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On the Emergence of Perinatal Symptoms in Buddhist Meditation
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: n/a
Pages: 339-350
Source ID: shanti-sources-21873
Abstract: Advanced meditators in the Zen tradition occasionally experience traumatic physical seizures accompanied by powerful, disruptive emotions, a development consistently taken by meditation masters as signs of progress toward enlightenment. Using data from LSD research, this paper suggests that these seizures are emerging birth-trauma memories. Interpreting these perinatal memories as memories of fetal impingement, it then turns to object-relations theory to study the effect of impingement and impingement-generated fear on ego-development in order to understand why embodied impingement memories should manifest in the ego-dissolving context of meditation. It argues that a coherent explanation for the manifestation of these symptoms can be had by combining insights from these two fields with the understanding of meditation and consciousness emerging in transpersonal psychology.