Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

Opening up to what scares us!

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Thoughts linked to negative emotions or past traumatizing events, arouse our fear, and our fight or flight mechanism (adrenal stress response).

 

 

We have great resistance facing these fears. In fact human nature chases pleasure and avoids the awkward.

 

 

These fears bring anxiety, triggers, flashbacks, hypervigilance, nightmares, memory loss, mental confusion, and panic.

 

 

What is the solution?

 

 

Surrender.

 

 

We visualize our heart as a butterfly net, catching that scary thought, feeling only the body sensation. Absorb what our body has to teach us without thought. We observe our inner worlds reaction.

 

 

Our inner world can be a friend, our nervous system a calming companion.

 


Surrendering like this is safe. We are focused on the breath until thoughts fade.

 

 

As the scary memory enters our focus, we catch this fear, surrender to it, expose our open heart to understand it.

 

 

What we resist, persists. Surrender to your fears with an open heart not a confused mind.
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Distracted versus Focus Mind!!!!

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A distracted mind wanders into quicksand over and over again.

 

 

Worry, doubt, anxiety, resentment, jealousy, and fear lie beneath our distraction.

 


The distracted mind tunes into the noise, the focused mind observes.

 

 

The distracted mind is like Velcro, always slowing down, viewing the accident in the other lane, always attracted to the light of confusion.

 


The focused mind builds awareness and thus has the ability to let all the noise fade into oblivion.

 


Mindfulness is the moment to moment application of focus (awareness).

 


When we find ourselves distracted, we use our focus practice to come back to now, empty of thought.

 

At first, our focus on the breath is more mechanical, becoming more natural and organic with practice.

 

Distracted states:
Worry: The past failures bleed into our future.
Doubt: We judge failure or embarrassment is possible.
Jealousy: Our selfish part needs more.
Anger: Rarely needed, constantly overused.
Fear: Thought and emotion create its own habitual fear.
Anxious: Leads into dissociative thought.
Pessimism: A negative way of living.
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Buddhism and Western medicine: a good read

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Author:

Alex Lickerman, MD, is a physician and former director of primary care at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, the University of Chicago. He is also a practicing Nichiren Buddhist and leader in the Nichiren Buddhist lay organization, the Soka Gakkai International, USA (SGI-USA).

 

Buddhism and Western medicine would seem an incongruous mixture, but in the hands of Alex Lickerman they meld seamlessly into a recipe for overcoming life’s hardships—indeed, for turning them into advantages. An accomplished physician, Lickerman has no truck for the supernatural, but recognizes that the tenets of Nichiren Buddhism have been honed over centuries to help alleviate life’s inevitable sufferings. The Undefeated Mind is a deeply engaging story of how Lickerman has fused modern medicine with ancient wisdom to heal his patients both physically and psychologically—lessons that apply to all of us.”
–Jerry Coyne, professor of Ecology and Evolution at University of Chicago

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Meditation/Mindfulness: A different type of focus, intensity!!!!!! .

 

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Thoughts are endless, 60,000 daily on average.

 

 

Focus must be intense, not anxious or strained. Thoughts will sneak in.

 

 

Trying to suppress thought, leads to the proliferation of more thought.

 

 

Letting thoughts go is the solution. We must let them fade on their own.

 

 

Without intense focus on the breath, letting go is near impossible.

 

 

Practice focus on five breaths at a time. Rest, then focus on another five breaths.

 


Start your practice with 10 to 20 minutes sessions.

 

Forget judging, focus intently, relax and enjoy.

 

No right or wrong, no good or bad, no words, no past or future where we are headed.

 


This is how we train the brain/mind for wellbeing, gratitude and being happy.
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“Perfect Breathing”: Focus

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Image credits: Gordon Wiltsie25

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Simply, the single most important effect an awareness of your breath brings is focus. 

 

If you are focused on even a single breath, you aren’t distracted by the regrets of yesterday or the anxiety of an unknown tomorrow. 

 

That breath brings you to the here and now. 

 

Being conscious of a single breath, 

 

as we learned earlier with the Six-Second Breath, 

 

and staying in the moment, 

 

is a simple yet valuable perception for easing anxieties about the past and fear of the future, 

 

keeps you tuned to whatever task is at hand, 

 

and provides a strong bridge between mind and body. 

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The Rollercoaster ride of PTSD! My crazy Path! Part 2!

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This trigger felt much worse than it actually turned out. I perceived danger, confusion, fear and anxiety. My Trauma thoughts always  catastrophizethe the event. What if this happens continually, I will suffer for the rest of my life!

 

 

Trauma is a huge bluff!!! BLUFF, BLUFF, BLUFF, BLUFF.

 

Besides our fight or flight mechanism firing, bp, heart rate and respiration rising along with loss of fine motor skills, nothing happens. My fight or flight mechanism is dormant when a trigger fires now. This is what we consider fear, the feeling of being afraid is linked to this mechanism. It prepares us for a lethal threat.

 

PTSD has stolen the code, the switch which initiates a trigger, spreading anxiety and fear, flooding our system with cortisol. It is memories of past danger that is the culprit. I know I am safe when a trigger erupts now. More important my body knows it from my exploration of my inner world.

 

That is one of the goals of a meditation practice.

 

When we dissociate, get lost in trauma thought, the default mode kicks in. We become focused on “I”, me, mine, their unworthiness, suffering and helplessness. Trauma is fueled continually in this default mode.

 

Playing defense helps me tremendously. I do not ruminate or grasp these thoughts. They are left alone to fade from consciousness. It is like a tug of war. Grab that rope even with one hand and the rest of your body is a prisoner.

 

My answer to this trigger was first to ignore the intrusive, negative, unworthy thoughts. Next I focus on my breath, my model, and brought approval and inner peace to the anxious feelings in my solar plexus.

 

Next, I meditated in half hour sets in the morning and night, bringing security and inner peace to my inner world. That soothed me and allowed me to use exposure therapy. I went back to similar spots where I was triggered.

 

This calmed the catastrophizing thoughts.

 

Now, a day later I am much better. Focused and more centered. It is not the end of the war but I won this battle.

 

You can also. Build your tools while things are calm.
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Being empty: Daily application

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During the day we need to perform certain tasks with our minds empty.

 

That is, free from thought, when we shower, get dressed, or do any mundane chore.

 

Consider how much of the day is lived with the mind full of complex machinations, serious doubt, invented worry or anxious anticipation of a coming event.

 

All of our waking moments can be occupied with frivolous judgments, ruminating journeys of investigation or make believe scenarios of our life.

 

The mind craves to be focused, empty and clear.

 

In this state it reaches full potential, opens its expansive nature and unlocks its crystal clear power.

 

Opportunity and wellbeing are attached to a mind that is empty and focused during the day.
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