work in progress
The other effects of meditation
Is meditation as harmless as it looks? Is it really adequate for everyone? Scientific studies and the testimony of people who have had negative side effects doing meditation show that it is not a perfect practice. Because nowadays it is offered as a magic pill for anxiety, depression and stress (among many other consequences of the modern and urban life) I strongly believe that it is necessary to expose potential consequences for meditators and novel teachers to be aware. It is time to re-think meditation.
Goal: £ 16.424
This campaign ends 31/12/2021
The other effects of meditation is about how in the last 50 years the media and some gurus have promoted meditation in its different forms, advocating only for the positive effects and leaving aside the negative or unwanted ones. In recent years, scientists have found with undeniable evidence that meditation is not totally free from harm, it is not as easy as many say, and it can be dangerous for some people if it is not properly guided. Unfortunately, this research is not as well-known as the studies showing positive effects. This could be related at least in part with the interests around these practices, keeping in mind that meditation is nowadays an international multi-billion dollar business.
In The other effects of meditation a variety of researchers, teachers, and meditators who have had negative experiences doing meditation share with the audience their knowledge and personal experiences. The international background of our collaborators gives our documentary a global perspective and the dimension of the topic.
Below, you will find the list of participants who have already been interviewed; they are the core of my documentary. However, because it is a work in progress, this list could be longer in order to expand this approach further
Interviewees so far
Dr. Julieta Galante, MD PhD, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom/Argentina
Dr. Nicholas Van Dam, PhD in Clinical Psychology, inaugural Director of the Contemplative Studies Centre University of Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. Javier Garcia Campayo, MD PhD, psychiatrist, University of Zaragoza, Spain
Dr. Daniel Ingram, MD MSPH, writer, researcher, , founder of Dharma Overground forum, USA
Dr. Elizabeth English, University mindfulness teacher, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Dr. Jasmine Childs-Fegredo, PhD Psychologist, Yoga teacher, researcher, United Kingdom
B.Sc. Jane Graham Reed, Yoga and meditation teacher, founder of meditating in safety org., United Kingdom
Erik Jonhagen, Medical student.
I want to interview
Trascendental Meditation Spokesperson
Cambridge Buddhist Centre spokesperson
Dr Willoughby Britton, PhD, meditation researcher, clinical psychologist specialised in treating meditators in distress, Brown University, USA
knowing the full story
Before starting, you need to know that I think meditation is very good for many people. There are countless stories around the world, many papers and scientific analysis confirming that and it would be a nonsense to deny it. However, from my point of view, when something it is too good to be true it is worth looking for more information from new sources and jumping into unknown worlds to know what is behind this apparent perfection. The other effects of meditation was born as a result of my concerns and interests, my passion for filming and my wish of knowing the whole truth. My film is not against meditation, it is in favour of the full story. It is made to rethink and embrace the good but knowing the dark side of meditation. It is raise awareness of the need of doing more scientific research in western countries but also to talk about what eastern countries already know after thousands of years of meditation.
An entertaining movie
The other effects of meditation is not another documentary, full of talking-heads ; The other effects of meditation is a short movie (20/25 minutes) about the dark side of an almost sacralised activity which must be exposed. But, why am I making a difference between documentary and movie? The general opinion about documentaries is that they are boring… and that is perfectly understandable, because they often are. As a filmmaker I strongly believe that it is not enough to point something out that people cannot see for themselves, through a group of experts talking about it. This seems a lesson in a classroom rather than a film, and most people will forget lessons as soon as they leave the classroom. I want people to remember the message of this film. I think a film should be entertaining and engaging. For example, when we think of an amusing movie, we can easily remember its parts: how it starts, how it increases the tension to reach the climax, and how it ends. To achieve this, the film has to have more than talking heads. It has to have a good pace, to be visually appealing, and to propose a dramatic curve. This film will have all of these elements, linked with each other by a voice over which will guide to the audience in clear way. This is how I am going to work with The other effects of meditation because it is important that people remember its message, no matter their age, sex or social status. Because it is a non-for-profit film, it will be available for free in the most popular video platforms
recognition for funders
You will be up to date about "The other effects of meditation", because you will receive our newsletter with the progress of our revealing film.
special thanks in Film Credits
A heartfelt thank you in the film's credits. We are so glad and grateful you are part of this. We will also send off a shout out to every donor on our social media platforms, screaming to the world how much we love you!
CO-FUNDER in film CREDITs
Join us as a co-funder and your name will appear in the film credits as CF. You will also receive our newsletter with The other effects of meditation braking news and you will be invited to the advance online screening.
Executive producer in film credits
Join as an Executive Producer, your name will appear as an EP and you will be invited to the online advance screening. Watch it before anyone else.
the time is now
Only in the USA, 18 million people meditate nowadays, with at least 200 million meditators around the world. Every single day thousands of people in western countries are told to start a meditation practice because is “good for them”. The typical discourse is that modern life leads our society to feel under pressure, depressed, anxious, or in need to revalue their lives; and meditation comes to help everybody with this. Unfortunately, this is not totally true. It is at least an arguable generalization; some people will be exposed to meditation side effects, from mild to severe. Scientists have shown that an astonishing 25% of meditators have had some kind of negative effect, some of them with permanent and dramatic consequences. It necessary that the information contained in this documentary is exposed right now.
Making a documentary is not easy, particularly when you decide to work independently from the Media Market or big production companies. Quite often, those companies can change your goals as a filmmaker because they are focused on profits and personal or institutional interests rather than content. Because I want to be free to expose the adverse or negative side effects of meditation in western countries without interference, I need your help.
To finish this film we need to make more interviews, more research, some trips, , loads of coffee. . But the most important thing, is to compensate our crew for their work. And then also pay for fuel, office costs, tolls and bills.
Equipment & licences
Lighting, microphones and pro cameras are fundamental tools for making a good film. We will also use archive material. All of these bear important costs in the production journey.
When all the raw material is ready, a compelling editing work, which also includes colour grading, sound improvements and music are crucial in order to make the film interesting and appealing for a broad audience. And it will include subtitles in Spanish!
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