Posts Tagged ‘AWARENESS’

Demystifying Meditation for Depression and PTSD

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Take the robes, lineage and all the rules out of your meditation practice. Our goal is not enlightenment, it is improving, healing or wellbeing.

I may meditate for 30 minutes but my goal is to focus on ten breaths with very specific intention. How, you may ask?

We use a combination of our senses. Thought is the enemy, thinking is the opposite of meditating. Actually these two actions happen in different hémisphères of the brain.

So let’s start: Visually; I use a model a continuum so getting lost in the pauses becomes much harder. There are visual models, the boxed breath and my breathing track. I also monitor what my eyes see with eyelids closed.

Auditory: A plethora of stimulus here. Pick out the quietest sound in the room, then go beneath it. Listen for the sound of your inhales and exhales. For me, I hear my inhales and exhales, as my focus stays inside my nostrils. For those experienced, a symphony plays inside our head, listen inside your ears.

Tactile: During the pauses, internal noise stops, it is a special opportunity to search for agitation, tightness, fear in the body. Focus on your inner world, intently. I , also focus on my third eye, or my upper lip close to my nostrils, feeling the cool inhales pass followed by the warmer exhale.

Smell: At the zen center form was important, incense and repeating phrases were staples. Incense can tell the brain it is time to meditate.

Mindset: No goals. We influence nothing, try to exert no energy, we observe and focus. We always set for others first.

Again, we are the ultimate observer, detached from thought and judgment, existing totally in this moment, unencumbered by the past.

We let thought clear, and hold an empty, focused space so our mind and body can repair as neuroscience tells us.

Know that ten focused breaths can deliver us to a no thought space, and active meditation. Once we are there time stops and the body repairs itself.

Question?

Inhale starts at bottom right corner traveling up and to the left.

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An Affirmation for Unworthiness

Pixabay: Bessi

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One of my affirmations to address unworthiness I harbor deep inside.

“In this moment right now, I feel kindness and goodness oozing out of every pore.”

What color would yours be?

Green slime for me.

Pixabay: OpenClipart-Vectors

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Stored Trauma: Implicit Memory

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From Mindfulness Skills workbook for clients and clinicians”. Debra Burdick,

“What is implicit memory?

• Encoded throughout our lives. 

• Probably the only type of memory infants have. 

• Allows us to remember how to do something without being conscious of how to do it, such as riding a bicycle, walking—anything procedural.

• Gets stored without our conscious awareness.

• Gets retrieved without our awareness—“I don’t know I’m having a memory.”

• Past memories come flooding in without knowing they’re from the past; it feels like it is all coming from the present.

• Drives behavior without our awareness—often negatively.

• Primes us to respond in a certain fashion.

• Readies us for the future.

• Designed to protect us.

Can create here and now perceptions and beliefs that are actually from the past.

• Can show up as a physical feeling in our body, an emotional reaction, a behavioral pattern, or a bias.

• The amygdala is responsible for implicit memory as it scans earlier memories of danger.

• Procedural memory is a subset (how to do things).”

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My two cents: Trauma, implicit memory is stored in the right amygdala.

We can not reach this right side consciously, so trauma has a ghostly quality for us.

This is why talking to PTSD consciously or thinking our way out is impossible.

Meditation transports us to this right hemisphere.

I did most of my healing exploring this right hemisphere safely, while meditating.

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Discovering PTSD’s hidden components

Pixabay: ugglemamma
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PTSD has a hidden component, Childhood trauma (C-PTSD) is much stealthier because our brain was still developing.

For abused kids, our biggest hidden component is an unworthy, a damaged “Ego”.

At 69, finally, my unworthy “Ego” has been exposed.

We have to explore our inner world, discovering what is hidden, then determine its influence in our life.

We create this person for identity “Ego”.

Heavy influencers are initial caregivers, peers, friends and enemies.

We create Marty at his core from my attachment or lack of it in childhood with my initial caregivers.

Next we evaluate how the world treats us, peers, friends and enemies, then we add how we see ourself into the mix.

Then we create our identity based on these life experiences.

Wow!

Look at how much of our self image, self worth is based on external factors.

We all need to work on changing self image, it’s kind of our “Ego”.

Our wellbeing depends on a healthy “Ego”.

Our “Ego”, the thinker is the one who has PTSD.

PTSD dies when I meditate, when I reach a focused no thought space.

Words, judgment, right or wrong, good or bad do not exist in this space.

Our right hemisphere, the expansive side of the Brain, does not know the past or future even exists.

PTSD lives, thrives in the past and future.

It’s called Dissociation, the lynchpin, the power of PTSD.

PTSD proliferates inside thought, the longer the duration the more fuel.

My healing is a moment to moment awareness or lack of it.

That building block determines my wellbeing.
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PTSD (trauma), Memory and Our “Ego”

Pixabay: trilemedia
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Normal kids have good memories, solid attachments, support.

Abused kids have nightmares for memories. When we close our eyes, we see a real boogie man, our abuser

Even now, at 69, letting my mind wander into memory has awful consequences.

Life is a battle, constantly letting go of bad memories, coming back to this minute.

I can win that battle if my PTSD is inside my window of tolerance.

Twice in my life, when an old trauma exploded, my window of tolerance disappeared. Intrusive thoughts overwhelmed my being for a couple of months.

Memories can trigger our nervous system or support other triggers firing.

Remember, while meditating, we hook up to our divine self, our core, our true self, our soul.

It is the shining light of power for our being.

It is perfect, everyday since birth.

Abused kids, it is our “Ego” that is severely flawed not our true self, our soul.

With my old trauma exploding recently, I see how damaged my “Ego” is.

Subconsciously, he has always felt so unworthy, a failure, unredeemable, to his core.

Much of this is below consciousness and remains there without inner exploration.

I have been unaware of many habits, carrying a damaged “Ego” is my greatest failure.

That is shame!

Since we create our “Ego” my plight is not permanent.

We can change our “Ego”
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Fear causes many behaviors for us Humans

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We all know conscious fear.

Spotting a shark while swimming, losing an engine on a commercial flight, or being caught in a high rise fire, are obvious events producing intense fear.

My less obvious fears hide inside my past, especially my trauma

They manifest in my consciousness as anxiety, unworthiness, humiliation (shame).

So if an event is in the past, this fear is irrational, but it holds current power inside my being.

Perception becomes reality again. I feel the fear, but discount it’s reality.

I have been exploring the fear, humiliation has brought me.

Why does old shame have such power over us?

Why does an old event live on inside, just out of reach?

Yes, I know it is PTSD, stored implicit memory, but it has a conscious component to it.

What big fear has me grasping decades old humiliation?

Inside our minds, we know there is no real danger, no real fear.

Is some unknown need being met by carrying this anchor around like a medal.

What reward do we receive from honoring old fears?

Awareness of there existence is the first step towards ultimate release, in my opinion.

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“The Heart of Meditation” by Swami Durgananda (Sally Kemptom)

My first Meditation book

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Meditation is the basis for all inner work.

We might struggle consciously to change our limiting qualities; we might saturate ourselves with instructions and help, both concrete and subtle.

Yet in the end, it is our direct, naked encounter with our own Awareness that shifts our understanding of who we are and gives us the power to stand firmly in the center of our being.

No one else can do this for us.

Only meditation unlocks those doors.

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My two cents: I have meditated enough to spend a little time in the center of my being. On our creative side (right hemisphere), thought does not exist, judgment dies and we experience only this current second.

In this space there is no past or future. Think about that, no PTSD, judgment, words, good or bad, right or wrong.

Meditation has strengthened my focus, allowed me to let thoughts fade, and jettisoned me to a place where the “Ego” has completely faded.

Neuroscience has proved our mind and body repairs itself in this space.

It is free.

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Our Storyline is so biased

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Shaila Catherine:

“Most people perceive things through the distortion of desire, aversion, or delusion; grasping for objects with thoughts, “I like this, I don’t like this,” or grasping for self with assumptions of “I am this, I am not this. It is our predisposition and assumptions that distort perception.”
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My two cents: I believe our “Ego” distorts desire.

Our “Ego” craves importance, approval and reacts when he/she receives criticism and loss.

He/She (Ego) judges, comparing our storyline to our life.

In fact our “Ego” is the ultimate judgment center, highly emotional and adolescent with emotions.

Criticism and loss are followed by outrage and anger or an attack.

The “Ego” has great impact on our storyline, how we see ourselves, worthy or unworthy, victim or thriver (surviver).

Follow your “Ego back to its source. You will not find a source, he/she is created for identity.

My PTSD improves when my storyline losses importance.

We do not take our storyline with us when we die.

Must not be important.
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Transitions and Mindfulness

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Mindfulness works best with acute awareness. What does that mean?

If your sitting down, bring awareness to your thought of standing up, as you stand up. Bring awareness to the thought of walking, one leg then the other.

Can you notice how your mind works, how a thought precedes action. We can not function with this level of awareness but we need to understand how our mind works.

Our most important transitions are extremely simple and immediate. Any guesses?

The transition from inhale to pause, pause to exhale, exhale to pause and finally pause to inhale, one complete cycle.

These transitions determine many things in life.

Our nervous system is heavily influenced by the cadence, depth and ease with which we breathe.

Remember the brain uses 25% of the bodies oxygen.

Unless we are exercising or excited for a reason, our breath serves us better going slow and deep into our diaphragm.

Another transition for PTSD sufferers is letting go.

Yes transition from trauma thoughts back to this present moment.

This transition helps us heal.

You can learn to meditate or deepen your current practice.

Will you change an old habit or start a new one this year?

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What drives your desires

Pixabay: wirdefalks

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Can we say desires have different origins and consequences.(yes)

Some desires are beneficial in proper perspective, bringing depth and purpose to our lives.

Some desires can be dysfunctional, destructive for us and others.

Desires mixed with emotions always have our Ego heavily involved.

Do desires lead to wellbeing or suffering?

Both!

Let’s look at the mechanism:

Take a wonderful buffet: The smells, colors, and presentation of the food invade our senses, creating desire.

The important part is not in the selection of the entree, it is the quality of our satisfaction that determines our behavior.

The first banana split was delicious, the second wonderful and by the middle of the third, a belly ache ensued.

Satisfaction never meets desire and definitely does not last for long.

That is mans issue, nothing satisfies for long, so desire never ends

Even with a buffet, stuffing my face, I will be hungry, possibly starving in a week.

Our ultimate desire, the need for oxygen (breath) goes unnoticed everyday.

Our Ego craves more satisfaction than is healthy for us.

Our Ego may desire to harm others who have wronged him.

So while desire is a necessity, moderation and perspective are always needed.

Mindfully we could choose desires that lead to Wellbeing.

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