Posts Tagged ‘MINDFULNESS’

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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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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Do we get a Reward from Trauma?

https://pixabay.com/users/mohamed_hassan-5229782/

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A friend asked me about my old trauma, what reward, what benefit did I receive from having it in my daily life?

What a quandary? My being resisted the thought, enjoyment, hell all I felt was shame and suffering.

I guess Preventing a future betrayal or somehow calming my internal fears could be the answer. Has to be something stronger to endure suffering.

Is it subconscious?

Do we receive a benefit from old trauma?

If so, my search has commenced.

Many behaviors are influenced or indirectly dominated by subconscious traumatic memories.

My trust issues were driven by a repressed betrayal in college.

How do we fix what we can not see or feel consciously?

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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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If our Ego disappeared would we have PTSD?

http://m.deveoh.com/old-ventriloquist-dummies?page=4

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We create this character for identity, adopting the name our parents gave us. So my “Ego” is named Marty.

Marty never feels equal to another “Ego”, always better or worse. If we walk into a room of people sitting around a big table, our “Ego” judges others and assesses our rank, our status in the group.

We decide by things we hold important. A group of athletes would give me a high ranking, while entering a group of knitters would send me to the basement.

How we rate ourselves within our peer group and how the opposite sex sees us are two important areas.

Our “Ego” is in charge when strong emotions are present. Our “Ego” feels the outrage not our observer (true self, soul).

If someone cuts me off on the freeway, it is my “Ego” that is pissed, feels disrespected or threatened.

If I take a breath, focus, and let go, the anger dissipates. That anger needs my “Egos” energy to stay alive.

PTSD goes away when I focus, let my mind empty of thought, and observe life in this present moment.

It’s like seeing everything in my landscape without judgment (observer mode).

My “Ego” takes a place in the back, in the far reaches of my mind for a minute.

I asked my therapists one day, Doc, if I can be free of trauma for five minutes while meditating, then I can increase that time more and more with practice?

She said of course.

I have learned to meditate, a space where I travel to the right hemisphere of my brain, it is “Egoless” over there.

No words, sentences, right or wrong, good or bad.

Words are pixels on this side.

Think of the “Ego” as a ventriloquist dummy on our lap.

He/She is kind of us, but can say things we never would think of.

Just think of how common sense disappears when we get really pissed.

Look at that dummy on your lap, and say Hello to your “Ego”.

We need less “Ego” and more Observer for balance and wellbeing.

Next time you get pissed, follow the “Ego” back to its source.

Trick question. Who knows the answer?

Our true self (soul) can exist without the “Ego”, the “Ego” can not be exist without our true self.

Out deep in the woods, our “Ego” loses his/her powers.

The answer: The “Ego” has no source to find, it is made up without a center.

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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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Things I own, permanent things

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On my arduous journey with childhood trauma, I have found a few constants, things that are permanent, only a few.

Life is complex, things we thought vital in our youth, fade in importance as we age.

Things I coveted have changed in value, possessions get damaged, stolen or worn out. Status, beauty, and health all deteriorate with time. My trophies took enormous effort, grueling competitiveness to attain, now they collect dust out of sight.

What seemed to hold ultimate happiness, disappoints quickly, then fades to the next challenge.

How many times have we chased things, college, career, status, fame etc. searching for happiness, only to find nothing behind it.

The band that dreams of a miracle hit, expecting lasting happiness, finds intense pressure in a cutthroat business to write more hits quickly, instead.

The greatest, most expensive meal in the world, turns to hunger in six hours.

Fulfilling desire does not quench the beast, it feeds it.

What endures.

For me, two things off the top of my head, giving and gratitude are constants for me. My emotions peak and valley like a big rollercoaster, but I am a giver and appreciate what I have.

Giving without regard for reward is called loving kindness by the Buddhists, a tenet of wellbeing.

Giving has always been a part of my life, being able to run a blog that helps others improve, is precious in my life.

The bond I share with a few on this healing path endures and matures.

I always count my blessings and know others have it much tougher than me.

My meditation practice is permanent, a daily companion who asks no toll for soothing my being.

My permanent things have an abstract quality to them, unlike possesssions we protect from thieves.

You can not steal my kindness, gratitude, or meditation practice. They cost nothing but are more valuable than all my possesssions.

The few things that I will leave this earth with.

How about you, what is permanent in your life?

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