Finding Inner Calm and Deeper Wisdom

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Archive for the ‘pain management’ Category

Getting Away from Your Body

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Leaving your body for a while is a meditative skill that takes place entirely in the mind. It is something you can learn to do a little bit at a time. Essentially, it means deepening your meditative state, and requires becoming more advanced in your meditation skills. I learned it accidentally over a long period of time. But, when you know what to do and you focus on doing it, you’ll learn it a lot quicker than I did.

Learn, train, read, study, get help from a teacher, and practice until you can achieve the meditative state (totally awake but without any thought) for ten or fifteen seconds each time. Start practicing for fifteen minutes a day for at least five days a week until you can maintain non-thought for a minute. Practice, practice, practice until you can maintain non-thought for two minutes. Learn to really LOVE your practice, and make it an important part of every day until you can stay in the meditative state for five minutes. By this time, in most of your meditations, you will begin sensing small traces of the joy and energy that are always found in the human spirit.

Don’t stop. Use those delicious little tastes of spiritual inner peace to deepen your commitment to the practice. Have many short meditations in your daily life, while standing in line at the checkout counter, during a long traffic stop, whenever you are bored, and every time you get in bed and can’t sleep. When you are a meditator, you eagerly use every episode of insomnia as an opportunity to practice and deepen your meditative state.

Then one day, you’ll discover that you are meditating ten to fifteen minutes each time—with ease. You might reach this stage of your practice in a year or two. Or, depending upon your dedication and consistency, perhaps in a few months. It took me thirty years. But, if I had known what I’ve just written in the two paragraphs above, it would have been much, much sooner for me.

By this point in your practice, you will have developed an ability to block some sensory inputs from your mind—to one degree or another. You’ll know how to block out a distracting noise, perhaps a buzzing insect, or whatever seeks to disturb your meditative state. Then, voila! One day you realize that you can block out the annoying pain in your knee, or the throbbing place where you hurt your hand. Perhaps even a headache. Simply by deepening your meditative state and silently telling the mind to turn off a particular sensory input, you have begun to separate yourself from your body.

As you explore your own mental geography and practice the skill of turning off sensory inputs, you will learn—again, one small step at a time—the art of leaving your body. Generally speaking, each “trip” away from the physical body brings you into the proximity of your own human spirit. There you may discover a vast resource of knowledge and joy like you have never known or imagined.

Dealing with Pain and Suffering

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Masters know how to separate themselves from the suffering associated with pain. Some of the documented accounts are amazing. Alas, you’re not a Master—yet. But even so, you can still benefit from your meditative practice within the first few months. Let me explain how.

Physical pain is experienced in the body. Suffering is experienced in the mind. When you have pain somewhere in the body, it hurts. But the suffering from that pain takes place in the mind. That’s a very important and useful distinction.

You have probably learned that, when you get your mind off your pain and on something else, the pain bothers you less. Perhaps, when something exciting happens, you forget all about your pain for a while. Why is that? How does that work?

From a purely medical and physical point of view, getting your mind off the pain doesn’t necessarily reduce the pain—it simply reduces your suffering from the pain. Meditation is chiefly the art of quieting and ultimately stopping the conscious thought process. Thus, not thinking about your pain reduces your suffering. It’s like magic. But it really works.

Over time, as you continue to practice and deepen your meditative state, you will suffer less and less from your pain. If you’re a beginner, you may not see any significant differences at first. Meditation requires dedication. Within a month of regular practice, you will see a noticeable difference. If not, perhaps you aren’t doing something right. If that is the case, you must find a teacher. Above all, don’t give up.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

April 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

Emotional Shock and Drama

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How can I calm down when something has really upset me, my nerves are jangled, and I’m in an extremely emotional state? Will meditation help me calm down and get centered? Yes, but how quickly and effectively it works depends on how long and how consistently you have practiced.

Meditation, using the practice of Conscious Quiescence, has the chief purpose of stopping all conscious thought, and secondly of calming the emotions. If you are just beginning your meditative practice, you may not have the focus and skill to calm yourself during emotional upheavals. But once you’ve had some meditative experience, you’ll have the know-how to manage your inner state of affairs much better.

Here’s why: While most genuine forms of meditation teach you to stop or greatly diminish the flow of thought in the conscious mind, thoughts come from a different source in the brain than emotions. If you are angry or hurt, for example, the source of those emotions is in a different part of your mind than your thought-generating mechanism. You can be sitting in total non-thought and still feel the emotions of anger, pain, fear, and so forth.

However, after you’ve gotten your meditative practice well established, you will be proficient at getting yourself calm, relaxed, and centered, because that’s exactly what you practice every time you prepare to meditate. Thus, after you have practiced calming and centering yourself for meditation, say, a hundred times, you will discover that you can also do the same thing during times of emotional stress. Voila, a skill learned during meditation transforms into a skill that becomes a part of your basic mindset, and can be used out in the world every day.

In essence, meditation itself does not directly calm emotional turmoil, but the practice and skill of calming your body and mind give you an ability to turn down the volume on drama or emotional shock taking place in your life.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

July 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Turn Off the Pain

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Learning how to “turn off the mind” to achieve temporary inner peace is the first step in learning how to use the mind. The first lesson of inner development is slowing and then stopping the flow of conscious thought. As our inner development continues, we learn more and more about the geography of our own minds. We discover new things about ourselves–as seen from the inside. Unfortunately, all this is something most westerners don’t know much about.

As we discover more and more of our inner world, we also learn that we can control many things we couldn’t control before. One important thing we can learn to control is pain.

People with no inner development are defenseless against pain and suffering, unless they have drugs to artificially numb down parts of their nervous system. Of course, using such drugs often comes at a very high price–and I’m not just talking about the monetary price. Worse yet, many kinds of pain and suffering can’t be controlled with any known pharmacology.

The student of inner development will discover, after some unpredictable amount of practice, that pain from physical sources can be masked within one’s own mind. Probably the greatest masters of such mental agility were the Fakirs, who were known for astounding feats of controlling their minds and bodies. You may not want to sleep on a bed of nails or walk across hot coals. However, your quality of life may improve greatly if you can “mask off” or distance yourself from a given source of pain.

A regular, consistent practice of conscious quiescence brings the student to discoveries of how the mind can be controlled to ignore or subdue inputs from different sources. As experienced from inside your mind, a bed of nails is not much different from a migraine.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

March 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm