Dark Side to Meditation: Is Meditating Good for You?

Meditation has astonishing advantages, but on the other hand, it is equipped for uncovering past traumas and anxiety, which can be startling or frightening for some. Individuals who meditate daily generally train enough and are compensated with expanded empowerment over the brainwaves known as alpha rhythms. The alpha brain prompts better concentration and may ease torment. Notwithstanding quieting the psyche and body, contemplation can likewise decrease the markers of worry in individuals with apprehension issues. Health professionals conducted thorough examinations to persuade doctors, gurus, and psychotherapists to grasp Meditation and mindfulness’s latent capacity. The meditators have consistently known that where the trend, hype, and publicity might be justified, the training and practice sessions are not harmonious, love, and delight and serene looks at false reality. Sitting in a trance state focused on the third eye, an individual can experience incredibly uncomfortable feelings and emotions and feel unsettlement psychologically and physiologically.

Zen Buddhism has a word for the distorted thought patterns that can emerge during Meditation: “Makyo.” The word is composed of the Japanese words demon and objective world. An American late Zen master, Philip Kapleau, described Makyo as “a dredging and cleansing process that releases stressful experiences in deep layers of the mind.” (MacLellan, 2017). According to Jared Lindahl, the requesting and the extremely troubling side of Meditation are seldom referenced in analytical writing. He has an enthusiasm for neuroscience and Buddhism as he is a visiting professor at Brown University. Jared, alongside Willoughby Britton, co-composed an investigation that archives and makes a taxonomy of meditation phenomenology. Lindahl quoted, “Just because something is positive and beneficial doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of the broader range of possible effects it might have” (MacLellan, 2017). The pair conducted the research where 60 Western Buddhist reflection specialists were approached and interviewed. They all had experienced uncomfortable and or troubling incidents while meditating. The participants included first-year students and trained educators; mostly, they had amassed over 10,000 hours of practice of Meditation during their life. (MacLellan, 2017).

The analysts distinguished 59 sorts of sudden or undesirable encounters, which they arranged into seven spaces: intellectual, perceptual, emotional, substantial, conative, ability to be self-aware, and social. The experiences described by them were the sentiments of apprehension and anxiety, sleep deprivation, a feeling of complete separation from one’s feelings or detachment, hypersensitivity to sound and light, hallucinations, queasiness, and most importantly the reliving past pain of traumas. As per the examination, the related degrees of misery and hindrance extended from gentle and transient to extreme and long-lasting. People do not always realize that the side effects lie behind the cover of the subconscious veil of consciousness. (MacLellan, 2017).

Nonetheless, the study respondents did not see each non-euphoric occasion as unfavourable. Indeed, says Britton, she and Lindahl purposely stayed away from strong negative words in their examination. Instead, they picked the word challenging that better caught the meditators’ differed understandings of their encounters. (MacLellan, 2017).

Willoughby Britton, Ph.D., an associate professor at Brown University, concurs with the findings. Meditation’s adverse impacts include dread, frenzy, fantasies, madness, loss of inspiration, memory, and depersonalization, which can be troubling, best-case scenario, and weakening even from a pessimistic standpoint. David A. Treleaven, Ph.D., writer of the new book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing, says this strength contemplation holds cannot be downplayed belittled by instructors or experts. Treleaven states that “Meditation is a training that can inspire testing or unfavourable reactions. While numerous individuals profit by contemplation, some won’t.” When Britton initially experienced a portion of the negative impacts of reflection, she understood that contributor to the issue was the absence of data and overemphasis on benefits. (Downey, 2018). Even though anyone can encounter a negative impact of reflection, the trauma survivors mostly feel powerless after meditating. “The primary explanation is that injury survivors typically abstain from troubling recollections of emotions related to the injury and reflection regularly includes inclining toward our interior encounters, which incorporates troublesome musings and sensations.” (Downey, 2018). The subsequent explanation is that injury may provoke disgrace sentiments that can make it hard to get to self-empathy. Here and there in contemplation, it is the first occasion when somebody is approached to coordinate cherishing emotions toward themselves. Thus, it can be a troublesome activity, and it can bring about inclination genuinely overpowered. (Lutkajtis, 2019).

Although Meditation may not generally make an individual feel better, that does not mean the individual should not meditate. A 10-minute guided mediation on an application is great; for some, while learning meditation and care aptitudes with a guide or an instructor is more proper for others. (Downey, 2018). More research is needed to understand the epistemology, the cause as to why it affects some and not the others. Researchers and psychologists should focus on how to make sure the adverse effects have solutions.







  • Downey, J. (2018). “The Dark Side of Meditation: How to Avoid Getting Stuck with Pain from the Past.” Yoga Journal.
  • Dudeja, J. (2019). Dark Side of the Meditation: How to Dispel this Darkness. 10.1729/Journal.22040.
  • Müller, A. (2020). “The Dark Side of Meditation.” Medium, Invisible Illness.
  • MacLellan, L. (2017). There’s a Dark Side to Meditation That No One Talks About.
  • Lutkajtis, A. (2019). “The dark side of Dharma: Why have adverse effects of meditation been ignored in contemporary Western secular contexts? M.A. Thesis, University of Sydney.