Dear Ektaji, my sister, suffering from bipolar disorder has done Vipassana, AOL basic, and silence course. She told Guruji that she can’t do the kriya and meditation and he advised her to do ‘Om Nama Shivaya’ chanting but when she does that, her psychological problems intensify – high and low’s. Even keeping mantra in a mute mode at home causes fights, physical mishaps, etc. Is there any chance for her to lead any kind of spiritual life? Please help and guide her.
The Art Of Living basic course form mentioned clearly that bi-polar people should not learn/practice the Sudharshan Kriya.
The Vipassana form also says: Although Vipassana meditation is beneficial for most people, it is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment and we do not recommend it for people with serious psychiatric disorders.
Please understand that pranayama, chanting mantras [even silently], yogic techniques may trigger some existing mental conditions, therefore I would suggest that you please contact a professionally qualified medical counselor.
A Spiritual Guru will not be able to help in this case, dear.
Because TRUE spirituality has only one meaning – to find out what you truly are.
What does that mean?
The moment one recognizes that one is not the body & not the mind, the clear recognition that he/she is the witness consciousness dawns. This witness consciousness is a field, not a personal embodied soul. We all share this field. That’s how we are all ONE. This is the entire meaning of spirituality in a capsule.
But not all practices are geared towards the same. Some are just relaxation techniques today. What about those?
There are some pranayamas, asanas, rites & rituals out there labeled as spiritual practices, but unless they propel the spiritual seeker towards the witness consciousness/awareness within, they are nothing but exercises to keep the mind busy. They have nothing to do with TRUE spirituality.
Many spiritual techniques like Vipassana have helped cure ailments, what about that?
While doing spiritual practices, if someone overcomes some mental issues, alcohol addictions, stress relief, etc; these are merely side-effects. S.N.Goenka says clearly in his Vipassana talks that molasses is a side-product of a sugar factory. One does not start a sugar factory to create molasses. Similarly, one should go to Spirituality primarily to ‘know who you truly are’ and not for side-products like relaxation, relief from stress, a cure for physical/mental ailments, etc. This creates unrealistic expectations that lead to harm as you are already experiencing.
There are some healing miracles that happen, how does that work?
Only by your own self-conviction does healing happen. There are NO miracles. Sorry to kill your Santa Claus. There are no ‘blessings’, ‘magic’ or ‘grace’ healings.
- As I explained, we ARE the same field of ONEness.
- When one has self-conviction [Faith in oneself], a sense of relief is experienced from the end of the chattering noise of the mind.
- The mind drops into the ocean of relief which slowly transforms into a quiet peace.
- You automatically dissolve into the field of ONEness.
- In that field, there are no separate mind-body complexes, but just pure awareness/nothingness/isness.
- In this awareness, SELF-HEALING of the mind MAY happen AUTOMATICALLY AND NATURALLY.
Ramana Maharshi says awareness in action is the mind. Mind at rest is awareness. Simple formula! Don’t give the credit to an external person dear, there is no Santa Claus!
What should someone with mental health issues do?
As self-conviction that is a pre-requisite for self-healing is difficult to attain for someone experiencing mental health issues, please do the right thing and contact a medical counselor. If you insist that you still want to try some spiritual techniques, please do so ONLY after consulting a professionally qualified medical counselor.
P.S. Many informed counselors know about techniques like Sudarshan Kriya, Vipassana, Inner Engineering, etc, and can provide appropriate medical advice, which I or any spiritual teacher cannot [and should not] provide.
What if a spiritual teacher confidently claims that a spiritual technique helps cure mental diseases?
Please ask the teacher if he or she is ready to guarantee that he will take the medical liability that might occur, 🙂 [if it does] on account of practicing his technique. If he is ready to do provide the guarantee, please feel free to follow it at your own risk.