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The role of meditation

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    About a year ago, members of our wiki community had the pleasure of doing a three part interview of Howard Schubiner for a newsletter that the PPD/TMS Peer Network puts out for PPD/TMS practitioners.

    In addition to being one of the best selling authors on TMS, Dr. Schubiner is an accomplished meditation teacher, having been taught by well known author Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe living, who MatthewNJ has found very helpful in his recovery.

    We asked him about this in the interview:
    During this Saturday's Drop-In Chat, we discussed the role of interventions like meditation and other relaxation focused therapies. Several of us seemed to feel that such approaches could be helpful, depending on the individual, as long as they didn't make it harder for the person in recovery to recognize that the true cause of their pain is emotional. Education, accepting the diagnosis, and finding the real causes will always be primary, but, in the process of getting there, you have to maintain your ability to keep a balanced perspective. Meditation and other interventions can help with this, and I thought that Dr. Schubiner's quote reflected this.

    If you want to read the full interview, its web address is:
    If you bear in mind that it is intended for practitioners, I think it is a good source for cutting edge insights.

  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    For me the understanding that pain was being caused by repressed feelings was the crucial point. Once I knew that I felt that tools like meditation, journaling, reading about TMS, etc. could help it sink in, but without knowing that one point of information those things were not able to reach the core issue.
  3. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    Yes, the recognition of the true cause is essential to recovery. Some miraculous recoveries happened just from learning the truth about TMS, but most people would say: "OK, so I know and understand what goes on but now I want to DO something to improve my symptoms". Meditation, mindfulness, journaling, etc are just techniques one can use to resolve their symptoms and triggers once they know the causes and processes that perpetuate this condition.

    I think it's very important to stress a difference between TMS recovery process and various holistic approaches to recovery from, or management of, a host of physical illnesses. Positive mind can help in recovery from cancer, but is rarely sufficient. A lot of people know it, and when they think their problem is physical they wouldn't seriously believe that meditation can cure them, moreover, would probably sack their doctor for suggesting it instead of some 'real treatment'. But TMS is caused by the mind, and that's why ONLY cognitive techniques are helpful in addressing it. It's not about "calming down" for the sake of acceptance and positive outlook on future, but here meditation should lead to greater self-awaraness, self-monitoring, and true self-healing.
    Forest likes this.
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love this post about connecting the causes of the pain and also what to do after you learn of your causes.

    I hear the DR. saying that after folks learn of TMS healing then its beneficial to be mindful.

    For instance I will pay attention to my reactions and then ask myself why did I react that way
    -- if it wasn't a beneficial reaction.

    Then I can ponder it and make better decisions and often have a release in stress or tension and pain in the past

    -- what do others think?
  5. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    As a yoga instructor in a highly Christian region, I have had to take care, as many consider yoga a 'religion'. Once I get them past that barrier, I have to again take care about introducing meditation. I have found a very simple method of explaining --

    Prayer is asking.
    Meditation is listening.

    It is easy to ask. Not so easy to listen.

    Then I run across those who say they cannot meditate because ................ (this list is long and creative).

    I believe that those who make these claims simply aren't ready to listen. Not yet, anyway.

    It isn't easy to listen, to get beyond the chitter-chatter of the mind throwing out distractions. As in all things ... practice, practice, practice. Practice with the knowledge that there will never be a final performance. Just the soft joy of the practice itself.

    with grace and gratitude,
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lily Rose, I think yoga is wonderful and have some of the Peggy Cappy DVDs for seniors.
    I just need to WATCH them! I also have a great Tai-Chi DVD for seniors and always feel good
    after dong those simple exercises which are a lot like yoga.

    Meditation is not easy for me, but I find soothing sounds help me with it.
    I have a fireplace with artificial logs that light up and sound like crackling flames.
    That puts me in a meditative mood, especially on cold nights like we expect this weekend
    in Chicago.

    You're doing wonderful work being a yoga instructor.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are so kind to me, Walt .. thank you ^_^

    Alternate Nostril Breathing is a pre-meditative breathing exercise. It is used for many things, actually, but primarily it is practiced to bring the mind to a softer place before beginning a specific meditation. Simply the act of focused breathing can be calming.

    I would also like to add this speculation -- if our pain is related to oxygen deprivation, then perhaps the breathing exercises can be of assistance. More oxygen intake, more toxin expelled. If something is flaring, using a breathing exercise to target the pain ... this has been useful to me at times. The challenge is remembering these tools when the pain is driving up our fear.

    When you breathe in, imagine that warm breath wrapping around the pain, loving it, softening it. As you exhale, send the fragmented pieces of that pain away from you, out of you. On really good days, you can reverse that .... draw in someone else's pain, swirl it around inside you, cleanse it, give it your strength and power, then send it back outward to that person, or to the world in general. Give and Take. In and Out. Fullness and Emptiness. This is the natural cycle of our bodies, graphically experienced in our lungs.

    There are also many many many ways to meditate. Sitting still isn't always easy for me, so I will engage in Micro-Meditation. It is much like practicing balance. Balance is that place where, for a brief moment, there isn't any effort. It is like floating, free from gravity. The rest of the time, our muscles continually negotiate with gravity, creating struggles. It is in those micro-moments we learn ... and the next time the moments extend, and extend ...

    Micro-Meditation (honestly, that description just came to me as I was typing this, but it describes perfectly ... hey, dibs on the phrase ;) ) ... can be done through out the day. Staring at snowflakes. Breathing. Focusing on your meal, each bite, taste, texture, and sending out gratitude for the people who worked to bring this food to your mouth, from the farmer who set the field and dropped the seeds, to the workers who harvested, to the truck drivers who hauled the harvest, to the clerk in the store who rang up your purchase. Or, if you buy from Farmers Markets, you can more readily visualize the person who produced the food that nurtures you.

    Brushing your teeth, taking your shower, folding laundry (feeling the warmth of freshly cleaned clothing) ... every day things can become meditative. Even doing the dishes. Really!

    Micro-Meditation can quickly become habitual. From this, you can begin exploring deeper.

    For you, Walt, when you are massaging Annie's ears or back or rubbing her tummy, watching her pleasure .... this is also a form of meditation. See? You can do this. Everyone can.

    with grace and gratitude,
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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