MEDITATION and Psychological Disorders RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS

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1 MEDITATION and Psychological Disorders RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS ITZI Conference 2015 Madrid Dr. Ortwin Lüers MD Consultant for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Baseler Straße Berlin 0049 (30)

2 Our Mind is SHIFTING moment by moment! We can t grasp anything and suffer / Samsara. Our Mind is subconsciously shifting through various planes of perception and states simultaneously. This is called Bardo Experience in Vajrayana Buddhism. Through our perceptual filters and memory functions we only can relate consciously to less than 1 % of all these informations.

3 Meditation can be considered as a universal tool for gaining spiritual transcendence in all cultures. Meditation is based on natural reflective Recognition SATI (Mindfulness)! SATI can be trained like a muscle and is enhancing the capacities of becoming aware and more conscious about our shifting perception. (psychotherapeutic applications) Through SATI the process of identification with different mind states and perceived objects (thoughts, emotions etc.) during meditation can be slowed down or stopped.

4 One million meditation newbies per year / USA

5 The emphasis in buddhist meditation is completely different and much more radical and fundamental! It is such a mistake to assume that practicing dharma will help us calm down and lead an untroubled life; nothing could be further from the truth. Dharma is not a therapy. Quite the opposite, in fact; dharma is tailored specifically to turn your life upside down it s what you sign up for. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

6 Meditation versus Psychotherapy - Meditation, especially Buddhist meditation is not a form of Psychotherapy! - Buddhist meditation is a self induced SELF EXPOSURE with the INTENT to cut the roots of suffering. based on the motivation to realize the nature of the mind. - Psychotherapy is a western invention based on a pathological model of psychological disease development. - PT is based on a therapeutical relationship to a Psychotherapist - Historically seen Psychotherapy and Meditation have not much in common.

7 BUDDHIST MEDITATION - A tool for self investigation and analysis of the mind. - A method to develop wisdom, clarity and compassion. Bodhicitta - A method based on the motivation to attain LIBERATION from samsara for the sake of all sentient beings.

8 Scientific Investigation Matthieu Ricard

9 The most common and known planes of consciousness : In Buddhism the intermediate states and the shifting points between them are known as BARDOS. birth waking state dream state deep sleep In Meditation you get gradually habituated into the experience of shifting becoming aware of gaps between the states. death Experiencing these gaps can weaken and change our normal perception of the world, space and time and help for DETACHMENT!

10 Recently discovered: HYPERGAMMA, Hz / Monks meditating on compassion Lambda 200 Hz+ / Ecstatic states of consciousness / often seen with drug addiction / MDMA Epsilon 0,5 Hz / Slow waves seen with Lambda waves

11 The spectrum of shifts between waking, dreaming and sleeping can be roughly mirrored by EEG and brainwave functions and with Neuroimaging and fmri. Through meditation research nowadays states of consciousness like trance, hypnosis, certain altered states and meditation can be distinguished more easily. https://www.mindscience.org/ A meditator of the past only could do this by trial & error. THIS IS A CHALLENGE!

12 Meditation / side effects? What about the risks? 1. On the meditative path we can meet exceptional and maybe also mystical experiences. 2. Changes in our experience, also negative experiences can happen in an instant and very quick. 3. This can alter and change our life forever. 4. We have to integrate meditative experience in our daily life.

13 When Meditation is running well: 1. Obstacles: Agitation, Boredom, Mal-motivation, Mal - concentration. 2. Relaxation: calm breathing, patience, calmness.. 3. Concentration: Mindfulness, thoughts ceasing, less attachment, equanimity, peace. 4. Essential qualities: Clarity, Love, Grace, Self acceptance, Gratitude 5. Non - Duality: Oneness, stillness of thoughts, Transcendence of subject and object,emptiness

14 Current Research: (Lustyk et al. 2009)12 Publications / 9 case studies: (Kaplan et al. 2012) classification of experiences (n= 25) Willoughby Britton, Brown University / The dark night project Lustyk: Categorization of negative effects: Psychological: Depression, Mania, Psychosis, Dissociation, Depersonalization Somatic: Pain, Epilepsiy Spiritual: Religious Delusions Trigger: Meditation retreats of several days, Deprivation, shortening of sleep, fasting.

15 The current research is showing further that: Difficulties during meditation can also affect people without any pathology or problematic history. The dosage of meditation plays a certain role but is not sufficient as a main cause for problems.

16 WHAT CAN BE DONE? 1. A safe and clear frame as well good guidance by a experienced teacher seems to be necessary! 2. IT SHOULD BE TALKED ABOUT, Do not keep it in privacy! 3. Meditative practice, especially in Buddhism can be modified and adapted individually! Dharmas 4. Additional psychotherapy and / or psychiatric treatment are strongly recommended! 5. Exercises, Gong Fu, Qi Gong Physiotherapy, Acupuncture are helpful!

17 Conclusion Any symptom of any psychological disorder will get worse immediately if you meditate without modification! Especially if you suffer from psychosis, depressions, PTSD, fear or dissociative disorders or epilepsy there is a high risk of worsening!

18 What is required? Define your meditative path and it s purpose! Define your Motivation and choose a useful method. Connect with valuable information, a authentic and experienced teacher and a group of practitioners

19 Short moments, many times. That is how to train (Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche)

20 Finally I like to offer the benefits of Psychoneuronal Reintegration / PNR The VAJRA TECHNIQUE

21 PNR or the VAJRA TECHNIQUE CBT Yoga / Qi Gong EMDR Meditation / Deep Relaxation

22 SARWA MANGALAM & THANK YOU!

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