tonglen

There is nothing unique about our suffering. (Tonglen, a compassion practice)

Tonglen is a method that allows for the development of compassion. Compassion is necessary both for the relief of our own suffering and so that we might serve others towards the end of their suffering too. Compassion, by (Buddhist) definition, is the capacity and more importantly, the willingness to experience both our own suffering and the suffering of others. In other words you might say, you can’t heal what you don’t feel. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

gary:rich

Your true purpose is what is happening right now

Your true purpose is what is happening right now…Oh yeah, this is it baby.

I love Gary’s and Rich’s videos. Have fun with this new one. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

birds

The only thing we can hang onto

The realization of impermanence is paradoxically the only thing we can hold onto, perhaps our only lasting possession. It is like the sky, or the earth. No matter how much everything around us may change or collapse, they endure. Say we go through a shattering emotional crisis … our whole life seems to be disintegrating … our husband or wife suddenly leaves us without warning. The earth is still there; the sky is still there. Of course, even the earth trembles now and again, just to remind us we cannot take anything for granted … [click on title for the rest of the post]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Professional denial is a form of retraumatization

Anyway — any mental health professional that doesn’t recognize that the mental health system is rife with potential abuse and harm is dangerous to those who’ve already been harmed and to many who may yet be harmed. There are many folks in the system at this point that actually do understand the reality. Times are, indeed, changing. I see lots of reason to hope. I have many friends who are working in and out of the system as knowledgable and competent professionals. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

breathe-you-are-alive

Just Breathe: listen to the children

Watch it, please. It’s very lovely. The inspiration for “Just Breathe” first came about a little over a year ago when I overheard my then 5-year-old son talking with his friend about how emotions affect different regions of the brain, and how to calm down by taking deep breaths — all things they were beginning to learn in Kindergarten at their new school … [click on title for the rest of the post]

anatomy

Anatomy of an Epidemic now just $1.99 — please read it (Kindle)

Right now, the Kindle edition of Anatomy of an Epidemic is on sale for $1.99. It is a must read for anyone who has any interest in psychiatry and mental health in America and therefore the rest of the world. The United States sadly exports this dangerous system of care all over the world. … [click on title to view more]

lithium

Lithium Carbonate (the pharmaceutical) is a dangerous drug

Granted, everyone should already know this, but these are serious and disturbing statistics that bear repeating since Lithium is still touted to be the gold standard in the treatment of those labeled with bipolar disorder within the psychiatric establishment. There is something seriously wrong with this picture. A third of patients who have taken the common psychiatric medication lithium for over ten years have developed “chronic renal failure” from the drug, according to a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. … [click on title to view more]

inside out

Disney Pixar comes out with emotionally intelligent animation

This is pretty amazing. I’ll let it mostly speak for itself. I will say that the way that the human beings emotional “parts” are depicted in this film is also a legitimate way of understanding hearing voices (that get labeled psychotic) too if we consider the phenomena to be a spectrum. Everyone has parts and internal voices. Some are perhaps just louder than others. I’m interested to watch this movie’s roll out and the response from the public. … [click on title to view more]

spring

It Gets Better: the series

The It Gets Better Series — Last year for several weeks I republished old posts from the days when I was bedridden and unable to speak. I posted them with the contrast of the current commentary that reflected how much health I have found in the last few years of coming back from a severe iatrogenic injury caused by psychiatric drugs. Today I’m collecting those posts so that I can add this page to the drop-down navigation menu. When I put it into the archives above I will title it “The It Gets Better Series.” So that is what you will want to look for in the future. For now I’ve given it a different title because I wanted to underscore the fact that this blog has helped me in profound ways too. It’s never been a one way street. … [click on title to view more]

ecology

An ecology of mind: how do you describe a living human being?

Wonderful talk on the holistic nature of reality and how we so often deal with the pieces rather than understanding the whole. How do we come to know and not know in the context of this reality. A reality that is dependent on a multitude of relationships with all the multitude of parts. How do we hold this all together?

What does it mean to think differently? … [click on title to view more]

meme

When you know you’re right…

The only (sarcastic) photo meme I’ve ever made…found this in my files today. Sharing it for fun. I never actually posted it in a public place when I made it a few years ago. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

when

When the body says no

Only an intellectual Luddite would deny the enormous benefits that have accrued to humankind from the scrupulous application of scientific methods. But not all essential information can be confirmed in the laboratory or by modern statistical analysis. Not all aspects of illness can be reduced to facts verified by double-blind studies and by the strictest scientific techniques. “Medicine tells us as much about the meaningful performance of healing, suffering, and dying as chemical analysis tells us about the aesthetic value of pottery,” Ivan Ilyich wrote in Limits to Medicine. We confine ourselves to a narrow realm indeed if we exclude from accepted knowledge the contributions of human experience and insight. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

brain

Emotional “dysregulation” is plasticity

My favorite MD is an unusual man of great insight who is also a scientist and researcher. This is a man who has never told me what to do and only supported my process by being witness and offering insights when and if applicable. I found him later in the drug withdrawal journey, after I was off the offending drugs that harmed me. I was still bedridden. He certainly saw the worst of my iatrogenic injury. He once said to me that those of us who have the most extreme reactions to the drugs are actually the most likely to heal and transform. He said the the mere fact that we are so profoundly injured by them is proof of our highly neuroplastic brains. And while the healing process may sometimes be radical and even violent, that ultimately when we’ve healed, we’ve also transformed in profound ways. Indeed, this is becoming my experience. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Jean-Vanier

What does it mean to be fully human?

A lovely man worth getting to know a bit. The 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate, Jean Vanier, speaks on the Big Question: “What does it mean to be fully human?” … [click on title for the rest of the post]

mindful

Healing after Trauma: Ten Steps Forward, Nine Steps Back

By Will Meecham – Ten years ago it wasn’t uncommon for me to be depressed and near suicide for days on end, with few ‘breathers’ between episodes. Nowadays I feel down only occasionally and for brief periods. Even better, my baseline is more optimistic and enthusiastic. Rather than living with a stubborn low-grade depression and rare hypomanic lifts, I now enjoy a background state of sweet (if slightly sad) acceptance with occasional hours of serenity–or even bliss–during meditation. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

mossy trees

Herbal medicine, Extreme States and Transformation

By Jon Keyes- We live in a world that is disconnected from this way of looking at plants/herbs and see them as either fairly useless or often as a capsule to ingest to gain a desired effect. When I work with people who are recovering from trauma, I often do the simplest thing possible, I have a cup of tea with them. Just the act of siting down and sipping a gentle tea brings connection, warmth, a movement towards increased stillness and trust and away from the noise and the overstimulation of the modern world. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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