Are you hypersensitive to light and sound? We’ve got some bad news for you.
Yes, it’s sad that we have to report this. But we need to let you know. If you’re sensitive to light and sound, you can probably blame meditation.
News released today shows that meditation can cause hypersensitivity to light and sound. And that is just one of the possible negative side effects of meditation.
Don’t hate us for this. THE DAILY MEDITATION loves meditation. A lot. But it’s our job to share the news, good and bad.
There are more than 100 proven health benefits of meditation (read that link for more).
But there are also many dangerous health risks of meditation too (you definitely want to read that one).
And the news we are hearing today is that one of the side effects of meditation is hypersensitivity to light and sound.
Brown University researchers recently interviewed 100 meditators and meditation teachers and asked them about the side effects that they had experienced after meditating. A significant portion of the interviewees stated that they have been experiencing hypersensitivity to light and sound, as well as insomnia, occasional involuntary movements, and feelings of fear, anxiety and panic.
Have you experienced those side effects (leave a comment).
You can read the official findings here.
There are limits to the study though. It does not seem to have considered where the interviewee learned meditation or the quality or length of their tuition.
Let’s not forget what the Dalai Lama said (quote): “People need to learn more about Eastern tradition rather than proceeding to meditation too quickly. Otherwise, mental and physical difficulties will appear.” But sadly, that is the first time many people will have read that quote.
The researchers tell us that they are not trying to put people off of meditation but that it is important to know about these symptoms as being sensitive to light and sound can cause discomfort and unease. And unlike light sensitivity disorder, which is a serious condition, it is easy to stop meditating if we need to.
Jared Lindahl, visiting assistant professor at Brown’s Cogut Center for Humanities and co-author of the study spoke to TODAY. He said, “We’re not trying to scare people away from trying meditation. There is data that many people find tremendous benefits from meditating.” He states that it’s important to have a good idea of the pros and cons of meditating before beginning.
The degree of the hypersensitivity to light and sound, and the extremity of insomnia, ranged between different people. Some people were much less sensitive to sounds and light than others. This this suggests that meditation may be good for some and less good (though still not bad) for others.
So, we have shared the bad news. But let’s put it in perspective.
As we have reported time and again on THE DAILY MEDITATION, there are good sides to meditation and there are bad sides. And it is almost unanimously agreed that the good far outweighs the bad.
So, what should you do about this most recent news?
If you have hypersensitivity to light and sound, consult a doctor and consider either stopping meditation or changing your meditation technique.
Here’s a list of 31 different types of meditation. Is one is not working, you could try another.
I suggest moving off of any meditation that involves oneness (such as Dhyana). This type of meditation puts your consciousness in closer contact with the meditation object. In turn, that trains the mind to focus more fully on what you’re looking at. This means that when you see bright lights you may inadvertently focus on them too full, which can cause complications.
Also, do not meditate before watching TV or playing video games. PLEASE. I personally made the mistake of meditating before playing video games. I did this years ago. And I had an event. I say “Event”. It was similar to a seizure. However, after being tested at the Hamilton General Hospital I was informed that this “event’ was in fact not a seizure. The doctors actually were unable to tell me what it was.
Have you experienced any of these complications?
Leave a comment.