The Dark side of Meditation: Symptoms I didn’t expect

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I like most people came to meditation at a point in my life where I was hitting rock bottom. A more enlightened friend turned me on to resources like “the secret”, authors like Wayne Dyer, Napolean Hill, Eckhart Tolle and others that raved about the upward spirals that they found themselves in after beginning to embody mindfulness. The facts were hard to ignore so I dipped my toe in with audio recordings before bed. It was almost instant, I noticed more Joy when I awoke in the morning, more compassion for small annoyances throughout my day, and my motivation to hit the gym couldn’t be stopped. I continued and eventually was able to sustain my practices without guided audio, and it became to be a favorite part of my day.

However, about 3 months into my practice, there were changes I wasn’t ready for. This article serves as a realistic account of experience for anyone just starting out. I almost stopped my practice because of the intensity of these symptoms but I’m glad I didn’t. Just be forewarned.

  1. Increased Sensitivity: Because I had the contrast of true peace and alignment, anything truly negative took on a whole new meaning. I started losing touch with long term friends because their bleak outlook on life became painful to witness, any feedback I received that wasn’t positive felt like a knife in the heart. I began to question my path. This hasn’t changed as I’ve gone on, but after incorporating regular clearing and shielding practices in my meditations, I’ve learned to embrace it.
  2. Spaciness: This began to balance out quickly, but while my reaction time to things that weren’t worthy of my attention slowed down, so did my reaction time to things that were. Conversations with friends, school work, things directly in front of me. I was completely unfocused. It’s hard to feel a glimpse of heaven and keep your feet firmly planted on earth. Grounding practices like hiking, earthing and visualizing my connection to the earth helped me better retrain my ability to focus.
  3. Body aches/Chakra Pressure: When you first start lifting weights your muscles hurt. When you first start bringing awareness to your mind body and soul, your chakras hurt. Some people experience pain as your brain starts sending signals to areas that have been neglected. Over time this subsides once you’ve gotten your spiritual self back into shape, but I remember rushing to the emergency room for chest pains that didn’t end up having any physical trace.
  4. Astral Projection/Glimpses into Other Realms: The first time I attempted to grasp the ground beneath me and couldn’t, similarly to the first time I was under psychic attack. Both some of the most terrifying experiences of my life. People that can quiet their minds can see more of reality. A lot of it is positive, I remember one experience where a being of pure love and light cradled my head during a trance. The most peaceful experience I’ve ever had. But like in my first example seeing more means seeing the light and the dark. I’ve learned to apply the same advice I was given about bullies in grade school, things like “just ignore them, if they don’t get your attention they’ll leave you alone” or more interestingly “they’re just doing it because they like you”. Many people start developing psychic abilities during their practice, which can make you aware of other entities that have always been trying to communicate with you. Now for the first time, you’re able to communicate with them as well.
  5. Depression: It’s a lonely journey connecting with your higher self. There’s so few people that you can open up to about these kinds of symptoms without seeming crazy. When you can see everything, you become harder to relate to, and the negative symptoms can be overwhelming to use alone. Eventually I started fresh. I began attending more psychic fairs, I attended classes to develop my skills, and found that I wasn’t so alone on this Journey.

Through Meditation I’m becoming increasingly authentic. It’s a door that I’m so glad I opened, but I hope that anyone thinking of starting their own practice doesn’t get discouraged if they experience any of the symptoms above.

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