A famous yogi cautions his disciples:
“Never sit quietly and make your mind blank in order to become ‘open’ to messages from the other world. This practice makes one receptive to tramp souls that are roaming in the ether, seeking human vehicles for expression and experience in the physical world”.
Christianity warns of “demonic possession”, evil spirits that possess a body or mind.
Meditation students are often indoctrinated with psychologically disturbing ideas.
The ultimate goal of meditation is total annihilation (for Buddhists) or complete surrender (Hindu Yogis) of “self”. Buddhist students seek Nirvana, the transcendent state of consciousness where no suffering, no desire, or no self exists. Whereas Hindu Yoga students strive to attain Samadhi, the ultimate consciousness where the “self” is surrendered entirely to a Supreme Being. Disturbing ideas.
During my meditations, I’d sometimes worry that tramp souls might enter my “blank” mind. And, I feared accidentally entering a Samadhi meditaton state. Would I snuff-out my “self”? How would “I” come back? These are thoughts that possess minds.
In my post Dark Side of Meditation, I wrote of the potential risks and side-effects of meditation. But this questions about psychiatric problems are not well researched.
Questions for readers: What do you think of tramp souls or demonic possession? of annihilation or surrender of “self”?
1 Paramahansa Yogananda, a famous yogi, discussed tramp souls, disembodied spirits, or ghosts in his writings and lectures. The quote above is from his book, The Divine Romance, ch 27, Where Are Our Departed Loved Ones? a transcript of a talk he gave at the First Self-Realization Fellowship Temple, Encinitas, CA, 28 Aug 1938.