Numerous medical doctors, Ph.D.S, meditation teachers and new age writers have contributed recently to our increasingly extensive knowledge about the side effects of meditation and relaxation. In her book “FREEDOM IN MEDITATION”, Dr. Patricia Carrington Ph.D. dealt extensively and thoroughly with such side effects.
Dr. Carrington warns that when persons meditate several hours without a rest, powerful emotions and previously reprerssed thoughts may be released too quickly from the subconscious “storage warehouse” into the concious mind, so rapidly and so unexpectedly that the meditation is not prepared and doesn’t know how to deal with them. If he has a weak ego or history of emotional and mental instability, fragile defenses in the psyche might breakdown, and he might get into an acute episode of psychiatric illness.
THE SAFE LIMIT Dr. Carrington recommended that the average person do not meditate more than one hour a day for the first year, and after the first year, do not meditate more than one hur at a single sitting, nor more than two hour on the same day. The Doctor noted that for certain individuals, the “safe limit” may be considerably lower than this.
The Transcendental Meditation organisation also insists that the practic of TM be limited to no more than two twenty minute sessins daily.
Dr. Benson in his book “THE RELAXTION RESPONSE” also warned that the Relaxation Response is not a panacea. From his own personal bhservations, many people who meitate for several house every for weeks at a time tend to hallucinate, as a result of sensory deprivation. DOCTOR BENSON REPORTED THAT HE HAD NOT NOTED ANY OF THE SIDE EFFECTS IN PEOPLE WHO BRING FORTH THE RELAXATION RESPONSE ONCE OR TWICE DIALY FOR TEN TO TWENTY MINUTES A DAY.
Dr. C. Norman Shealy M.D. in his book ------ “90 DAYS to SELF-HEALTH --- BIOGENICS” said that the elaborate mental and physical exercise program he had presented in his book is safe, simple and effective. Dr. Shealy’s program contains a very large proportion of mental visualization (imagery) exercises, and that might account for the absence of side effects. That is because the active mental visualization fully ovvupies the mind at all times, leaving no room for hallucinations and delusions to arise.
KUNDALINI CASAUTIES In its “Perils of the Path” special issue (March 1978), New Afe magazine had several feature practices. The only side effects really related practices. The only side effects really arising from meditation, relaxation, and certain body therapies and human potential techniques are those mentioned in the feature article: Kundalini Casaulties – numbness, pain, heat, light and various other bodily sensations, illusions and hallucinatins. People who are emotionally run into trouble. Itzhak Bentov concluded in the interview that it all boils down to: You should choose a rate that you can sefely release stress without harming yourself.
THE DANGER OF EXPLOITATION The other feature articles dealt eith the authoritarian threat, surrender and total submission to a guru (teacher), and total loyalty and total commitmet to a spiritual organisaton, about mediums, pasychics, cheating and nonsense from the other side (spirit world). All those hazards are very real and readers would benefit a lot by reading those feature articles. HOWEVER, TAKE NOTE THAT THOSE ARE NOT THE HAZARDS OF MEDITATION AND RELAXATION PER SE. THEY ARE THE HAZARDS OF THE POTENTIAL TOWARDS CORRUPTION IN ANY HUMAN ORGANISATION -----------THE SELFISH MOTIVES OF TEACHERS AND THE WAY THEY CONTROL THE ORGANISATION AND STUDENTS IS THE HAZARD. Readers should note that this wxternal manipulation and exploitation can only succeed in the case of weak ego & the lack of self-reliance, confidence and independence