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Free 30-day meditation program

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Daniel Lyman, LCSW, a TMS psychotherapist/coach who meditates and teaches meditation in his practice has generously contributed a free 30-day meditation to our community. Daniel previously has contributed a popular two part essay entitled 10 Days of Silence: Meditation, Pain, & How You Can Become the Most Emotionally Healthy Person You Know, (Part II). He has also generously contributed 74 answers to our "Ask A TMS Therapist" program.

    I am a great believer in meditation. There are mountains of scientific studies that document it's effectiveness and the first step to mind-body healing is to get the mind truly healthy. Meditation is perfect for this.

    You can just press play to listen to the audios below.

    Please share your questions and feedback in our supportive and anonymous forum! Daniel has kindly offered to answer any questions you have below. You can find out more about him here: https://www.danielglyman.com/ (Daniel G Lyman, LCSW)
    Pietro Carloni and Neil like this.
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    30-day Introduction to Meditation

    Daniel G Lyman, LCSW

    Before you begin, let me just say that I completely understand that most of you do not want to meditate and find it quite difficult. I’m right there with you. I created this program after years of working with clients who have said that meditation (despite the fact that they know it’s incredibly beneficial for them) is just too hard. In my own life, I think of meditating as equivalent to eating your vegetables when you’re a kid. Even though you don’t want to do it, you know it’s good for you. So with that, please eat your vegetables. And practice meditation.

    The following meditation program is designed to be completed in 30 consecutive days. I have broken down a standard breathing meditation into 5 separate steps (or “cycles”), starting with the simplest and building in complexity. Practice each cycle two times a day (preferably in the morning and afternoon, but anytime is okay). Do not jump ahead in cycles. Even if the meditation seems too simplistic or boring. Meditation is not about achievement, but instead is about practice. You will not gain necessary experience by jumping ahead. You can do this 30-day program at the same time as other TMS recovery programs, but I would not combine it with other meditation programs.

    If the idea of meditating is new to you, you should know that meditation is perhaps the single most powerful tool we have to help our own mental and physical health. Thousands of studies have demonstrated that a daily meditation practice can help immensely with anxiety and depression (and with the catastrophic thinking that so many of us in the TMS community deal with), and practitioners around the world have been meditating for thousands of years.

    This particular meditation cycle is geared towards those of us in the TMS community, but purposefully does not specifically mention physical symptoms. Know that this program can and will help you overcome TMS.

    Finally, a word for when you’ve completed all 5 cycles:

    While each cycle is designed to get more complex and bring you towards a deeper meditation, each cycle can stand alone just fine. If you complete all 30 days and decide that any one particular cycle works better for a regular practice of meditation, that is absolutely okay. Any meditation is better than no meditation at all, so do what works for you!

    Practice Cycle 1 two times a day on Days 1-4

    Click here to download the mp3 audio

    Practice Cycle 2 two times a day on Days 5-8

    Click here to download the mp3 audio

    Practice Cycle 3 two times a day on Days 9-12

    Click here to download the mp3 audio

    Practice Cycle 4 two times a day on Days 13-20

    Click here to download the mp3 audio

    Practice Cycle 5 two times a day on Days 21-30

    Click here to download the mp3 audio
    jrid32, Anniebobber, backhand and 3 others like this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Daniel,

    Thank you for this program, right here where everyone can use it. You provide gentle, human support as I listen.

    I see so many posts here where the person posting could benefit greatly (I imagine!) with some basic mindfulness support. You're also giving a good reminder for we "old hands!"

    "Don't just do something, sit there!":)

    Lizzy likes this.
  4. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Thank you! Making this program was a good reminder to myself as well :)
    Lizzy likes this.
  5. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

  6. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Day 5 and I'm already reminded of why I did meditation a few years ago. It is hard, but it helps SO MUCH!
    Forest and Daniel G Lyman LCSW like this.
  7. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    This thread was getting pushed down the list and I thought it was too good to let slip. So I hope my posting will entice other Wikiers to try this.
    Can anyone advise the best way for a techno-numbnuts to get easy access to this thread for my daily fix. thanks, marls
  8. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Marls, there is probably a better way, but I watched the thread and then go to my watched threads, although it does work its way down on that too. Hopefully someone can tell us a better way, lol.
  9. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Daniel, I've been doing cycle 2 and more often than not I find myself counting past 10. Shall I keep doing cycle 2, or is that pressuring myself too much? Thanks again for your donation of the meditation!
    Daniel G Lyman LCSW likes this.
  10. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    I'd encourage you to move on to the next cycle. Not every cycle is going to be for every person. They're designed to introduce you to various techniques for meditation, so not every one of them will resonate with you. Doing the meditation (even your own way) is still great practice!
    Lizzy likes this.
  11. jrid32

    jrid32 Peer Supporter

    Thank you!
    Daniel G Lyman LCSW likes this.
  12. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    On most phones you can press the top right hand menu button and select "add to home screen" or perhaps "add shortcut" which will pin this page to your home screen on your phone
    Lizzy likes this.
  13. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Isn’t it just fabulous that a “random” person anywhere in the world comes to your aid. What a great way to start my day. So many of us reaching out and so many of us being there. Thanks Miller, marls
  14. weyhey

    weyhey New Member

    Thank you so much for posting this. I would love to master mediation. I know I can do it.
    Last year I managed once to successfully do the mediation in your 10 days of silence post but haven't been able to do it since. I have tried to meditate in various forms over the years but I seem to be one of those that once I hear the words 'take a deep breath' I start to nearly hyperventilate or at least I feel panicky and feel like I need to catch my breath. I really don't know why. I can't seem to concentrate on my breathing and do anything else like listen to sounds, count etc at the same time. I find it a struggle to read lately too as I find it difficult to keep breathing at the same time - very odd I know! I tried to do the Couch to 5k in the summer but couldn't count in my head and run a the same time either so after weeks of trying I gave up so maybe it's the counting :) .

    So I am trying Cycle 1 and have some questions:

    1) why shouldn't I listen to this lying down or before sleep?
    2) You say if I find myself wandering I should then start counting at 1 again - but what do you consider wandering?
    I am struggling to breathe and count at the same time. If I think about my breathing I end up not counting and my mind thinks of other things (this is what I assume is wandering). If I concentrate on counting then I end up breathing very fast, then I try slow my breathing down - is this wandering? I can't seem to drown out the noisy irritating traffic or my tinnitus or sensation of the chair or earbuds etc - is this considered wandering - if so I can't get past 1 ?

    Thanks in advance and please keep up the great work!
    Daniel G Lyman LCSW likes this.
  15. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    First of all, good for you for trying meditation again! It's can be very challenging.

    Both are great questions, so thanks for asking:

    1) The goal of this meditation practice is to sharpen your ability to focus, not just to relax you (relaxation is a side effect of the work, but not the explicit goal). There are meditations that are for relaxation, but those are not about exercising your mind, instead they're about calming it. If you listen to these particular meditations in a position that might encourage you to fall asleep, it will be tempting to not "do the work." That said, after you've gone through all 30 days, if there's one particular meditation that does both focus you and help you relax, then there's nothing wrong with using it before bed or when trying to sleep.

    2) Ultimately, if you are thinking about anything other than counting, then it's time to start again. So if your brain is thinking about how hard it is to breathe and count at the same time, then it's time to start again. If you are meditating and getting caught up in whether or not you're breathing properly or counting properly, then it's time to restart the count. Perfectionism can sneak up on us and can be hard to recognizing as wandering thoughts. We often think to ourselves "I'm thinking about meditating so my thoughts aren't wandering far." But they're still wandering.

    A client of mine struggled a bit with this because she found that she was able to continue counting sub-consciously while simultaneously thinking about other things. The solution to this for her was to count to ten in a foreign language, because that way she really had to concentrate.

    I'd encourage you to start your meditation by saying out-loud, "I'm probably going to get distracted by tinnitus, traffic, and various sensations, and that's okay. I'm going to keep counting until I notice that my mind has wandered for more than a brief second." So if your mind focuses on tinnitus, traffic, etc. for more than a moment, then it's time to restart the count. If you briefly notice these things but are able to keep counting, then that's great.

    Lastly, it's okay if this whole process feels messy and imperfect - because it is! That said, the more you do it, the easier it gets. The first time I started meditating it took me weeks to be able to focus for more than 3 seconds.

    Patience and Persistence are key throughout this process.
    Lizzy likes this.
  16. mugwump

    mugwump Well known member

    I always want to do this, thank you for the encouragement.
    Daniel G Lyman LCSW likes this.

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