Friday, December 13, 2019

Complete Experiencing - Healing Trauma

     To be held in safety & unconditional love is one of the most fundamental of human needs. But life's paradoxical. A part of us longs for, while another part resists intimate connection.
     Meditation practice helps us to clearly see ourselves, others & the rest of reality, accept and re-establish intimate relationship with everything - "life's 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows." Shinzen Young's book (below) clearly explains how to achieve this through regular meditation practice.

     "Every time we identify with feeling separate from life, that’s a very subtle trauma. It’s the trauma of the perception of isolation." Caverly Morgan

      "... everything yearns to be met. Everything yearns to resolve itself in love – that love being the open space of acceptance, of allowing, of staying resolutely present, and unconditionally open to every nuance of your inner experience." Amoda Maa

      "Once we are willing to be directly intimate with our life as it arises, joy emerges out of the simplest of life experiences." Pat Enkyo O'Hara
     "To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things." Dogen

     "If trauma is defined as ‘inescapably stressful event that overwhelms people’s existing coping mechanisms’ and that in its psychological sense overwhelms the integrity and continuity of the self because its damage to the internalized links between self and other, then for a great many people there can be many small traumas, generating many areas of sequestered, dissociated, and partially dissociated experience. This is in addition to vulnerability to severe trauma.
     ... most crucially at issue in dissociatively-based psychopathology is the collapse of relationality – both interpersonal and intrapersonal (or interstate). Dissociation, as a state of being divided and as a chronic process, is ultimately a barrier to relationality, both within and between selves.
     ... I believe (most of us have) an addictive proprietorship over dissociative solutions ... The way we do this and how much we do it may differ, but I think we do it all the same.”
     Elizabeth F. Howell. “The Dissociative Mind.” Routledge, 2008

      “Paradoxically, the more we try to change ourselves, the more we prevent change from occurring. On the other hand, the more we allow ourselves to fully experience who we are, the greater the possibility of change.
      Every identification we hold about ourselves disconnects us from the fluidity of our core nature. Our identifications – that is, all the fixed beliefs we take to be our true self – along with the associated patterns of nervous systems dysregulation separate us from ourselves and the experience of being present and engaged. As much as we may feel constrained by our survival styles, we are afraid to, or do not know how to, move beyond them.
      Our survival styles are reflected in our bodies in two ways: as areas of tension (hypertonicity) and as areas of weakness or disconnection (hypotonicity). Patterns of tension and weakness reveal the ways we have learned to compensate for the disconnection from our needs, core self, and life force.

     All of us are somewhere on the continuum of connection to disconnection from our core selves and our bodies.”
       Laurence Heller, Aline LaPierre. "Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship.” North Atlantic Books, 2012.

     “The basic premise of mindfulness meditation is that consistently infusing the qualities of concentration, clarity, and equanimity into ordinary experience over time causes a fundamental shift in our paradigm. It is for this reason that mindfulness is sometimes called insight meditation.

     If you want to be happy independent of conditions, you’ll need to learn how to have a complete experience of each basic type of body sensation. On the spiritual path, we have to learn how to have a complete experience of anger, so that anger does not cause suffering which then distorts our behavior. For the same reason, we have to learn how to have a complete experience of fear, sadness, and so on. We even have to learn how to have a complete experience of physical pain, as well as other unpleasant feelings in the body such as fatigue and nausea. When I say, ‘Have a complete experience of x,’ its’ just a quick way of saying, ‘Experience x with so much concentration, clarity, and equanimity that there’s no time to coagulate x – or yourself – into a thing.’ You and x become an integrated flow of energy and spaciousness.
     Learning how to have a complete experience of discomfort sets us free. Learning how to have a complete experience of pleasure deeply fulfills. … The body sensations of making love are spiritual to the extent that they are complete, that is, experienced in a state of concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity. To know what true love is, we need to experience it as it truly is. In Tibet, that’s called the oneness of bliss and void.” 
       Shinzen Young. “The Science of Enlightenment. How Meditation Works.” Sounds True, 2016.


  1. Thank you very much for this John!

  2. You're welcome! It's wonderfully gratifying & encouraging to hear when a post I value, also resonates with another being on this shared journey.