Author Topic: Trauma after my Vipassana meditation  (Read 1415 times)


  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Vipassana
Trauma after my Vipassana meditation
« on: May 20, 2018, 02:11:35 PM »
Hello all,

I wanted to ask for advice as I have seriously been in a great deal of trouble since my Vipassana at the beginning of 2017

I am not against the technique even though I have had this experience as I have many friends who have hugely benefited from the experience.

In my case I did it unfortunately at a time where I was in a long distance relationship, which we were in contact everyday. Prior to the experience I felt like i needed a break as I was having nightmares of her with other guys etc which was draining me and I felt really restricted. I then did a Vipassana at this time and this is what happened.

I understand it is like a brain surgery so i had awoken a few years prior and was really living with so much energy and anything was possible, fearless, focused and loving every moment.
In the meditation I didnt realize but negative sexual thoughts of her would come up and I tried to just observe. I thought I was doing so but as the days went by it seems like I was not going deep within but instead focused on that even though i was not necessarily thinking of it all the time.

It is as if i deeply wedged this fear, jealousy, doubt etc into my mind and I had a few panic attacks at night during the retreat which I never experienced before.

Today a year and a half later, it has been one of the most painful and scary times of my life. Not being able to focus, always worried for my entire life and communicating with people, family etc is really difficult as I am so upset and angry and fearful I feel like a ghost in my body and never really present.

I have no clue what to do, I struggle to sleep and I feel trapped as I cannot even work, see people as i feel I am always stuck on the same tape of my own troubles that nothing outside is exciting as my internal dialogue, thoughts and emotions and my beliefs about myself are very destructive and thus my energy is so low. I just cannot seem to imagine and feel anything positive but instead I am always living in my past because moving forward seems like there is just nothing to be excited about anymore.

I have tried everything and I am such an unpleasant person to be around let alone being alone with myself I panic and i am always in a state of fear for my life.

I really need help and advice as I just do not see any light anymore.

Thank you for your time.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 02:19:28 PM by damosteyno12 »


  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Vipassana
Re: Trauma after my Vipassana meditation
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2018, 03:29:00 PM »

I have little doubt that sitting and practicing being equanimous with your experience can go a long way towards making you more, well, equanimous.

But to me it seems like you might benefit from seeing a specialist, someone who works with people who have intrusive thoughts.

There's an episode of the podcast "Invisibilia" which you may like, because you might be able to relate to the (true) story. It's about a man who, after watching a violent movie, can't rid himself of intrusive thoughts about killing his girlfriend. He goes through this for years. It's called, "The Secret History of Thoughts."

It's no secret that the brain is complex and change takes time. My personal feeling is that with work you can fix this, but maybe not alone. Just try to maintain a positive attitude and if what you're doing isn't working, and don't be afraid to change or look for help.



  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Trauma after my Vipassana meditation
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 09:34:59 PM »

The routine in the S.N.Goenka retreats is a very forced one. The technique also is forced. Some this works for, some it does not.

I would suggest you consider taking a break from practice for a week. Forget what you were taught. Walk, in nature if possible, and mindful of the sounds you can hear, the things you can see and the smells you can smell. It's like pressing a reset button. When you find yourself ruminating, just note that and return to attending to the sights, sounds and smells of the world around you. Eat mindful of the sight, smell and taste of the food, chewing slowly, tasting all.

Then I would suggest you continue forgetting the forceful technique of vipassana and try meditating using the instructions found linked on the home page here.

The method is a much more whole-body focussed and more relaxed technique. Over the ten plus years this forum has been running we have encountered many people for whom the Goenka retreat has been positive and many for whom it has been less so. The latter category have invariably benefitted greatly from making this switch of technique I am advising. Maybe you will too? It does not sound as though you have much to lose from trying - as the current practice clearly does not suit you.

Kind regards,

« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 09:38:24 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
12 Replies
Last post April 18, 2010, 08:08:26 AM
by Matthew
18 Replies
Last post September 09, 2010, 09:13:24 PM
by Morning Dew
4 Replies
Last post January 01, 2020, 12:38:17 PM
by stillpointdancer
4 Replies
Last post November 04, 2014, 06:19:15 PM
by Matthew
0 Replies
Last post July 21, 2015, 01:53:07 PM
by MediBoy101
0 Replies
Last post December 02, 2015, 02:07:15 PM
by Noah_Styles
5 Replies
Last post January 30, 2017, 01:39:49 PM
by mettajoey