also corrupted, so why do you follow Corrupted Wrong Buddhism?

There is absolutely no problem having your perspective and belief system if you are consistent about it, but to reject 1) the noble eightfold path or 2) that Modern buddhism is wrong Buddhism, or at least not accessible to people, then what is the point of being a follower of the wrong system. It's not logical.

Now if I were to meet you on the streets, or on an a non-Buddhism forum, and you were to say "Yeah, I looked into Buddhism, and I believe the Buddhism we have today is the Wrong Buddhism, so I don't follow Buddhism" then that would be logical and consistent, but it is not logical to follow Wrong Buddhism, which is what you are doing. This is the reason why I'm not on Mahayana forums because I believe that is wrong Buddhism, you'll never see me follow what I believe is wrong, that doesn't make sense.

So again, there is nothing wrong with believing that modern Buddhism is wrong Buddhism, what is wrong in my eyes is the hypocrisy of following Wrong Buddhism on a Wrong Buddhism forum.
Last edited by budo on Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:48 pm, edited 11 times in total.

befriend
Posts: 1305
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by befriend » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:07 pm

How does one skillfully manage the psychological gunk that comes up from mindfulness?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2270
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Zom » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:24 am

I would be interested in your studies of meditative attainments in the population but i doubt you actually did any extensive research.

What is the sample size of your research and what is the confidence interval of the conclusions reached?
I repeat again, it is not me who should prove something here. It is those who say "there are people with jhanas" must somehow validate their statements. So far I haven't seen anyone who could do that. That's why I still agree with that Visuddhimagga point "1 meditator in 1 million" can reach real jhana. Fake jhanas - yes of course, 7 days on retreat and here you go )) But I'm talking about serious jhana, that leads one to non-returning, that leads on to supernormal powers, or at the very least - to long sitting meditation periods.

rightviewftw
Posts: 2219
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:08 am

Zom wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:24 am
I would be interested in your studies of meditative attainments in the population but i doubt you actually did any extensive research.

What is the sample size of your research and what is the confidence interval of the conclusions reached?
I repeat again, it is not me who should prove something here. It is those who say "there are people with jhanas" must somehow validate their statements. So far I haven't seen anyone who could do that. That's why I still agree with that Visuddhimagga point "1 meditator in 1 million" can reach real jhana. Fake jhanas - yes of course, 7 days on retreat and here you go )) But I'm talking about serious jhana, that leads one to non-returning, that leads on to supernormal powers, or at the very least - to long sitting meditation periods.
Ok so you have not done any research as in actually tracked down and verified claims.

IE I have personally heard monks talk about other monks who sit for many hours in meditation to quote "like a rock" and know a monk who i am almost certain attains these hard jhana of which you speak. Cessation attainment, i know of people alive who i am convinced have attained it as well.

Nobody has to prove anything to you. Nowhere in the teaching is it said that people should go around convincing other people and proclaiming attainments.

If you are saying that it is impossible nowadays to attain Jhana - you have no Tipitaka support for this, absolutely none.**
If you are saying that it is impossible nowadays to attain cessation of contact - you have no Tipitaka support for this, absolutely none.**

Without Canonical evidence it is actually your claims that can and should be dismissed without evidence because according to Tipitaka people can in fact attain Jhana and Path fruitions, therefore it is you who is making the extraordinary claims;
It is impossible, it cannot happen or to be fair the exact claim is "I think it is almost impossible".

Therefore the Hitchen's Razor applies to your claim and not the other way around because you have no canonical support for saying that the jhana attainments "expire" and you are basically making a unfounded assertion based on your subjective experience.
Hitchens's razor is an epistemological razor asserting that the burden of proof regarding the truthfulness of a claim lies with the one who makes the claim, and if this burden is not met, the claim is unfounded, and its opponents need not argue further in order to dismiss it.
Whereas the people who claim attainments actually have the Tipitaka for the foundation of their claims, which may be wrong of course but they have foundation nonetheless.

**
The most evidence you can cite from the Tipitaka is from the Sutta where the Buddha says that the True Dhamma will last 500 years;
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/AN/A ... 8.51note05
“But, Ānanda, if women had not obtained the Going-forth from the home life into homelessness in the Dhamma & Vinaya made known by the Tathāgata, the holy life would have lasted long, the true Dhamma would have lasted 1,000 years. But now that they have obtained the Going-forth from the home life into homelessness in the Dhamma & Vinaya made known by the Tathāgata, the holy life will not last long, the true Dhamma will last only 500 years.5
But this refers to true Dhamma, as in not counterfeit, the statement does not refer to Dhamma in general, does not refer to attainments. It does not disappear all at once with the arising of fake Dhamma either; as is explained by SN 16:13
On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then Ven. Mahā Kassapa went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “What is the cause, lord, what is the reason, why before there were fewer training rules and yet more monks established in final gnosis, whereas now there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis?”

“That’s the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.1
“It’s not the earth property that makes the true Dhamma disappear. It’s not the water property… the fire property… the wind property that makes the true Dhamma disappear.2 It’s worthless people who arise right here [within the Saṅgha] who make the true Dhamma disappear. The true Dhamma doesn’t disappear the way a ship sinks all at once.

“These five downward-leading qualities tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher. They live without respect, without deference, for the Dhamma… for the Saṅgha… for the training… for concentration. These are the five downward-leading qualities that tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

“But these five qualities tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live with respect, with deference, for the Teacher. They live with respect, with deference, for the Dhamma… for the Saṅgha… for the training… for concentration. These are the five qualities that tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma.”
Which explains that the true Dhamma does not disappear all at once but with the arising of counterfeit Dhamma it gradually disappears as it is replaced by fake Dhamma.

Id say teaching that it is impossible to attain Paths and Jhana is a type of counterfeit Dhamma that causes disappearance because it is against the teachings, discourages people from practicing and is disservice to all people. Furthermore to say such statements is also quite rude because one is basically saying that all the monks and householders who claim such attainments are deluded, confused or lying. Which is in itself a sort of Insult and i'd be keeping my mouth shut if i believed that unless i was 100% certain and had no doubt at all.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

User avatar
JamesTheGiant
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:41 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:37 am

Meditation can be bad for you if you do it wrong.

1) Like pushing too hard and getting "Meditator's Sickness", what Tibetans call "Lung" ( not related to the lungs in your chest.)

2) And if you get into a nice spacey or blissful meditation you can waste a lot of time just enjoying that state. There are a few super-famous Theravada monks who talked about how they wasted a whole decade of their life meditating and enjoying the mild bliss, but not getting anywhere or making any progress because they just were happy to stay in the hazy blissful place. It wasn't jhana, just some really nice semi-samadhi.

3) and of course if you have some mental illness which gets triggered by meditation. I've seen it happen at least three times. Hospital admissions in two of those cases.

4) I'm sure I had a fourth example...
rightviewftw wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:08 am
2000
Congratulations on 2000 posts! :clap:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests