1. Patients launch a $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
9th Invest in ME International ME Conference, 2014 - Part 2: Pathogens and the Gut
Mark Berry continues his series of articles on the 9th Invest in ME International ME Conference in London, with the emphasis shifting from autoimmunity to pathogens and the gut ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Problems with meditation

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Lucinda, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Lucinda

    Lucinda Senior Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes:
    6
    UK
  2. Lucinda

    Lucinda Senior Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes:
    6
    UK
    Interesting post, RecoverySoon.

    Yes I do know what you are saying. I have been taught this many times at the centre I go to (well, used to. I'm finally having to admit that I'm too ill to go). I also read an excellent book on this very thing: Living Well With Pain and Illness by Vidyamala Burch.

    It has, however, not worked out when it comes to this particular problem. This has pained me a great deal, as I love Buddhism so much, and I have been very confused as to why I cannot maintain my mindfulness or my meditations when my body starts reacting to noise.

    I think the thing is, meditating when you are suffering from pain, or fatigue, or various discomforts (all of which of course I have too) is not the same as trying to meditate when your body is literally panicking. And that is what mine does. It is like my body is on high alert all of the time, and the slightest noise sends it into overdrive and my whole body reacts as if a tiger just jumped out of the wardrobe and is going to eat me!

    And once this reaction starts, my body stays on red alert for a long time. I would say that when I do get quiet, I can still reach a meditative state when I am suffering pain, fatigue and various discomforts, because I can still calm my body and enter into a state of consciousness where I am aware of these things, but they are not causing me suffering. However, when I am in the panic state due to my noise sensitivity (or other things can set it off too), I cannot calm my body (well, I can calm my emotions a little, but my body will still be panicking), so I find it impossible to enter into any different state of consciousness.

    And I do not find just being aware of the reaction in my body useful. It actually tends to make the reaction worse. If I distract myself, generally my body panics less, but if I stay with the panic, even if I stay emotionally calm, it only grows and grows until it eventually becomes so bad that it is intolerable.
  3. Lucinda

    Lucinda Senior Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes:
    6
    UK
    Victoria - Hmmm, walking meditation is tricky for me. I tend to either have very 'fatigued' days where I can barely stand, and have to spend nearly all day lying or semi-lying. Or I have very 'wired' days, when I can walk, but slow walking can actually make the 'wired' state worse for some reason. Probably because I don't actually have the energy to walk, but just feel like I can as I am being driven by this adrenaline state.

    However, sometimes when I am having very good days, when I am not too fatigued, and not too wired, I do do walking meditation, usually at night when it is quiet outside. And yes, as long as it is fairly quiet outside, this can be a good way for me to practice. I esp like putting my focus on the soles of my feet.

    As I say though, I wouldn't be able to do this often. It is useful, but like chanting, I couldn't do it that regularly due to the severity of the illness.
  4. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

    Messages:
    361
    Likes:
    17
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    Hi Lucinda, Thank you for the link :)! I'm thinking outside of the box a little, but your noise sensitivity is close to my heart (and noise is very much on my mind these days...) and I'm thinking of what, if anything, has brought relief. If it were me, I would pursue both trying to get my body into a "safe" mode, and working on the meditation (or body scan, or any variation). Everyone is different of course, but it's been interesting to find what has worked for me, and paradoxically, what has helped everyone but me.

    1) I would consider a Bach remedy, either orally or applied to acupuncture points (there is a book called Floral Acupuncture I think, things are packed up here, which shows the points to apply certain remedies to). There are online tools to help you find the correct remedy and just reading descriptions might help you. Mimulus comes to mind, which is intended for fear of known things, such as panic over noise I would think. Star of Bethlehem is a good one possibly that is directed at bringing the body back from trauma. There are a few more that might be good candidates. I have found that applying them to the skin is best.

    2) One homeopathic remedy, Aconitum Napellus, has served me well for acute (but prolonged) hypervigilance. I think with homeopathy that less is more. I don't follow the directions on the package, I go with what a homeopath taught me which is to take a dose (3-4 pellets) every 2-4 hours until a change is felt, then stop. It will take 24+ hours to continue resolving the condition, and it is usually quite changed within 48 hours.

    3) Ear needles. I don't know if you are open to acupuncture, but nothing--and I mean nothing--has had the effect on me that ear needles have. I was taught by my former practitioner to do them at home. During a very difficult time (a 10 on a scale of 1-10), nothing worked much until I tried this, and ended up doing it nightly and would often meditate with the needles in as a way to teach my body that experience of meditation could feel like this. It's tricky to do such a thing with an end in mind, but I wanted to be able to relax and be with my mind, but my circumstances really were unbearable. For me it was the right decision. Acupuncturists can also put "ear seeds" in so that you can have a similar treatment for close to a week after you leave the office. I would seriously advise anyone to have this tool in their toolbox.

    4)Valium. I finally broke down and used it during that time that I mentioned previously when I was under acute trauma/stress and intended it for sleep, but it did not help me sleep. It did, however, "reboot" my CNS overnight. It was really miraculous at the time. It is long acting as well, so it was not like being knocked out and I did not feel it wear off suddenly. I am glad I took the leap finally, because I have used it a couple more times for this purpose. I don't take this lightly though, and I have to plan it out--like I know I won't be driving, etc.--and it does "depress" the nervous system, so I have to have that in mind while I'm using it and obviously you have to consider the pros and cons and interactions (if you are on other meds).

    5) Peter Levine's audio Waking The Tiger series. It has guided exercises including such things as bringing the body to shake to let it complete it's reaction so that it can go back to baseline. It is also nice to have a tape that 'speaks' to me, like a passage from a book.

    Anyway, I hope I didn't get too far off track, I just do believe that you're tackling two issues here and the body creates symptoms so that we can see/hear/listen to it. It's tough to balance because you want to recognize and receive the message, but you don't want the neural network to create an ongoing situation that is separate from the initial problem and that only causes the body more trauma. HTH

    ETA: If anyone feels this is contrary to the spirit of the thread or is just out of place, please feel free to move or delete.
  5. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

    Messages:
    380
    Likes:
    36
    Hi Lucinda,

    There are two reactions. One reaction is your body's reaction to the stimulus (in this case sound). The second reaction is your mental reaction to the reaction- judging, worrying, etc. This creates a cycle of habitual reactivity that is perpetuating itself.

    I think the first place to begin is your goal. If the goal is to enter into a "different state of consciousness" you have already set yourself up for failure, and you have exceeded the purpose. Meditation is quite simple. It is neither to 1) escape any condition- even pain, nor to 2) acquire any preferential state. Attaching to either one is a form of grasping and aversion, which is the textbook Buddhist recipe for suffering.

    Rather, the purpose of meditation is to accept what is. This does not require entering any state of being other than the one you are currently in. You mentioned inability to maintain mindfulness because of the intensity of the discomfort, yet is it true that you cannot? Although, it is clearly difficult, you cannot mindfully observe your pain, and even your panic? I don't doubt that doing so intensifies your panic- because you are going straight at the heart of your pain and fear- which can be terrifying. If you tend towards panic, that will ignite more panic. And it might seem intolerable. Yet, mindfully being with and observing this cycle of reactivity will likely lower your panic over the long haul. Your panic is a conditioned reaction. When you observe it, you are creating space between you and it. YOU are not your panic. So, when you observe your panic, you have already changed your relationship to it in a Radical way.

    Developing this capacity to open the welcome mat to the most difficult of visitors will liberate you. Will it end your pain- or even your panic? No guarantees. But it will absolutely bring more sanity and clarity to your life and this dilemma. There is bound to be resistance to doing this because it is so difficult. It is difficult for healthy people to just sit with their monkey minds- let alone, sick people with layers of disease, pain and panic to do it. But I have found it to be the best recipe for sanity.

    Your analogy to a tiger is spot on. You are panicking because your fight/flight response is going haywire. It is perceiving danger, and arousing your sympathetic nervous system. The only way to counteract this arousal is to convince your system that there is no immediate life threatening danger. A great way to do that is by sitting and watching your reactions. Eventually your body gets the message- "Hey, there is no tiger. There is no fire. There are uncomfortable symptoms- but I am safe." Meditation is counterintuitive. You are doing precisely what your mind is screaming at you not to do. Keeping at it will eventually recondition, or rather, decondition, your reactions.

    It's OK to panic. Just allow it to be. You won't die. And if it just gets too intense, even intolerable, then give yourself a compassionate break. But, ultimately, the path is not around, it is straight through. Remember: "Whatever you resist, persists."

    Thanks for your book suggestion. Here's a good one as well: "Full Catastrophe Living" by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. He started the MBSR- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic in the early 70's in the basement of UMASS Medical Center, and put terminal patients (and patients with panic disorder) through an 8 week mindfulness course. 30 years later, the program is utilized to great success in over 250 medical clinics worldwide.

    Ultimately, I believe that if you are doing meditation for real inner growth, chronic illness is the perfect vehicle. It is extremely difficult- beyond description. But it is a fast track to spiritual growth if you open up to it in a certain way.

    Just think if XMRV is the cause- and you do all of this great work on yourself at the most difficult time imaginable. Looked at a certain way, there is a great opportunity here.

    In two years, you might be healthy...and enlightened!
  6. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

    Messages:
    361
    Likes:
    17
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    I heartily second this!

    Wow Recovery Soon, I wish you were a local teacher!
  7. Lucinda

    Lucinda Senior Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes:
    6
    UK
    Hehe, healthy and enlightened, that sounds good :)

    Ok, Recovery Soon. I hear what you are saying. I totally understand where you are coming from. I simply have not found though in the 4 years that I have been practicing that this has worked for this particular issue. I have tried exactly what you have suggested many, many times. This caused me a lot of distress until I remembered to be kind to myself and accept my own limitations and simply do what I can do. I think the problem is, my problems with my body panicking is not a conditioned response as such (I do not have any form of anxiety disorder, and do not have any particular phobias or fears). It's more complicated than that. Dr Cheney explains it well here: http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?id=3154&t=CFIDS_FM

    And yes I have Full Catastrophe Living but have not read it yet. From what I understand, it teaches a very similar thing to Vidyamala Burch's book, but goes into much greater depth.

    I will think about what you have said though, and spend time mulling it over.

    Zoe - Thanks. I have actually tried flower remedies, homeopathic remedies, and I have been having acupuncture for a long time! I have not found flower remedies or homeopathic remedies useful, but acupuncture has been very useful. I have tried countless therapies over the years, and acupuncture is the only one that has significantly helped me. And yes I have had an 'ear seed' in before, and have had needles in my ears. Never found the ear stuff that useful personally though, but acupuncture in general has helped me loads.

    It's interesting what you say about valium. My mum has said a thousand times I should try it, but have always been reluctant as I always thought that it would only help in the short term anyway, and wouldn't solve anything. It's interesting to hear you've tried it and being very pleased with the results though. How long did you take it for? And how frequently do you take it now? I'm not on any prescription drugss Have actually avoided them for years now, mainly because I do not trust doctors. During the early stages of my illness, I followed doctors advice and took many different drugs, all of which made me worse. I then took on their really bad advice (telling me to push myself and walk every day no matter what, despite the fact that I was mainly bedbound and actually pretty severe at the time), and got much much worse. I eventually lost all trust in doctors, and decided that in Britain at least, most doctors knew nothing about the illness, and so I would stay well away and if necessary suffer without the help of drugs. However, looking back I now wonder if this was the best decision, as there are many drugs that could possibly help me, but I have never tried.

    I'll check out Waking The Tiger :)

    Gah! I gotta stop typing. I'm in a too-wired-to-sleep mode, but all this typing is only gonna make me worse! Thanks for all of the suggestions though.
  8. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

    Messages:
    380
    Likes:
    36
    Lest I misrepresent myself, I am most assuredly NOT a meditation teacher. But thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Yes- Doing what you can do and treating yourself with compassion is key. Trying to be Superman or Superwoman is not skillful, and meditation is all about moving from unskillful to skillful.

    To the limitation aspect- I will kindly pass on what a real meditation teacher once told me when I said that I doubted if enlightenment was actually possible.

    "I wouldn't put limitations on human potential if I were you."
  9. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    117
    Melbourne, Australia
    Lucinda,

    Have you also tried Bach Rescue Remedy - 5 remedies in one (as opposed to the single flower remedies that Zoe suggested). Sometimes this works for me.

    I have taken a valium a couple of times at night as Zoe suggested also. This calms me down if I wired up.

    Although this wouldn't necessarily stop that panic at the slightest sound.

    (I noticed that since I use the computer late at night, I have often been too wired up to sleep. I suspect that's why many members are wired up - including Cort :Retro smile: who does so much computer work).

    I'm amazed at how so many members seem to spend so much time on the computer, although I guess I would too if I was housebound).

    Meditation is something that takes practice. It's not easy or instant "peace". The more you practice, the more benefit. I found it helpful last year when I was working full-time, but have forgotten all about it now that I am living stress free & spend 2-4 hours in the Botanic gardens most afternoons. Spending time with plants & nature gives me the same relaxation that meditation gave me last year.
  10. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

    Messages:
    197
    Likes:
    71
    What supplements??
  11. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

    Messages:
    361
    Likes:
    17
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    Lucinda, I didn't have much luck with the needles or seeds until I was taught to do the needles at home, and then I could leave them in and it took over half an hour for them to "kick in." I sometimes sleep with them in (carefully): just make sure I'm on my back and keep a little jar next to the bed so that when I wake up I can pull them. Sometimes it is the only way for me to get, and stay, asleep. My current practitioner isn't a huge fan of leaving them in that long, but I've never had a negative consequence, other than my ears just bleeding a bit, but that's easy enough to fix! It's a bit of an undertaking--you have to get the needles and remember to cleanse the ear with alcohol and soak the needles in hydrogen peroxide if you re-use them... but I'm glad someone introduced me to this and that I gave it a try. The Bach remedies work better for me when applied to their corresponding acupuncture points. I have less luck with Rescue Remedy than I do Star of Bethlehem on the two points, but I would guess it's very individual! As for Valium, I had a few people offer me some over the years and say "oh, just take one, it's not a big deal" but I was not interested in altering my consciousness like that--and scared. I'm still glad I made the decision for myself and took responsibility for talking to a practitioner about it (though, this is one of those situations where you need to find someone who isn't pushing everything but Benzos, which is so often the case!). I ended up with a script for 10 pills at 2mg each. I still have most left, so I don't find it's something that helps if you really push them, but--at the worst of times, doing 2 mg, 2 days in a row can change things quite a bit. I found another thread here at PR listing the potential reasons for the locked-in 'fight or flight' reactions and I think it's worth pursuing checking those off the list (many many things are listed). I hope this isn't just plain giving medical advice because I'm guessing that's not a good thing in general or for the site; I'm just giving you my personal experience. Another med to possibly try (though it would depend on how low your blood pressure is) is Inderal. Some people (including me) have had this prescribed for headaches. I think I have 5 or 10mg tablets which can be taken 3 times/day. Again, a hypertension and trauma medicine, and a CNS depressant, but it does much in terms of what any Beta Blocker does: short circuits the stress response. For reference, the only meds I can handle are some benzos, Advil, Tylenol, lidocaine (for dentistry), and very mild caffeine (perhaps a 1/4 caffeinated coffee once every 4 months); other meds have given me many miserable side-effects. I seem to get the ones that 0.02% of the population gets and I get them quickly. I had a cytochrome P450 test done to check out whether this was responsible and tested negative for such a problem, but the test does not catch all metabolism problems. I think it's wise to be wary of benzos and Valium, but the mindset of the average doctor (which is that Valium is only for the elderly or if someone close to you has just suddenly died--my experience with docs) seems to be more a response to the massive overuse from decades ago.

    Recovery soon, I didn't mean to imply you were a teacher--you are just inspirational in your wording and thoughts and I was wishing that things were different and someone like yourself was local to me... Or maybe just wishing a local teacher spoke as well as you! For some reason, my town is populated with several groups all practicing a "fast-track to enlightenment" process that just does not speak to me.

    ITA Victoria! Computers do leave me wired and wondering what I'm doing on them (like right now :)! ) When I used to be able to visit a cabin in the woods that was completely off the grid (I only had candles and food in a cooler and water that I brought with me and NO phone), I found that my system changed drastically and quickly. I wasn't awake all night and my mind slows down very much. It sounds like the natural pace that the Botanic gardens bring to you. Funny how we have to go out of our way to do another activity to get in touch, when it used to be free!

    I'm curious about this too. I still think it's a tricky business, neurotransmitters. I think about 80% are in the gut as well, so often it's changes in the gut that end up bringing such things into balance, it's a funny thing that the SSRIs have brought the idea of chemical imbalance into the world as though it's reality. I don't mean to doubt their importance, just that it's a bit like nailing jello to the wall in my experience!
  12. Lucinda

    Lucinda Senior Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes:
    6
    UK
    Victoria I have tried Rescue Remedy and didnt notice a difference (tastes nice though lol). I still have a bottle though, so Ill give it another go sometime.

    And actually thanks regarding the computer remark. Youre totally right, I dont know why I hadnt considered that. I think Im going to try and stop using the computer late at night, as it def makes sense that it would make me more wired. I should limit computer time altogether really. I tend to spend a lot of time on the computer as I am so limited (am mainly housebound only leave the house to see my acupuncturist and doctor these days), but I doubt it does me much good spending long on it.

    And yes, agree on the nature comment. I find being in a natural environment wonderful. When Im well enough to leave the house more Im going to try and visit the park more often. There is a lovely lake at the park near me. I love just sitting on the bench, looking at the lake, and watching and listening to the ducks and other wildlife.
  13. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    117
    Melbourne, Australia
    The other thing I find very helpful (mainly in the summer), is to sit looking out my balcony doors at the breeze blowing the trees & bushes. I can watch them waving to & from for hours (literally). When I was working full-time, I often did this on a Sunday morning for relaxation.

    It never ceased to amaze me how a whole morning could disappear. I would sit at my desk thinking how beautiful the white rose bush was at the edge of my balcony & then "wake up" or suddenly become more alert & realise that I had lost three hours.

    Some would call this a time waster, but I found this semi-meditative state extremely rejuvenating. I get the same effect walking slowly & mindfully. Initially after I stopped working in February, my feet or lower back might be very painful on a walk & I used to think that I'll never get home (because of the pain). Then I start slowly concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other & next thing, I'm walking in my front door with absolutely no pain at all.

    Kinda weird when it happened. Almost like I've changed into another body & time has disappeared.

    These days, I rarely get any back or foot pain when walking. (But just when I think it's a miracle, I have a bad pain day to remind me how fragile wellness is for me).
  14. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

    Messages:
    380
    Likes:
    36
    Thanks for the compliment, Zoe. I actually would like to teach meditation one day. I agree with your fast track to enlightenment aversion. That's a pretty telltale sign of a charlatan. I've encountered some pretty deep states and experiences, but none of that stuff in my experience thus far, has offered much practical benefit. I have found the real benefit comes from the day-in, day out mindful awareness and learning. The same awareness which has been escaping this past week. :Retro smile:

    In it's place negativity sure fills in the gap quickly. A lot of this learning is painful! Not so much Hollywood glamour.
  15. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

    Messages:
    361
    Likes:
    17
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    Since about 19, I've wanted to be an MBSR "teacher," but I've got a lot of work to do before I would be a good candidate for thinking about that again, though in some ways it was the only thing I could picture "doing" that really seemed like something that touched on the truth. I believe its applications are broad and that there is a huge need for these, and for these groups to create new communities for people with challenges.

    I'm always happy to hear I'm not the only one who questions the fast-track camps. We have 6 in my town and 1 which is not, but I've never gotten permission to enter that group. It's a relatively small place, so I can't figure out how we can support that many groups, or where the popularity stems from. It's difficult for me to withhold judgment about people thinking mindfulness is about getting somewhere (else) fast.
  16. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    117
    Melbourne, Australia
    I see mindfulness as being a way to practice our own activities with a clear thought & focused attention.

    Whereas, I see positive thinking as being channelling our thoughts down a specific path. I think many people mistake meditation as being going somewhere. I think of it as being in the moment & emptying your mind of thoughts & distractions.

    I see meditation as a personal, inner thing.

    Zoe, do you think that maybe the "fast track camps" are all about direction & movement, perhaps (ie. not being in the moment)?
  17. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

    Messages:
    361
    Likes:
    17
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    Victoria,
    I don't know why there are so many of the "fast track camps" where I am except that the town is small and is made up of many non-working people (myself included :) ) who have quite a lot of money. There is so much "healing" work here: reiki, energy healing, re-birthing, several fast-track groups, many yoga classes which people attend up to 10x/week, etc. Basically a lot of practitioners who practice for pretty high fees. Not everyone is like that of course, but even until recently, I would describe it as a semi-concierge community. I should state that most of the people doing all of this healing work are what we would call the 'healthy' population. I think there's a pace to it, definitely about moving forward, overcoming, "The Secret" type-of stuff and thinking. When I went to a yoga class here (intro, but level 2-3 b/c of what the class had accomplished and I came in at the second-to-last session) and thought I should ask the teacher about whether I could just stop or if it would disrupt the class, she said I could whatever I needed to. Afterward, she said I did "really well!" and I explained that I often can get through something, but can get quite ill afterward and mentioned CFIDS, to which she said, "my teacher told me that is what someone gets when they don't like their job or aren't on the right path." I was just shocked. I was very much looking for a class where I could just be and be very in touch with limits (much like sitting through discomfort and having to acknowledge things such as with meditation), but it was really quite competitive and the teacher was in her 60s, the other "students" between late 40s-70s. I expected things to be far more laid back and I definitely expected the teacher to, at the very least, not say something offensive.

    So, it's a strange scene here a bit--very much a Westernized take on Eastern principles imo. I've yet to find a niche that is truly more about being than doing or being with becoming a better athlete, and the people I've spoken to from the other Buddhist groups throw around 'quotes' like "only you are responsible for your suffering." I think, as individuals, we know when we're hearing something true and when we're hearing something that someone else wishes were true (or needs to believe is true for themselves). Luckily, there are a few really excellent health practitioners here, so I try to make that part work.
  18. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes:
    117
    Melbourne, Australia
    Zoe,

    I am glad to hear there are some good health practitioners where you live. And I too am a little shocked at what the Yoga teacher said to you.

    But people do say odd things at times.

    I invited a very dear friend to accompany me to a lecture by Sogyal Rinpoche, Author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (which I knew she had read), thinking she might enjoy the lecture (or teachings).

    Part of the way through the lecture, she made the comment softly in my ear, that what would monks know about relationships - they don't have husbands or teenage children. And I was surprised to hear that. Rinpoche was talking about self, not about how your relate to your family or those around you.

    We were both sitting in the same lecture hall & yet it seems we heard two different interpretations of what was actually said.

    It would appear that the Yoga teacher in the class you went to, listened to HER Yoga teacher's words more than understanding the principles of the Yoga practice itself.
  19. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

    Messages:
    380
    Likes:
    36
    Mindfulness is about getting HERE fast...as in NOW.

    Meditation is about transcending thought entirely- both positive and negative. That doesn't mean that you empty your thoughts- but you silently witness them and allow them to be as they are without judgment. This creates space between you and them. That space creates liberation. The more space you create the more liberated you become. Ironically, the less you try to empty the mind the more it happens. However, if you gauge your progress by the amount of thoughts you have you are destined for disappointment. Even Masters get pulled away by thoughts quite often. The only difference is they don't make a problem out of it or judge themselves for it. They bring their attention back and start fresh....again and again.



    I have equal disdain for much of this as well. People think spirituality is about Pixie Dust and talking about spirits. As far as I can tell spirituality isn't anything more than vacuuming with full mindful attention. Everything else is a belief or thought.

    I like your emphasis on the "healthy" population. Chatting about Chakras with a funky blue Yoga Mat tucked under your arm on your way to a Reiki session is a great way to feel spiritual. See how far that gets you 6 months into Chronic Illness (ie CFS).
  20. Adster

    Adster Senior Member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes:
    182
    Australia
    Reading this post prompted me to register and add my experiences, but "recovery soon" has said it perfectly A light went on for me recently when I realised that I was using meditation as an escape from thoughts or to get some peace. It's about being "ok" with those thoughts and learning to see them for what they are and what they are not. It's about seeing how those thoughts take us away from what's really going on in front of us. You can practice this anywhere, anytime, in silence or in the middle of a loudspeaker testing facility(if that's where you happen to be).

    It sounds like what you are wanting though might be somewhere to get some decent rest during the day. Escaping from sounds can be useful in this. Consider some in ear isolating earphones, with which you can listen to any number of styles of guided muscle relaxation, which is incredibly useful and important with this illness. I use "Yoga Nidra" personally, which is one of the best I've found so far. Your meditation skills will be useful in attaining deep states of relaxation too, as you learn skills of observation and non judgment and get better at not getting "caught in the flow" of the mind.

    I'd recommend two books, Zen Heart and Saying Yes To Life, both by Ezra Bayda.

    Good luck with it, it's not easy. It's not supposed to be, though :)

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page