Retreat Into Chaos....For Some

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  • An interesting article here about the possible effects on some people when doing a 'spiritual awakening' or 'meditative' or 'mindfulness' retreat.

    Do you have to have experienced mental difficulties earlier in your life for this to happen?

    Or does the change of lifestyle in a place of retreat just affect certain people this way?

    Getting up too early and sitting staring at the end of my nose wouldn't make me a very happy bunny, to be sure...

  • For a person with PTSD,anxiety paranoia or other mental health issues there are recognised dangers from immersing oneself into Buddhist retreats and mindfulness.

    They may appear to offer the calming mental sanctuary one seeks,but they can be the catalyst to opening doors into some very dark areas of the mind one may have subconsciously shut away for self preservation purposes.

    Can be a bit of a Pandoras box.

    As someone with PTSD I wouldnt advise anyone with similar issues jump into buddhism or mindfulness without being fully aware of what may lay ahead.

    Its certainly a good way of managing ones mental health and stress levels but caution and appropriate counselling should be in place if needed.It was one of the points of me turning more to Buddhist philosophy and principles and mindfulness practice and initially it didnt go at all well though not as dramatically as the article.

    I can recommend a book : Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness by Michael Treleaven

    Its very good at a measured approach to mindfulness and any retreat based philosophy like buddhism for anyone seeking a way out of stress or PTSD symptoms without the dramatic trauma the person in the article experienced.

  • Yep, diving into quite full on retreat/regressive inward looking practice can indeed open a pandora's box if someone has had traumas in their life and not dealt with it. It can open locked boxes where traumas are hidden/blocked off within a persons psyche. Doing psychedelic drugs can have the same opening a pandoras box effect on a person if they have issues, the thing is as well it can open up repressed traumas/emotuns that someone may ot be aware of or think they dont have. None the less, in a controlled environment with the right people/ teacher/guru or whatever, it can be a very healing process but needs to be done gently at the pace that an individual can deal with and find comfortable. Psychedelics ended up being my universal teacher/guide to help bring out who I really am as a person that initially was quite seriously repressed by the adults around me when I was a nipper.

  • I stuck with it and read through most of the article but must confess to merely scanning in parts:-

    The rational answer to life as "we" know it is suicide....

    Clearly the author is incapable of placing suicide in perspective even when writing an article retrospectively....

    Brains are mush and despite suicide being the rational solution "we" all have a strong will to survive.

    Psychosis is a very natural manifestation of the conflict caused by the survive or suicide dilemma.