“As Buddhism has spread in the West, it has put forth and maintained an image of being a peaceful religion,” Buddhist ethicist Justin Whitaker, author of the American Buddhist Perspective blog, wrote Tuesday. “This is a myth.”What Whitaker and Strand are not saying is that meditation could exacerbate the problems of someone with mental illness. We're talking about sitting silently within one's own mind, cutting off interaction with others and connections to the concrete world. If that meditating mind is irrational and disordered, why would the result be "a firmer grip on reality"?
Buddhism can seem particularly appealing to “mentally unbalanced people seeking to right the ship of their lives, to self-medicate, to curb their impulses, or to give them a firmer grip on reality,” Clark Strand, a contributing editor to the Buddhist publication Tricycle magazine and a former Zen monk, said in an interview....
Are there particular issues for people who delve deeply into meditation but may not have a strong or well-developed connection to Buddhism’s history and theology?
“Meditation alone may have no effect whatsoever on one’s morals and hence overall life,” Whitaker wrote in the blog post. “And it might also, as many people find out early in the process, actually open up deeper layers of pain, anger, and guilt that have been effectively repressed.”
September 18, 2013
WaPo has an article with the headline "Buddist community ponders apparent link between their faith and Navy Yard shooter." (Ponder that egregious spelling error.)