Article: Meditation-related difficulties

This is not surprising. Many forms of meditation open us up to whatever is here, including unprocessed wounds. That’s why it’s good to study with someone who is honest about this upfront and experienced in guiding people through whatever may come up.

See Meditation-Related Adverse Effects: Prevalence of meditation-related adverse effects in a population-based sample in the United States by Goldberg, Lam, Britton, and Davidson


It’s very natural to experience some discomfort in meditation. After all, we are faced with whatever is here and whatever we previously avoided through distractions.

What comes up can range from mild restlessness, uneasiness, or discomfort. To memories of specific events we haven’t found complete peace with. To unprocessed sadness, grief, anger, remorse, guilt, shame, and so on. To deep and overwhelming trauma.

We may also have an opening to what we really are, which for many is pleasant, and for some can be disorienting or even profoundly disturbing.

As the article says, it’s important to identify people at higher risk for serious meditation-related difficulties, and these include people with a troubled childhood, developmental trauma, and perhaps emotional instability, trouble functioning well in daily life, and so on.

I should also mention that if we are serious about our practice, and life wants to awaken and live from that awakening through this human self, then we eventually have to face whatever is unprocessed in us and allow it to join in with the awakening.

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