Can meditation be bad?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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Jokingfish
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Can meditation be bad?

Post by Jokingfish »

When scientists say that it can, i guess that maybe it can actually be bad not because of meditation, (maybe call it karma? Or just illness.) and when it gives bad effects, they're just temporary and only do good in the long run, like heals you slowly, which can be hard to see, for example, would it be a fact that it does only good objectively, which is hard to observe, not just in the long run, but like really, even if it hurts? Theres a pop culture saying 'just if it feels good, doesn't mean its right',so if it feels bad, couldn't it be even then beneficial?
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Aemilius
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Aemilius »

It can be bad according to Abhidharma, because you can do it with a harmful motivation, for example wanting to harm something or some one.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Jokingfish
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Jokingfish »

Aemilius wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:17 pm It can be bad according to Abhidharma, because you can do it with a harmful motivation, for example wanting to harm something or some one.
Its not the meditation itself that results in evil action, is just an intention, you can't run away from it, you could meditate it out though. How can you harm someone while not doing anything - which is similar to meditation, you would harm much more if you did do something and not meditate.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

What type of “meditation”?
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Jokingfish
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Jokingfish »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 6:28 pm What type of “meditation”?
Mindfulness of breathing
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Jokingfish wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 6:33 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 6:28 pm What type of “meditation”?
Mindfulness of breathing
Unfortunately, the popularization of mindfulness meditation has taken it out of its Buddhist context.
A person can get zoned in on themselves and shut everything else out.
Instead of centering oneself,
people become more self-centered!
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Jokingfish
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Jokingfish »

What's next, then?

Ive heard one thought that selfishness is the beginning of wisdom, idk if it associates with what you said or even if its true by itself..

Shutting yourself out of environment, maybe that's good to some degree?.. Well, now i thought about solitary confinement, id say prison itself sort of fixes you to some extent, also.. Yeah, its not the middle way, but you can't make it perfect from the beginning, right?..
master of puppets
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by master of puppets »

meditation is good. people are mad. it is good if you can distinguish the good even from the bad. meditation is always good. in my twenties I wasn't care much about the people. ı didn't live the thirties as ı was ill. now in my forties could begin to see bad (people) around me. what ı gain is to to be able to pick up and choose the good even from the bad. and this is only where ı am.
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kirtu
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by kirtu »

Some people with mental illness can be triggered by meditation. This can cause them to do unexpected things (often harmless but disruptive like ringing bells during silent group meditation).
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Ayu
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Ayu »

In my experience, one should not force anything in meditation. It's no sports.
Rather it is work, love and flow. One should be patient with oneself.

So, it's always a bit dubious, when scientists judge about the effects of meditation practice.
- Which practice?
- Who performs this practice?
- For how long?
- And with what kind of effort? (Relaxed? Anxious? Distracted? Deluded?)
- With which motivation? (Name, fame? Bodhicitta? Or because the doctor told so?)
:smile:
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Kim O'Hara »

kirtu wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 9:50 pm Some people with mental illness can be triggered by meditation. This can cause them to do unexpected things ...
This is the biggest problem I've seen with any kind of meditation, and particularly that it can allow long-repressed history/thoughts to come to the surface. The good thing about that is that it offers the meditator a chance to deal with them at last. The bad thing is that they can be difficult to deal with, even after years have passed. (That's probably why they were repressed in the first place, right?)
Experienced meditation teachers can help guide the beginner through such experiences, which is a great reason for working with a teacher. If you're not - take care. The usual advice is to return to the breath focus whenever stressful stuff pops up, re-centre, and then (cautiously) return to it.

:namaste:
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Miorita
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Miorita »

:oops:
Meditating with this thread, thoughts of bruschetta came to me since long forgotten.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Miorita wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:41 am :oops:
Meditating with this thread, thoughts of bruschetta came to me since long forgotten.
:smile:
I do hope they didn't trouble you too much.

:coffee:
Kim
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Miorita wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:41 am :oops:
Meditating with this thread, thoughts of bruschetta came to me since long forgotten.
I’m assuming this is an autocorrect error, but I really don’t want it to be, bruschetta is tasty.
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

-Marvin Gaye
Miorita
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Miorita »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 1:53 am
Miorita wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:41 am :oops:
Meditating with this thread, thoughts of bruschetta came to me since long forgotten.
:smile:
I do hope they didn't trouble you too much.

:coffee:
Kim
It's like you build the sacred .

First you have the reality, the "3" in the symbol.
Then you have the sleep state when you brush on garlic and think yourself a god.
Smear over a bit of olive oil, add a litle "naro" on top, I mean a basil leaf.
For completion, roast everything in the oven of "jataragni" until done!

We chant "Om {something}!". And "Om" comes from their . We don't say "Tara- Tara"; we chant Ommm because it is practice.
And a support for meditation, dhyana. Tara is very helpful.
But first we have to get the going.
Then we get the siddhis as promised, :lol: if we remember to ask or look for them.

Buddhism is very difficult. It is! Because a meditation is not an action. It looks like an action but it is more of a looking into your "soul".
How long can one contemplate - that is the question. You try to catch it, and out you are.

Then you are asked: Where have you been?
- I don't know.
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Miorita »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 2:15 am
Miorita wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:41 am :oops:
Meditating with this thread, thoughts of bruschetta came to me since long forgotten.
I’m assuming this is an autocorrect error, but I really don’t want it to be, bruschetta is tasty.
Yes, I was writting while waiting for the train. I let it be because a meditation is about allowing things to be.
If there is no allowing for what is to manifest before you, then everything is wrong.
The place is wrong - train tracks. The time is wrong - middle of the night. The person is wrong - tired person. The posture is wrong - in fight or flight mode. If conditions are not met, then it's not happening.
A meditation is like a date. You have to come prepared.

If it is bad - Maybe only if it reveals unexpected insights. It could be that the subject is unsatisfied with the inquiry and the feeling of uneasiness is charged on the meditation itself. A teacher is needed for guidance.

Generally, a person meditating attracts others to calm with the calm that radiates. And that is because we now know that we're not that separated.
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Aemilius
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by Aemilius »

Jokingfish wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:43 pm
Aemilius wrote: Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:17 pm It can be bad according to Abhidharma, because you can do it with a harmful motivation, for example wanting to harm something or some one.
Its not the meditation itself that results in evil action, is just an intention, you can't run away from it, you could meditate it out though. How can you harm someone while not doing anything - which is similar to meditation, you would harm much more if you did do something and not meditate.

This is somewhat or highly esoteric topic, but it can happen that you first meditate say for ten, twenty or thirty years. And you gradually acquire mental or psychic powers, which can be used in various ways to cause harm to other sentient beings. Then even after you have repeated the Bodhisattva resolve thousands of times and after you have repeated the Four boundless states' verse daily for years, it can still happen. And why would it happen? Do we not see in the world that there are wars, friends and enemies between organisations, between individuals, between countries and nations?

There is something about this topic in the public Dharma, like the following by Vasubandhu:

Vasubandhu in The Twenty Verses and Their Commentary, Vimshatika-karika-vritti, (translation of Stefan Anacker):

"... or, as in the case of the vanquishing of Vemacitra through mental harming coming from the forest-dwelling seers.
In the same way, through the force of a special perception ofanother, a certain modification of the aggregate-series, destroy-ing its life-force, may arise, through which dying, which is to be known as a name for a discontinuity in the aggregate-series taking part in an organism, takes place.Or else, how was it that the Dandaka Forest became empty because of the anger of seers ? If it isn't accepted that the dying of beings can occur through the force of a special perception in others, how is it that the Exalted One, in order to demonstrate that mental harm constitutes a great offense, questioned Upäli when he was still a householder, as follows : "Householder Through what agency were the Dandaka, Matanga, and Kalinga Forests made empty and sacred, as has been reported ?", and Upäli replied, "I heard that it happened through the mental harming of seers, Gautama."If not, how could it be demonstrated that mental harm constitutes a great offense ?

"If this situation were constructed as not taking place through a mental harming, and it were to be said that those sentient beings that were living in that forest were destroyed by non-human spirits that had been propitiated as if they were seers, how could it be demonstrated by this passage that mental harm through mental action is a greater offense than bodily or verbal harm ?
This passage demonstrates that the dying of so many sentient beings came about only through a mental harming."
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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leech_noggin
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by leech_noggin »

Concentration meditation. Given 1000 thing, when you concentrate on 1 you ignore 999. So it might better be called "ignoring meditation". And that silence that it brings could be called the silence that comes with ignorance. So that's something to consider. There's a tradeoff there.
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

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leech_noggin wrote: Mon Sep 12, 2022 3:21 am Concentration meditation. Given 1000 thing, when you concentrate on 1 you ignore 999. So it might better be called "ignoring meditation". And that silence that it brings could be called the silence that comes with ignorance. So that's something to consider. There's a tradeoff there.
Yes, and that's what it is - practicing with the minds apprehension of an object, which is what the mind does - apprehend objects. So, we are doing it all the time anyway, only in a more deliberate way in mediation.
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

-Marvin Gaye
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leech_noggin
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Re: Can meditation be bad?

Post by leech_noggin »

We are on the same page about that. About concentration meditation being a refinement of what we're already doing with our attention. A refinement of our first nature, if you will.

My point is, concentration meditation has 2 effects. It makes you quiet and see clearly. But it also makes you partially blind. So you are basically trading perspective for clarity.

As I see it, the main virtues of concentration meditation are 1) it's relatively easy and 2) it gets you familiar with the ins and outs of awareness.

I see it as a step towards vipassana.

Maybe it's a necessary step and maybe it isn't, I dunno. But that's how I did it.
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