Enishi

Dangers of Meditation

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Something picked out from the beginning that caught my attention:

 

They were mostly doing intense daily practice – often two hours of asana, pranayama, and meditation in the morning and another two hours in the afternoon or evening. They were on weird diets, and living according to all kinds of yogic rules they had adopted.

 

The problem is not inherent in the practice. It's in the attitude of the people taking up the practice. They are taking it up because "oooh, it's yoga, look at me, I'm so spiritual" they don't know why the yoga rules say to do what, they are just following. They are more concerned with "oooh, yoga tells me to do this and that" than they are with "my body wants to do this other stuff."

 

Yoga especially has an attitude of "your body is probably not going to like this, but that's because you've been living a decadent, dirty life for most of your existence, you must transcend that" and it's really easy to get carried away with that attitude.

 

It's one of the reasons why I think when you get into more intense practices, you either need a really good teacher, or you need very good body awareness (something I think most Daoist practices cultivate, the ability to listen to yourself more so than listening to someone else). Because when stuff starts to go wrong, when you adopt a diet that is throwing you off balance, your body is going to give warning signs. If you do not recognize these warning signs, a teacher will. And if you don't have a teacher and start doing these practices for years, and then step up the game, doing 4+ hours of "improper for your body" practice, you are going to get messed up.

 

It's sorta like celibacy in Catholicism- a lot of people are calling for it to be optional because it's obviously not working. But it's not celibacy that's not working, it's the people. I have a really good friend who is currently working to become a priest. I worry about him because, well, he comes from a very strict Catholic family. When we were in high school together, he played all kinds of video games under his parents' nose, because they thought video games were evil. I personally feel that he got pushed into it. Hopefully he turns out okay, but really it's the same kind of thing.

 

But I will say that not all practices (even "extreme" ones) are bad. For example, in yoga and related arts there is the idea of not breathing, because thoughts are attached to breath, so if you really want to achieve a thoughtless state, then obviously you won't be breathing. I thought the idea was pretty ridiculous, and much preferred the Daoist breathing techniques that B.K. Frantzis taught which was, uh, keep breathing! Your body needs breath to live, right?

 

But one day when I got into a really deep meditation, I realized I wasn't breathing for some seconds. It happens every once in a while. Maybe I'm breathing so deep I'm just super oxygenated and don't need to inhale/exhale as often? Maybe I really am getting to a thoughtless state? I dunno, but it made me realize that there might be something to the more "crazy" practices.

 

However, it's my personal opinion, coming from a Daoist perspective, that those things arise naturally. I've stopped eating some food not because I've adopted some recommended Daoist diet, but after eating certain foods I'd feel like crap. And I'd think, "I've been eating this my whole life, and only just now become aware of these negative effects!"

 

So I'd say the first and most important aspect is LISTENING TO YOUR BODY. That way you aren't just following some prescribed yogic practice, not adopting some crazy diet, and not doing practices that could be harmful while you are blind to their effects.

 

Of course, if you have a master guru teaching you, the guru will probably tell you to do stuff that is healthy for you, because the guru can listen in directly to your body and figure what's good/bad.

 

I think this person was very wise to sit in silence and let the person come to a conclusion on what to do themselves- really gets them in touch with THEMSELVES rather than some rules.

Edited by Sloppy Zhang

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stay away from meditation. that shit'll kill ya. ;)

 

 

sloppy zhang gave an excellent reply to meditation specifically. the article covers a ton of other stuff, not necessarily about meditation proper. kind of like a warning to the simple-minded, IMO. people who operate at a cognitive level of extreme deference to authority and rules probably shouldn't be embarking on this journey, at least not without the supervision of a psychologist.

 

i think proper spiritual development requires either a very good guru/master, or a functional cognition that is AT LEAST somewhere between rational and post-rational, borrowing from the framework of spiral dynamics.

 

plus, you can't be lazy. you've gotta be willing to do your homework and not just pick up a single book that you choose to follow blindly without having acquired a real understanding of the material. i don't know. that's kind of how i see it. but i gotta go. ;)

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stay away from meditation. that shit'll kill ya. ;)

 

 

sloppy zhang gave an excellent reply to meditation specifically. the article covers a ton of other stuff, not necessarily about meditation proper. kind of like a warning to the simple-minded, IMO. people who operate at a cognitive level of extreme deference to authority and rules probably shouldn't be embarking on this journey, at least not without the supervision of a psychologist.

 

i think proper spiritual development requires either a very good guru/master, or a functional cognition that is AT LEAST somewhere between rational and post-rational, borrowing from the framework of spiral dynamics.

 

plus, you can't be lazy. you've gotta be willing to do your homework and not just pick up a single book that you choose to follow blindly without having acquired a real understanding of the material. i don't know. that's kind of how i see it. but i gotta go. ;)

I see it more as a warning to those who deliberately choose to complicate their lives actually. Simplicity is always good, in meditation as with all other areas of life.

 

I think what the writer did was to point out the dangers of making the whole approach too complex. In other words, people who embark on the path usually begin with the foundational aspects and practices, and not realizing that that was more than sufficient to cradle the rest of the journey, they begin to dabble - attracting unnecessary burdens, giving rise to all these 'problems' as mentioned in the article. Ask the really old and wise meditators, or read about their paths - they all articulate simple, straightforward, middle-of-the-road practices. Mindfulness, for example... how hard is that? How can 'Mindfulness practice' screw a person up? But then there is no excitement in boring ol' mindfulness, is there, so the mind gets to work and creates things that seem to instill a sense of going somewhere by coming up with more expansive and exotic practices, albeit all falsely induced. This premise is full of pitfalls.

 

Keeping to the basics is so vital.

 

I think its quite a valid article on the whole. Creates some awareness around the fact that dabbling can be rather hazardous.

Edited by CowTao

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I see it more as a warning to those who deliberately choose to complicate their lives actually. Simplicity is always good, in meditation as with all other areas of life.

 

I think what the writer did was to point out the dangers of making the whole approach too complex. In other words, people who embark on the path usually begin with the foundational aspects and practices, and not realizing that that was more than sufficient to cradle the rest of the journey, they begin to dabble - attracting unnecessary burdens, giving rise to all these 'problems' as mentioned in the article. Ask the really old and wise meditators, or read about their paths - they all articulate simple, straightforward, middle-of-the-road practices. Mindfulness, for example... how hard is that? How can 'Mindfulness practice' screw a person up? But then there is no excitement in boring ol' mindfulness, is there, so the mind gets to work and creates things that seem to instill a sense of going somewhere by coming up with more expansive and exotic practices, albeit all falsely induced. This premise is full of pitfalls.

 

Keeping to the basics is so vital.

 

I think its quite a valid article on the whole. Creates some awareness around the fact that dabbling can be rather hazardous.

 

 

hm... maybe i was just really unclear because i was heading out the door when i made that post, but you and i are not talking about the same thing. simple-mindedness and simplicity in life are NOT the same thing. i was really limiting my remarks to the realm of cognition, whereas you're addressing a completely different issue that happens to employ different forms of the word 'simple', but doesn't address cognitive developmental stages.

 

i understand your point, and i agree with some parts of it (although you're making some leaps that make me question your experience), but i'm not sure you understood mine.

 

how can mindfulness practice screw a person up? well... the answer to that question is part of the reason why i made the post. ;) and to spare you any suspense: mindfulness practice screws people up all the time, in myriad ways. just keep reading further down that site. (although i'm sure some will argue that the people were already screwed up and the practices just brought it to the surface. whatevs. same diff.) that's why there are so many rules at vipassana retreats & meditation intensives and why there are so many types of people that they don't accept and why there are tons of 'meditation dangers' sights like the one you're commenting about. psychological upheaval can be tricky, not to mention down-right painful & dangerous. and some people will run before a process is completed and then blame the center or group for screwing up their psyche. happens ALL the time.

 

i think that there's a base-level of understanding and maturity necessary for this work, particularly if someone is attempting to go it alone. some people do more harm to themselves than good, and other people simply just don't get anywhere with their practice in terms of consciousness raising.

 

it's just not as simple as "simplicity is always good."

Edited by Hundun

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hm... maybe i was just really unclear because i was heading out the door when i made that post, but you and i are not talking about the same thing. simple-mindedness and simplicity in life are NOT the same thing. i was really limiting my remarks to the realm of cognition, whereas you're addressing a completely different issue that happens to employ different forms of the word 'simple', but doesn't address cognitive developmental stages.

 

i understand your point, and i agree with some parts of it (although you're making some leaps that make me question your experience), but i'm not sure you understood mine.

 

how can mindfulness practice screw a person up? well... the answer to that question is part of the reason why i made the post. ;) and to spare you any suspense: mindfulness practice screws people up all the time, in myriad ways. just keep reading further down that site. (although i'm sure some will argue that the people were already screwed up and the practices just brought it to the surface. whatevs. same diff.) that's why there are so many rules at vipassana retreats & meditation intensives and why there are so many types of people that they don't accept and why there are tons of 'meditation dangers' sights like the one you're commenting about. psychological upheaval can be tricky, not to mention down-right painful & dangerous. and some people will run before a process is completed and then blame the center or group for screwing up their psyche. happens ALL the time.

 

i think that there's a base-level of understanding and maturity necessary for this work, particularly if someone is attempting to go it alone. some people do more harm to themselves than good, and other people simply just don't get anywhere with their practice in terms of consciousness raising.

 

it's just not as simple as "simplicity is always good."

Your post was very clear :)

 

I was not disagreeing with any of your observations - merely wanted to add on to them with my thoughts on the matter. Surely it was an oversight that this was not made known in the reply, and i apologize.

 

I do agree with you actually about the likelihood that simple-minded people tend to overstep boundaries and create situations and difficulties for themselves and others. Those who are more cognitively developed usually are able to exercise a more positive awareness around things.

 

One thing i could not agree fully here with you is that Mindfulness meditation screws people up all the time. You used the 'rules' bit as a basis for your statement. I dont think that is sufficient ground to justify the comment. I look around and see rules everywhere nowadays. You and i know the primary reasons for rules are mainly for indemnification purposes, and are required by insurance companies that they be displayed. Most centers who offer meditation courses of any sort do not really care who participates as long as fees are paid. If there were stringent vetting procedures in place, with great emphasis on the potential hazards involved, then the article above would be a non-starter. Its primarily due to so much unscrupulousness around that this 'mess' has surfaced to the attention of the writer.

 

There are many levels of Mindfulness meditation as far as i know. In those traditions that i am aware of and have experience in (only very superficially, as you have keenly noted), the induction of practitioners are very carefully structured to ensure that individuals do not overstep into so-called higher practices before they are ready. Basic Mindfulness meditation is opened to all, to give a taste of what meditation can be like, and how it can be beneficial. There are classes where inductees are taught simple things like listening to the tinkle of a bell, mindful walking and breathing, and so on. Very basic methods. Those who have questions are given time to address their doubts before being advised to think clearly if they wish to proceed on. Nothing fanciful in the beginning, like visualizing complex mandalas etc. But i am sure you are already well aware of all this. So at this level, Mindfulness meditation is really quite harmless. Nonetheless, I fully agree that it can be potentially harmful though, but then, they occur only to those who are simple-minded, or can we also say simple of mind?

 

All the best.

Edited by CowTao

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Right on. :)

 

 

 

and you're right, i didn't sufficiently back up my claim about people getting screwed up from mindfulness practice. it was in my head but didn't quite make it to the page.

 

 

first time i ever signed up for a 10-day vipassana retreat i was sent a multiple-page form asking about my history of psychological health, addictions, experience with energy work/healing, and i forgot what else. but there were a a whole lot of answers that could have disqualified me. in fact, when i replied that i practice and teach qigong and do healing work, i was told that my practices were not compatible with their program. they went ahead and approved me for one session, but stated that i would not be permitted to return unless i abandoned the practice of qigong. i was a little shocked for a moment, and then i laughed. but i kind of understood how that made me a liability. they are not really equipped to handle someone undergoing a hardcore kundalini eruption, and such occurrences are far more likely in people who do energy-based practices. it would likely trigger the energy of others who share the space, and it could be very disruptive to the retreat. before you know it you've got manic episodes all over the place. well, i'm guessing that was their reasoning, anyway. but THAT'S what i had in mind when i talked about the rules thing.

 

zen sesshins really depend on who is holding them. the Rinzai center at Mt Baldy in SoCal was fine with whatever (come as you are, but keep to our program while you're here), but they had some highly developed monks on-hand (back in '03) whose very presence was probably a sufficient stabilizing force for that kind of thing. that's not the case at other centers, though.

 

some people lose it at meditative intensives. they can't handle the silence and feeling of isolation, all of their neuroses come to the surface, they develop high levels of anxiety or deep depression, and some experience acute psychosis. same thing happens in jails when people are put in segregation. fairly normal occurrence.

Edited by Hundun

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This is a GOOD thread. As someone who went it alone and "screwed it up" (although in hindsight I actually didn't :lol: ) the first time round before working a few things out with some good help from KAP, I can attest to the need to address both the dangers and the precautions suggested above.

 

Oh, I also remember I screwed my knees up with home yoga practice and had to go find an instructor and a chiropractor.

 

I'm coming to see meditation and energy work to be as powerful (if not more so) than drugs. Those tantra guys don't talk about "fierce paths" for nothing. "Hardlight" and Mr Hardcore Dan Ingram, anyone, anyone?

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My first memory of meditation comes from when I was about 4 years old (Before Kintergarden - which I began at age 5.)

This URL http://www.liliasyoga.com/ came on TV before the other channels came on and I began practicing with her at about 10 years old.

She told the world one day of how meditation cured her of Schitzophrenia resulting from an enviornmental related nervous breakdown.

 

Obviously, the person that created the URL posted by 'Enishi' is a doctor that makes money from human sufering and wants more $$$$$$$$$. Very sad both from a healing point of view as well as for 'Enishi' to feel the need to post something this destructive toward a path that many of the people posting in this website have followed for a large portion of their life...

 

I've been meditating for well over 30 years, taught meditation to countless numbers of people, and have seen nothing but good results come from it.

 

really?

 

so... people's experiences that are contrary to yours just don't count?

 

and... destructive? what are you even talking about? projecting much?

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My first memory of meditation comes from when I was about 4 years old (Before Kintergarden - which I began at age 5.)

This URL http://www.liliasyoga.com/ came on TV before the other channels came on and I began practicing with her at about 10 years old.

She told the world one day of how meditation cured her of Schitzophrenia resulting from an enviornmental related nervous breakdown.

 

Obviously, the person that created the URL posted by 'Enishi' is a doctor that makes money from human sufering and wants more $$$$$$$$$. Very sad both from a healing point of view as well as for 'Enishi' to feel the need to post something this destructive toward a path that many of the people posting in this website have followed for a large portion of their life...

 

I've been meditating for well over 30 years, taught meditation to countless numbers of people, and have seen nothing but good results come from it.

 

:blink:

 

Um...I practice meditation regularly as well.

 

One of the main points the author is trying to make is that out of the thousands of different meditation and energy practices which exist, some can be damaging to certain types of people, especially when practiced without proper instruction or outside of the original context in which they were created (i.e. techniques designed to heavily curb sexual desire meant for monks and hermits).

Edited by Enishi

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Danger is everywhere.I say let the danger happen if it has to happen.

It doesent mean one should not look at the traffic lights whilst crossing the street.

Its important to observe/understand ones own fears ,needs,actions,and just watch from where is this all life coming from.Where are my strings really pulled from?Are they being pulled ?

Its not just blah,blah words -i mean it.

And the key is really wanting to feel well.

Wanting to feel so well without any additives ,just well.

There is a place where a person doesent feel so scared all the time ,its possible to live without that weight ,its everyones birthright.

Edited by suninmyeyes

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This article makes some interesting observations. Comments?

 

http://www.lorinroch...age8/page8.html

 

Spiritual practices done without intelligence will cause the kind of conflict that this article summarizes. It is jaundiced in it's view and an inability to realize this:

 

Western lifestyles are not suited for meditation and spiritual practices of that kind. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, you are gonna be one sorry and unhappy SOB...

 

That's why when one takes to "Eastern Spiritual traditions", they have to completely switch from the Western mode of thinking (Individualism, forcing through things...I think the word is Riding Roughshod, unbending attitude) to an Eastern mode of thinking (considerate of others, especially the filial piety part, flexibility and adaptivity, working around issues, patience, etc).

 

These are attitude changes that need to happen before a fruitful practice can be realized. I was thinking on the subject how Yoga is getting commercialized and Westernized, it's roots are being surgically amputated (giving birth to aberrations such as Christian Yoga, Jewish Yoga, etc)...these things arise because of this enchantment with the Western mode of living and thinking. The West is outward focused and Eastern spirituality is inward focused. So, if the practitioner doesn't re-orient his/her tendencies from outward to inward, practice will potentially lead to issues.

 

Also, the subject of "issues" cropping up during meditation -- well that is the purpose of meditation, to find problems and dissolve them. Why is that necessarily a bad thing? If you don't have the stomach for it, listen to yourself and stop. If not, work through them gently...

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listen to yourself

 

The problem is that nobody listens to themselves. We live in a society that's very much "do what you're told". When I was in kindergarten, you had to sit "criss cross applesauce" or "Indian style". Kids who sat on their knees (like seiza) or other positions (fudoza, maybe even half lotus) were admonished, and considered "problem kids." Then years later you're trying to sit in full lotus and wonder why you can't :lol:

 

Then let's say you're raised Christian, told to go to church, listen to so and so, do such and such thing, pray in such and such way.

 

Then you decide to go off on a genuine spiritual journey, because you feel that you have a spiritual calling. You aren't going to listen to anyone anymore. You hear yoga is pretty spiritual, and what do you do...?

 

Follow everything that yogic people say.

 

Hear of some ancient yogic diet? You do it.

 

Heard that yogis achieve a state of abstinence so strong that they don't even produce semen? You start tucking it in pretty tightly.

 

Hear you have to sit in an asana for three hours before you master it? You push your knees into your back and try and hold out against the pain.

 

Each step your body is screaming at you to stop, your mind is screaming at you to stop, but you're just doing what you're told!

 

You rebel against society. decide you aren't going to do what you're told, and you do that by.... doing.... what.... you're told.....

 

 

As a side note, I think yoga is a great system. But like anything else, it has to be done genuinely. Plenty of priests do not take role seriously, and wind up hurting others. That doesn't mean priests are bad, or that the priesthood itself is inherently bad (a group of highly educated spiritual leaders that go out and help others on the path sounds like a pretty darn good idea!). But anything done incorrectly is going to cause discomfort and pain.

Edited by Sloppy Zhang

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"anything done incorrectly is going to cause discomfort and pain."

 

While I agree with this in general, I think in certain types of meditation, pain is just plain going to come up. Discomfort is going to come up. What one does with that pain and discomfort has a great deal of importance.

 

From experience, the "hardcore" techniques require balancing with stuff like mindfulness, compassion practice and virtuous conduct (otherwise known respectively to me as checking out what's going on, being kind to yourself and others and keeping it together when the shit hits the fan.)

 

I think it's funny to read things about the "western" persona vs the "eastern" persona in practice when so much of path is fundamentally about discovering what exactly that persona is. I'm almost sure that one might be just as much of a hindrance to self-discovery via meditative practice as another.

 

Anyway, back to topic. The neat thing about practices is that they work in and of themselves. Doing them "wrong" still has effects that can be observed vs not doing anything. If I only got one thing out of practices it would be this realisation.

 

What each type of practice actually does is another question and I agree it is of interest to discuss what each one is "good" for irrespective of value judgments to begin with, and I realise that this suggestion is not an easy one to put into practice.

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These are attitude changes that need to happen before a fruitful practice can be realized. I was thinking on the subject how Yoga is getting commercialized and Westernized, it's roots are being surgically amputated (giving birth to aberrations such as Christian Yoga, Jewish Yoga, etc)...these things arise because of this enchantment with the Western mode of living and thinking. The West is outward focused and Eastern spirituality is inward focused. So, if the practitioner doesn't re-orient his/her tendencies from outward to inward, practice will potentially lead to issues.

It may come as a surprise to you to hear that Christianity and Judaism have highly developed spiritual disciplines, which are plenty "inward focused." They are just not widely practiced in fundamentalist circles. There may be some commercialized "Christian yoga" out there, I don't know, but actually the idea of it makes perfect sense to me: the Christian disciplines (I lack knowledge of the Jewish ones) could benefit from asana and pranyama in the same way that Hindu meditation and devotional practices can. I would much prefer to view this as useful cross pollination rather than an aberration, but I perceive that a necessary step toward that view is having respect for both the Hindu and Christian tradition.

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It may come as a surprise to you to hear that Christianity and Judaism have highly developed spiritual disciplines, which are plenty "inward focused." They are just not widely practiced in fundamentalist circles. There may be some commercialized "Christian yoga" out there, I don't know, but actually the idea of it makes perfect sense to me: the Christian disciplines (I lack knowledge of the Jewish ones) could benefit from asana and pranyama in the same way that Hindu meditation and devotional practices can. I would much prefer to view this as useful cross pollination rather than an aberration, but I perceive that a necessary step toward that view is having respect for both the Hindu and Christian tradition.

 

They might well have developed systems of Internal practices, but they are neither as mature nor as systematic as yoga -- I am familiar with John of the Cross and Teresa of avila and such...at best they can be considered to be at a primitive yogic stage, unable to further develop because of dogmatic literal adherence to scripture by their parent religions.

 

Yoga is a purely Hindu system which has influenced other asian systems (such as Taoist Yoga etc) and is rooted in the Indian spiritual/philosophical disciplines of Samkhya and Vedanta. If someone happens to snap these roots from Yoga, Yoga is not yoga anymore but simply physical manipulation of the body. It is pilferage nonetheless...

 

There have been 300 patents granted on Yogic asanas to American and European companies...can you imagine how infuriating it is to an Indian? The Neo-Colonial abuse continues unabated...

 

There have been similar attempts to internalize and then steal other things from India as well...

 

And now that we have gone off on a complete tangent, I will stop at this.

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:blink:

 

Um...I practice meditation regularly as well.

 

One of the main points the author is trying to make is that out of the thousands of different meditation and energy practices which exist, some can be damaging to certain types of people, especially when practiced without proper instruction or outside of the original context in which they were created (i.e. techniques designed to heavily curb sexual desire meant for monks and hermits).

I didn't read the article, but as you point out these are many different techniques. Some which bring in and stimulate qi more than others. I know that there are certain people who I do not suggest take my workshops either because the techniques are too powerful for them right now or because I believe it will do more harm than good. Most (99%) people will have no problem. But I don't like having to deal with possessed people in class or certain mental cases in class. Many of these folk need a much gentler form than deep energy based meditation. I would say a movement form would be better for many of these folk.

I have mentioned this before, but there was a study by Japanese physicians who monitored brain waves of two types of practitioners, qigong and zen. Both achieved deep stillness but the qigong guys demonstrated intense stimulation of the creative part of the brain wheres the zen guys didn't.

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These are attitude changes that need to happen before a fruitful practice can be realized. I was thinking on the subject how Yoga is getting commercialized and Westernized, it's roots are being surgically amputated (giving birth to aberrations such as Christian Yoga, Jewish Yoga, etc)...these things arise because of this enchantment with the Western mode of living and thinking. The West is outward focused and Eastern spirituality is inward focused.

 

Oh my... I'm shocked you think this. Being an addherent to abberations like Hindu Buddhism or the Western invention called "all paths lead to Rome" in general. :lol:

 

There have been 300 patents granted on Yogic asanas to American and European companies...can you imagine how infuriating it is to an Indian?

 

More seriously though, what??? What do you mean patent on Yogic asanas? Who thought of such a strange thing? It sounds ridiculous. :lol:

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They might well have developed systems of Internal practices, but they are neither as mature nor as systematic as yoga -- I am familiar with John of the Cross and Teresa of avila and such...at best they can be considered to be at a primitive yogic stage, unable to further develop because of dogmatic literal adherence to scripture by their parent religions.

 

Yoga is a purely Hindu system which has influenced other asian systems (such as Taoist Yoga etc) and is rooted in the Indian spiritual/philosophical disciplines of Samkhya and Vedanta. If someone happens to snap these roots from Yoga, Yoga is not yoga anymore but simply physical manipulation of the body. It is pilferage nonetheless...

 

There have been 300 patents granted on Yogic asanas to American and European companies...can you imagine how infuriating it is to an Indian? The Neo-Colonial abuse continues unabated...

 

There have been similar attempts to internalize and then steal other things from India as well...

 

And now that we have gone off on a complete tangent, I will stop at this.

Hi Dwai.

 

I know its a tangent, but I egged you on anyway. So thanks for playing along :) .

 

The main point of my post was to try to shift you from being the doer to being the watcher with regards to your own views. It seems to have had the opposite effect. Oh well.

 

Yes, I can imagine how infuriating that must be. It's infuriating to me and I am not even Indian, just a lover of Indian culture. I am also a lover of Christian spirituality, which I suspect that your conception of is something of a caricature, like how Americans might think yoga is all about stretching and tantra is about better sex, and Hinduism is probably something like the ancient Greek religion because they heard it was polytheistic. True, Christian spirituality is not as mature as yoga, after all it is much newer. But it is mature enough to make some major spiritual progress with. And I know better than to believe that all Hindus are beyond dogmatism and letting literal interpretation of scripture get in the way of development ;) .

 

You clearly have a very strong Indian identity, which I think makes you a lot of fun to talk to. But along with that comes a strong "us vs. them" / "Superior Indians vs. Western barbarians" mentality. Indeed, how could you not despise Christianity and identiy it with Western consumerism and imperialism after what the British did in India, playing Christian the whole time? But something I have picked up from yoga is being identifying as the watcher rather then the doer, even as you are doing things (having thoughts and opinions and viewpoints being an example of a doing). I can't do it, so perhaps it is presumptuous of me to encourage anyone else to do it. It's because I like you. Otherwise I wouldn't even bother.

Edited by Creation

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Meditation is like brain surgery. Anyone who thinks it is without danger, in my mind, is simply thinking foolishly. Even basic mindfulness practice, which threatens to habits of mind that keep us asleep and ignorant, can bring up pain, discomfort, and strong resistance. The teachings are full of tricks and traps of the ego (and others). Meditation in my experience tends to quicken the fruition of certain karmic seeds. A lot of negative stuff comes out.

 

The solution, of course, is not to stop meditating, but to realize that we are dealing with powerful techniques that should be used with respect. Electricity is dangerous, but most of us here use it every day. Driving is dangerous. Swimming is dangerous. However, meditation/contemplation practices are far more beneficial than any of these.

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Meditation is like brain surgery. Anyone who thinks it is without danger, in my mind, is simply thinking foolishly. Even basic mindfulness practice, which threatens to habits of mind that keep us asleep and ignorant, can bring up pain, discomfort, and strong resistance. The teachings are full of tricks and traps of the ego (and others). Meditation in my experience tends to quicken the fruition of certain karmic seeds. A lot of negative stuff comes out.

 

The solution, of course, is not to stop meditating, but to realize that we are dealing with powerful techniques that should be used with respect. Electricity is dangerous, but most of us here use it every day. Driving is dangerous. Swimming is dangerous. However, meditation/contemplation practices are far more beneficial than any of these.

 

I tend to agree with that. It reminds me of something Trungpa Rinpoche says - along the lines of the path being so difficult that really it's better not to start in the first place.

 

Classic Trungpa!

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I think it's funny to read things about the "western" persona vs the "eastern" persona in practice when so much of path is fundamentally about discovering what exactly that persona is. I'm almost sure that one might be just as much of a hindrance to self-discovery via meditative practice as another.

 

 

I agree with what Kate said here.

Or as my Japonese friend stated the other day (whilst discussing British temperament in comparison to Japonese one):We just have hang ups in different places.

 

Would also like to add this link on some Orthodox Christian discpline.Including breathing techniques,some postures etc..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesychasm

Dwaii,I recomend some books/teaching stories written by Fathers of the Desert(hermit tradition continuing to this day) as they are very beutiful and profound reveling depths of human understanding whilst wearing Christan clothes .

This stories together with "The way of the pilgrim "book opened up my many views and ideas.

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Oh my... I'm shocked you think this. Being an addherent to abberations like Hindu Buddhism or the Western invention called "all paths lead to Rome" in general. :lol:

 

Indeed...but your road from timbuctoo is not the same road from New Delhi. So why are you insistent on claiming your Timbuctoo National Highway is called The New Delhi Highway? If you do, then you are obviously lying. If not, then have you decided to invade and take over the New Delhi Highway? That is the difference...

 

More seriously though, what??? What do you mean patent on Yogic asanas? Who thought of such a strange thing? It sounds ridiculous. :lol:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-to-patent-yoga-asanas/H1-Article1-554149.aspx

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