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Preventing Meditation Hazards: 3 Technicalities to consider – Part 2&3/ 3.

What I wished I knew before my first intensive 10-day retreat.

Continued from: Part 1.


Image: Nishi Jaiswal
IG: @nisheeeee

2. Spiritual Practices can ‘amplify’ traits; if you are detached, you could get aloof.

2015: I was blown to learn that meditation/ spiritual practice awaken the ‘Kundalini energy’ more.

Kundalini acts as a ‘fertilizer’ and when awakened to a higher degree, it enriches and amplifies’ any trait, quality or energy we may already have!

Miss Kundalini, won’t see the qualities we have as – good or bad. If the good amplifies we’d want to celebrate and get praised, but along with it – is bad as well, and that may blow up in our face as a wake up call too. Often, when a quality causes serious hindrance and can’t be hidden anymore, do we take it seriously and confess openly. Sometimes this can look like a trait in us that everybody can see clearly but it still is our blind spot. Not after Kundalini magnifies it!

A practice also needs to be inbuilt/ complemented with purification of both body and tendencies (to develop character traits like integrity, compassion, moderation, etc.).

“The body has to be prepared through proper diet and proper physical exercise so that the body can handle more spiritual energy.  Too much intense divine energy, too much divine oneness, too much divine ecstasy may cause the body to become sick, to permanently damage or die.”  – Master Choa Kok Sui  

For this purpose as well, advanced healing modalities and Meditations are designed around two basic principles: Cleansing (works like exhaling that cleanses the body of used-up air/ CO2), and Energizing the energy body with prana / life force (how inhaling energizes with fresh air or oxygen.), they give due emphasis to Cleansing.

Role of Cleansing: Cleansing is like weeding out the soil before planting a garden. It prevents radical reaction or the initial worsening condition that is actually a drastic step taken by the body in order to correct and normalize its condition. Eg. A wall or a nail is first stripped/ cleansed off its old paint before applying/ energizing a fresh coat.

Eg. Twin Hearts Meditation, among other benefits, flushes out negative thoughts and emotions from the aura while simultaneously filling us up with spiritual energy. While it is recommended for someone suffering from Cancer, I have seen a trainer stop somebody with a septic puss from practicing it, because the infection could spread because of the Meditation.

Are all Meditation practices built around this emphasis and balance of cleansing and energizing?

Does that make them fool-proof of this amplification effect?

Would such precautions be taken by every facilitator and participant, across different Meditations?

Would the respective health eligibility be checked well for every individual?

What about the ones Meditating on an app?

So was it possible I had amplified a negative trait at the retreat?

During breath work at the 10 day course, we were suggested to pay attention only to the subtle vibration or sensation we felt, not the gross or negative energy that sensed heavy. It was easy to notice the difference. But I remember getting into the loop of gross energy few times, it felt heavy. It seemed like my mind was being stretched like play dough and that I was sucked into a 3D wallpaper. I had to snap out, even if slipping into the hypnotic pull seemed tempting. I had to remind myself to attend to the subtle, lighter energy that didn’t tug at me but was instead present with fine gentleness. Had ‘this’ play magnified a dominant trait, in my case my aloofness? like my colleague had pointed out?

Verdict 2: Be gentle and pace yourself. Never get greedy about spirituality/ enlightenment, or fall for a desperate quick fix. Ensure you are introduced to health eligibility if any, and that you meet them.

3. Understanding Meditation as fuel:


“Thoughts are fueled by the attention we give to them – when we become immersed in them, their momentum increases.”

Steve Taylor, Ph.D., Leeds Beckett University, UK.
  • Meditation is mind’s attention.
  • Attention, can be positive or negative.
  • Energy follows thought.
  • Wherever we put our attention or energy to, whatever we meditate upon – about ourselves or others – that grows or ends up becoming a part of us.
  • By the same principle: if we stop attending to something with our mind’s fuel, eg. our fears and insecurities and let them drop from our attention, they will eventually fade away, lose their hold over us and die.
Illustration: Haley Weaver IG: @haleydrewthis

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become the monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. “

Friedrich Nietzsche

So if we invest energy thinking only or more about things or areas in life that don’t work, focusing on weaknesses than strengths, if we pay attention to the inner joker than to the Batman – guess which role,
on the stage of our life, are we throwing a spotlight on!

Illustration: Anuja Tamhane IG: @anuja_tamhane

As a beginner I wish I had known this, but even after having understood this concept and having been meditating for quite some time now, it is not possible to be a 100 percent positive all the time. It’s unfair to even expect this from oneself, especially as a beginner. One must in fact take full liberty to see Meditation as a lifelong journey and ourselves as works in progress.

Instead of dedicating more research to promoting a stereotypical image of meditation as a universal boon, we need to be mindful of how it affects people in different ways and try to understand why that is. – Dr Miguel Farias leads the Brain, Belief, and Behaviour research group at Coventry University. Dr Catherine Wikholm is a clinical psychologist in the NHS.

While there are numerous benefits of Meditation, there are also myths and difficult experiences.

Amid this, ‘The Dark Night Project’ started by Dr. Willoughby Britton collects and sorts through narratives of difficult meditation-related experiences. Britton has presented her findings at Buddhist and scientific conferences, retreat centers, and even to the Dalai Lama at the 24th Mind and Life Dialogue in 2012. Read The Atlantic article here.

Verdict 3: Consider starting small, in the city, instead of a full blown intensive retreat. Consider having a support group or a holistic health professional before, during or after Meditation.

Finally, the Don’ts:

Don’t underestimate something as intangible-sounding like Meditation and then, don’t expect a negative experience.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Don’t trust or mistrust eagerly. Don’t give your power away to anybody, certified or not.

And, the Dos:

Like the number of people who get hurt working out in the gym are very few but that doesn’t discount their experience, so is the case with Meditation. The percentage could be tiny and perhaps you won’t go through any unpleasant experience.

But before you do begin, it’s important to acknowledge that every coin has two sides, even if it seems as abstract, positive or harmless as Meditation.

Walk in to experience, not to expect.

Allow your experience, to speak for you.


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