To the best of my recollection is this write of Day One with our friends Kaiser and Chemical Dependency Training Consortium!!! It seemed to go very nicely with a quiet moment spent in Seaside Oregon while visiting dear friends of the heart!!! Thank You Rebecca and Cam for opening your doors and hearts to me!!!
Mindfulness is an internal practice. For example a person was watching a horse run wild back and forth. Someone asked “Where is he going.” Response “I don’t know. Ask the horse.”
Mindfulness is the practice of stopping, slowing down, calming down, resting, transforming, paying attention. Really notice a rainbow, a baby smile, watch a flower grow. Mindfulness is the ability to put everything in perspective.
When you breathe in and you can’t breathe out – you’re dead.
K-12 More and more mindfulness is being brought into the classroom. “Oh when I breathe better I test better!” The process of slowing down brings more oxygen to the brain. Study in the United Kingdom of children with ADD – Mindfulness help children slow down and recognize when they are going too fast and children helping each other and found to have a natural desire to help one another.
Mindfulness helps because it reverses the progression of aging – as we age the myelin strands weaken. Practicing mindfulness reverses the aging process. Also the walls of our brains get thinner. This means we are not a victim of our genealogy.
If I stay in the present moment “I can influence.” Walking by a Krispy Cream I can hear the call of the doughnut. If I go in there what is the likely outcome. You can only answer the question if you are in the present moment. By staying in the present moment you are able to intervene.
Kindness Meditation – Classroom management has become much easier because of this practice. Can I bring compassion to my classroom, patients, clients and/or myself?
Folds in our brain get stronger as we meditate more.
Mindfulness has the capacity to shine light on the hidden resistance. Calm abiding utterly eradicates afflicted states and traits -long term quality traits. Learning how to ___ states of mind leads to not just a state but a trait. A trait means being able to apply.
Most of the current mindfulness practices are related to the Buddhist Religion. Other practices are the rosary or even practicing loving kindness. See the mind as organic. At the end of this training if you take one thing away – it would be that mindfulness is a practice.
Understand the practices as energy. The mind as the flow of energy and information and learn how to crate forward moving energy.
When your body is stable your mind can be stable.
Pain – People who practiced mindfulness required less pain medication. Part of our pain is our minds participation in the pain itself. Example – A man walking down the street and he is suddenly struck by an arrow. The physical pain is palpable. The mind begins to question – Who would do this? Why would they do this? This adds to the physical pain. Ancient India – Laying on a bed of nails – they are not experiencing pain. Males – we don’t handle pain very well we learned from females– we cause pain. When presenter’s mom died before dad – dad had a nervous breakdown. Phantom limbs pain. The mind is causing the pain. Migraines are usually 24 hours or less. A migraine does not have to be any longer than that if I don’t add to it.
Behaviors – In Sweden a study on four generations of incest found geological expressions inhibit or advance behaviors. If I think of myself as damaged goods how can I ever recover? The belief that I am damaged without the ability of being repaired can lead to more damage. Wanting what we don’t have. Not wanting what we do have. Being too attached to …all leads to suffering. Leave the retreat at peace. Example – Traffic leads us to curse at strangers – mindfulness may say “Oh that’s where I’m going” and increases our ability to shift to a post retreat experience. So far the question is “Is it Nature or Nurture or both. Yes our genes come with genetic code influences but also everything we do influences us. We do have dispositions that can get turned on.
Vietnam Veterans – Getting Beyond Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – does not mean I am not disturbed by what happened it’s that I have trained myself not to be affected by what I have lived.
Neuro plasticity is in its infancy – “Contemplative Science.” It is just being made known how contemplative science affects our psychological well being. Mirror neurons are neuro-science, contemplative science and psychology. It’s a picture of the brain that is lit up. The last decade was the decade of the brain. The brain consists of 3 lbs, 1.1 trillion brain cells, 100 billion gray matter neurons. The natural capacity of our nervous system to change and adapt to environment and conditions
The brain is weak but strong enough not to collapse. Habits are due to plasticity. Presenter Larry’s father had a ritual of leaving and returning his lunch box to the top of the refrigerator. These are core dynamics of how habits are formed. Habits are a logical process.
Cab drivers in London have a special part of the brain that is more developed.
Piano- People who visualized playing piano were more developed so what we do with our mind- mindfulness affects our grey and white matter and our function and structure. Donald Hebb – Neurons that fire together wire together. When cell a gets stimulated with cell b both are changed.
Cell Assembly is a community of cells that have bonded the more it happens the stronger the bond. Growth is interdependent.
Falsifiability – I may not be right but this is all I know right now.
History of brain damage – What we take in impacts our brain. If we take in little caffeine we have thicker insulation. More amygdale – Reptilian part of the brain – we are more fearful.
As your mind changes your brain changes and mapping takes place. In the past only external things could change our mind. Now it is known that internal events also changes brain and mind. (External) Presenter Larry’s father died 5 years ago. (Internal) “Then 3 weeks later my father died.” reports Larry. “My addiction is my trying to cope with it.”
The brain is hardwired for looking for threats such as smoke. The amygdale is sticky and the cortex is like Teflon.
We’re not really trained in being in touch with our bodies – feelings – emotions.
It takes five times more energy for the positive to go into long term memory. We really have to savor the positive event so it goes into the long term memory.
I can hijack anger instead of being hijacked by it. To help us have the skillfulness of body to heal ourselves. A lot of memory is kinesthetic – get familiar with the messages from our body.
“Yeah though I walk through the valley of… Because I am the meanest S.O.B…” Every one of these messages is loaded with emotions. The nature of how our mind works – body, feelings, perceptions.
But something more is going on – something under the table – what we see – what we feel. Where we store consciousness – The place where all of our experiences are stored. The conscious mind is the living room and the memories and experiences are in the basement.
Addiction is more complicated than a moral or not a moral issue. There is no escape from having addiction. Addiction causes you suffering and causes others to hurt as well. Addiction is a particular kind of habit. Addiction is a destructive habit. Addiction causes strokes or tumors which cause stress hormones to be out of whack. We can remember events but not when or where or why. Like a hangover. Addiction makes it difficult to be in the moment. We cannot ignore the impact of trauma on addiction. Addictive process is getting stored in the basement where it is getting stronger and stronger. It is during that learning which leads to the addictive process. This addictive process has to be fed by the activity that created it. Our nerve cells can adapt and change. Long term potential – our mind is full of seeds – some genetic. A variety of seeds – suffering – nirvana- end of suffering- perceptions- delusion- happiness and wisdom. Some seeds are innate – handed down by ancestors – Emotional tones – habits in the households beginning in the womb. Children born already in the addiction are affected by experiences, actions and mind. Our seeds need to be nourished watered and fed. It is how to be wise and selective about which one is nourished and which ones don’t. It takes wise gardening to heal and transform. The symptoms that come from our language – the seed of addiction is like that – so we need to move it from the basement to the living room. Addiction is like having a guest that eats everything in your kitchen. Your home is empty except the guest. That’s an addiction.
Exercises – Grounding our body and the earth. The chair and floor exercise is truly helpful because the earth is supporting me when they don’t feel supported by the world. Grounding helps us and helps others. Go back to a neutral place. It is natural to ask during a grounding exercise “Did I do this right?” Did I notice how many breathes it took you to bring your attention the back of the chair. We are in this Exploratorium – in this body. These exercises are not a directive – they are more like a dancer. If you give too much space – the person may disassociate. These exercises are non judgmental – open and invitational. They make a person more comfortable.
Some of us are more sensitive with others. Ground and Resource vs. Hijacking may mean asking- What are you noticing now? Describe to me what you’re seated on. What colors are in the room? Can you take a drink? Are you aware of the earth beneath you? When you are grounded you have the capacity to sense the other persons. Professionals working with patients may feel “I was the pain sponge” Instead we can say “I’m sorry that happened – but it did and it’s important to have compassion and now…. The person may be advanced spiritually and simultaneously be in emotional kindergartn.
Resources – Peace, Joy, Hope, Sense of Well Being, Practice, Internal Character Quality, Someone, Place, Thing, Favorite Food – What is our Perfect Cup of Coffee?
What is this moment is a memory that brings you joy?
Write a love letter to the world!
Imagine a hoop of gratitude. Like hollow bamboo reed – recognizing that we are in the center of our life – this will strengthen the neo cortex – and anchor it to the hard drive (our body). The recollection of grandma’s cooking…
With some clients it is difficult to be present – guide them to feel the texture of the chair and the feel of their feet in their soles, the color of the floor. Equally help them get to know the texture or quality of where in their body the urge comes from.
First when you realize that you have potential qualities that have yet to flower use Resourcing and Grounding. Don’t allow yourself to be reduced to pathology. Be skillful in developing results. Begin with what is. Not to escape from suffering but to build positive energy.
Secondly when negative potential – practice not to feed it – not to give it power – not to nourish it. When joy is down – depression is up- I know exactly what to do to stop and interrupt it.
Third keep the positive energy alive. Example wake up and say out loud “I’m not hating anyone today.” By doing this we learn to celebrate what is not happening. We are anchoring the good. Isn’t it wonderful? Plus when the negative is not happening we can figure out what is nourishing this pattern. I know how to work with what’s coming up as the energies come up. I can re-groove. I can understand and see clearly.
Flower shop “No one came into our shop or even called to buy a weed.” A wise gardener will develop practices that surround them with beauty while dwelling in the present moment of one’s precious life. Michael Angelo – admire his beautiful work however if you visit his home you can also see his drawings at four years old – Final results happen without the process – NOT TRUE. Learn to accept the process. Respect the process.
Draw a circle and draw two horizontal lines across the circle
Above first line are the HABIT ENERGIES – things we have practiced and some have served us.
Above the second line are the LESS WHOLESOME SEEDS –
Below the second line are the UNWHOLESOME SEEDS – we will effort to celebrate when we are no longer practicing.
Examples – Just in asking these questions I have some ambivalence about what I want to water and what I don’t want to water – Anger. We can do selective watering – we can touch the difficulty and bring in our strengths. I notice it is a lot easier for me to love my art and the more difficult stuff is for me to love my resentments.
Documentary – ISHI – The Last of Its Tribe – Learn to be more curious than afraid. Kind curiosity means Not to fall into bad and good. Rather on a continuum of More Wholeness to Less Wholeness.
Create a mental health flow like a container that holds our ups and downs – Less Well to More Well.
Create a momentum – a comprehension to what is happening in the present moment.
Understand the practices as energy. The mind as the flow of energy and information and learn how to crate forward moving energy.