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5 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

Thanks guys! I really appreciate the kind words. A practice journal is actually a great idea!!! Maybe I’ll do that. 

Ask @Kar3n I'm sure she will be glad to help. :) 

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7 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

The "best technique" imo would be no technique. Just be open.. don't make preconceived plans without even meeting the individuals. 

 

4 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

Thank you all for your input.  My new job will be full time counselor in a group home setting, so I’m sure I’ll get a feel for what works best. The program director told me they already do some relaxation and meditation stuff... so that got me thinking. But I appreciate the words of caution. Will definitely heed them. 😊

 

Be responsive, and don't get attached to what "works best." In my personal experience what works one day, could do anything besides work the next. And something that appears to work can have unforeseen consequences. 

 

Mostly keep your equanimity.. 

 

And know that while you can support; you cannot save. 

 

 

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I don’t want to be a downer but here’s another vote to use a great deal of caution teaching meditation to folks with mental health challenges. While it may be calming to the active mind, meditation eventually exposes suppressed and repressed content. It can be disorienting and lead to feelings of depersonalization for some. The folks you’ll working with may be very raw and sensitive and may go too deep too fast. I would agree with focusing on practices that help integrate mind and body as mental illness breaks down that connection. Anything that is grounding is advisable. Standing, walking, simple qigong, easy taiji, and calisthenics would all be safe and healing, IMO.

 

I’m happy to hear you have an opportunity to help these folks who are so vulnerable and often neglected. Don’t forget to all take care of yourself.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2019 at 11:43 AM, ilumairen said:

Do others here see the "door of the mind" as the heart? And what do you (anyone who cares to reply) believe this would indicate in regards to us soo often looking to thoughts when considering the word "mind" as set forth in a spiritual context?

 

Such an important question for practitioners! In my experience, the heart is more the door to the mind’s essence whereas the head and brain are more related to its activity and contents, if that makes any sense. Thoughts are indeed mind, as opposed openness, presence, and warmth, which is its essence. 

 

My relationship to heart and mind continues to evolve and refine. I have found the best way forward in this arena is simply trusting and engaging in practice, knowing that it will work and ultimate bring us to clear understanding. If comfortable, prayer is also very valuable. Engaging the conceptual mind obstructs openness and clarity.

Edited by steve
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Posted (edited)

the heart is more the door to the mind’s essence whereas the head and brain are more related to its activity and contents, if that makes any sense. Thoughts are indeed mind, as opposed openness, presence, and warmth, which is its essence. 

 

——————————-

 

This would make an excellent wood carving or calligraphy mounted in a picture frame  and hung on a wall.

Edited by Pilgrim
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7 hours ago, steve said:

the heart is more the door to the mind’s essence whereas the head and brain are more related to its activity and contents, if that makes any sense. Thoughts are indeed mind, as opposed openness, presence, and warmth, which is its essence. 

 

Original quote phone Limitations. First go round. Deserves repeating anyway

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21 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

This might be a good thread to pose a question. 

 

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

Doing, or not doing?

 

Most likely it will end up being a person to person basis, but I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has had. 

 

A real simple starter meditation for them might be this:  pretend that you're a sunflower (while seated).  Very, very slowly, with eyes closed, pretend that you're following the sun from morning to night.  You're actually moving your head, but so slowly that nobody would even notice.  But the very slow movement keeps the mind still.

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21 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

This might be a good thread to pose a question. 

 

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

Doing, or not doing?

 

Most likely it will end up being a person to person basis, but I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has had. 

 

As others have already pointed out, I dont think a “one size fits all” would be appropriate for such a group. Maybe get a feel for each person who shows up and decide then.  The challenge is that some may have some real “energy based” mental issues/flow. Also, some such people are highly receptive and so the littlest thing can spill over into the mind.  Definitely share space with them to help take the edge off.

 

Great thing that you are doing.  Keep us informed on how it goes. :) 

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57 minutes ago, ilumairen said:

@Fa Xin

 

Is it something like a "light duty" tool box you're assembling?

 

Yes, light duty like some ideas to keep the clients entertained and to help them relax and have fun. 

 

We will have some of the more serious disorders represented (the ones I listed), but also clients that are in something called Crisis Stabilization which will be a 3-5 day stay. It is this population I’m thinking more about, perhaps providing them some coping skills or relaxing techniques. 

 

I do think the population is varied enough that I will have to do a case by case basis. 

 

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4 hours ago, Pilgrim said:

 

the heart is more the door to the mind’s essence whereas the head and brain are more related to its activity and contents, if that makes any sense. Thoughts are indeed mind, as opposed openness, presence, and warmth, which is its essence. 

 

 

I saw a good video by Sad Guru that was titled "The heart has its own mind" but it has been taken down or retitled.

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I completely agree with what Starjumper said in regards to meditation (or at least beginner meditation) has to do with focusing on the body.

 

Before i got into any energy work or meditation, i had very bad injuries and atrophies, that i wanted to fix so bad with the mind that i was able to move energy through my body. (i didn't know i was moving energy at the time. it was just moving muscles)

When i started meditating and doing research i realized, that was what meditation probably was because becuase i realized that i wasn't really thinking but feeling.

 

Here's the catch though, i'm not quite sure it wasn't thinking. I "think" it was just a different type of thinking .

 

Anyways..

 

Now, when i meditate i feel like the goal of meditation is to constantly realign the body. Look for any flaws that you might feel. Any tensions, misalignment. I like to call it body imperfections. I think it's incredibly important to know what a healthy strong body looks like. (Not what we imagine it as through the ego) But through connecting picturing/imagination of the body and feeling, based on the ability to perform different things such as walking, running, sports, working out, etc. One could find what that is if they obsess with knowing what it is.

 

This is obviously not easy because most people are highly desensitized to their bodies. Most likely because they are too "balanced". They don't cause enough damage to the body.

 

Even after playing a ton of sports, i didn't feel or understand my body. (i was highly deficient in conscious or awareness of my body at the time compared to most people i would say. I know this because i was always aware of it, yet felt i couldn't do anything about it)

 

But I am lucky that i found it through catastrophic injury.

 

I don't find it a surprise that almost everyone I've heard talks about exercise in combination with different practices. I'm not saying this is optimal forever. But i almost feel like this is the precursor or the training ground to understand the body. One needs to break it down. And maybe at a certain age or point in life, one learns to recomposite the body. Though obviously most don't take the time to do. We in this forum are doing exponentially more than most.

 

The point i was trying to bring across is that i think there are shortcuts to finding feeling in the body and possibly to reaching higher states of consciousness, if the idea is that consciousness lives in the body.

 

 

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