Meditation

Athena

New member
I was reading over Yoxi's account of dealing with PTSD symptoms with interest, and also I hope that like Yoxi is hoping, this is a period of difficulty that will actually lead to greater healing. Yoxi, you may already be familiar with these techniques of 'grounding', but if you are feeling overwhelmed by unsafe feelings emotionally, you can try to be mindful instead of an intense but safe physical feeling - such as holding an ice cube for example. Have you tried techniques like that?
 

yoxi

New member
I haven't tried anything specifically like that, no. But then my feelings rarely feel really overwhelming, and are (at the moment) mostly kicked off by the difficult and scary co-lodger in my current house. Since I'm about to move across country and get to live on my own again, it's manageable!
My approach to working with the symptoms is to take regular small risks to teach myself that the aspects of normal life my lizard-brain finds scary are in fact just normal life and I can keep on doing them. This mostly works, and sometimes doesn't, and then the compassion is useful. I have faith in my ability to be bigger than any one aspect of my experience - and occasionally my lizard brain says "the hell with that, we're outta here!!" and I have to run now and discuss it later :).
 

River

Active member
Kevin & I just sat together ... I dunno, maybe half an hour to 45 min. The zabuton (or whatever it is called) and zafu combo make for such comfort and ease in sitting. I really noticed how pleasurable just sitting can be. I focussed on breath, but really also allowed a full appreciation of bodily pleasure in just being / sitting. There was no "falling through empty space" experience, such as the one I'd reported above. I neither miss that nor wish it away.

There is a hunger I'm noticing in sitting, a hunger which is not tormenting or troubling, which I embrace with feather lightness. It is not dukka, not suffering hunger. It is joy-hunger ... the shape of a knot letting itself dissolve in my heart-mind. It is as though I am sweeping the path to my home so I can welcome all of myself and all of the other/s who I am lightly humming into my world, playing a silent and invisible flute.

But it is spring, and these things happen in spring.
 

yoxi

New member
I've discovered a way to be able to sit for longer (without triggering my PTSD panic button) - it turns out to be music. I put on Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians quietly in the background, which has been a friend since the 70's, and the familiarity of it (coupled with its beautiful constant changingness) acts as a protector, and I can rest in myself, indwell, be still and loving. The music in me rises up to meet it...

This is not "traditional", but then tradition doesn't have much useful advice on PTSD! I'm content.
 

River

Active member
Great album!

As for "traditional," who gives a fig? Dharma evolves! Otherwise, we moderns would likely have little use for it.

My most powerful meditation experience -- also my first! -- was accompanied by the music of Tangerine Dream (a mixed bag).



Student to teacher: "Where shall I enter the dharma?"

"Do you hear that waterfall?" the zen master asks.

"I do."

"Enter there."
 

Athena

New member
I am actually getting intrigued by a modified yoga that gives positions that can be used by those of us who are heavier and have lost much of their strength and flexibility and want to get it back (both physically and mentally). Do any of you use yogic methods or are you strictly using Buddhist meditation?
 

River

Active member
I didn't respond to your above question, Athena, because I was hoping someone who practices hatha yoga would do so, and was waiting.... I will say that I do think flexibility and strength in the body, which hatha yoga fosters, would be of benefit to myself or anyone else wanting to dive into sitting practice with devotion. Good sitting posture is an art in itself, and needs careful and mindful practice to cultivate. And I have a lifelong habit of really bad posture, in terms of alignment with gravity, so....

Those here who have done some sitting, most of us anyway, will have a hint of what I'm saying about alignment with gravity and flexibility and strength in sitting meditation. Comfort is crucial, and body pains will arise without those elements, and those will become the focus (or distraction) of the meditation, rather than the relaxed "state" insights and energetic liberations that meditation can allow. (Note: I typoed that as "medication," with a c, initially -- which made me laugh!)
 
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River

Active member
Two excellent books on posture and meditation are

Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient

&

The Posture of Meditation

by Will Johnson


.
 

Athena

New member
Thanks! I have found a really nice book - Mega Yoga that is geared to people with bigger and possibly out of shape bodies with modified and original Yoga postures to learn from. I have also been trying out some local classes, but my work hours make that a problem sometimes.
 

neegoola

New member
i take most advantage "using" my breath observation in... any moment, any posture, any place i find my self: cuewing up somewhere, feeling arising emotions/thoughts i don't like as a soul, having little insonnia, travelling on long journeys by train, etc, etc, etciù!

and if my mind speaks too much, i sit silent and listen all "noises" listenable around me. also this can be done in any moment.

..aehm..i suspect that all this can be done in any moment and posture and can be quickly recalled after a period in which one sits down and analize/absorb the tecnique; afterwards a little perpetuated connexion with physical activity can help, yes. does this make sense?!
 

Minxxa

New member
I have found that doing yoga helps me tremendously to shed my worries and thoughts, become more mindful and in the moment, to FEEL each muscle in my body. I've been doing Hot Yoga, a fusion class which blends Vinyasa and Hatha and I really like it.

For me, it's the combination of listening to the direction and following along, and focusing on my body and breathing and sweating-- by the end of class I am always more calm and peaceful, my mind is more quiet, and I am more capable of thinking about issues and feelings with a peaceful and understanding heart.

It's changed my life...
 

neegoola

New member
thanks, minxxa, i guess it is very similar to what i feel after contemporary dance sessions :)
 
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