When do meditation and mindfulness cross the line and become disassociation? Recently I started to wonder this when faced with painful situations; I have become an expert at taking myself to a happier place.
During times when I am afraid, I can turn into myself, closing out the surrounding world and finding comfort in a fantasy world. My favorite place is the beach; I can close my eyes, breathe slowly, and find myself there. I can sense the warmth of the sun on my skin, the softness of the sand beneath my body, the sound of the crashing waves, the seabirds, and the gentle rustle of the breeze in the leaves. I feel that breeze against my skin and can smell the salt in the air. It is beautiful.
But then I’ll hear someone’s voice from far away, it sounds like they are calling me from another shore. It is then that I realize that they are talking to me, asking questions, needing answers. But I’m not there; I don’t want to come back.
Am I meditating, being mindful, focused on my breathing and relaxing my mind? Or have I disassociated? And if I have done the latter, why is that something bad?