Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

“Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors”: How Understanding the Brain Can Help By Dawn McClelland, PHD, and Chris Gilyard, MA

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Excerpt:
UNDERSTANDING THE BRAIN AND BODY IN TRAUMA

“Several parts of the brain are important in understanding how the brain and body function during trauma. They include the forebrain (the prefrontal cortex); the limbic system, which is located in the center of the brain; and the brain stem.

 

When a person experiences a traumatic event, adrenalin rushes through the body and the memory is imprinted into the amygdala, which is part of the limbic system. The amygdala holds the emotional significance of the event (the intensity and impulse of emotion). For example, if you’re on a roller coaster, your sensory information is “fear, speed, stress, excitement, not life threatening.” The amygdala can read the emotional significance of the event: “it’s a ride, it’s fun, you are done in 3 minutes.” The amygdala stores the visual images of trauma as sensory fragments, which means the trauma memory is not stored like a story, but by how our five senses were experiencing the trauma at the time it was occurring. The memories are stored through fragments of visual images, smells, sounds, tastes, or touch.

 

 

Consequently, after trauma, the brain can easily be triggered by sensory input, reading normal circumstances as dangerous. For example, a red light is no longer a red light, now it’s a possible spark. A barbecue had been just a barbecue, but now it sounds like an explosion. The sensory fragments are misinterpreted and the brain loses its ability to discriminate between what is threatening and what is normal.

 

 

The rational part of our brain is the prefrontal cortex. This is the front part of our brain, where consciousness lives, processing and reasoning occur, and we make meaning of language. When a trauma occurs, people enter into a fight, flight, or freeze state, which can result in the prefrontal cortex shutting down. The brain becomes somewhat disorganized and overwhelmed because of the trauma, while the body goes into a survival mode and shuts down the higher reasoning and language structures of the brain. The result of the metabolic shutdown is a profound imprinted stress response.”

 

 

https://www.phoenix-society.org/resources/entry/calming-trauma-how-understanding-the-brain-can-help
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Lining up our healing practice!

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Let us train the brain, the mind to let go of all the negative, all the judgment, all the resentment, all the anger, all the unworthiness, all the helpless, hopeless thought and emotion.

 

We need to line up our healing, have all of our oars rowing in the right direction, then at the right cadence of our being.

 

First our self image needs affirmations repeated out-loud. This addresses the unworthiness we harbor.

 

Second, we initiate a daily focus practice (Meditation) along with constant application of staying present.

 

Third, Physical exercise, preferably aerobic to exhaustion for flushing the toxins, strengthening the mind and body, and mental and physical accomplishment.

 

Work on observing strong emotions, judgments or comparisons from a distance. Observe means a neutral, a distant look, like watching a rerun of a past eposode of your life.

 

A reun is over, already happened, impossible to change or influence. A complete waste of time and energy. Remember happiness only exists in the present moment, all other pursuit robs us.

 

Relax, smile, challenges are part of life, accept them and exert maximum effort with a positive attitude.

 

Results are not our concern!!!!!!

 

No matter what happens, our goal is to give maximum effort with the most positive attitude we can muster.

 

Then smile and enjoy the journey.
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Meditation: Mind Observing Mind: part two: Matthew Ricard!

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Thoughts arise.
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The mind exists in some way, because you experience it.
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Apart from that, what could be said about it?
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Examine your mind and the thoughts that arise there.
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Can any concrete characteristics be attributed to them?
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Do they have a location?
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Do they have a color?
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A form?
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The more you look, the less you find.
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You note of course that the mind has a capacity to know, but it has no other intrinsic and real characteristic.
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This is the reason Buddhism defines the mind as a continuum of experiences.
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It does not constitute a distinct entity; it is “empty of inherent existence.”
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Having found nothing in any way substantial, remain for a few moments in this state of not having found anything.
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When a thought appears, just let it arise and pass away by itself, without either blocking or prolonging it.
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During the brief time that your mind is not burdened by any discursive thought, contemplate its nature.
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In this gap, after past thoughts have ceased and future thoughts have not yet appeared, do you perceive a consciousness that is pure and luminous?
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Remain a few moments in this state of natural simplicity, free from concepts.
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Mindfulness Practice: “Living with the Heart Wide open”

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Mindful Self-Inquiry
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We can learn to be suspicious of particular thoughts, such as most judgmental and repetitive thoughts and any self-hating thoughts.
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There’s wisdom in suspecting that something is amiss in this kind of thinking.
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It can lead to investigations and discoveries about how you color your world and how you make yourself miserable or happy through the filter of your thoughts.
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This type of investigation can help you see what is real and what isn’t, and what thoughts to believe or not.
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When you don’t automatically believe all of your thoughts, they’ll lose their power to shape a faulty sense of self.
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Mindful self-inquiry is a practice that can help you investigate anything, including the pain of old wounds, as well as other unpleasant thoughts and stories that create suffering.
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Because unworthiness is a kind of trance that obstructs clear seeing, self-inquiry can be useful in drawing back the veil and seeing the unconscious reactions that perpetuate the cycle of pain and suffering.
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It involves looking deeply and unflinchingly into your wounded heart in order to see things more objectively—without judgment and without avoidance.
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This work involves tenderness and a friendly kind of curiosity.
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Choices: the Ego or Mindfulness

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The ego grasps identity, needs approval, covets achievement, and wallows in a sense of superiority.
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Mindfulness is about letting go, bringing perspective to desires.
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The ego is rigid and narrow, mindful flexible and expansive.
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The ego is created, mindful just is.
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The ego feels isolated, better or worse, never equal, the mindful totally connected to one another and things.
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The ego is filled with desires, the mindful, satisfied with life exactly like it is.
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The ego judges, the mindful accepts.
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The ego avoids, the mindful stays even when vulnerable.
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The ego has goals, the mindful, this present moment.
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The ego restricts growth, the mindful has unlimited opportunity.
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The ego feels unworthy, the mindful  complete.
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The ego races, the mindful enjoys, and slows down.
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The ego affiliates with anger, hate, resentment, the mindful has perspective and balance when expressing emotions.
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The ego is lonely, the mindful at peace.
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The ego is sad, the mindful happy.
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When you see with wisdom

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“Recognizing these three characteristics (impermanence, unreliable and not self) is called seeing with wisdom.
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When you see with wisdom, you replace your former infatuation with sensory experience with an attention that is markedly disenchanted.
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This is an important distinction for the meditation practitioner to perceive.
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You do not practice disenchantment.
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You practice clear seeing; disenchantment naturally ensues.
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When you see with wisdom, the deluded view that seeks gratification through the senses ends.
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The connection with the senses continues, but it is altered by this perspective of disenchantment.
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Observing the fragile qualities of existence, you become disenchanted with conditioned things as a foundation for happiness.
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When you recognize that fleeting phenomena are not under your control, your enchantment with self-grasping ceases.
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When you perceive clearly, you discover a liberating disenchantment.
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This transformation constitutes insight.”
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Shaila Catherine: .. thoughts just air without action!


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“The primary challenge in developing awareness of our thoughts is not recognizing that they are thoughts.
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You do not need to get rid of thoughts, just cease to believe them.
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If you are not seduced by the story that they represent, the thoughts will not disturb your mind.
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Tenzin Palmo, a nun in the Tibetan tradition wrote:
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There is the thought, and then there is the knowing of the thought.
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And the difference between being aware of the thought and just thinking is immense.
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Normally we are so identified with our thoughts and emotions, that we are them.
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We are the happiness, we are the anger, we are the fear.
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We have to learn to step back and know our thoughts and emotions are just thoughts and emotions.
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They’re just mental states. They’re not solid, they’re transparent.
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A well-settled mind is not devoid of thought, but at the same time it is not seduced by the stories.
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You needn’t buy into the storyline just because you thought it.
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Instead of believing your thoughts, inquire:
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Can I actually know this?
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Is this sure?
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Work directly with the energy of thinking, unseduced by the content of the thought.
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When you connect with a thought as just a thought, there is no distraction.
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It is just what it is, nothing more and nothing less.”
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