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Problems with meditation

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

  1. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    "My sense is that by stopping paying attention to chatter- you actually paid attention to it- but were less involved in it. It's really unrealistic for anyone to think the mind will ever stop chattering- That's what minds do! "

    Well, there's a stage of not paying attention to the chatter (the "monkey mind"), and just letting it float by. And then there's a stage where the chatter doesn't arise. For me the transition came through sitting in that completely still place as if inside a bubble. At first it was tiny and brief, and over time it expanded in both space and time. I'm talking flashes of silence becoming moments of silence becoming possibly a minute or two. Then a thought, then silence again. It's a process of expanding the time/space between the thoughts.

    At this point it becomes obvious that aligning with any thought at all is a choice. In interpersonal dramas, when I remember to stay still inside and choose wisely, I can watch the drama without getting caught in it, and respond without negativity.

    Madie
     
  2. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    What you're describing is a valuable experience but not necessarily what someone else will experience, especially if one is not practicing formal meditation, which you said you are not.

    Generally, the ability to do what you are naturally doing comes about through cultivating awareness in a seated (or other) posture, and gradually incorporating mindfulness into daily life, such that one can be in stillness in the midst of outer activity. Even when one is practicing formal meditation regularly that can be a difficult challenge to bring into life situations. In fact I would say it is extremely rare to not practice formally and have the ability to drop thinking altogether as you are doing.

    And even if you could that's not the goal per se.

    Generally speaking, when you don't keep an eye on "Monkey Mind" (ie- observe it, "witness" it, or follow some other sensation such as the breath) you get pulled into it's grip- and that's where 99% of us live out our lives- pushing and pulling with thoughts in our heads.

    Noticing we've been pulled in and coming back is a large part of meditation practice. Becoming aware of your own unawareness- even hundreds of times a day is the practice. Eventually mindfulness becomes your default mode.

    Which is to say you continuously observe the play of thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations, moods and outer events as they unfold in the field of awareness without grasping at or pushing anything away.

    Some people get the mistaken idea that thoughts are the enemy- and that if they practice enough they will go away. That's not really the point. Liberation comes through not resisting or reacting to whatever is arising.

    If thoughts stop coming great- be aware of that. If thoughts arise- great- be aware of that.

    Mindfulness is the key- which is another way of saying "observing."
     
  3. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    Here's another approach that I've found to be complementary to a meditation practice: Short moments of clarity, repeated many times, become continuous. http://www.greatfreedom.org/

    In many ways, it's good for ME. (No meditation practice required.)
     
  4. donnie1234

    donnie1234

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    Hi Lucinda, wow, i almost needed to check to see if i had written your post. Im the same way, im so noise sensitive. It effects my sleep terribly. Ive told me doc and she recommend meditation each time im woken(which ive been doing for years) but its so hard particularly when im so tired. I live with my family and they say "dont worry about it" --they dont understand. The noise physically hurts me. I dont really have any advice other than say the things that helped me where supps and diet and just eliminating the noise while i im working on the cure.
     
  5. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Hi donnie,
    I feel like I have had some progress with my hyperacusis, and I've been trying to backtrack a little to see what has changed...? One thing I recently discovered was that a dog barking persistently was more of a problem than I had identified. I thought it was annoying, and I thought I had resistance toward it, but that I should be able to "be okay" with it. It then stopped for about a month, and began again. If not for the stop-and-start, I would never have recognized how powerful this constant, low-level suffering (in this case) of the dog and of the taxing nature of it on my nervous system was really keeping my hypervigilance at a constant high. Some other things that I believe have helped are taking up a mindfulness practice again, though, in my necessarily-imperfect way. Even sitting through 2 minutes of discomfort a day without moving or reacting or even responding to it will, I believe, change what is happening neurologically. Another piece--and I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with the mindfulness practice/meditation--is that feelings have come to the surface that I previously have kept at arm's length. One thing I try to do every other day or so is to let a candle burn, even if it's to watching tv, but to add that element that there is a quiet in the room.

    I'm also a firm believer that the body has to experience, physically, a lack of hypervigilance in order for the body to find it again, or to create a basis in the body for it. I was lucky to have my acupuncturist teach me to do my own ear needles at home as needed which is painful, especially if you're not fond of acupuncture, but it is an acute pain followed by a true quiet. Nothing compares to this imo, even valium. But I have used valium to "re-boot" when my system was so overwrought that I couldn't break the cycle. There are several options (though benzos ought to be a last resort and used very short term due to the dependency issues), but there are many things that can help such as a homeopathic remedy or certain flower essences. I like passionflower and magnesium taurate when it comes to supplements, but go for the heavy PTSD formulas in Chinese medicine when things really don't turn around for months. This is a newer tool, and invaluable for me.
    hth
     
  6. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    edited for necessity...
     
  7. PhoenixDown

    PhoenixDown Senior Member

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    How can you possibly know that? What kind of seratonin test did you have done? How much does it cost?
     
  8. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I agree that the body has to experience a lack of hypervigilance to find it again. It's almost as if it has to learn how to do that again - and its a slow process, at least for me.

    What herbs do the PTSD chinese formulas have in them?
     
  9. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Hi Cort, I don't know the contents of the raw herbal formula that really is the best thing I've ever used, maybe I can get some info the next time I'm in. I believe my practitioner called it the "at-war" formula and said that it is ancient, as in what people might have been treated with during early Chinese battles, centuries prior to the concept of PTSD. Some of the newer patents (which is a lot of them) take a slightly more Western approach, focusing on herbs that have really become widely known and have empirically-proven results. In my experience, I tend to do better with the older, classical formulas, I think maybe because they focus so much on the constitution of the patient to begin with.

    The two patent formulas I've been given (that probably share some of the same herbs as the home-made formula) are Ardesia 16 and Fu Shen 16 made by ITM in Oregon. I can't get any of their pages to load so I can link them, but if you google the formula names, you'll be able to find good descriptions. As I am experiencing one of the worst flares in a couple of years currently, it's been a terrible/excellent reminder that the symptomology, which can feel more pychological when symptoms are manageable, is anything but. A TCM perspective on that is the wei (defense) qi, which can manifest as a host of neurological symptoms for me: tremendous limb movement, muscle spasms, restlessness, frequent awakenings (a bit like a normal person might have after a late-night cup of coffee), but when I become ill within 24 hrs, I realize it was the wei-qi effect.

    My head is killing me so here's to hoping this is intelligible...
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Acupuncture to Relieve Hyperviligence

    Hi Zoe,

    I've also noticed this phenomenon. The same way with various kinds of smells or odors (usually from cooking). I tell myself it'll dissipate soon enough, or a disturbing noise will stop soon enough, but it doesn't seem to work that way. We moved from our last house because of too many planes flying overhead at that location. What a tremendous relief it has been to have that cut way down.

    Thanks much for posting this. I'm doing weekly acupuncture these days, and will talk to him about your success. Are there any specific acupuncture points you may be able to recommend? I can can use all the help I can get to keep my system settled as much as possible.

    Best Regards, Wayne
     
  11. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Hi Wayne, I think I've figured out that a part, only one part of course in a myriad of factors(!), is Klonopin withdrawal symptoms. When I was in the ER yesterday for viral and bacterial infections, the issue of current meds came up and I figured out I had been tapering (about 10% over 2 months) wihtout even realizing it, as meditation had been helping my sleep somewhat and I hadn't been requiring as much. So, it can be both the internal and external long-term, low-level factors that are affecting our neurology at all times, it's a lot to process.
    I was never really taught specific points, just the basic safety areas (which is pretty much anywhere you can get a needle in) and not to move off of the ear. I have a printout of an ear with dots and their corresponding organ or system, but it's difficult to look at one's own ear like a drawing. The ear is so riddled with points, that you really can't avoid hitting something helpful! I just ordered a TCM plastic ear model, which is basically a big plastic ear mounted on wood, that has most of the points marked since I tend to do better with 3-dimensional things, and our ears are super 3 dimensional. HTH
     

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