Meditation going wrong? Watch out what you look for…

Advertisements

a6070ec27cb6e81cd3fe5ab243bbb7cb

Meditation is increasingly being marketed as a treatment for conditions such as pain, depression, stress and addiction, and while many people achieve therapeutic goals, other meditators encounter a much broader range of experiences – sometimes distressing and even impairing ones – along the way.

Meditators reported multiple unexpected experiences from across the seven domains of experience. For example, a commonly reported challenging experience in the perceptual domain was hypersensitivity to light or sound, while somatic changes such as insomnia or involuntary body movements were also reported. Challenging emotional experiences could include fear, anxiety, panic or a loss of emotions altogether. (1)

As any powerful tool, meditation can also turn against its practitioner.

Any knowledge comes with personal pain.

Remember what happened in the forest with Midas.

The abyss is not for everyone to look at.

Not just because it may stare back.

But because you might realize that you are (creating) the abyss.

Every fear, every emotion, every pain is yours. Every experience which you have lived or which you will is yours. Every life and death in this world is yours. You are the creator of life. You are the destroyer of the worlds.

Do you like you?

Ayahuasca for the many…

Advertisements

From Brooklyn to Australia, there is a growing demand for ayahuasca, a tribal, hallucinogenic tea said to have both spiritual and curative properties. But, like any globalization fairy tale, the world’s embrace is threatening to suffocate the tradition at its source. The herbal tea, made by combining a rare vine and shrub found in the thick of the Amazon, has become the “it” drug for celebrities like Sting and Lindsay Lohan, who rave about its spiritual properties. But for the Amazonian tribes that have used ayahuasca for 5,000 years to communicate with God on matters ranging from politics to medicine, the trend is dangerous.

“The sacred art of Indians has been transformed into entertainment”, said Moises Pianko, a member of the Ashaninka tribe of northern Brazil.

The ayahuasca tourism industry grows exponentially. An estimated 40 therapeutic retreats around the world now specialize in ayahuasca, according to Carlos Suarez, an independent researcher who writes about economic development and cultural change in the Amazon. Some researchers see the global commercialization of ayahuasca as inevitable, and think the tribes should focus on getting a cut of profits. Some tribes want to get on board, but demand for ayahuasca is surging too fast to keep up.

At the same time, the rush for ayahuasca has tribes questioning the sustainability of their own ceremonies. Because extraction of the plant is largely unregulated, foresters have found that amature ayahuasca brewers wandering the jungle often cut off a piece of the rare vine and leave the rest to rest rot. Finding the once abundant vine in Peru’s Iquitos region, where most centers are located, now takes days. (1)

Spiritual world for sale.

The epitome of western civilization.

Once again the ignorance of the many leads to misconceptions about the knowledge of the few. Shamans used this vine for their spiritual rituals, but that does not mean that whoever drinks it will have the same experience or the same spiritual journey. One needs to be prepared for the higher realms of spirit and soul – what difference would it make to drink a tea like this if your “god” is money and sex?

Prepare yourself to enter the cave.

Yes, you will see things inside.

But only what you take with you…

Dying dreams…

Advertisements

Barry, an 88-year-old patient in a hospice in upstate New York, had an extremely vivid dream one night in which he was driving somewhere unknown. While dreaming, he heard the voice of his deceased mother saying to him: ‘‘It’s all right. You’re a good boy. I love you’.’

Experiences like Barry’s are extremely common, according to a new study in which he participated. In the last days of life, many people report having extraordinary visions and dreams that they say help them become less afraid of death. The research, which was recently published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, finds that end-of-life dreams and visions are a natural part of dying, and that they tend to be “comforting, realistic, and often very meaningful”.

Scientists have tended to dismiss these experiences as a result of delirium or mental confusion, although the patients in the new study were lucid and did not exhibit any signs of delirium.

Eighty-eight percent of participants had experienced at least one dream or vision in the days, weeks or months leading up to their death. And despite the fact that nearly half of the dreams or visions occurred during sleep, the overwhelming majority of patients said that they felt real. (1)

Science tends to refute any allegations for anything spiritual. We are so convinced that we are just meat and bones that anything against that belief is automatically rendered as “delirium”, “illusion” or “madness”.

But what is real is what is in our mind.

We are conscious beings able to grasp the essence of the cosmos.

We feel it.

We think about it.

All we have to do is die. And accept it.