Posts Tagged ‘Thought’

Reflections: low doses of cortisol and adrenaline!

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“People may become addicted to their own stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.

To such persons stress feels desirable, while the absence of it feels like something to be avoided.” (Hans Selye)

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My two cents: My Journey was long and arduous, filled with terror and anxiety. With great effort devoted to healing, my fight or flight mechanism calmed downed, finally quit firing when a trigger arrived.

This was a wonderful accomplishment and a great relief from the constant panic we endure from childhood abuse.

Now, I see that my system was addicted to small amounts of cortisol and adrenaline. I thought this heightened level was normal since life was so much easier than before.

These were smaller doses, not a full fight or flight explosion , dumped to keep my system like it was in childhood.

The “Ego” is irrational at these elevated levels and judges everyone more harshly. Agitated I might take action and cause drama.

I think for me, these drugs make it easier to feel outraged, betrayed or not respected.

Drama follows this heightened state of being.

I have brought awareness to my minds patterns, how these drugs start a heightened dialogue of stress, unworthiness or oppression.

My awareness has uncovered how my “Ego” takes charge the second cortisol and adrenaline get dumped.

My practice and moment to moment awareness are unplugging these patterns now.

Are you running on low doses of cortisol and adrenaline?

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The Inner Drugstore: Adult Children of Alcoholics or Dysfunctional Households

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2. Inner Drug Store:

“For every emotion we feel, a corresponding biochemical substance is automatically released in our bodies. Think about how the felt sense of anger is different from the felt sense of calm or amusement. Especially for those of us who have trouble connecting with our bodies or our emotions, these chemical changes may happen below our level of awareness. But they still happen.

The inner drug store is not all bad. There are bottles of joy, peacefulness, and spirituality to name a few. But we Adult Children often gravitate toward the drugs of negative excitement.

Growing up in dysfunctional households, our everyday state can become one of hypervigilance. Am I safe? What mood is Mom in? We walk on eggshells trying to be invisible. Dad’s car just pulled in the driveway, is he drunk? We scan the house for things that might anger him and quickly try to neutralize them.

Or perhaps we were ignored or emotionally abandoned by our parents, creating anxiety and the general feeling of being alone and unsafe. Our normal can become anxiety and fear. And since it is perhaps all we have ever known, and since we may already have learned to shut down access to our feelings and our bodies, we may not even be aware of our anxiety.

Hypervigilance creates a stress response in the body, it even releases dopamine in our brains. As children, our small bodies are marinated in those chemicals. Even if we have never taken a drink of alcohol nor any drugs, we are all addicts. We, as Adult Children, learn to be addicted to our own inner drug stores. We can subconsciously seek out situations which recreate these feelings.

Emotional Intoxication is getting high on our inner drug store.

The more I understand it, the less it controls me. – (Jarvis)

“Subconsciously” is an important concept here. Generally, we don’t consciously choose to take these actions. It may be like breathing. Our minds are in control of that process, but normally we aren’t consciously aware of taking each breath. If we were we might have trouble thinking about anything else.

The subconscious mind takes over certain processes. I think maintaining our “normal” level of emotional intoxication or sobriety may be one of those. If we were raised in a dysfunctional home, our normal can be anxiety and fear. And we seek to re-create what is normal for each of us.”

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Being Awake (Awakened): “Ten Thousand Things” by Robert Salzman:

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Whenever I think about it (being awakened) or notice it, I find myself here.

When I say “here,”

I mean at the visual center of an apparent world of sights;

at the auditory center of an apparent world of sounds;

at the tactile center of an apparent world of texture, etc.

The entirety of that sensory information, most of which usually passes unnoticed, is assembled moment by moment into an experience of “the world.”

I cannot do that assembling any more than I can digest food or circulate blood.

I have no choice in the matter.

When I awaken from sleep, the world is there, a seamless confection that is not my doing.

Nor do I know what that world “really” is or from whence my experience of it comes.

Inasmuch as I neither make the world nor, despite the dogmas of religion and spirituality, know anything at all about its source, I do not know and cannot know what “I”—a feature of that world—am either.

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My two cents: That “I” feature is the “Ego” we create.

Seems it separates us from being awakened.

Not my words!

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Equanimity: Focused and Fearless

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“Equanimity is steady through vicissitudes, equally close to the things you may like and the things you do not like.

Observe when the tendency to move away from what you do not like ends, and the tendency to hold on to what you like is equally absent.

Personal preference no longer dictates the direction of attention.

Equanimity contains the complete willingness to behold the pleasant and the painful events of life equally.

It points to a deep balance in which you are not pushed and pulled between the coercive energies of desire and aversion.

Equanimity has the capacity to embrace extremes without getting thrown off balance.

Equanimity takes interest in whatever is occurring simply because it is occurring.

Equanimity does not include the aversive states of indifference boredom, coldness, or hesitation.

It is an expression of calm, radiant balance that takes whatever comes in stride.”

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One of my favorite authors and books: I learned about emotions, understood how they worked and influenced us, reading this book

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Shaila Catherine has sat (meditated) in silent retreat an accumulative eight years. At times she was in a Burma jungle on a sheet of plywood for months meditating in solitude.

Her insights and ability to share her wisdom in a simple way, changed my relationship with emotions and myself.

I highly recommend reading this book, then apply her wisdom to daily life.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Focused and Fearless is a wonderful book. Shaila Catherine describes the paths of deep concentration and transforming insight in a way that both inspires and enriches our practice. Her prose and her understanding are exceptionally lucid. This book is a treat to read.” — Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace and One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism

“Focused and Fearless is a beautifully written introduction to jhana meditation that demonstrates the importance and necessity of deep concentration.” — Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw

“This is the best book on these practices I have seen. It’s five-star.” — Christopher Titmuss, author of Mindfulness for Everyday Living

“The exercises are fun, plus they really work. I love this book.” — Kate Wheeler, editor of In This Very Life: Liberation Teachings of the Buddha

“The language here is so alluring thorough that readers will, I am certain, be inspired to redouble their zeal for practice.” — Sylvia Boorstein, author of It’s Easier Than You Think

“Shaila Catherine represents a new generation of Dharma practitioner in the West.” — Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness

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Focused and Fearless: The Breath

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When the breath is used to develop mindfulness, emphasis is placed on clear perception of changing sensations through the full duration of an inhale and exhale.

With tremendous precision, the meditator experiences a multitude of fleeting sensations: tingles, vibrations, pressure, heat, for instance.

Pressure may increase or decrease. Pulsing may vary in rhythm. The intensity of heat or cold may fluctuate.

This meticulous sensitivity to physical variations brings the mind to a state of exquisite clarity that allows you to see the impermanent and empty nature of phenomena and witness the relationship between the mind and body.

You can observe how sights and smells can trigger vivid memories, how intentions affect physical movements, and how emotions manifest in the body.

As the momentum of mindfulness increases, concentration correspondingly strengthens.

The concentration that develops through a continuity of mindfulness with changing objects is called “momentary concentration.”

The mind momentarily collects, but then it disperses as the flow of sensory experiences ebbs and alters.

Thinking can arise, but the thoughts do not diminish the concentrated state.

Mindfulness inhibits proliferations of thought because it meets the experience of thinking immediately.

The content of thought relates only to the phenomena at hand.

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Leave your front door and your back door open.

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“Leave your front door and your back door open.

Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.”

~Shunryu Suzuki

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My two cents: We have a choice, let our minds continually fill with thoughts or carve out some time when we are focused and empty of thought.

Remember these thoughts carry emotions and moods with them.

Please discount all but your directed thoughts then explore the emotions attached from a distance.

We do not give up thought or emotion, we just explore how they arrive and the impact they have on our happiness.

For me this has a two fold purpose, first my happier moments are absent of thought and emotion and second when my mind is in crisis, I can focus, let go and escape my minds dysfunction.

Next time worry, doubt, resentment, jealousy, or anger grabs you, take a breath, feel the body sensation, then let go.

Remember front door and back door are open.

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