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We can either allow our past to keep interfering with our optimal expression of love and happiness, or we can move beyond our past with renewed passion for life.

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Events

 
 
 
August 19 2012

Side Effects of Meditation

Category:  Ask Deepak

Question:

Are there side effects to meditation? I practice Christian meditation and each time I meditate I get headaches, I feel spaced out and intense. My emotions are usually raging that I have a hard time concentrating and functioning. I'm ungrounded and anxious as well. Is this normal?


Answer:

Any negative side effects of meditation can only come from doing meditation incorrectly. That means mentally straining or resisting against thoughts trying to stay concentrated. That effort keeps the mind from spontaneously moving toward self-awareness – the goal of meditation. If you are unsettled and emotionally upset before starting meditation, then the best thing to do is practice a few minutes of easy breathing exercises, or pranayama, to calm the mind and then begin meditation. Remember as you do your meditation, never force or push against thoughts or feelings, once you remember you are off your meditation, just easily and effortlessly bring your mind back to the practice.

Love,
Deepak

Top comments

  • Great answer. I also think when you are quiet you recognize thoughts you don`t even know you have or usually ignore or suppress. These thoughts can be ones that cause fear, guilt or anxiety and therefore a headache or stress may result as you judge those thoughts which, then cause a negative response in the body. Its important to remember, you are not your thoughts and there is no need to judge your thoughts, just be the observer, let them flow and let them go. This has been helpful for me and I believe falls in line with Dr Chopra`s wonderful advice.

    Dallas Cyr // 2012-08-19 15:36:45 // //
  • This offers a different perspective on side effects from meditation. http://www.behind-the-tm-facade.org/transcendental_meditation-harmful-abstracts.htm

    Harold Jung // 2013-02-26 20:33:29 // //

 

 

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  • I like your answer too. It is surely doing it incorrectly. What kind of Christian meditation is this? All my Christians friends is against me doing Qigong and Meditation. However, I do sitting meditation (which is hard for me to focus, as I will have aches and pain for sitting too long at one position.) I do it with people who knows and guide me. It is very relaxing to the mind, I just can`t do it for long, for my body can`t take it. So I try with Qigong which is Meditation in movement. Slowly you will develope a habit of not holding on to your thoughts that keep coming. One of my master said: The mind is like a monkey swinging from tree to tree. Learn to let go - let it raise and fade off - good or bad - don`t hold. Christian friends stop me from doing Qigong - less the evil enter my body. I been doing these for over 20 years. I benefited. I am currently, doing Rejuvenate Yourself Exercise - Qigong healing every morning at 5.30am. I blog about it for the benefit of my fellow none Chinese spreaking classmates. You can google search it to learn about it. Presently, Master is from Taiwan. It has spread to Singapore (my country), Malaysia. it is FOC

    sylvia // 2013-04-09 01:06:30 // //
  • This offers a different perspective on side effects from meditation. http://www.behind-the-tm-facade.org/transcendental_meditation-harmful-abstracts.htm

    Harold Jung // 2013-02-26 20:33:29 // //
  • I think meditation can b done anywhere but you should be ready for it. Your mind body n soul should be deeply connected to each other and spiritual powers. The imp thing in meditation n yoga is time posture balance n technique.You can slowly increase the time span accordingly as you feel comfortable.

    swapnil // 2012-08-25 12:59:43 // //
  • Learn to meditate under an initialized teacher. If this not in your case you need to stop doing it. However if you have learnt under an initialized teacher, do some rigorous exercises (Shake hands rigorously) to release some stress/active energy in the body, then do breathing exercises (pranayams) before your meditation. Meditation is about doing nothing, to effortlessly streamline the energy within and around you. Love you! http://jyoaadarsh.wordpress.com/

    Jyo Aadarsh // 2012-08-23 22:37:52 // //
  • What is "Christian meditation" to begin with? If meditation has any adjective, or modifier, attached to it, it may mean that it is pre-conceived. In other words, the lower mind is trying to stay in control. Let go, drop that thought, and - if that is what is in your heart - Christ will come to your meditation by His will, not from your will.

    veganaut // 2012-08-23 01:14:40 // //
  • claro la meditacion bien practicada lo que logra es alcanzar otros niveles mas altos de conciencia, es dificil, mas con sus consejos deepak, en ocaciones yo lo he alcanzado, se siente una paz, una tranquilidad y felicidad, lo que mas o menos dicen los que han estado cercanos a la muerte, pero en vida. gracias deepak por todas sus enseñanzas. saludos de mexico df.

    fernando // 2012-08-23 00:54:34 // //
  • 3 Responses to that question. 1: Release tension in the neck, face, jaw, and shoulders before starting. Use breath work (pranayama), tense and relax technique, or facial massage to relax. 2: The headaches are caused by the ego trying to assert itself and drive you away from meditation. The point of meditation is to quiet the mind and let the ego fall away from the true self. If the ego feels threatened, it will do everything it can in self-preservation including causing real or imagined aches & pains. Unless you truly are in physical pain, it is just the ego protecting itself. 3: A strong reaction indicates you need meditation all the more. The goal of meditation is to increase concentration, silence within the head, to importantly to separate from the ego self. It is the ego`s need for self-preservation that causes the headaches and anxiety. Stick with it because what you most need is meditation to bring peace, calm, and groundedness.

    Ann @WorldVitae // 2012-08-22 02:14:25 // //
  • Hi there! There are so many ways to meditate. That`s what`s so cool and fun about it! If you are having trouble, I would suggest bringing a more playful attitude into your meditation. Pledge to experiment for a week to see what works for you. For example, you could try a self-guided meditation, focusing on BEING in your body. If you like, you can lie on your back on the floor (perhaps on a yoga mat), comfortable, with legs slightly parted and arms rested palms up at your sides. Try for proper spinal alignment as best you can, then relax completely into the pose, sinking into the floor. Be still. And, starting at your toes, work your way up your body using your awareness to notice what`s going on in each body part. How does each part feel? What emotions do you notice coming up? Can you consciously and gently relax each part some more? Can you bring healing energy and light into your body? Just be present with YOU. Try it, it might help you get unstuck from whatever`s not currently working for you. Best of luck, E.

    Emily // 2012-08-21 22:59:00 // //
  • Deepak Chopra..the 'Mind' guru!

    Dekie Yk Wangchuk // 2012-08-21 04:46:19 // //
  • >>> = @ Robin O'Leary = Thanks, Sister xoxo = But as far as brother Deek is concerned here, and how I am very sternly treating him here in front of you all for his better humbled self, I will always yell (not always) but never bite! Remember that one, Deek. Mystic Peace & Love from Spen xoxox = ^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 22:10:35 // //
  • It also helps if you are stressed, preoccupied or upset to do some yoga and or stretching before you meditate to diffuse the excess energy

    Sioux Robbins // 2012-08-19 18:13:12 // //
  • I usually fall to sleep during meditation..but I have to be outside w/nature..can't do it @home.

    Sheki Williams // 2012-08-19 17:34:15 // //
  • Try adjusting your posture

    Jackie Cole // 2012-08-19 17:01:20 // //
  • There is no need for feeling 'intense' or getting headaches with meditation! Try to relax.

    Jessica Milne // 2012-08-19 16:55:22 // //
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    Pamela McDonald // 2012-08-19 16:51:31 // //
  • So is it ok to not ignore the constant thoughts that keep coming when i meditate (i.e need to take the washing out of the machine, will cook such and such for dinner!!). I find it really hard to get to the state where there are no thoughts!! I say So Hum but find that lots of thoughts still keep coming. what to do?? i really want to get meditation right and i did your 21 day challenge- which was excellent, thank you, but my mind still wanders.

    Niketa // 2012-08-19 15:57:02 // //
  • I meditate for an hour straight now and my mind is calm with barely a thought.

    Steve Wein // 2012-08-19 15:39:14 // //
  • Great answer. I also think when you are quiet you recognize thoughts you don`t even know you have or usually ignore or suppress. These thoughts can be ones that cause fear, guilt or anxiety and therefore a headache or stress may result as you judge those thoughts which, then cause a negative response in the body. Its important to remember, you are not your thoughts and there is no need to judge your thoughts, just be the observer, let them flow and let them go. This has been helpful for me and I believe falls in line with Dr Chopra`s wonderful advice.

    Dallas Cyr // 2012-08-19 15:36:45 // //
  • ***REPOSTED*** *The way of The Heart, is far FAR simpler and easier than the way of the mind. Why so? For the heart is far closer to God than what the mind is. The mind is like a confused maze back home to The Lord. The Heart, however, is far more direct and straight like an arrow back home to God. Devotion (even innocently so) will always "win" over meditation, every time!! *My wiser advice to you, DEEK: if you want to be free of headaches and insanity "in" mediation, THEN GO THE WAY OF THE HEART!!!! IT WILL GET YOU HOME-HUMBLED AND LIBERATED FAR QUICKER THAN ANY METHOD OF MEDITATION, EASTERN OR WESTERN!!! *AND DON'T BE SO FUCKING RUDE AND CONTEMPTUOUS, BROTHER!!! I WILL ALWAYS CORRECT YOU FOR YOUR GREATER GOOD, NO MATTER HOW OFFENSIVE YOU "STILL" CHOOSE TO BE IN THE "DIZZY-HEIGHTS" THERE!!! = Peace, my mystic brother xoxox = ^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 15:35:31 // //
  • >>> = ***YOU ARE A VERY CONTEMPTUOUS RUDE FUCK, MR DEEPAK CHOPRA!!!! ***IT IS NO WONDER YOU DELETE MY MOST IMPORTANT POSTS FOR YOU AND ALL TO SEE HERE. ***WHY? = BECAUSE YOU ARE SO FUCKING-FULL OF YOUR OWN SELFISH PRIDE AND MEGA-IMPORTANCE!!! *** AND NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU DENY THE BETTER, I WILL KEEP POSTING IT HERE FOR YOUR BETTER MYSTIC REALIZATION AND LIBERATION!!! PEACE, BROTHER!!

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 15:34:30 // //
  • wow Spencer - deep breaths, man. Sometimes I have tension during the process of letting go, relaxing and aligning my heart and mind with god or universal energy or whatever is your thing....but I usually find that if I can stick with it for awhile it releases. We are so used to controlling our thoughts and making everything work "our" way that it can sometimes be difficult to try another path - keep trying:)

    Robin O'Leary // 2012-08-19 15:30:09 // //
  • *The way of The Heart, is far FAR simpler and easier than the way of the mind. Why so? For the heart is far closer to God than what the mind is. The mind is like a confused maze back home to The Lord. The Heart, however, is far more direct and straight like an arrow back home to God. Devotion (even innocently so) will always "win" over meditation, every time!! *My wiser advice to you, DEEK: if you want to be free of headaches and insanity "in" mediation, THEN GO THE WAY OF THE HEART!!!! IT WILL GET YOU HOME-HUMBLED AND LIBERATED FAR QUICKER THAN ANY METHOD OF MEDITATION, EASTERN OR WESTERN!!! *AND DON'T BE SO FUCKING RUDE AND CONTEMPTUOUS, BROTHER!!! I WILL ALWAYS CORRECT YOU FOR YOUR GREATER GOOD, NO MATTER HOW OFFENSIVE YOU "STILL" CHOOSE TO BE IN THE "DIZZY-HEIGHTS" THERE!!! Peace, my mystic brother xoxox = ^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 15:29:35 // //
  • *The way of The Heart, is far FAR simpler and easier than the way of the mind. Why so? For the heart is far closer to God than what the mind is. The mind is like a confused maze back home to The Lord. The Heart, however, is far more direct and straight like an arrow back home to God. Devotion (even innocently so) will always "win" over meditation, every time!! *My wiser advice to you, DEEK: if you want to be free of headaches and insanity "in" mediation, THEN GO THE WAY OF THE HEART!!!! IT WILL GET YOU HOME-HUMBLED AND LIBERATED FAR QUICKER THAN ANY METHOD OF MEDITATION, EASTERN OR WESTERN!!! *AND DON'T BE SO FUCKING RUDE AND CONTEMPTUOUS, BROTHER!!! I WILL ALWAYS CORRECT YOU FOR YOUR GREATER GOOD, NO MATTER HOW OFFENSIVE YOU "STILL" CHOOSE TO BE IN THE "DIZZY-HEIGHTS" THERE!!! Peace, my mystic brother xoxox = ^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 15:29:32 // //
  • Namaste

    ROSTI // 2012-08-19 15:28:53 // //
  • Deepak, I think about my past and I try to find peace and my mind just starts to Go. I would say that everything we humans do has some sort of consequence. You meditate and get headaches, so I would assume to even take that easy...hahahah, I know it sounds goofy but its a thought. I have learned that we give Oxygen in the medical profession so blah say, but even Oxygen can do damage! We think things are benign but really later we find they are not~ I know I am a Goober, but I am just sharing~

    Monique Welin // 2012-08-19 15:20:00 // //
  • Even whe u fast,

    Glory Nkosi // 2012-08-19 15:19:26 // //
  • https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=304121253018673&set=a.273425446088254.53234.273344606096338&type=1&relevant_count=1

    Aref Areff // 2012-08-19 15:16:29 // //
  • I don't think so. Its rellaxing. Meditation not usually a painful experience. Try drinking more water and less caffeine. Have your blood levels checked and eyes :>) oh and sugar/caffeine withdraws manifest as....headaches :>) Thank you hope it helps.

    Karin Mucci // 2012-08-19 15:15:42 // //
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    Riya Sweetie // 2012-08-19 15:14:05 // //
  • I love Deepak Chopra. Yeah!!

    Angelica Infante // 2012-08-19 15:09:04 // //