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“Meditation Sickness”: Classical & Modern Approaches to Adverse Effects

Online Program
Dates: Apr 04, 2024

Instructor(s): Pierce Salguero

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Program Description:

Mindfulness and other types of Buddhist meditation are now routinely being practiced by large segments of the population in many Western countries. However, recent psychiatric studies have shown that about 10% of participants will encounter psychological imbalances or psychosomatic ailments when engaging in intensive meditation. In fact, this phenomenon is not a new or particularly Western problem. For millennia, religious and healing traditions around Asia have been aware of the adverse experiences that can accompany intensive meditation practice. Often labelling this phenomenon as “meditation sickness” or “meditation illness,” many historical and contemporary teachers have provided advice on how to identify and classify these ailments, how to avoid them, and how to treat them if they do arise. Due to language barriers, these important perspectives remain virtually unknown in medical, scientific, and practitioner communities. This workshop with historian of Buddhism and Asian medicine, C. Pierce Salguero, will present the latest findings from a comprehensive study of historical and contemporary Buddhist writings from across Asia on this topic. This is a freely offered, pay what you can program.