I read an article today ”My Mom’s Addiction”by a daughter who refuses to forgive her mother. The article is a stark reminder of the damage done by drug addiction. I sent the article to a friend who spent his life addicted to alcohol and as such would be in a better position than me to comment. Following is how he replied:
“ This is my first gut reaction to this article: it sounds to me like the author of this needs to work on her own personal 8th and 9th Steps. I do not see forgiveness in this article and I do not see the perspective nor the understanding I would expect to see from an alcoholic, which the author is.
I can certainly understand the pain, confusion and bitterness associated with living in a dysfunctional family like that; what I don’t understand is being a sponsor for other newcomers to AA when it is pretty obvious this lady has quite a bit of work still to do on her own program.”
After reading my friend’s reaction I then scrolled down through the comments left at the end of this woman’s article and to my surprise I found the following comment written by a mother who explains how, without forgiveness, sobriety is meaningless and without solid foundations. Sobriety is a spiritual path based on love and forgiveness.
“I am the mother that you described. I do not know you, but this is my story. I am clean over 25 years and my daughter still refuses to forgive me for the many years of my addiction. I have come to learn, in my own recovery that I cannot expect others to change…to seek higher spiritual ground…just because I got sober. I am not the person that I was when I was drunk/loaded, but I am still not the person I was when my daughter was small.
Today I know that her childs’ mind saw what she needed as a child. Today, I pray that her refusal to forgive me and enter into adult relationship with me effects her kids in only a minimal way, but I doubt it.
Unforgiveness can be an addiction of its’ own and it can be passed from generation to generation, just like chemical addiction. Because of AA I know that resentment is the number one killer of my own personal growth in recovery. I hope and pray that God may do for you what you say that you cannot do for yourself.”
To investigate how much control you really have over your choice of the thoughts you think try the following mind experiment. Focus your mind on a particular thought. You could choose to think of an image, a sound, a smell, a taste or even a sensation. It doesn’t matter the kind of thought you choose to think, just try focussing on that single thought for no more than a period of 3 minutes. It might seem like very simple exercise to perform but for most people thinking one thought for more than even one minute is simply not possible.
Don’t take my word for it. Before you continue reading this article, you try it! Sit comfortably in a chair with feet on the ground, back straight and eyes closed. Before you close your eyes take a peek at the clock. Now focus your attention on the air entering and leaving your nose. Focus your mind on the feel of the air entering and leaving the nose and say the word “in” when the air is entering and “out” as it leaves your nose. Whenever you find that your mind has strayed from the task open your eyes and see for yourself how long it took for you to lose control of your attention to your thought.
This is precisely what the wise men of old noticed and they believed that if they could not control their thoughts then the mind was free to reek havoc in their lives. They understood that the thoughts we persistently dwell upon affect how we feel which in turn creates the life we experience. Our feelings attract the people and the experiences in our lives and for this reason they felt it essential to find a way to get the mind to dwell upon thoughts that would create the life they wanted so that they were no longer victims of random thought forms chosen for them by their subconscious. This led to a practice we now know as meditation.
Meditation is a practice that develops our ability to focus the mind on the thoughts that will create the life we want. It does this by training the mind to obey us. If you liken the mind to a monkey that noisily chatters and jumps from branch to branch then training the monkey to serve you is one of the objects of meditation.
With the monkey mind under our control we are then in a position to take the reins, as it were, and create the life we desire.
Rescue from Chaos
In this day and age we nurture chaos by feeding our minds with the kind of stimulation and distraction that is now readily available to all of us. We even pander to the monkey minds of our children in giving them free rein to wander where they will. Rather than teaching our children how to gain control of their minds we encourage them be become victims of their minds which ceaselessly require activity and stimulation. How many times do we hear children say they are bored when not provided with the external stimulation that their minds have grown used to? The mind is a bottomless pit that will eventually devour the people who have never learned to tame it. You need only look around at how dissatisfied people are with their lives to see the evidence of this all about us. The key to our freedom and happiness is in placing a ceiling on our desires, appreciating what we have and dwelling on the thoughts that create inner peace and happiness. Meditation is one a step in the right direction.
Robert Allen Monroe died March 17th 1995. He started his career as a New York Radio Broadcaster and went on to pioneer ground breaking research into human consciousness. He was the founder of the Monroe Institute and the originator of the concept of Binaural Beats for the purposes of mind entrainment. He was the creator of Hemi Sync ( Hemispherical Synchronization) audio products to expand consciousness. He was also a pilot and had a natural love of and talent for music. It is said that he was able to read music at age four without ever having studied the subject.
The Beginning of The Monroe Research into Human Consciousness
He started his research by trying to develop a system to get people to learn in their sleep but the first problem he had to overcome was how to get people to sleep. In order to develop the Learn in Your Sleep system he had to find a way to put his subjects to sleep without the use of medication.
As he was in the business of sound he decided to use sound to put people to sleep. He found that certain combinations of frequencies affected people in different ways. He found that various combinations of sound frequencies could put people to sleep, keep them on high alert or even make them experience expanded states of consciousness.
This was the beginning of the audio technology that he would later become famous for. 1975 he registered the first of several patents for audio products using binaural beats designed to stimulate brain functions.
The Lead Up – Taxing Up The Runway
Robert Monroe, the President of the company, volunteered to be the chief subject.
Something happened to Robert Monroe during the procedures he volunteered to undergo. While listening to the audio he had developed he began to have out of body experiences and these experiences are well documented in many of his books on the subject. His book , Journeys Out Of Body, published in 1971 is credited with coining the phrase OOBE or Out of Body Experience.
Prior to him leaving his body he reports having a recurring dream of taking off like an aeroplane but being unable to find a way through the tangle of wires overhead. He also reported feeling as if his body was shaking though physically he was not shaking. The vibration he experienced was an internal one.
He continued with the sound experimentation and he continued to experience these internal vibrations. Up to this he had been fighting the vibrations when he had them because he felt afraid. So one day, rather than fight them he decided to go with them. He simply relaxed into the vibration and after a few minutes it faded and he realised it was nothing to fear.
He kept doing this and each time the vibration would simply fade after a few minutes. Then one night as he lay waiting for the vibration to end so he could go to sleep his mind wandered. As Monroe was a pilot he started thinking about the weather and how perfect the weather conditions were going to be for flying the following day. He felt elated at the prospect and his heart was full of joy and feelings of well being. So as he continued to wait for the vibration to end he felt something bump against his shoulder. It was the ceiling of his bedroom. He thought he saw a fountain coming out of the floor. He didn’t know where he was and thought it was a strange dream that he was having. The fountain he thought he saw turned out to be the chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Looking down he saw his wife lying beside a man. He moved toward the bed to look at who could be in bed with his wife and suddenly he realised the man he was looking at was himself. He then became afraid and the idea that he was dying entered his mind. He started to swim frantically to get back inside his body and in a flash he was back inside his body.
That was Robert Monroe’s very first OOBE or Out of Body Experience all the way back in 1958.
The body is like a puppet in the hands of the mind, the puppeteer. The problem is that the mind is split so the puppet’s actions and conditions seem erratic.
The body reflects the state of mind so the more conflicted the mind the worse the state. This is why illness exists. All illness emanates from the puppeteer so all illness is mental illness. The mind projects itself on to its own body and the bodies of others. This has its advantages and disadvantages depending on what is being projected.
Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged
As a Hypno-Psychotherapist it does not serve me or my clients to project my illness on to those who seek my help. The only way for me not to project my own illness on to my client is for me to suspend judgement and seek agreement. By deliberately choosing not to judge and actively seeking common ground for me and my client to agree upon the ego is circumvented.
Resolving Conflict Through Agreement
Rather than attacking the client’s self concept I question the beliefs my clients hold about themselves. Questioning a belief with sincere interest will not be perceived as an attack especially if rapport exists between client and therapist. In fact the therapist affords the client the opportunity to reveal his self concept and all its defences. When eventually the client can trust the therapist enough, he will endow the therapist with the characteristics and qualities of the illness he suffers from. This will be symbolised by someone from the client’s past with whom issues still remain unresolved.
We must keep in mind here that when this stage is reached the therapist may also be doing the same to his client. Freud describes this as transference and counter transference. The client is now afforded the opportunity to work through a conflict in mind that is projected on to the therapist. Conflict can only be resolved through agreement. The therapist and client then seek a goal they can both agree upon.
Seeking the Guidance of Higher Consciousness in Therapy
For the therapist to impose his own agenda at this point would be to allow his or his client’s ego to direct the therapy. Since it is ego that created the conflict in the first instance allowing ego to direct the therapeutic process would only complicate matters and cause further conflict.
If on the other hand client and therapist seek the guidance and direction from a consciousness higher than their own, then the ego of each has no way in. Calling on this Higher Consciousness is the most important ingredient and essential for true healing free of ego.
The way I do this is to set up a triangle of light between me and my client with the Higher Consciousness at the apex. I don’t tell my clients in the beginning I am doing this until a stage is reached in the therapy when I seek their active cooperation in seeking the guidance of the Higher Consciousness. I usually devote a full session to this. The book ‘Cutting the Ties the Bind’ by Phyllis Krystal describes this process in detail.
Once the client joins the triangle and actively seeks the direction of the Higher Consciousness the therapy takes on a whole new perspective because it becomes far easier to reach agreement without the ego of either interfering.
The degree to which therapist and his client agree determines the degree of healing achieved. The goal becomes the goal set by the Higher Consciousness and normally lies outside the conscious awareness of both client and therapist.
When psychotherapy is approached in this way I have always found it to produce miraculous results.
Meditation is an ancient method devised thousands of years ago by people who realised that the self we think we are is a false self and responsible for the illusion we have become trapped in. These people realised that in order to pierce the veil of illusion which they called maya it would be necessary for us to still the false self and make it quiet for long enough so that we can experience the true self.
The false self is nowadays called the ego. Everything we see in this world we see through the ego and it is the ego that gives meaning to everything we see and experience in this world. The real meaning lies hidden beneath the meaning the ego has written over everything and that is the illusion or maya they referred to.
In order to experience the real self they came up with the idea to focus the ego so that it is eventually concentrated on only one thought or activity. Once this is achieved it would then be relatively easy to drop that one thought or activity and be in the world free from the ego and its interpretations. The state would be a state of no thought.
Dropping The Ego
In order to achieve this state they practised, in many cases, for years. The ego, however, does not relinquish its power over us so easily and it places distractions before us as we get closer to the state of no thought. Many people abandon the practice as a result of the temptations presented to them. The distractions or temptations I refer to range from an increase in mental activity and a focus on worries or questions to a discovery of special psychic powers. Faithfully adhering to the practice of meditation in which the ego is completely dropped, results in discovering the true self or Higher Self.
The High C
The term Higher Self or High C was coined by Phyllis Krystal who wrote a number of books about the subject two of which are:
Because we are conditioned from birth to believe in the illusion created by the ego few question what everyone believes to be reality. In Cutting of the Ties that Bind Phyllis Krystal describes how to connect to the High C and undo the conditioning that holds us captive that keeps us spell bound by our beliefs.
How to Meditate
You can meditate anywhere, any time sitting on the floor or in a chair. As long as you are comfortable all that is required to meditate is that you fix your mind on something for a period of time and with practice spend longer and longer periods with the mind concentrated in this way. Should stray thoughts enter your awareness simply acknowledge them and let them pass the way you would acknowledge a bird that comes into view and flies away. Thoughts are like trains that pull into the station of your mind. You can remain in the station or board the train of thought. The choice is and always has been yours.
The thing you choose to focus your mind on can be anything that registers through any one or combination of the five senses. You could focus on the face of a picture symbolising God or the face of your mother or father. You could focus on a sound perhaps the sound of a clock in the room. There is no reason why you could not focus on a body sensation like the rise and fall of your tummy or chest as you breathe or even a taste. You could of course combine a picture with a sound or a body sensation with a sound as I do. I focus my mind on the sensation of the air entering and leaving through the tip of my nose and as I breathe in I hear myself saying the word in and as I breathe out I hear myself saying the word out. You could try various combinations until you find the one that just feels right for you. The point here is to observe rather than control. So if you are observing the breath then you do not interfere with it in any way. That was what I found hard in the beginning because my mind tended to change the rhythm of my breathing when I focussed on it. With perseverance your ego relinquishes control and you just are!
Falling asleep or finding yourself on a thought train are both distractions and with practice you will learn to avoid these. Remember the aim of meditation is the dropping of ego so that judgement and analytical activity is suspended. The first stage of mediation is really self hypnosis and the frequency of the brain waves in this state of mind is predominantly alpha which is about 10 Hz. As you progressively quiet the mental activity the frequency of the brain waves decreases and you achieve deeper levels of meditation.
I would simply warn against having any expectation of the experience as expectation is a function of the ego and as such will set you up for self sabotage. I would warn against distraction especially the ones that make you feel that you have special psychic abilities. Simply relax, focus the mind on one thought until that thought is dropped. That is the essence and end of meditation.
Secondary Benefits of Meditating
By meditating regularly you will find yourself feeling more centred, happier, healthier and with your mind uncluttered you will feel more purposeful and confident. You will undoubtedly experience many benefits, physically, emotionally and spiritually but these are more a consequence of the practice rather than the goal but sometimes that is enough for many people and that is fine too.
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