Meditation and safety

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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mikenz66
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by mikenz66 »

I wasn't talking about spending money. I was talking about meeting friends locally.

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Mike
Meezer77
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Meezer77 »

TBH I don’t really have any non internet Buddhist friends. One of my best friends is a Baptist. The other 2 close friends don’t really subscribe to any particular faith.
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Zom
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Zom »

"I think government oversight is too heavy handed," he said. "However I think those of us in the Buddhist/psychology profession have a responsibility to expose it as unsafe practice for vulnerable people."
No one reads suttas, while it is all there:

“Upāli, remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest are challenging. It’s hard to maintain seclusion and hard to find joy in it. Staying alone, the forests seem to rob the mind of a mendicant who isn’t immersed in samādhi. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.

Suppose there was a large lake, and along comes a bull elephant with a height of seven or eight cubits. He’d think, ‘Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and emerged from the water, I’ll come out and go wherever I want.’ And that’s just what he does. Why is that? Because his large life-form finds a footing in the depths.

Then along comes a rabbit or a cat. They’d think, ‘What difference is there between me and a bull elephant? Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and drunk, I’ll emerge from the water and go wherever I want.’ They jump into the lake rashly, without thinking. You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away. Why is that? Because their little life-form finds no footing in the depths. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.


So, people continue sinking and floating away knowing nothing about the Path and its gradual development.
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mikenz66
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by mikenz66 »

Zom wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:34 pm So, people continue sinking and floating away knowing nothing about the Path and its gradual development.
Yes, that's a great sutta, ending with:
“When my disciples see this quality inside themselves they frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest. And they have achieved their own goal. Come on, Upāli, stay with the Saṅgha. If you stay with the Saṅgha you’ll be comfortable.
https://suttacentral.net/an10.99/en/sujato
I recall another sutta, which I can't locate right now, where a Bhikkhu asks to be allowed to go alone and, despite being warned against it by the Buddha, similarly to Upāli, does go into the forest alone, only to find that he is not properly prepared.

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Mike
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WindDancer
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by WindDancer »

Zom wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:34 pm
"I think government oversight is too heavy handed," he said. "However I think those of us in the Buddhist/psychology profession have a responsibility to expose it as unsafe practice for vulnerable people."
No one reads suttas, while it is all there:

“Upāli, remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest are challenging. It’s hard to maintain seclusion and hard to find joy in it. Staying alone, the forests seem to rob the mind of a mendicant who isn’t immersed in samādhi. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.

Suppose there was a large lake, and along comes a bull elephant with a height of seven or eight cubits. He’d think, ‘Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and emerged from the water, I’ll come out and go wherever I want.’ And that’s just what he does. Why is that? Because his large life-form finds a footing in the depths.

Then along comes a rabbit or a cat. They’d think, ‘What difference is there between me and a bull elephant? Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and drunk, I’ll emerge from the water and go wherever I want.’ They jump into the lake rashly, without thinking. You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away. Why is that? Because their little life-form finds no footing in the depths. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.


So, people continue sinking and floating away knowing nothing about the Path and its gradual development.
Thanks Zom for your helpful reply.

Thank you too, mikenz66 for what you added to the discussion:

Yes, that's a great sutta, ending with:
“When my disciples see this quality inside themselves they frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest. And they have achieved their own goal. Come on, Upāli, stay with the Saṅgha. If you stay with the Saṅgha you’ll be comfortable.”
https://suttacentral.net/an10.99/en/sujato
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Jgood
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Jgood »

I would suggest the people here research the ancient Indian medicine of Ayurveda to make more sense of these supposed dangers of meditation.

According to Ayurveda, there are three humors of the body- Fire (pitta), Air/space (Vata) and earth/water (Kapha). To put it simply, the activities we do and the things we consume all have an effect on these three humors. They can be neutral, increase, or decrease a humor.

Insanity/psychosis is largely due to Vata (wind element) derangements. Meditation, especially vipassana, and especially vipassana practiced in seclusion, is a rather spacey, airy, and cold practice. If done in excess, meditation can bring about psychosis in people whose Vata is already high (such as those who have a history of anxiety).


If you are already an airy, ungrounded, spacey person and worried about the mental dangers of meditation, I would still recommend practicing, but do in moderation. Balance it out with warm and grounding substances and practices. Eat warming foods, drink warm drinks, practice grounding exercise. Don't seclude yourself, keep spending time with friends and relatives. A good meditation for balancing out the cold quality of vipassana is metta (loving-kindness meditation) which is warm and connecting.
Meezer77
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Meezer77 »

That’s me in a nutshell: Airy, ungrounded, and spacey. I’m kinda like marmite you either love me or hate me :rofl: :jumping:
Meezer77
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Meezer77 »

What’s grounding exercise?
Jgood
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Jgood »

Meezer77 wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:05 am What’s grounding exercise?
Walking, gentle yoga, tai chi... pretty much any exercise without too much exertion that will make you feel centered and energized.
Meezer77
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Meezer77 »

Thanks. I’m doing a bit of Kundalini yoga at the moment. It gives me a nice little boost
Laurens
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Laurens »

Personally I don't concern myself with thoughts of safety. Life itself can lead to panic attacks and scary experiences without taking meditation into account. Many, many things have potential dangers; cutting vegetables, crossing the street. It's counterproductive to worry about them. If something bad does happen when I meditate one day, I'll deal with it if and when it happens.

I've been meditating on and off for over 10 years and I've yet to experience anything dangerous or harmful. Your results may vary of course, but its not something you ought to concern yourself with.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

Sometimes I feel a lot of Happiness and a lot of Peace ..

I avoid even meditating more

I remember a Sutta where the Buddha felt a lot of energy and was unable to meditate .. I think he waited for that feeling to pass to return to meditate .. I don't remember the name of the sutta ..

it is important to talk to family or trusted friends .. if you have risky behavior they can alert you ..
Zom wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:34 pm
“Upāli, remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest are challenging. It’s hard to maintain seclusion and hard to find joy in it. Staying alone, the forests seem to rob the mind of a mendicant who isn’t immersed in samādhi. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.

Suppose there was a large lake, and along comes a bull elephant with a height of seven or eight cubits. He’d think, ‘Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and emerged from the water, I’ll come out and go wherever I want.’ And that’s just what he does. Why is that? Because his large life-form finds a footing in the depths.

Then along comes a rabbit or a cat. They’d think, ‘What difference is there between me and a bull elephant? Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and drunk, I’ll emerge from the water and go wherever I want.’ They jump into the lake rashly, without thinking. You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away. Why is that? Because their little life-form finds no footing in the depths. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.


So, people continue sinking and floating away knowing nothing about the Path and its gradual development.
WindDancer wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:38 am
“When my disciples see this quality inside themselves they frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest. And they have achieved their own goal. Come on, Upāli, stay with the Saṅgha. If you stay with the Saṅgha you’ll be comfortable.”
https://suttacentral.net/an10.99/en/sujato
Thank you for Remembering this Sutta

:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/
Meezer77
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Meezer77 »

Thanks everyone for your replies. I’m over cautious at the moment because I had some mental health issues recently which were so unpleasant I didn’t want to exist anymore. Thankfully I’m better now, but don’t want to risk doing anything that might make me unwell again.
Meezer77
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Meezer77 »

Was watching this video of one of Ajahn Sujato’s retreats. At 15.00 he talks about how feeling you are going crazy on retreat is not that uncommon and that it’s not unknown to have a psychotic episode. He seems rather nonchalant about it and says if it happens then to speak to the teacher and they can help. How? I had a psychotic episode last year and needed to take anti psychotics to get better. If a person has a psychotic episode on retreat then they will need a doctor, not a monk as it takes a few months and medication to recover from it. I think organisations who organise retreats need to take the safety issue a bit more seriously. Isn’t it a Buddhist principle not to harm beings?

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Meditation and safety

Post by Crazy cloud »

It's hardly any point in involving an ordinary health professional when going into psychosis. That's because they can do more harm than good by trying to stop a natural process with chemicals. I would feel safer being taken care of by a monk/nun, or a good friend.
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
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