Observations placeholder

Hallucinations and health problems from overdoing it



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


Incorrect stimulation can go wrong, which is why a system is needed and an understanding of the trigger points and their inter relationship and effects.

All the systems from yoga to shiatsu, have resulted in much the same problems when people go too far too quickly and become obsessive about the approach, or when they try things without understanding the underlying theory. They go from nothing to an all out onslaught on a 2 week course and the results can be serious – damaging.

A description of the experience


Jack Kornfield – A path with Heart – A Guide through the Perils and Promises of a Spiritual Life

An "overzealous young karate student" decided to meditate and not move for a full day and night.

When he got up, he was filled with explosive energy. He strode into the middle of the dining hall filled with a hundred silent retreatants and began to yell and practice his karate maneouvers at triple speed. Then he screamed, "'When I look at each of you, I see behind you a whole trail of bodies showing your past lives."

As an experienced meditation teacher, I recognized that the symptoms were related to the meditation practice rather than signs of a manic episode (for which they also meet all the diagnostic criteria except duration).

The meditation community handled the situation by stopping his meditation practice and starting him jogging, ten miles in the morning and afternoon. His diet was changed to include red meat, which is thought to have a grounding effect. They got him to take frequent hot baths and showers and to dig the garden. One person was with him all the time.

After three days, he was able to sleep again and was allowed to start meditating again, slowly and carefully.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items


Activities and commonsteps