21 notes for Meditators: Answers for Questions you never asked!
Note 16: Split personality
Meditation can bring profound transformation to all aspects of our lives. Meditators over time can experience tremendous changes in their lives. Some changes, they become aware during the transformation, and some they don’t. Today let’s talk about the meditator’s persona during these transformative years.
Often I hear family members complain about the strange behavior of meditators. One of the common complaints I hear is that “he has become split personality” Close family members feel mood swings of the Meditator have become more erratic. Today let me address this issue with which most of the meditators and their close family members struggle.
Once you spend a few years into meditation, first and self-noticeable change is how you respond to events and relationships often. With new awareness in your life, there is always a good chance you start looking at things more compassionately. For example, if your children used to throw their shoes and clothes around, instead of keeping them tidy; then normally you would have shouted at them for being clumsy. With a little bit of meditation in your life, there is every chance, you attend to such problems without shouting and with love.
But during the initial years when meditators are trying to come in grip with the present moment awareness, the ability to live in mindfulness throughout the day is difficult. During the moments of unawareness, the mind tries to establish itself firmly by coming back strongly. For example, let’s say after meditation in the morning, you may be in a very caring and loving mood for a few hours. During this time you tend to handle everything with love and care. Most of your responses during these few hours are pleasant. However, as the day wears by and you probably end up losing your mindfulness attitude much. By the evening you are almost back to normal unconscious ways probably due to stress of work, traffic …etc. If the same family members who saw you today morning catch up with you by evening, they will notice a completely different side of you. You are probably more pissed off and angry now. This personality becomes more pronounced in the initial years of practice of meditation because the ego fights hard to retain your mind-centered personality whereas awareness tries to burn everything unconscious about you. Very rarely do family members understand this and rightly so. They can get tired very fast of two different personalities. They find it hard to adjust up to this split personality unless they understand it so.
What can you do?
The challenge here is to maintain awareness as much as possible throughout the day. Slow down; as and whenever possible make conscious efforts to slow down your responses. Stay in the middle path. Do not force personalities on yourself. Meditators tend to design a personality and start believing in them. This makes it worse. They believe you have to be compassionate and loving and they impose such characters on them instead of these characters to develop on their own. Any forced character cannot sustain the onslaught of Ego, so sooner or later you get tired of pretending and the full force of your real persona opens up. Let meditation be your Alchemist. While you allow transformation, do not pretend and force yourself into a new personality unless it is something genuine and came from within.
Note to help:
One easy way to help this stage of transformation is to have the discipline to meditate at least twice a day. Usually, long gaps between two meditation sessions trigger these personality issues. Also, repetitive meditative moments like watching your breath for a minute throughout the day often help you to maintain balance. With this reinforcement of mindfulness attitude throughout the day, you make sure that you don’t go to extremes and stay balanced.
Awareness is your nature. Meditation is the art of rediscovering your nature.
Sureshg is the founder of Breathwork India. If you have any doubts, feel free to write in comments or if you have personal or professional questions then do use our contact details page to write to him.