Is meditation bad for you?

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Volo
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Volo » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:04 am

Master Gotama, the brahmin Pokkharasāti of the Upamaññā clan, lord of the Subhaga Grove, says thus: "Some recluses and brahmins here claim superhuman states, distinctions in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. But what they say turns out to be ridiculous; it turns out to be mere words, empty and hollow. For how could a human being know or see or realise a superhuman state, a distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones? That is impossible."

"How then, student, does the brahmin Pokharasāti understand the minds of all recluses and brahmins, having encompassed them with his own mind?"

"Master Gotama, the brahmin Pokkharasāti does not even understand the mind of his slavewoman Puṇṇikā having encompassed it with his own mind, so how could he understand thus the minds of all recluses and brahmins?”

“Student, suppose there were a man born blind who could not see dark and light forms... He might say thus: ‘There are no dark and light forms, and no one who sees dark and light forms..."
MN99
Last edited by Volo on Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:34 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
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
this
Congratulations on 2000 posts! :clap:

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seeker242
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by seeker242 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:03 am

Is meditation bad for you?
Some people hurt themselves doing exercise, does that mean exercise is bad for you? Of course not...

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budo
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by budo » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:48 am

Zom wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:24 am
rightviewftw wrote: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.

This post is riddled with logical errors that I'd like to address once you address my response to your post, or have you given up?

Here it is in case you missed it viewtopic.php?f=31&t=33016#p491046

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Zom
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

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

This post is riddled with logical errors that I'd like to address once you address my response to your post, or have you given up?
Three links are there. They are enough for consideration 8-)

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=33016#p491061

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budo
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by budo » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:13 pm

Zom wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:24 pm
This post is riddled with logical errors that I'd like to address once you address my response to your post, or have you given up?
Three links are there. They are enough for consideration 8-)

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=33016#p491061
So you're not going to respond to my post? Just going to make claims and not defend them?

That's fine, let it be seen by others. I will link to this thread and post in the future whenever you make such comments again.

For now I will show you all the holes in your recent post. Let the dissection begin:
I repeat again, it is not me who should prove something here
You cannot prove jhanas, supernormal powers, or nibbana, which is why faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha are required as prerequisite to stream entry. You have to "see for yourself"

Furthermore, you are perfectly reasonable to doubt that others have experienced these things, but you cannot deny that people have experienced these things because to deny it would mean that you not only experienced it yourself, but have mastered it. You can doubt other people's experiences, but you cannot deny their experiences unless you have superior knowledge. To doubt their experience is honest and rational, to deny their experience means you have superior knowledge (which is why I asked you how do you know?), but if you do not know then you are being dishonest.

Since you have not experienced jhanas, then to say "no one has experienced jhanas" is dishonest and wrong speech, since you do not know what people have experienced.
It is those who say "there are people with jhanas" must somehow validate their statements.
There is no way to validate something that is not objective. Even if someone sits in a half-lotus position for one month, it does not mean they have attained jhanas. Your measures are superficial. The measure and qualification of jhana, according to the suttas, is overcoming the 5 hindrances and developing the jhana factors.

Even when the Buddha was dying and was moving through the jhanas, the other monks could not tell except for one who had the supernormal ability to encompass other's minds. Therefore not all arahants have supernormal abilities, and definitely not all those who have mastered jhanas.
So far I haven't seen anyone who could do that.
Even if you have seen it, it wouldn't mean they've attained jhana.
That's why I still agree with that Visuddhimagga point "1 meditator in 1 million" can reach real jhana.
The number is irrelevant, what is relevant is your qualification of "Real" jhana, which I will show you is wrong.
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
Jhana does not lead to non-returning, it definitely makes attaining non-returning easier, but it is not the cause of non-returning. The cause of non-returning are the 10 perceptions. Now if we're talking about full enlightenment, like Arahantship, that's different, but you wrote non-returning.

In fact you can attain non-return by applying the 10 perceptions to metta, with no jhana at all.

"“Mendicants, these four people are found in the world. What four? Firstly, a person meditates spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. They contemplate the phenomena there—included in form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness—as impermanent, as suffering, as diseased, as an abscess, as a dart, as misery, as an affliction, as alien, as falling apart, as empty, as not-self. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the company of the gods of the pure abodes. This rebirth is not shared with ordinary people. " - AN 4.126

Which is also why the Buddha's teachers Alara and Uddaka did not attain any form enlightenment despite mastering the jhanas.
that leads on to supernormal powers,
So are you saying that first jhana is a fake jhana because it doesn't lead to supernormal powers? The suttas say 4th jhana (But really after 8th jhana because they don't count jhanas 5-8 numerically).

So jhanas 1,2,3 and possibly 4 are fake jhanas to you because they don't involve supernormal powers right? If someone only masters first jhana their whole life, then it is not considered jhana in your book because they never developed supernormal powers?

If you considers Jhanas 1-3 as fake, then you deny the noble eightfold path, the four noble truths, the sangha, the dhamma, and the buddha.

This is why being purposely vague makes one appear daft or arrogant.
or at the very least - to long sitting meditation periods.
Correlation does not imply causation. Just because it took one monk many many hours to attain jhana doesn't mean it is the requirement, if time was the qualifying factor then the Buddha would have been clear about it. Bahiya barkcloth attained nibbana the same moment of hearing the Buddha utter a sentence, while others can sit in half-lotus positions for weeks and not attain anything, but as the dhammapada says one real moment of reflection is all it takes.

Also, that is only one sutta reference, what about the many many suttas where the Buddha tells people to meditate, and that meditation is good, and is important. Lastly your anti-retreat position is not consistent with your "sitting many hours" position, it's a huge contradiction to demand that people sit many hours but at the same time be against an environment that facilitates that happening.

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Zom
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Zom » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:36 pm

So you're not going to respond to my post? Just going to make claims and not defend them?
I just have no desire to participate in troll-like converstation with obviously false statements like "you cannot prove jhanas, supernormal powers" or "Jhana does not lead to non-returning.... you can attain non-return by applying the 10 perceptions to metta, with no jhana at all" 8-)

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budo
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by budo » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:53 pm

Zom wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:36 pm
So you're not going to respond to my post? Just going to make claims and not defend them?
I just have no desire to participate in troll-like converstation with obviously false statements like "you cannot prove jhanas, supernormal powers" or "Jhana does not lead to non-returning.... you can attain non-return by applying the 10 perceptions to metta, with no jhana at all" 8-)
Thanks I will borrow this line in the future for any comment you make

"I have no desire to respond to someone who believes Jhanas 1 to 3 are fake jhanas because they do not have supernormal powers"

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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:41 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:37 am
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.
I recall reading or hearing about the teacher of one of the Thai Ajahns (possibly Maha Bua) deciding that the student was enjoying bliss too much and messing with his confidence to the extent that he was unable to get that level of bliss again for several months...

After getting over the initial anger, he realised that it was a valuable lesson...

:heart:
Mike

SarathW
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by SarathW » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:31 pm

Thai Ajahns (possibly Maha Bua) deciding that the student was enjoying bliss too much
You are allowed only four weeks holiday per annum!
Get back to real world.
:tongue:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Turmeric » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:12 pm

One of the major problems people have in meditation is they get prana stuck in their head, and then they start to become a bit loopy. Depending on how much prana is stuck in their head, it can go from a little "weird" to full blown mentally insane. I imagine this is why people in Thailand use to be afraid of meditation, saying it made people crazy. You fix this problem by simply putting your attention on your feet, and feeling the hardness underneath them (the earth element).

When people have prana stuck in their head, they become incredibly dogmatic, easily angered, very argumentative, and borderline delusional. If you look back at the history of Dhammawheel you can find a few people asking for help with this problem, and the majority of people not really knowing what to do.

Cures to problems like this really need to be more readily available. When people are becoming wacky in their practice, they need to know not to focus anywhere near the head, no nostril breathing meditation, don't eat cold light foods, don't be in a cold environment, switch your meditation practice to the earth element so you aren't in outer space, and find a good teacher that understands your problem. If you were to see a traditional medicine doctor, such as an ayurvedic doctor, you would likely be prescribed Anu Thailam to squirt into your nostrils every morning, at sunrise. This is also very helpful.

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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by SarathW » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:29 pm

Turmeric wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:12 pm
One of the major problems people have in meditation is they get prana stuck in their head, and then they start to become a bit loopy. Depending on how much prana is stuck in their head, it can go from a little "weird" to full blown mentally insane. I imagine this is why people in Thailand use to be afraid of meditation, saying it made people crazy. You fix this problem by simply putting your attention on your feet, and feeling the hardness underneath them (the earth element).

When people have prana stuck in their head, they become incredibly dogmatic, easily angered, very argumentative, and borderline delusional. If you look back at the history of Dhammawheel you can find a few people asking for help with this problem, and the majority of people not really knowing what to do.

Cures to problems like this really need to be more readily available. When people are becoming wacky in their practice, they need to know not to focus anywhere near the head, no nostril breathing meditation, don't eat cold light foods, don't be in a cold environment, switch your meditation practice to the earth element so you aren't in outer space, and find a good teacher that understands your problem. If you were to see a traditional medicine doctor, such as an ayurvedic doctor, you would likely be prescribed Anu Thailam to squirt into your nostrils every morning, at sunrise. This is also very helpful.
Very interesting but I believe this is not Theravada.
What is prana means in Theravada?
You fix this problem by simply putting your attention on your feet, and feeling the hardness underneath them (the earth element).
Interesting.
Buddha used earth witness (by touching the earth) when Mara try to defeat him.
https://www.sacredsource.com/Earth-Witn ... ctinfo/BD/
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Turmeric
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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Turmeric » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:37 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:29 pm
Turmeric wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:12 pm
One of the major problems people have in meditation is they get prana stuck in their head, and then they start to become a bit loopy. Depending on how much prana is stuck in their head, it can go from a little "weird" to full blown mentally insane. I imagine this is why people in Thailand use to be afraid of meditation, saying it made people crazy. You fix this problem by simply putting your attention on your feet, and feeling the hardness underneath them (the earth element).

When people have prana stuck in their head, they become incredibly dogmatic, easily angered, very argumentative, and borderline delusional. If you look back at the history of Dhammawheel you can find a few people asking for help with this problem, and the majority of people not really knowing what to do.

Cures to problems like this really need to be more readily available. When people are becoming wacky in their practice, they need to know not to focus anywhere near the head, no nostril breathing meditation, don't eat cold light foods, don't be in a cold environment, switch your meditation practice to the earth element so you aren't in outer space, and find a good teacher that understands your problem. If you were to see a traditional medicine doctor, such as an ayurvedic doctor, you would likely be prescribed Anu Thailam to squirt into your nostrils every morning, at sunrise. This is also very helpful.
Very interesting but I believe this is not Theravada.
What is prana means in Theravada?
You fix this problem by simply putting your attention on your feet, and feeling the hardness underneath them (the earth element).
Interesting.
Buddha used earth witness (by touching the earth) when Mara try to defeat him.
https://www.sacredsource.com/Earth-Witn ... ctinfo/BD/
In Burma, teachers call it the air element. In Thailand, teachers call it the breath energy. It's an invisible energy running through your body, creating happiness/misery, sickness/health. It is there regardless of religion, race, belief system. It is a part of the air element, but not the breath. Although you start to feel it more easily when you focus on the breath.


----------------------------------

Realize that when we are imagining the breath coming in and out of different parts of our body, we aren't focusing on the actual wind, we are focusing on energy - Bhikkhu Thanissaro.

----------------------------------

Realize that there are pockets of energy in the body—and
not just in the body, all around you. Ajaan Lee talks about the elements that
surround the body and can give nourishment to it. Sometimes these
elements can come into the different chakras, or the different resting points
of the breath, as Ajaan Lee calls them. Think of an energy outside the body
coming in and nourishing the point in the middle of the chest, nourishing
the point in the middle of your head, any point that seems to need extra
energy. Tap into the energies around you. There are some good ones. Learn
how to recognize the good ones that feel refreshing as soon as you allow
them in. - Bhikkhu Thanissaro

----------------------------------

Question and answers session
Questioner. Ajahn Lees breath energy meditation sounds a lot like chinese Qigong and hindu pranayama. Do you think they are similar?

Bhikkhu Thanissaro. Working with the energies in the body is neither Hindu nor Buddhist nor Chinese. It's universal.

----------------------------------

In Buddhism, prana is a part of the air element. It's called prana in India, Qi in China. Monks in Burma call it the air element. When people sit down in meditation, they sometimes have problems with energy getting stuck in their head. So that's one of the reasons why we do walking meditation - Patrick Kearney, Vipassana teacher, student of Sayadaw U Pandita.

----------------------------------

Often when I teach mindfulness of breathing, I use a standing meditation, and i've incorporated a system of Qigong which you're probably familiar, the chinese tradition. It can be used in a range of ways, for healing, for martial arts, but i essentially use it as a way of steadying energy and giving people a direct experience of the energy system in their body, and how this connects to their breathing - Ajahn Sucitto.

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Prana is an energy form, it's not just anatomy, it's an energy form that can be trained, moderated, and harnessed for very powerful spiritual purposes. - Ajahn Sucitto.

----------------------------------

It may also be interesting to know that the founder of Thai medicine was Jivaka, the Buddhas doctor. And in thai medicine, specifically the massage aspect, the purpose is to unblock prana channels in your clients body. The Buddhas doctor was also a Ruesi, and Ruesi have their own mapping of the energy channels in the human body. As well as an entire thai yoga system for working with it.

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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by SarathW » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:38 am

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Is meditation bad for you?

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:25 pm

SarathW wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:06 am
Is meditation bad for you?
It depends on the type of meditation. I don't see how practices like anapanasati and mettabhavana could be "bad" for somebody.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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