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 Discussions on AYP Deep Meditation and Samyama
 Deep Meditation and trauma
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Polyethylene

Germany
4 Posts

Posted - Feb 15 2020 :  05:53:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I'm interested in opinions/experiences from others on Deep Meditation and trauma. Does traumatization prevent successful DM or could it be possible to "meditate through the traumatization" with the mantra and eventually heal it?
My background: I have an early childhood trauma probably from emotional neglect/lack of love. The effects on my life today are amongst others constant tension, inability to relax, a constant urge to get done with whatever I'm doing and then get away, as well as being cut off from my body and my emotions.
Before DM I have tried breath awareness meditation for a prolonged time, but it did not work for me, as I could not stop controlling the breath, which resulted in me often being more tense and nervous after meditation than before.
I've been doing AYP Deep Meditation for approx. 4 weeks now. I'm also very tense and nervous most of the time and have a hard time concentrating on the mantra more than a few seconds. And also in DM I can't stop controlling the breath even though I try to only focus on the mantra. I wonder if this will get better with more practice or if I first have to overcome the traumatization with other methods.

Blanche

USA
627 Posts

Posted - Feb 16 2020 :  07:56:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi PE,

It can be difficult to deal with trauma; in the same time, the human condition brings with it trauma. Nobody is completely sheltered from traumatic experiences. While we do not control these situations, we do have a choice in how we respond to them. Yes, with practice, DM becomes easier. It also heals trauma at a deeper level than psychotherapy, as it targets layers beyond the mind. However, if you experience these intense symptoms of trauma, you may want to consider other ways to deal with it in the meantime. Psychotherapy, keeping a journal, working to heal relationships with the people in your life, and talking with a friend are all helpful ways to start to detangle the knot of trauma. Just be aware that you cannot force it, as a knot only gets tighter when forced, but gentle tagging at it will give better results over time.

As about DM, your practice is correct: You repeat the mantra in the mind, the mantra gets lost at times, and then when you realize that you are not with the mantra you get back to it. Somewhere in that space between losing the mantra and coming back to it, you touch the inner silence. It time, the silence becomes more obvious and it is experienced as samadhi. So, you do not need to intensely focus on the mantra, but allow the attention to naturally follow the mantra, the way you pay attention to something that interests you without making a huge effort. Be kind with yourself and try not to judge how many times you lost the mantra or for how long, as judgement will only the another interference to meditation.

Wishing you the best on your path!
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1592 Posts

Posted - Feb 16 2020 :  2:14:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Polyethylene, welcome to the AYP forum

quote:
Originally posted by Polyethylene
And also in DM I can't stop controlling the breath even though I try to only focus on the mantra.

After practicing breath meditation, switching to a different object can take a while. Awareness of the breath will continue to be there for some time, even as you favour the mantra with your attention. That's OK, just treat the breath awareness as you treat any other thought during mantra meditation. As long as you stick to the practice of gently favouring the mantra with your attention, you are doing fine.

Blanche has already reminded you the correct DM procedure. I would suggest also reading Lesson 13 again. Read it from time to time, over the following weeks and months, as you progress with your practice.
quote:
Originally posted by Polyethylene
have a hard time concentrating on the mantra more than a few seconds

If you reread the lesson, you will realise it is of no importance for how long you concentrate on the mantra. Losing the mantra is a normal part of the process. All you need to do is easily pick it up again when you realise you are off it. That's it.

Be kind to yourself. Gently does it.
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Dogboy

USA
1748 Posts

Posted - Feb 16 2020 :  6:11:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Spot on, ladies!
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Polyethylene

Germany
4 Posts

Posted - Feb 26 2020 :  1:26:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you BlueRaincoat and Blanche for your kind help. And yes, I do also use other methods like psychotherapy etc. in parallel.
I would still be interested in hearing from other forum users that had to deal with trauma symptons which influence Deep Mediation had on them.
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1592 Posts

Posted - Feb 27 2020 :  06:11:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Polyethylene
I would still be interested in hearing from other forum users that had to deal with trauma symptons which influence Deep Mediation had on them.

I wonder if there is anyone who has not suffered some sort of trauma. Yogani wrote somewhere that we [humans] are "the walking wounded". And we are very good at passing hurt on down the generations.

It is the impressions left by our suffering that we heal with yoga. Sometimes these impressions come back to haunt us even as we are cleaning them with our yoga practice. It it gets too much, we self pace. It can take many years of practice dissolving these impressions. It can take a lifetime. If today we are carrying a slightly lighter burden than yesterday, then the effort is worth it.
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Polyethylene

Germany
4 Posts

Posted - Apr 13 2020 :  01:58:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by BlueRaincoat
I wonder if there is anyone who has not suffered some sort of trauma.
[...]
If it gets too much, we self pace.




It might be true that everyone has suffered some sort of trauma but not everyone is traumatized in such a way that their autonomous nervous system has almost completely lost the ability to relax. This makes meditation very difficult. I know of trauma therapists who say that meditation is not helpful for such clients. When the body is in fight-or-flight mode the mind can't stop looking for solutions to the subconsciously perceived threat. This can e.g. mean constantly thinking "how should I meditate now".
After now 3 month of AYP meditation (and 4 years of other meditations) I'm still very tense and nervous while sitting and I struggle to get the mantra into the foreground of my consciousness. I don't really feel any effects after meditation or in general in my life so far. So it is not a question of it getting to much or need of self pacing. Instead not much is happening because a mind in state of hyper arousal is not really able to focus on the mantra. I keep meditating as something in me wants to do it but from time to time I wonder if it will ever lead to something for me.
That said, I repeat my question: Is there anyone out there who has come from a trauma-induced constant state of hyper arousal to deeper meditative states with AYP meditation? Hearing from someone that it has worked for them would help me stay motivated.
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maheswari

Lebanon
2390 Posts

Posted - Apr 13 2020 :  04:35:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Polyethylene
There is no problem in combining yoga practices with therapy with a psychologist.
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Charliedog

1608 Posts

Posted - Apr 13 2020 :  08:19:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Polyethylene,

quote:
The effects on my life today are amongst others constant tension, inability to relax, a constant urge to get done with whatever I'm doing and then get away, as well as being cut off from my body and my emotions.


Do you also practice bodywork, like yoga asana for instance? Not everyone is capable to sit for meditation right away.

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Christi

United Kingdom
3750 Posts

Posted - Apr 13 2020 :  10:36:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Polyethylene,

I don't think anyone can make a blanket statement about practicing meditation after suffering trauma, because there are degrees of trauma. Personally I would say that if, when you sit to meditate, all you can think about is the trauma and you are not able to focus on the mantra at all, then you are not doing yourself any favours and could in fact be making your situation worse.

I would recommend other forms of yoga, such as taking long walks in nature, swimming, physical exercise and so on. Helping others (karma yoga) is also important. And I would agree with others in this thread, that yoga asana practice could be very beneficial. Trauma gets stored in the subtle nervous system and so can take time to clear out. Doing practices like these will help.

When you find that you are able to simply be in the present moment, without thoughts of the trauma arising, then that could be the time to take up meditation. Start out with short sessions at first and build up gradually. No need to rush it.


Christi
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Jack

United Kingdom
303 Posts

Posted - May 12 2020 :  05:44:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jack's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey Polyethylene,

How are you fairing?

I'm intimately familiar with the kind of trauma you mention and have lived with it throughout my life, with certain events over the past few years heightening it to a very high level of intensity where the nervous system is dysregulated, creating a state of near constant tension, brainfog, extreme emotionality, fight-flight, etc. to the point of being unable to work. Still a work in progress and I will share what I can from my own experience.

My experience of Deep Meditation is that it helps in calming the sympathetic (fight-flight) and cultivating the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) system, as well as bringing the witness to light. From this place, it is easier to calm the overthinking and to provide a space within which to hold all the turbulent feelings. With acceptance, the accumulation of tension can release and transform back into awareness. It's not always this simple, however, as it is also possible to submerge into the traumatic material without having cultivated sufficient containment first. It can also be the case in CPTSD that even having calmed the mind, there is still a resistance and self-abandonment/disconnect to the inner experience.

Personally, I've had to put more attention into other means to help with trauma. I have found bodywork such as Bioenergetics to be useful as this really helps to discharge the accumulation of traumatic imprint in the muscle system. You know how you can feel constricted and uncomfortable in your body and hence the disconnection from the body? Bioenergetics is fantastic for addressing that constriction at a physical level, allowing you to feel safe in your body again. I also use some guided meditations also to help regulate the PTSD. The focus of these meditations is about very gently connecting with the sensations of the body and intentionally welcoming what is going on. This is a gradual process where safety/containment is prioritised. These methods I've personally found useful in starting to forge a loving relationship with my inner world and provide the nurturance/love from the only real place it can be sourced - within. During the more intense resurgence of PTSD symptoms, I personally use these meditations more and scale down my AYP practice somewhat. These are the "Trauma care audio guided meditations" from Roland Bal, and the "Profound Relief from Stress and Anxiety" from iAwake.

Wishing you well.
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Polyethylene

Germany
4 Posts

Posted - Jul 22 2020 :  5:45:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Jack, it's good to hear from someone with comparable challenges. Thanks for that!
A brief update of how I'm doing after half a year of Deep Mediation: In the first weeks each session was a bit different and from time to time a had impression that I had slightly touched the "magic" of the mantra. But after a few weeks it seemed that my system set up some kind of defense mechanism against the mantra. In the last months it's like I'm saying the mantra in a part of my brain that is not really connected to my consciousness. I'm saying the mantra but it's like there is a glass wall between the observer and the mantra - I just can't get close to it or to its vibration. At the same time my mind is foggy and full of thoughts. It also seems as if my breath rythm is somehow connected to observing the mantra. When I sometimes get to observe the mantra a bit closer for a few seconds - instantly I get tense and start controlling my breath rythm which somehow brings me out of the awareness again.
So far I do not feel any effects of the meditation. After half a year I'm wondering if it is worth trying some more or if AYP is just not the right type of practice for me.
I will check the meditations from Roland Bal and iAwake you recommended. As I feel completely stuck with AYP right now, it could be good to take a break for some time, try something else, and maybe come back to it again later.
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