There is a reason why Buddha talks about cultivating the noble qualities of the eightfold path and without fully incorporating them, true liberation from suffering is never possible. A layman today is exposed to way more negativity than was in the times of Buddha. There is so much abuse in real life : emotional and physical, plus ,there is increased exposure to highly violent and sexual content today. Our minds have been conditioned and numbed by these experiences, some sensitive minds have even gone to the point of psychosis and sometimes these come back during meditation. For the unprepared and inexperienced meditator these are nightmares.
The way out of all this is compassion; compassion towards your own psychosis.
IMO, instead of running behind all meditation courses: TM, Art of living etc, meditation should be taken as a personal journey which is without impositions from any guru etc
If going down the yoga retreat road led you to a bad place, maybe you shouldn’t go down that road again.
Maybe do the things that helped build you and your health: work, study, gym, yoga, etc.
This is a very insightful article on both sides of the spectrum. I too have had a psychotic episode while I was on a vipassana retreat that was diagnosed as “bipolar disorder”. Seemingly, the course was the trigger for this condition. In all cases, if you would like to know more about my case, please visit http://bit.ly/251ALyS
If you have never did meditation before, please don’t try it out now. My family member had recently started taking meditation classes and went into a serious state of mania. He had hallucinations that made no sense, and completely broke down and got very violent at time. This is called a manic episode, and I hope this won’t be faced by anyone. This doesn’t only break the person doing meditation, but also his/her family completely. This is a very serious thing, so please don’t try meditation ever! God bless everyone.