Befriending fear

The practice of being with all that arises within. Fear here can be translated to “anxiety,” which is the clinical term for fear which everyone at one time or another experiences with or without a diagnosis of some sort of anxiety “disorder.” Psychiatry pathologizes much of the normal human experience and fear and/or anxiety often referred to in Buddhism as such. Normal. There are techniques to learn how to be with these normal feelings, whether they’re very intense or not. — And boy does protracted psych drug withdrawal open the floodgates of fear and terror and trauma, like nothing else. It’s not like anything natural that occurs before drug damage as those of us gravely impacted discover. But even with this sort of iatrogenic damage I’ve found that the best solution is to treat it like all the rest. I’ve decided that in the end, it’s the same thing as though on steroids. … [click on title to read and view more]

Counting thoughts: simple meditation practice

Choose an important area of your life where you have difficulty or conflict. Bring to mind the key beliefs you hold about the situation, the people, the institution, the circumstance. “They are….”, “I am….”, “It is….. “, etc. After you have brought the beliefs to mind, question them. Are they completely true? Are they one-sided? Who made up this story? What if some of the opposite was also true? What is our experience if we let these thoughts and beliefs go? … [click on the title to read and view more]

LINKS to blogs and resources

These have been collected since the beginning of Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it updated as often as it should be. Healing and Recovery Blogs ♦ Innercompass – withdrawal information ♦ Let’s talk withdrawal ♦ Living life gently ♦ be whole now ♦ Corinna West ♦ Holistic… Continue Reading →

Inequality and injustice are trauma. Racism is trauma.

After the last post on race, I was told by a reader to “stick to the subject” (of the blog) instead of dealing with racial issues. The ensuing comment thread was rather interesting and sometimes rather dismaying.

Racial issues and societal problems (as well as more immediate familial problems) are at the foundations of our mental health and we’re all connected…if you’ve not heard that as the crux of the message on Beyond Meds I’ve certainly not done my job. Inequality and injustice of all kinds are toxic to mental wellbeing.

Racism as a system is a source of trauma to everyone involved in the system. Inequality and injustice are trauma. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Stay with the darkness

Staying with the darkness allows something to happen that escapes us if we are hasty. If we resist our natural tendency to take flight before painful experiences, we can descend into the dark aspects of the unconscious, which is necessary if we are to make contact with what Goethe calls ‘infinite nature.’ Turning toward such darkness requires a willingness to stay with suffering and to make a descent into the unconscious. …

Altered states in meditation

The third principle in working with altered states can be called Awareness of the Dance. When such experiences arise, the practitioner’s primary responsibility is to open to the experience with a full awareness, observing and sensing it as part of the dance of our human life.

We may become frightened by altered states, so that as they arise we resist and judge them: “My body is dissolving.” “I have prickles all over.” “I’m burning up.” “I’m too cold.” “The sounds are too loud.” “My senses are too intense.” “I cannot tolerate the many inner pains or waves of energy.” Through fear, aversion, and misunderstanding, we can struggle with them for a long time, trying to avoid them, change them, get through them, or make them go away, and this very resistance will keep us caught in them. … [click on title to read and view more]

Carl Jung himself thought he was psychotic

Carl Jung himself said:

I had the feeling that I was in an over-compensated psychosis, and from the feeling I was not released until August 1, 1914.

And yes, he recovered, transformed and went on to thrive, just like so many others, from that psychosis… … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Dark night — healing the shadow and the dark emotions

There is a lot of talk about “light workers” in some spiritual circles these days. I’d like to ask: what about those of us who are doing SHADOW work? The shadow of humanity is that which largely remains unconscious in most human beings…thus, shadow work is very important! Coming to full consciousness demands it.

Meditate while moving — gardening, cooking, walking, etc…

Sometimes our suffering and agitation is so great that we cannot sit to meditate or even hold the body still. Then, trainings in movement such as walking meditation and yoga, or mindful practices of preparing food and gardening can be used to help settle the mind… Such practices help to ground a fragmented mind in the body. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

The heart of forgiveness

This is a very sophisticated treatment that looks at many of the questions people have when contemplating the forgiveness of those who’ve harmed us, sometimes very badly. … [click on title to read the rest]

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