Meditation may look calming, but it’s intended to challenge our realities.
There are some activities that seem like they could never be harmful. Skipping through a field of flowers comes to mind. So does meditation. In fact, mindfulness meditation has even become a treatment prescribed for everything from depression to high blood pressure. How could there possibly be a downside to sitting calmly and focusing the mind?
Well, in their book The Buddah Pill: Can meditation actually change you? researchers Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm debunk the idea that meditating has only upside. In fact, Farias says that seven percent of longtime meditators suffer from severe mental health problems.
This fact doesn’t surprise Farias, who himself is a meditator.
“Meditation techniques were designed to actually challenge and rupture our sense of everyday self and reality, so it’s not unsurprising that they could lead to mental health problems,” he reasons.
Our conversation with Farias is an interesting view into this healing technique.