While exploring mindful therapy, be equipped to run into enlightenment’s evil twin. Learn to protect yourself from the dark side of meditation.
Imagine you’re sitting in a modern studio, focusing on your breath (breathe in…breathe out), your legs crossed, your back straight, your mind at peace (breathe in…breathe out). You want to practice the art of knowing and loving yourself to prepare for a relationship, or cope with everyday stress.
You have been attending Mindful Therapy and you’re in the thick of week two, practicing meditation and (breathe in…breathe out) your eyes are closed, your breathing is slow and your mind is filled with only the draft from your inhale and exhale.
Suddenly, you are consumed by your thoughts and past experiences. Perhaps you’ve been (breathe in…breathe out) trying to suppress memories of a trauma that occurred. You’re being swallowed by mental still frames that you were sure you buried ages ago.
You leave class, stop on the side walk (breathe in…breathe out), try to shake off the metaphorical dirt you’ve dug today and walk home.
Without realizing it, you’ve just encountered what has been called “enlightenment’s evil twin.” The soothing and therapeutic benefits of meditation and mindfulness are powerful. Without the proper guidance into your own self, you can encounter a form of self awareness that can exacerbate underlying mental and emotional trauma.
To read more about how we can safely enter the depths of our psyche, The Guardian has provided this article. Don’t forget to (breathe in…breathe out) while you read.
Image: [Hartwig HKG]