Meditation has been practised for 1000s of years – it has withstood the test of time because of its great benefits.
This is not because meditation in itself is a problem – rather, it is that in a state of stillness, someone with a serious mental difficulty might find it easier to go further into disarray during the time of stillness, rather than simply observing the mind. Therefore, the person is advised to discuss it with their primary health care provider first. It is good to remember, though, that John Nash won the Nobel Prize even with schizophrenia, because he learnt to observe his mind’s delusions.
With non-major issues such as anxiety, if a person is currently seeing a doctor or psychologist, it is advisable to discuss it with them first, though meditation is not intrinsically problematic, and generally anxiety is easily helped by a meditation practice.
For learning to meditate, 20 minutes per day is suggested, and it is advisable to talk it over with your mental health provider if you are seeing one, before undertaking the course.
For extended meditation – an hour or more – if you are under the care of a mental health practitioner, referral from that person is a requirement.
Persons with diabetes might also like to consider the possibility of lapsing into a diabetic comatose state during prolonged stillness. Please check your medications and blood-sugar levels before undertaking stillness programs.