Can meditation and mindfulness work against you?
Mindfulness and meditation are huge buzzword these days.
Admittedly, I use these phrases myself in my written and spoken communication about my work. This is primarily because these words have become the mainstream phrases that everyone relates to. Mindfulness is being brought to schools and workplaces. This is, no doubt, progress from where we were some years ago.
The reported benefits of mindfulness and meditation are numerous - from feeling calm and peaceful, having a deep, soft voice, increased self-control and empathy, improved focus, decreased stress, among many others.
Now, let me be a little devil's advocate.
Meditation means different things to different people.
After all, what does meditation mean to you?
There are umpteen meditation styles. Additionally, many styles were borrowed from traditional practices of Asian spiritual seekers (who, by the way, lived in very different conditions than you or I in this 20/21st century).
Fact: Underneath the veil of meditative peace, a chaos may be brewing.
Want an example?
You may have heard the story of the famous Canadian meditation and yoga teacher, Michael Stone. He was a renowned yoga teacher and Buddhist who ran conferences and workshops nationwide and worldwide. Sadly, he died of drug overdose in the summer of 2017. As the linked article mentioned..."He went to bed early...He ate a special diet. He saw naturopaths and herbalists, trainers and therapists."
We may all rightfully ask: Why didn't his well established meditation practice address his deep struggles?
While my own awareness and self-awareness journey has evolved over decades (by the way, awareness and self-awareness are the phrases I prefer to use) it is becoming more clear to me than ever, that even with special diet, and making ourselves "peaceful" through some form of meditation/mindfulness, using supplements, and essential oils...there may be something missing.
And that "something" is a well regulated nervous system. This system is our main processing apparatus for handling the input from our inner and outer world.
Practicing a form of meditation of your choice will no doubt bring some benefits to your life. However, as I learnt from my own experiences and those of my clients, not addressing the imbalance deep inside us at the level of the nervous system, may make us feel peaceful on the surface, but a storm may be brewing deep inside.
You can come and learn much more during my workshop on Understanding Stress, Anxiety, Nervous System, Awareness held in Burlington, Ontario or you can reach out privately. Let's start the conversation.