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Role of Meditation in TMS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Freedom, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    So I did a search and it seems that meditation is approved as a practice for helping with TMS (or atleast that it doesn't hurt).

    I guess one of my confusions is, in mindfulness meditation we are taught to observe the moment as is and have compassion. For example there are meditations where you observe your thoughts or observe your feelings. To me it seems like this is a way to look at them and see that they are not you (almost like you are detached from them). Wouldn't this conflict with releasing anger? I'm thinking I am misunderstanding something because meditation seems like such a healthy practice I couldn't see how it could be negative.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're over-thinking things which happens a lot with TMS healing. Meditation and mindfulness are fine and dandy. Be mindful of getting too hooked on the rage/anger aspects of healing. It's very easy to get myopic about that. Any emotion can rest at the root, it may be anger, it may be sorrow...it is not necessary to know and it is certainly not necessary to hunt it down. People waste years of their lives searching for the cause of their TMS and get nowhere. That it exists is enough. The key to recovery is found in your words: healthy practice. As we become psychologically healthy, our body no longer has need to scream in pain to get our attention.

    One last thought; there is nothing wrong with anger. In the heat of the moment it is a searingly beautiful and life-affirming emotion. It becomes toxic when it festers (as does sadness, fear and so on). Mindfulness and meditation are ways of nurturing the minds relationship to the body and to the physiological sensations of emotions. We fear these feelings and it is these beliefs that we must challenge in the still and quiet moments.

    There comes a time when even mindfulness and meditation as practices fall away and you are left with pure experience. These are the most exquisite boons of recovery and come when both mind and body are free from intellectualisations.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mindfulness meditation helps to take us out of aut0-pilot mode by increasing our self-awareness. This gives us a moment between our triggers and reactions that allows us to choose differently. Choosing to respond differently than we have in the past means we are growing and evolving and are no longer stuck in our dysfunctional past patterns of thinking and behaving. This is real change and is fundamental, in my opinion, to TMS recovery.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    In another post I mentioned the importance of the big picture perspective while healing because it is so easy to get jammed in a mental rut. What I like about @Ellen's reply is that she beautifully captures the essence of hindsight, which is certainly a wider perspective. If you think back to all the stuff that held you back as a teenager, and all the silly stuff you thought mattered it is easy to see how beliefs become a foxhole. Fast forward to now and muse on what beliefs are held about healing that may not be serving you.

    The beauty of hindsight and mindful meditations on our past (near and far) is the way it makes reflection easy and light-of-heart. I had a kitchen sink drama recently and it all got a bit handbags-at-dawn and in bed that night I simply reflected on how stupid and wonderful triggers are and what great opportunity it is to move ever deeper into self-knowledge.

    It's easy to sound noble and wise on the page but life has this way of chucking banana skins on your path and before you know it you're tits up and feeling really stoopid. But this is when the breathing space of mindful meditation comes into its own. And as Ellen says this is where we get to make the changes that count.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ryan like this.
  5. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Superb reply from Plum.

    As a longtime meditator I get more out of it just practicing it for it's own sake, because I enjoy it, rather than to achieve anything. This would defeat the object.
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  6. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    So well said ladies, I just wanted to say that was a great response.
    Mermaid likes this.
  7. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    This is where my confusion comes in. My understanding is that if you are particularly "good" (not sure what other word to use, I realise this is a judgement and supposed to be avoided when talking about meditation) at meditation, you will more quickly notice when unuseful thoughts or unpleasant feelings come up, rather than noticing them 10 minutes later when they have taken over your mind and body. It is sort of like a pattern interrupt. In this sense aren't you not feeling the emotion, or rather only feeling it for a few seconds then moving on? It sounds similar to the idea of feeling an unpleasant emotion come up and then not expressing it/pushing it away
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    Mermaid likes this.
  8. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    In my understanding of mindfulness meditation these are not incompatible. I've had times when meditating that I truly do "feel my feelings" and have cried or felt angry. The point is to notice the emotion as it comes up and try not to judge or berate yourself for having it. Emotions can be fleeting states of mind...keeping in mind their impermanence (and the impermanence of all states) is central to meditation. You will be feeling the emotion as you meditate if it comes up, but possibly not reacting to it in a "harmful" way like yelling at someone or doing something destructive.

    That being said, I personally found that journaling and releasing pent-up emotion or rage could be a separate activity from meditating. Both are great healing strategies.
    Mermaid likes this.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is one of those occasions where the mind grows eyes to look at itself so
    I can see where you are going with these questions and can understand the confusion. Yes it is entirely possible to use meditation to quash emotion, to use mindfulnes as a distraction by over-intellectualising or quarantining the problem into a concept. That would render the person sterile and robotic not well-balanced and expressive. It may also be a stage of learning, the equivalent of playing chopsticks on your way to Chopin. I think that's ok and it would give many opportunities for a good chuckle and compassion.

    The best way to guard against that would be to be aware of the possibility and do your best not to develop a meta-level of awareness that endlessly guards against emotional hijacking. That sounds very much like consciously taking over the role of the superego in stuffing it all down.

    The intention is to gently create heightened awareness which over time enables greater integration of sensation and perception rather than putting the superego out of a job.

    This is something of a psychological parabola, a very dynamic learning curve involving both the visceral and the intellectual coming together in ways that can be totally discombobulating. I think it is a very personal thing too.

    Does any of that help?
  10. Lydia

    Lydia Peer Supporter

    What a great topic!

    For me, seeing the emotion is not me, is at the heart of my healing process, Freedom. I'll try to explain you how that works for me.

    When I sit down to take time to dive into a story (trigger, trauma, personality trait) with the aim to connect with the feelings (either by writing or speaking into my memorecorder, very spontaneously), at some point after a while the emotion shows itself.
    Because of the skill of self-observation, learned from daily mediation, I see clearly when that moment is there.

    Then I immediately kind of 'back-off'. The emotion needs its own 'space' to express itself. Sacred space, so to say. This means, the skill of 'disidentification' and connect with stillness/watching in acceptance, which I have learned from meditation over the years, helps me tremendously to just look at the process happening, until it finds its natural 'finish'.
    Often tears start to flow, and there is quite a lot of sobbing and other liquids flowing, especially when grief/sorrow is there. At some point it just stops, then it's 'out' of my system. The body lets me know.

    For me it's all about just looking at how the emotion is expressed, without ANY interfering whatsoever. Letting this happen is relieving, freeing and healing at the same time!

    Don't let your mind interfere too much in this process, Freedom. Just go on, embrace meditation AND the TMS-excercises. You'll find your authentic answer on your question along your way!
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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