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Day 6 First Meditation Exercise, with the cat

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by redeemed27, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. redeemed27

    redeemed27 New Member

    (It's not really day 6, but that's the part of the program I'm on--it's really been a couple weeks or so.)
    This meditation exercise did produce a general feeling of muscle relaxation for me. I have done similar relaxation and mindfulness exercises before. I can't say I feel any different emotionally as a result, but I'm not aware that I am in any particular emotional agitation right now.

    The biggest problem was the position I was in. I was sitting in a padded comfortable office chair. My neck was aching when I started (my most longstanding TMS symptom). As I tried to relax my head and neck, the only way I could balance my head on top of my body resulted in gradually tipping my head back, which by the end of the exercise made my neck ache in new ways from that position. Next time I need to either lie down or recline somehow so that I won't have this issue.

    There were a number of rather loud environmental noises going on that I noticed as I was doing the exercise. The clock ticks loudly in this room. The house fan is on just outside the room. And the landscapers were using some loud machine outside that came and went. Then half way through the exercise the cat decided to jump up on the desk in front of me and meow at me for attention. I ignored him and he eventually gave up and went away.

    I do have some issues with the whole concept of meditation. I like the way the Day 6 program defined the term (noticing your thoughts and letting them go), because I associate the practice with Trancendental Meditation mantras and other Eastern Religious practices and underlying beliefs which I do not embrace. I do believe that the various modern practices of mediation do come from those sources, because the Biblical concept of meditation is very different-- a mental rehearsing and ruminating on truths and ideas from the Bible, and has nothing to do with physical relaxation, positions, breathing, repeating phrases, or emptying the mind. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with some of those, but I have to sort this out when I approach the topic of meditation and try to frame it for myself in a way that I can approve and accept. Maybe I will try to think of these exercises as relaxation or some other goal and try and avoid the whole term "meditation" in my mind, just to more easily get past these misgivings.
     
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's often pretty hard to avoid hearing outside noises when meditating, unless it can be done very early or late in the day.
    Close the door so your cat can't interrupt you. Use ear plugs if the lawn service noises are really loud. I've done that.
    We're living in such a noisy world.

    Dr. Sarno doesn't mention meditation in HEALING BACK PAIN but does in THE MINDBODY PRESCRIPTION.
    In that book, he wrote about the importance of a daily reflection or meditation period and said:
    "This part of the (TMS healing) is essential for very busy people who don't have a moment to think of anything but
    their work during the day. The treatment for TMS and its equivalents is to think your way out of it. This is best done
    in quiet and solitude, so a time must be found each day when you can sit and think about what it takes to get better.

    "The purpose of TMS is to keep attention focused on the body. If the pain disappears but you are still fearful of physical
    activity, recurrent pain, injury, and progressive degeneration of spinal elements, the battle has not yet been won.
    The pain will return unless you overcome those fears."

    You say you don't find Transcendental meditation mantras helpful, but I do. Some years ago I had great anxiety
    about getting an operation. A psychiatrist suggested I say the old mandtra, "Every day in every way, I'm getting better
    and better." He told me to say it 25 times before arising in the morning and 25 times during the day (I said them while
    house cleaning and driving the car) and again 25 times at night. I followed his advice and very soon I was so relaxed
    while saying them that I yawned and almost dozed off before saying it 25 times. I was able to get the operation with
    no anxiety or fear. Over the years I still say that mantra when I am stressed or can't get to sleep.

    Meditation for me may be the mantra or just visualizing I am back at my favorite vacation, canoeing in the
    wilderness of northern Minnesota along the Ontario border. Maybe when you meditate, do some visualizing
    of yourself being in your favorite place of calm and peace. Hear the sounds, smell the smells.
     

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