Can you meditate too much?

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    steve mareno
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    OK, this may sound a little crazy, but I’m beginning to think that too much meditation is making me stupid. In fact, when I was writing something recently I meant to write “mindfulness” but ended up writing “mindlessness”!

    Our brain is an organ, and just like any organ or muscle it needs to be used. I’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness meditation, and it appears that those long stretches of not thinking are making my mind dull. It’s something I’ve sorta noticed in Zen centers I’ve gone to over the last two decades, and to a lessor extent at the Shambhala center I used to go to. People seem a little, well, slow on the uptake. Now some of that could be from the calming effects of meditation, or it could be because sometimes people think that they’re supposed to be acting calmer in a formal setting, but in Shambhala, meditation is not really stressed like it is in Zen, so they weren’t meditating as much as your usual Zen practitioner would.

    I’m going to cut out the mindfulness for a while and just do my daily 25 minute sit and see what happens, and try to have more contact w/ Type A people that are quick thinkers and think a lot. I like brain storming and talking to people that think outside the box, challenge convention, and aren’t afraid to try unconventional things even if they end up failing. This has been missing from my life for a long time, and I think my brain needs that sort of stimulation. There’s a weekly meeting in my city for entrepreneurs and I’ll try that too. Those people sometimes drive me up the wall, but maybe a little irritation is needed, as weird as that sounds. While the effects of the mindfulness have been noticeable (I’m calmer, more centered, and problems don’t bother me as much), maybe we need some big complicated challenges and problems to keep our minds sharp?

    Has anyone else noticed that they seem less sharp in the mind from meditating a lot?

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