‘The retreat convinced me that contemplation can reproduce the effects of psychedelics, a claim I have long doubted’: a Buddhism critic’s retreat experience

Meditation 3

A week-long, silent meditation retreat resembles a sustained, low-key psychedelic trip. Credit: Gary Waters Getty Images.  The Muslim Times has the best collection on psychology and self help and meditation

A Buddhism Critic Goes on a Silent Buddhist Retreat

Source: Scientific American

Something weird happens to a skeptical science writer during a week of meditation, chanting and skygazing

By John Horgan on August 1, 2018

I’ve been hard on Buddhism over the years (see for example my critique of the recent bestseller Why Buddhism Is True). But I like to think I’m open-minded. So I recently put my skepticism to the test by going on a weeklong silent Buddhist retreat, which my pro-Buddhism friends Lisa and Bob argued was my moral obligation.

The retreat rocked me. I’m still trying to make sense of it, but I’m going to take a stab at describing it, if only for my own sake. As I told Julie, a teacher who advised me not to write during the retreat, I’m not sure what happens to me until I write about it.

The retreat was organized by the Dzogchen Center, a Buddhist organization based in Cambridge, Mass., and took place at the Garrison Institute, a contemplative center on the Hudson River an hour’s drive north of New York City. Coincidentally, I lived in Garrison, the hamlet after which the institute is named, from 1990 until 2009, when my marriage broke up. I taught my son and daughter how to ride bikes on the grounds of the Garrison Institute when it was just an abandoned Catholic monastery, and I swam with my dog, Merlin, in a nearby spot on the Hudson.

Read more

Suggested Reading

Doctor’s Orders: 20 Minutes Of Meditation Twice a Day – How about 10 minutes 5 Times a day?

Can You Chant from the Bible or the Quran to Bliss and Happiness?

Meditation is common across many religious groups in the U.S.

How can Hindus think like a Muslim or a Jew, despite the mention of 330 million gods?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.