Posts Tagged ‘Judgment’

Healing and Happiness are an internal journey,

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Healing and Happiness are an internal journey, an exploration of our inner world.

Thoughts, judgments and emotions are let go, as we feel all of our body sensations.

Somatic wisdom helps us integrate our trauma, if we have the courage to face it.

Thoughts are endless, so is the suffering that accompanies them

Directed thought is fine, negative thought, unworthy ideas, and self hate are not.

Find peace inside yourself and the world will be much easier to navigate.

It is simple: Never entertain a negative thought or idea, ever!

This simple, immediate, concrete and repetive action changes Our perspective.

Stop reading, talking, thinking, and debating, action is needed at some point.

Why not NOW!!!!!!!!!

If you really want to heal, you will take daily action.

This is a harsh reality that keeps over 90% of PTSD sufferers from healing.

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A Followers journey

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Posted by powerfulbeautifulwise:

“Until I found your blog, I’d discounted meditation because I thought of it like you described “a Zen center filled with intellectuals pursuing the abstract awakening or enlightenment goal.” I’m starting with baby steps – breathing in self-acceptance and breathing out regret when difficult memories overwhelm me. By starting small, I don’t feel the judgment that I might be doing it wrong.

In working with people recovering from abusive relationships, I’ve also wondered why some are willing to invest in the hard work while others continue to suffer. I’ve concluded that suffering does bring some payout. Until I bottomed out, I took some pride in my ability to suffer. I try to understand that someone trapped in suffering is getting some reward from it. Western society has been elevating the victim status, which may explain one of the rewards.

Thanks for your post. You’ve helped me sort out some thoughts.”

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A few of the Benefits of a Meditation/Mindfulness practice:

Improving Attention

One of the most obvious benefits from meditation is that it improves our attention. One study has shown that just 5 days of 20 minute training can show significant improvements in our ability to focus and concentrate. The fact that mindfulness meditation can improve our attention is one of the most well-documented benefits. And the practice of staying focused on our breath can build concentration that often spills over into many other activities.

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Improving Cognition

Another interesting study showed that just 4 days of 20 minute training showed significant increases in cognitive functioning, especially memory and learning. Other related research indicates that meditation can help slow down Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some of this may in part be due to our increased attention, but it seems meditation also acts on other parts of the brain more directly related to learning and memory, such as increasing gray matter in the hippocampus.

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Managing Stress and Anxiety

Meditation has also been shown to reduce gray matter in the amygdala, which is a part of the brain commonly associated with stress, anxiety, and emotional processing. This demonstrates why meditation does so well in relieving stress and increasing relaxation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of The Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts, is one of the leading teachers and researchers in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Here you can find a wonderful lecture he gave to Google summarizing a lot of the research demonstrating how effective mindfulness meditation is for reducing stress and improving medical outcomes.

Improving Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

In light of meditation’s ability to reduce stress, it has also been reported to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. This particular study followed 200 participants for 5 years who were at a “high risk” for heart attacks and strokes. They found that those who practiced meditation regularly reduced their risk for heart attacks and strokes by almost 50%.

Reducing Pain

Mindful breathing has also been discovered to reduce pain, according to a recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience. After just four 20 minute mindfulness sessions, participants did better at reducing unpleasant sensations (such as 120 degrees of heat, a temperature that most people find painful) than those who did not receive mindfulness training. Researchers theorize that mindfulness trainees have an easier time keeping their focus directed toward their breathing and thereby ignoring the discomfort caused by the heat. It’s likely that mindfulness can show similar effects on other types of pain as well.

Overcoming Depression

Surprisingly, mindfulness meditation is said to be on par with antidepressants in preventing depression relapse. According to researchers, mindfulness prevents excessive rumination (a common cause of depression) by teaching individuals how to reflect on thoughts and emotional states in a non-judgmental and non-attaching way. Instead of clinging to “negative” thoughts and feelings – and feeding into them – mindfulness teaches us to sit back and watch these emotions and thoughts without needing to overreact or feel guilty about how we feel. This makes it a lot easier to fully experience these passing thoughts and emotions, and then let them go.

Overcoming Fears of Death

Another recent study published earlier this year found that mindfulness can also ease fears and anxieties related to death. Mindful people tend to be more accepting of their limited time while alive. They also tend to be less dependent on fantasy-filled beliefs and desires for self-preservation or immortality. They understand that death is not the opposite of life, but a necessary part of it. Thus, they accept the reality of their demise, instead of being defensive.

Changing Bad Habits

There is a particular technique in mindfulness training that helps individuals overcome addictions and other bad habits. It’s called urge surfing, and it’s a popular tool in some psychotherapies to help individuals quit smoking or stop obsessive eating. The main goal of the meditation is to “ride out” your desire to do certain negative habits, but not act on them. Mindfulness teaches you that many of these desires are impermanent, and if we just sit back and watch them, it is very likely that they will subside and go away (without us necessarily needing to smoke another cigarette, or eat that slice of cake).

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Changing Brain Structure

In addition to many of the benefits mentioned above, it has also been shown that 8 weeks of mindfulness training can cause long-term changes to our brain structure. While this isn’t necessarily a “benefit” in-and-of-itself, it is evidence for just how powerful mindfulness training can be. For more on this you can also check out my article Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity.

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Building Awareness, knowing our flaws

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When strong emotion springs forth, especially anger, either our “Ego” is upset or someone has threatened one of our attachments.

I did not realize the depth of my attachment to my mindfulness group and this blog. Strong emotional reactions informed me of them.

If it involves our “Ego” or an attachment, expect a serious reaction.

I take things to personally, it is a flaw of mine.

Yes, I have wasted my time, energy and given power away indiscriminately.

Realize some behavior of others, triggers trauma from our childhood.

My reaction can be out of proportion because I perceive a sort of lethal threat to my “Ego”.

My “Ego” behaves with childish emotions at the slightest indiscretion.

Are you aware of your created “Egos” influnce on everyday life.

When we feel a strong emotion, take a breath, a step back, explore the source of your anger, unworthiness, resentment, jealousy, worry or doubt.

Meditation builds focus, exposes our “Ego”, allows us to live free in the present moment.

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Unfindable Inquiry

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The inquiries in this book are based on actual sessions I’ve had with people. Names have been changed, along with some of the circumstances, to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. In the example inquiry in this chapter, Caleb is trying to find the victim he takes himself to be. I’ve done this inquiry with people on just about every identity you can imagine, from father to CEO to worthless self.

I’ve also done the inquiry with people on the basic belief in being a separate self (ego) without putting any additional label on it, like “worthless self.” It works well either way.

I have to say, though, that the inquiry is most potent when you add a label to it. Just as the word “leaf” doesn’t point to any particular kind of leaf in the forest, the word “self” doesn’t point to anything in particular, but when you name a leaf a “maple leaf,” you know exactly what you are trying to find, and when you add a label to the self (such as “the one who isn’t good enough” or “the victim”), you know exactly what you are trying to find—the identity you take yourself to be.

We all have different stories that we take ourselves to be, and it’s helpful to give a particular label to the content of your story. I think the remaining chapters of the book will make this idea clearer.

It may sound funny to say that you cannot find your self when you try to really look for it, but give the inquiry a try. It may surprise you.

Even though it may feel strange to look for something that seems to be obviously there, it is a powerful inquiry. The self that you try to find is empty when you look for it. “Empty” means “unfindable.”

The Unfindable Inquiry can be used on anything, not just a self. I encourage you to look for anything that you feel exists in a separate, objective, inherent way. You can look for any person, place, or thing that feels objective. For example, you could look for “my crappy life,” “cancer,” “death,” “awakening,” “suffering,” “America,” “the dining room table,” or “my friend Barbara.”

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Do you care about the wake you leave?

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How does your behavior impact others, at home, work, with friends, out in public, or in a crowd?

Are you synonymous with drama, humor, kindness or anger?

How do you greet family members, friends, strangers, or competitors?

Do you bring a light, happy energy, or a dark depressive mood?

Are you kind and understanding or inconsiderate and critical?

Can you tolerate observing these traits without bias?

Change always starts with awareness, then action is the engine that accomplishes the task.

New Years resolutions die quickly without purpose.

Change happens easiest when the task is simple, concrete, repetitive and immediate.

Make Happiness the change you desire this new year.

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The goal of Life?

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The goal of life is to be Happy.

Happy is not what you think. It is not external, has nothing to do with objects of pleasure that fade quickly.

Happiness does not exist in memories, that is thought, judgment and the past.

Happiness only exists in the present moment, now.

Happiness is internal, a way of living, being.

Do you have any friends that are truly happy?

Examine their life, their purpose, ask them about happiness.

Happiness is not a birth rite, it must be earned.

Happiness happens when gratitude is overflowing, giving to others is vital and the mind is enthralled with observing life.

It is called wonderment. Watch an infant observe something entirely new for the first time.

This no reference, no where to file this stimulus.

For a brief moment wonderment takes over.

We meditate to find more wonderment.

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Unworthiness turns into Self -Hate .

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Meditation for me was not about a spiritual journey, searching for enlightenment or an awakening. Whatever the hell enlightenment is, out there, achieved after two to three decades of daily practice.

Meditation was my last hope finding relief from childhood PTSD. My dads constant criticism and abuse created a big unworthy hole in me.

A parent demanding perfection from a child, damages that child beyond belief. Life becomes a struggle, unworthiness manifests as self hate.

We abandon reading what our bodies need and start trying to fulfill the needs of the parent. We become strangers to ourselves.

I had a therapist say, if your dad wrote your epitaph on a grave stone, it would be, never good enough.

That is damage at my core, not a flaw.

Enter meditation: It took enormous daily practice to see unworthiness as a mirage. It took ten times that effort to accept and be vulnerable in the face of an unworthy trigger erupting.

Unworthy started before my mind developed. It becomes stealthy, sabotaging everything we try to do.

Unworthiness seeks solitude, desires approval over all else, then runs from negativity or criticism.

Unworthiness brings so much self hate that some external approval is needed to survive. It consumes our existence.

I have seen self hate manifest in an outwardly happy go lucky man. The desire to appear normal or the need to gain approval at all costs springs from self hate.

My unworthiness fueled my professional baseball career. I could outwork everyone else without that much difficulty.

The need for approval was far greater than any amount physical exercise.

Life was dedicated to working out, the goal was to enjoy success, which brought approval.

I accomplished my goal, even enjoyed some adulation, sports fans are passionate.

Only one problem, approval has nothing to do with healing or happiness.

I had to change my goal.

The need for approval dissiapated the more I meditated.

It is always a battle, healing is not a point of time but a daily, moment by moment awareness.

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