Meditation & the Dark Night of the Soul

A family member recently sent me a link to an article about a retreatLOGO center where people go when they have had a frightening experience due to meditation.  I read the article with great interest, having both a bachelor’s degree in psychology, along with my master’s degrees in public health and divinity, and years of Eastern meditation, training, and practice.  The article presented a fairly straightforward Western, psychological and somewhat spiritual take on the experiences. People were reported to have heard evil or scary voices, or to have experiences which in Western spirituality has been called “the dark night of the soul.”  I don’t remember reading a clear sense of how this retreat center would help these people, except that it seemed to have a psychological approach. Having lived and studied in the mental world of psychology, I know there can be limits to what the Western psychological approach can do to help people.  I found myself thinking, “I can help these people, and I would like to help these people.” Currently, I am seeing a potentially suicidal client who has heard voices during meditation.  His concerns are spiritual, not psychological.  We discuss spiritual teachings, and I have taught him some meditation techniques.  The past time he came in, he appeared to be highly anxious when he arrived.  As an energy healer, I can often feel people’s energy quite easily, so I could also feel his anxious energy.  After we talked and meditated, he calmed down significantly, and left with a very peaceful energy. We have discussed why people sometimes hear voices, from a spiritual perspective, from what I was taught and have come to believe is true. Here’s what may be helpful to know about why people hear voices sometimes, even spiritual people who meditate, from a Universal mystical understanding of the spiritual nature of reality and human beings: First, our bodies are comprised of a system of subtle energy.  This energy is composed of spiritual energies, life force energy, mental energies, and emotional energies.  These energies center along the mid-line of the body, whirling in vortices called chakras (Sanskrit for wheels of light). As we progress spiritually through many lifetimes, we gradually raise our energy up our spine, energizing each chakra in turn, which facilitates our emotional, mental, and spiritual development.  The raising of this subtle, or spiritual energy, is referred to as “kundalini rising.”  Raising our kundalini is usually best done slowly, with careful intentions, tied with karmic actions for the highest good. The throat chakra is the seat of clairaudience.  This means that we can hear “voices,” or messages, from subtle energy sources, from either higher planes of existence, psychic experiences on this same earth plane, or from lower planes of existence (heavier, darker, less-well-intended energies).  With pure intentions and devotion to truth, we ultimately can “hear the voice of God” when our throat chakras are fully open and energized. When the brow chakra is opened, we begin to see visions.  Again, depending on both our intentions (helpful and loving vs. selfish or harmful) and on our level of spiritual and emotional development, we may see mundane visions, scary visions, psychic visions, or loving, higher consciousness visions. Now, both in the case of what we hear and what we see in the realm of subtle energy, we can be kind, loving people, and still have nightmarish experiences.  Why?  Three basic reasons underlie the negative experiences of even spiritually advanced people. First, we might not know that we need to be clear about our intentions.  We may generally have good, loving intentions, but we also need to be clear about our intentions for our lives, our consciousness, and our spiritual path.  For instance, we need to be clear that we are only open to voices and visions of love and light that will be of service to the greater good.  When we are clear with those intentions, we may also ask for protection.  Archangel Michael is the main protector of those who seek to serve Divine Will. Second, we may have taken drugs or alcohol in excess, which will open our chakras at the very least.  When our chakras are wide-open, we are energetically vulnerable to receiving any subtle energy that is near us.  Souls with less than helpful intentions have been known to take advantage of that, and so we may hear their “voices”.  If we have truly abused either drugs or alcohol, we may have blown open all our chakras at once, and experienced a sudden “kundalini rising.”  This may leave us vulnerably open in our chakras, without the mental, emotional, and spiritual preparation for how to deal with that, nor with the messages we may then “hear”. There are ways to cover over one’s chakras, and I have learned two techniques, but only in England, and I do teach those techniques.  In America, I have yet to meet anyone who really practices and teaches the careful and gentle covering over (not closing!) of chakras. (If you do so, I’d love to hear about it!) If one has blown open one’s chakras, without adequate preparation, one is left vulnerable to hearing all kinds of voices and seeing all kinds of visions.  At that point, one needs a teacher with whom to work to learn how to manage one’s chakras, one’s meditation, one’s intentions, how to ask for help and protection, and so on.  If you need such a teacher, please go to: . Third, negative voices and visions can happen even to good, loving, kind people because of our own unresolved emotional baggage, such as self-doubt and fear, which are possibly the two biggest challenges to spiritual growth at the levels of the upper chakras.  Impure intentions like hiding the truth can also leave us vulnerable to voices or entities who disrespect the truth.  This is why we need to raise the kundalini carefully, with gradual emotional and spiritual development along the way.  A teacher or healer or guide who can help us identify our own blockages to growth can also be helpful along the way. If you have had any type of negative experience with meditation, including getting lost in long-term depression or chronic anxiety, I invite you to contact me through my website.  I would be happy to work with you, long distance by cell phone or Skype, or in person.  Again, my website is: If you would like to learn meditation in a safe, protected way, I invite you to contact me as well.  There is no need to stay in the dark spaces where we sometimes find ourselves on the journey of life.  Meditation can help us get to a place of love, peace, bliss, and light, but sometimes we need a little guidance along the way. Love and Light to all, Carol/Nonnie


About selfrealizationtherapy

I am a healer, life coach, author, and spiritual teacher. While I am ordained in the Christian tradition, I have also studied Eastern spiritual disciplines and practices, including Raja Yoga Meditation; Intuitive Coaching; Reiki; Falun Gong; and other forms of energy healing for both people and animals. I am available for distance healing and spiritual coaching via phone, Skype, WhatsApp, or Facetime; please email me at: to schedule a session. My goal is to assist you in connecting with your Higher Self to find fulfillment, peace, health, and happiness in life. I typically work with people for about six weeks, and then they either take classes with me and advance more, or simply go their happy way. While I cannot guarantee results, many clients find that in a few short weeks, more is accomplished than could be with years of traditional talk therapy. Born on the equator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I grew up moving back-and-forth between Africa and the United States my whole childhood and youth. We lived in three different countries in Africa, and three different states in the USA. I now live in Maryland, close to Washington, DC. I was widowed at the age of 28 when my 34-year-old husband died suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm that hemorrhaged, leaving me with an infant and a toddler. This crisis led me to believe that God loves us even when "bad" things happen, and also led me to pursue spirituality and become a minister. In 1996, thanks to "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramhansa Yogananda, and a meditation class called Raja Yoga, I started on an Eastern spiritual path, a journey which included becoming a healer and a mystic. On Thursday, May 27, 2010, I experienced what I call an Enlightenment Vision, in which I ascended and was blessed by Ascended Masters of many faiths: Master Lao Tzu, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha, Paramahansa Yogananda, High Priest Melchizedek, Lady Kwan Yin, Master Usui, and then by the Seven Archangels of the Seven Rays. After this vision, the teachings in Higher Consciousness began. Apparently, my crown chakra was opened, and direct contact with the Ascended Masters has been possible ever since. My message to everyone is: this is possible for you to achieve as well, although getting there is not necessarily quick or easy. With a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Texas Health Center at Houston, and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Texas Christian University, I perceive a unity in my readings in Eastern religions and in Biblical studies. As a result, I believe the original message of Jesus Christ was and is a call to Self-Realization, which may also be called following The Way (a term used in the book of Acts by very early "Christians," although they did not call themselves "Christians;" they called themselves Followers of the Way. The Way, or the Tao consists of the practice of peace and love in every moment, honoring the Divine Presence within ourselves as well as within others. The Way of early Christianity was a spiritual practice which similarly focused not on the material world, but on the practice of Divine Presence within the earthly realm. When we practice The Way, or The Tao, we become one with Divine Peace, Love, and even bliss. When we attain this, we experience the "Kingdom of God" or Reign of God, within ourselves, Nirvana or possibly Samadhi. Achieving this Way within each of ourselves is the only way we will be able to usher in the Reign of Divine presence among us all here on earth. The ultimate goal of The Way, and of Self-Realization, is the attainment of unity with the Divine Consciousness, or Buddha-Consciousness or Christ-Consciousness, within, and beyond our normal mortal mind. This Unity-Consciousness is eternal, but begins in the here and now. May it be so.
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