Mind & Life

Willoughby Britton - When Meditation Causes Harm

October 22, 2021

Willoughby_Britton_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with clinical psychologist and meditation researcher, Willoughby Britton. Willoughby is a pioneer in contemplative research and one of the only people dedicated to understanding the possible negative outcomes from meditation (so called meditation-related adverse experiences). This conversation covers many topics, including:

  • how she came to study the negative side of meditation;
  • support and resources for those struggling with meditation-related difficulties (Cheetah House);
  • scientific research on meditation-related adverse experiences;
  • changes in perception and anxiety that can happen with meditation;
  • how the same experience can be positive or negative depending on context;
  • how the causes of adverse effects may be the same as for the benefits;
  • the science of measuring harms in meditation research;
  • what we know (and don't know) about these effects—who's at risk, how frequent they are, and how they show up for people;
  • whether or not these difficulties are "part of the path" of transformation;
  • grounding care in compassion;
  • and aligning practices with the outcomes you want.

Full resources and show notes

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