In my opinion, meditation cannot be taken lightly. One needs to find a good teacher so their progress, and any side effects, can be moniterd and corrected. While training with Chinese and Japanese monks, I was instructed on what side effects may occur and how to handle them. There is a term 'Kundalini psychosis' which may describe your friend's reaction. In Chi Kung, one must also find a good teacher to monitor and correct. Mental and physical side effects can occur. In the book' The Tao and The Tree of LIfe', the author describes some very intense and unpleasant side effects he experienced exploring the Kabbalah meditation practices (from just reading books). I encourage people to stay away from New Age practices. I find they do not ground people in reality. I have treated many New Age practitioners whose lives were in chaos from never having dealt with their issues and used the jargon, music and meditations to escape from reality.
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