5 Signs That You may Be Meditating Too Much

Stages and Symptoms of Meditation Addiction

Do you crave meditation? Are you meditating longer than an hour at a time, or more than once a day? Are you losing interest in in family and friends, or social activities? If so, perhaps you are experiencing an addiction to meditation. Have you ever heard that someone one has been doing too much simran? Did you know that over meditation can have serious side affects which may impact work, family life, and even health?

Meditation is an important aspect of Sikhism.

  • Fourth Guru Raam Das wrote in the hymn "Gur Satigur Ka Jo Sikh Akhaa-ae" that one who considers them-self a Sikh should rise early, perform ablution and meditate.
  • The Sikhism code of conduct advises one to wake up three hours before daybreak, bathe, repeat "Waheguru" and perform nitnem prayers.

Meditation is desirable for advancing spiritually, and a powerful tool for change. Meditating has been proven to reduce stress and to be beneficial for treating depression, however it's entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. Meditation can be habit forming, and even become addicting. Once the initial routine of regularly waking up early is established, you may find yourself restless and unable to sleep in the wee hours before daybreak. If you begin experiencing eagerness, or longing, for morning meditation, you may be simply feeling euphoric bliss. But it's also possible that you have developed a dependence for meditating. Excessive meditation may be pleasurable, but there exists the possibility of very real dangers to emotional, mental, and physical health with over meditation.

How can you tell if you are experiencing ecstatic rapture, or have developed an addiction to meditation? Here are five signs and stages outlining symptoms that you may be overzealous in your meditation and actually meditating too much.

01
of 05
Grooming Habits

Neat Bana of Orange Domalla With Blue Cholla
Neat Bana of Orange Domalla With Blue Cholla. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Tendencies:

Symptoms:

Dangers:

  • Dressing modestly in the extreme.
  • Becoming flamboyant and dressing for show.
  • Dressing carelessly, becoming ragged and unkempt.

Impact:

  • Matted hair.
  • Sloppy turban.
  • Dirty, or ragged, and holey clothes.
  • Becoming self centered about maintaining appearance.

02
of 05
Euphoric Feelings

Bhai Baldeep Singh and Lotus Blossom
Bhai Baldeep Singh and Lotus Blossom. Photo © S Khalsa

Tendencies:

  • Are you meditating more than 2 1/2 hours in a 24 hour period and loving it?

Symptoms:

  • Devotion to daily practice.
  • Attending group meditation events.
  • Meditating alone whenever possible.
  • Creating a sacred space for meditation.
  • Activities revolve around meditation routine.
  • Amritvela is the most important part of the day.
  • Feeling utterly blissful, content, giddy or joyful.
  • Going to drastic lengths so as not to miss meditation.
  • Experiencing ecstasy, euphoria, rapture, or sublime tranquility.
  • Debating whether to attend all night Rainsabaee kitan, early morning Asa di Var kirtan, or both.

Dangers:

  • Hearing "Waheguru" in ordinary sounds, like washing machine, windshield wipers, ticking clock, baby swing and so on, or drowning out even extremely loud sounds such as live music.
  • Sensing everywhere the scent of flowers blooming, or the aroma of prashad cooking.
  • Singing, or hearing music within, which longs to be expressed verbally without.
  • Chanting vigorously aloud, or performing miracles for show.
  • Having visions and hearing voices.

Impact:

  • Addiction to meditation.
  • Audio and visual delusions.
  • Exhibiting erratic, or inappropriate behavior.

03
of 05
Chronic Fatigue

Reading Paath Alone in the Middle of the Night
Reading Paath Alone in the Middle of the Night. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Tendencies:

  • Do you tend to wake up before you go to sleep?

Symptoms:

  • Staying up after other have gone to bed in order to meditate alone.
  • Meditating silently until the wee hours, after getting into to bed for the night.
  • Meditating at length while still in bed before getting up for morning meditation.
  • Rising several hours before daybreak, before others do, in order to have more time alone for meditation.

Dangers:

  • Feeling tired, or unwell.
  • Inability to stay awake while driving.
  • Nodding off and needing to nap during the day time.
  • Inability to sit up straight at any point while meditating.

Impact:

  • Irritability and short tempered.
  • Drowsiness when it's important to be alert.
  • Dizziness, or tinnitus (ringings of ears), resulting from misalignment of neck.
  • Sore knees, tailbone, spinal chord compression, or injury, resulting in spastic movements.

04
of 05
Loss of Interest

Singing Kirtan With Sangat On Bus to Smagam
Singing Kirtan With Sangat On Bus to Smagam. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Tendencies:

  • Have you lost interest in worldly pursuits?

Symptoms:

  • Losing interest in every day activities such as eating, internet, media, sports, school, social gatherings, TV, marital relations, work.

Dangers:

Impact:

  • Losing job.
  • Loss of home.
  • Alienating family.

05
of 05
Withdrawal

Taking Time Out From the World
Taking Time Out From the World. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Tendencies:

  • Do you find yourself withdrawing from the world?

Symptoms:

  • Taking time out from the world most all of the time.
  • Wanting to do only Simran and Seva rather than interact socially.
  • Difficulty focusing on work and relating to co-workers, or boss.
  • Inability to relate to family affairs, your spouse and marital relations.

Dangers:

  • Depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, weeping.
  • Change in eating habits, refusing ordinary food.
  • Disassociation with family, friends and co-workers.
  • Experiencing anger when meditative space is encroached upon.
  • Ceasing to talk about anything trivial, speaking only when necessary.

Impact:

  • Separation, or divorce.
  • Life seems meaningless.
  • Blood sugar level issues.
  • Suicidal feelings of worthlessness.