Posts Tagged ‘Mind’

Matthew Ricard: Aversion

https://pixabay.com/users/glavo-6474130/


.
Aversion is the negative side of attachment; we may have aversion to failure, loss, instability, or discomfort; and we usually believe that if the things toward which we feel aversion happen, we’ll surely be unhappy.

It can’t be emphasized enough that to experience genuine happiness we first have to recognize what blocks it.

This includes seeing our attachments, the things we believe will bring us happiness, but which actually do just the opposite.

We will continue to pursue the conditioned strategies of behavior that we hope will bring us happiness as long as we believe they are working.

And because they sometimes do bring us some degree of personal happiness, these behaviors can get reinforced for a long time.

That’s how people get caught on the treadmill of their attachments and routines for a lifetime without making any effort to change.

Paradoxically, we’re actually fortunate if life occasionally serves us a big dose of disappointment, because it forces us to question whether our attachments and strategies really serve us.”
.
.

PTSD: our inner world is a Battlefield

.
Being aware of my internal world, spotting the negative undercurrent, the danger, exposes some of my daily battles.

.

https://pixabay.com/users/aitoff-388338/

.

Worry arrives early in the morning, before the sun is up my consciousness is greeted by perceived danger.

During my morning meditation, the unrest enters my consciousness.

When you slow down, focus on the breath, letting thought evaporate, the undercurrent is exposed and inflamed.

It takes special tools to let it go, to be able to come back to now, to my focus.

I avoid things that carry danger and worry as much as possible, now.

Other times it can be white knuckle exposure therapy, tiptoeing into perceived danger, feeling about to explode, or faint.

Some things are just too painful to be worthwhile, crowds and people ignite my distrust, and it is a arduous ordeal that leads to more isolation.

We avoid it differently as PTSD ages, as we slowly heal certain areas.

My fight or flight does not erupt for triggers but my intrusive negative thoughts have taken over carrying my danger.

The time and energy spent dealing with all this turmoil are enormous.

My internal world as you can see is a battlefield.

It is a war created by childhood abuse.

Old age has either weakened me or PTSD has gained power or a combination of both.

There are many pitfalls to combating this mental illness, the chance of self-medicating to stop the pain, the chance of becoming a victim, or the chance of self-harm.

Giving up brings real danger, real consequences.

Be strong, discount the noise, and keep swimming upstream.

Life has always arrived at a fervent pace for us, always too quick and with way too much danger.
.
.

Fear and worry arrive before Thought

https://pixabay.com/users/chenspec-7784448/

.


My kid brain was always grappling with fear, worry, and doubt, always receiving negative feedback from my caregivers, always anxious, and on edge.

This made a lasting impact on early habits, the fear must have been off the charts to emblazon such a permanent trait.

Worry, doubt, and fear were my dominant emotions, I hid back then, trying to avoid failure.

I find myself at 70 becoming aware of this negative river flowing under the surface, in my subconscious.

It is all abstract, the mind’s pattern of thought, our neural network, what comes out of the ether.

What’s the point?

To attempt change, awareness is the first necessity.

How do you change that which precedes thought, and consciousness?

My fear and worry show up before thought.

So far my successes have come from discounting the fear and worry after they enter consciousness.

I am at a loss to change my worry and doubt in my subconscious, sort of changing the wiring of my brain.

At 70 is that even feasible.

Healing starts with awareness.
.
.

“Buddhas Brain”: the Self

.
“Thoughts, feelings, images, and so on exist as patterns of information represented by patterns of neural structure and activity.

In the same way, the various aspects of the apparent self—and the intimate and powerful experience of being a self—exist as patterns in the mind and brain.

The question is not whether those patterns exist.

The key questions are: What is their nature? And does that which those patterns seem to stand for—an “I” who is the unified, ongoing owner of experiences and agent of actions—truly exist?

.

https://unsplash.com/@boudewijn_huysmans

.

Or is self like a unicorn, a mythical being whose representations exist but who is actually.”
.


.
My two cents: Follow any thought, the concept of “I” back to its source and you will find a mirage.

We create “I” from our childhood, what we think of ourselves combined with how the world treats us, then we roll it all together and call it “Marty” or “I”.

“I” is a creation, a magical being we invent for identity.
.
.

It takes action, practice, hard work and guts to heal

https://www.boredpanda.com/titanic

First class menu

.

.
“Meditation is a matter not of theory but of practice, just as it does not satisfy your hunger to read a restaurant menu if you are not going to eat something from it.”

Matthew Ricard from “Happiness”

.

.

https://www.boredpanda.com/titanic

.
.


My two cents: Healing is not a spectators sport, reading heals nothing, it takes daily action.

We PTSDers avoid and isolate, go numb and sedentary.

Taking action in the face of fear and anxiety is a necessity.

It takes great desire, focus and persistence, besides courage to heal.

It is a moment-to-moment battle with our thoughts, anxiety, and fear.

Know the playing field, be prepared, have an attack plan, and finally develop your tools.

Healing is not for the faint of heart, victims find it difficult if not nearly impossible to take action.

We must prepare and accept PTSD’s suffering, then take healing action in the face of this fear.

We start with small actions and small incremental gains with daily work.

Sedentary is closer to death, action closer to life.

Your decision, your life.

happy Healing!


.
Third class menu not so elegant!

https://www.boredpanda.com/titanic

Shaila Catherine: Mental Absorption (jhana states)

.
“When the mind abandons its contact with the senses, including discursive thinking, the concentrated absorption of jhana begins.

The mind is utterly still and focused on its object.

.

https://unsplash.com/@kat_vagary

.

The specific object of focus becomes progressively refined in the development of concentration, from the physical sensations of breathing, to a perception of light.

Rapture, pleasure, and equanimity may accompany the bright radiant mind, while attention is continually directed toward the place where the breath is known.

As these perceptions grow increasingly subtle, attention remains connected and the subtle perception of breath is recognized as a perception of stable brightness in mind.

In jhana, attention is virtually merged into its object, creating an impression of complete unification.

Even if there is sensory impact from sounds and sensations, the mind remains completely unmoved.

Sensory contact—even strong pain or loud noise—does not disturb the tranquillity or affect the unification of the mind with its object of concentration.

It is as though you don’t hear anything, yet the capacity of hearing is not impaired.

It is as if you don’t feel pain, and yet the bodily processes are functioning.

There may or may not be subtle awareness of the impact of a sound or physical contact, but the mind lets go so automatically that there can be no sensory residue to disturb the concentration.

.
.

Updated: 3 tools for calming the nervous system

.

.

I know of three ways of depleting cortisol and adrenaline.

First is our diet, what we eat and how much body fat around our belly is influenced by our cortisol levels. Certain foods help deplete cortisol.

Second tool is Slowing the breath, focusing intently, activates our parasympathetic nervous system, applies the brakes.

This calms us, settles us down and lowers cortisol and adrenaline. It’s called meditation, it has many variations.

The third way is purely physical, aerobic exercise works like a charm.

Aerobic exercise to near failure works like a miracle. Start slow and adapt, then build up so you can exert maximum energy.

We have to want to heal more than any desire we entertain. I have never read that in any psychology book.

Therapy and my two therapists, one in San Diego then another in Eugene , helped me on my journey. I was encouraged to explore and try new things outside therapy.

Aerobic exercise and meditation were my two most valuable skills. Being a former pro jock, aerobic exercise was easy for me.

All my friends doubted I could ever meditate, I was always amped up, excitable and kind of high strung.

Do not let other people’s judgments rule our behavior. We get lost and run over by others because we are different, stay strong and try like hell in the face of worry and doubt.

I laughed at my friends, you think focusing on the spin of a baseball while hitting with 25,000 screaming fans can not be turned internally.

For a jock, being told we can not do something, is not something you want to bet against.

When my mind was frozen from trauma, my legs could still move and my willpower drove me to exhaustion.

Mechanically I can calm my body completely down.

We can not separate our mind from our body, they work as one.

There are many skills or tools we can learn to improve.

Yesterday, I started hiking to exhaustion again.

It’s half mental and half physical. It builds willpower.

How bad do you want to heal?

What is your level of commitment, are you in a little, a medium involvement or are you all in.

Intensity is a necessity for optimum results.

.

.

Age impacts PTSD

.
The edges of age, both bookends, childhood and old age are a more vulnerable time for us (PTSD).

.

https://pixabay.com/users/alexas_fotos-686414/

.

As a child we were helpless to resist a caregiver, we were a captive, owned by a giant.

Our brains are wired differently, this will be our challenge for the rest of our lives, spotting danger will become a lifelong habit.

I am not able to distract my mind with activities like I use to.

As a senior with chronic pain, depression, and Complex PTSD, my physical and emotional assets have deteriorated.

Getting old sucks, the alternative sucks even more.

.

.

https://pixabay.com/users/pasja1000-6355831/

.

My pain has increased while my physical skills have declined.

Unable to work because of physical decline and injuries, I am isolated from my social network.

I can not change my plight by finding a job now.

Ptsd sucks for seniors is my new motto.

I guess every age has its drawbacks when dealing with childhood abuse.

We are the lucky ones, we take action and try to heal.

We suffer less, have our good moments plus hope is still alive.

We have improved incrementally but remain a prisoner of our abuse.

Taking action brings satisfaction, changes us from victim to survivor instantly.

Giving up is a sentence of intense suffering, dark depression, and hopelessness.

When things get tough is a daily ritual for us, action is needed every day.

We must feel some power over our trauma.

I still influence what my mind latches onto.

We have power, we must find ways to use it creatively.

Happy healing!
.
.

..One skill can be used a million times.

.

One skill can be used a million times.

Some skills are that valuable.

My meditation practice is my Swiss Army knife.

https://pixabay.com/users/publicdomainpictures-14/

.

The ability to focus when all hell breaks loose can not be understated in importance.

Along with that benefit, I can sit silently focused on my breath, shutting down PTSD Completely for 30 minute periods.

We need all the power and the safe spaces to battle PTSD.

The issue becomes healing the damage rather than quelling the unrest.

My damage is internal and perceived as extremely shameful.

For me the beatings and physical abuse have long faded, it is the emotional pain that endures.

We need to perfect a few skills, I used daily repetitive practice to hone my tools.

Learn to focus on the breath while letting go.

You will use this skill over and over and over again for relief.

We can add other skills, reframing, aerobic exercise, chanting, affirmations, etc..

We need places of strength, where we are confident in our abilities to protect and feel safe.

Acquire as many skills as you can, then use them everyday.
.
.

Pure wisdom From Focused and Fearless by Shaila Catherine:

Shaila Catherine

.

“I have a deep love for silence.

It has been an indispensable asset on my own path of inner discovery.

At the age of forty-three, I have spent approximately seven years in silence.

Not everyone will need to or have the opportunity to undertake extended retreats, and concentration can still be developed in active social settings—but spiritual satisfaction is something you must discover alone.

You might stay in a monastery, reserve a room at a retreat center, go camping in the mountains, sit in a city park, or abide comfortably in a quiet room in your own home.

The place does not matter, although retreat centers offer the advantage of skilled teachers and safe conditions for the settling of the mind.

Unable to imagine the exquisite joy that arises from a quiet mind, many people presume a silent retreat would be boring, but when you enter retreat you leave behind your array of projects, distractions, and entertainments.

You can allow the mind to unwind in a secluded shelter without the need to defend your safety or maintain your social roles.

When you can arrange for a spiritual retreat, it is important to make the most of it by putting your worldly affairs in order before entering the silence.

Don’t bring entertainments with you. Give your mind a real vacation from your daily life routines.

Let silence reveal a depth of knowledge that is usually unseen in the rapid swirl of daily personal achievements.


Concentration states depend upon the “protected” conditions of a retreat. They are, like all things, impermanent—and they dissipate after the retreat.

Even so, the insights that arise due to the purity of concentration remain accessible long after the states of concentration have ended.

Concentration does not need to be permanent to be important.

In the transition back to your ordinary routine, worldly activities may seem to be moving ridiculously fast. “

.

.

%d bloggers like this: