After the Ecstasy

Back at my desk after running a weekend silent retreat, I am reminded of the title of a book by Jack Kornfield, one of my favourite meditation teachers: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. The weekend was a blend of yoga, meditation, space, countryside, great people and lovely food.  Nourishment for body and soul. But when the alarm goes off on Monday morning, what’s different?

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Do you ever wonder if meditation might be harmful? It is rare these days to read about negative effects of meditation, but my attention was caught this week by an article based on research from the University of Mannheim. As I prepare to run a meditation-yoga-silence retreat this weekend, I read that “People’s egos get bigger after yoga and meditation”. The findings suggest that people who developed a meditation practice had a greater sense of well-being and self-enhancement, so their egos were inflated rather than quietened.

I did not include “a greater sense of self-importance” on my advertising materials. Should I have done? ...continue reading