I did 2 10 day Goenka Vipassana courses. And years later developed adult onset psychosis,

I have not maintained Vipassana practice. Just had a physical and it appears that otherwise I’m relatively healthy if that can be said. I can read without interference. It appears that off and on rhythmic repetitive simple worded voices, sounds and difficulty sleeping might be labeled metaphysical “spiritual emergency.” Difficult to label it as “spiritual.” Maybe more like warfare.

Needless to say, long term the above has a tendency to occlude what is known in secular society as normal function. Can Vipassana dissolve psychosis?


2 Answers 2


Google defines psychosis as

A mental disorder characterized by a disconnection from reality.


Psychosis may occur as a result of a psychiatric illness like schizophrenia. In other instances, it may be caused by a health condition, medications, or drug use.

Since what you suffer from sounds more like the temporary kind, I would say there's a good chance that vipassana meditation could help you. Vipassana means to see clearly the nature of reality, and it is effected by cultivating sati, the main characteristic of which is confronting (abhimukha) reality. If you can manage that, I'd say you would be effectively counteracting the dissociation involved in psychosis.

That being said, I've been reading a lot lately about Goenka-based retreats that seems to suggest they are quite intense. I don't practice his technique myself, so I would just like to say that there are many ways to practice vipassana, some maybe more suitable for dealing with your condition than others. Good luck :)


The impression is you should avoid vipassana if past meditation retreats lead to your mind becoming unbalanced. Only relatively small proportion of participants attain something significant from meditation. Probably practising the five precepts, metta meditation, recollection of the love & compassion of the Buddhas and things like this is best for you.

  • The 2 Vipassana retreats had nothing to do with what happened years later. The retreats were mentioned only to say that had some experience with that method.
    – Vastation
    Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 7:55
  • Thank you Vastation. I think there not much specific advice that can be given on the internet. It you have some doubts about mental health & meditation, I think it is best to speak in person to a monk, a meditation teacher and/or a psychologist. I think the type of advice you are seeking is most appropriately received in person from a person who gets to know you. Kind regards. DD Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 9:28
  • Yup, you’re absolutely correct. Inappropriate direct question but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. Meta is in no way a bad option. I have no doubts ab’t meditation & mental health. The former is only beneficial regarding the latter. And meditation can be done despite or bc all the nonsense.
    – Vastation
    Commented Dec 25, 2018 at 4:15
  • @DD Genuine vipassana is when samadhi is developed, isn't it? It is with samadhi that the mind is still and penetrates the four noble truths, wasn't it?
    – Val
    Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 14:14
  • I agree Val. The eightfold path emphasises the development of samadhi. Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 19:11

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