For many years I wondered why some people after years of meditation or spiritual practice still fall into depression, anxiety and frustration. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the power of meditation and prayers. I have been teaching and lecturing on the benefits of meditation for over thirty years and can testify to the great benefits that a proper meditation practice can offer any individual. However, as a lifestyle consultant I have also come across many serious long term meditation practitioners who seem stuck emotionally and continually have bad feelings.
In my search to assist these individuals it became apparent that they were not dealing with the underlying issues that are causing their bad feelings and fears. In fact many were hoping that their spiritual practice such as meditation, chanting or prayers would permanently get rid of their negative emotions. Whenever they would feel down and out their peers would advise them to meditate or pray more. For long term meditators in a spiritual community it is somewhat of an embarrassment to admit that they are feeling emotionally unfit. They try to deal with it in silence, hoping that their continued practice will make it right. Unfortunately, even though their meditation tends to make them feel physically and emotionally better, it does not get rid of the underlying cause. All they need to trigger an emotional upheaval is a disappointment or some unexpected change in their life or environment.
John Welwood author of “ Journey of the heart: the path of Conscious Love”, coined the term “spiritual bypass” and defined it as "using spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal, emotional 'un-finished business,' to shore up a shaky sense of self, or to belittle basic needs, feelings, and developmental tasks, all in the name of enlightenment." Some people practice “spiritual bypassing” by pretending to be happy and alluding to achieving a state of spiritual bliss, hoping to psyche themselves out of their bad feelings. When they are around their peers they hide behind smiles, laughter and spiritual talk. Their spiritual mask helps them to avoid rather than face their feelings. Their practice becomes a safe haven from their bad feelings.
Unfortunately, practicing “spiritual bypassing” prevents the person from achieving their spiritual goal of enlightenment or union with God.
To grow spiritually one has to release all negative emotions and feelings so that the power of universal love can flow freely throughout every breath of one’s life. Without having the proper tools to enable the individual to gain understanding as to why such feelings arise and how to create more positive intent in their life,they can struggle for many years with emotional upheavals and experience frustration with their spiritual practice. For individuals wanting to grow spiritually but struggling with negative emotions, it is time to stop struggling and get the proper tools to live a healthy, productive, spiritual life. The course on "Emotional Fitness" is helping many people achieve this. To learn more go to www.psychedonlife.net and click on courses. Sign up for the next course. ( see side bar)