Hello from Oz!

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Hello from Oz!

Postby sidstrate » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:23 am

Like most I've had a number of challenges in my life. Since the age of 13 I unconsciously endured many self destructive lifestyle habits. In 2007, at the age of 32 I emigrated from Manchester, England to Western Australia with my lovely wife and 2 beautiful girls.

Since about 2011 I have been trying to look after myself a bit more. I have removed a lot of poisons from my life, improved my diet and started doing some exercise. I saw a psychologist for about a year and also read a number of self help books on achievement and happiness which helped a little but never truly hit home. That was until about 6 months ago when I read TPON and then ANE by ET.

Ironically, my mind gets it, I understand the madness of unconscious behaviour but self development is slow, I am aware of small but significant improvements by being present more often. The main improvements regarding my personal well being have been reductions in anxiety and stress levels.

But I am missing the "Now I get it' moment of seeing the truth. To be honest when I hear spiritual teachers like ET and Gangaji talk about a pure state of peace and being aware of everything that is real and seeing past all that is not real, I have to take their word for it.

As a result of browsing this site I read Mindfulness In Plain English by Urban Dharma. So I'm now trying mediation. I've been doing it most nights for about 2 weeks with no results as yet and although it's frustrating, it's early days and I remain optimistic.

Still looking for the truth.
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Re: Hello from Oz!

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:56 am

Welcome to the forum sidstrate. Love your avatar--did one of your girls draw that picture? You'll find that most of us here are struggling with the same issues as you. It's a good place to come and be inspired by other's experiences.
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Re: Hello from Oz!

Postby sidstrate » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:36 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome Kathleen,
Yes, my avatar is an original from my youngest.

This site is great. I live in a small community in a relatively remote West Australian town so there are not too many spiritual gatherings! Being online helps a lot.

It's reassuring to be aware of others who are facing the same challenge - to try and silence our fiendish minds!
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Re: Hello from Oz!

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:25 pm

sidstrate wrote:Thanks for the warm welcome Kathleen,
Yes, my avatar is an original from my youngest.

This site is great. I live in a small community in a relatively remote West Australian town so there are not too many spiritual gatherings! Being online helps a lot.

It's reassuring to be aware of others who are facing the same challenge - to try and silence our fiendish minds!

I love child art! I would rather have a picture like your daughter's on my wall than a lot of the "real" art out there. Look forward to seeing you around the forum...
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/
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Re: Hello from Oz!

Postby Manyana » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:27 pm

Hi Sidstrate, Your daughter's picture really stood out to me too, thinks its the alertness in the eyes. Lovely picture.
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Re: Hello from Oz!

Postby ashley72 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:50 pm

Hi Sidstrate,

My first book that I read on meditation was also "Mindfulness in Plain English" great introductory book.

Probably the most important thing I've learnt over the past few years.... Is don't try fight against your internal world of thoughts and feelings.

Most people suffer from mental disorders when they start performing "behavioural rituals or routines" or use avoidance behaviours to alleviate unwanted or unpleasant sensations or thoughts. This is the primary reason anxiety manifests in suffers. The moment you stop fighting against your internal world, is the moment you will start to recovery.

The mind will actually stop "ruminating" naturally when you stop putting up a fight.

The reason this ruminating happens is because of a built in dysfunction between the cortex and the sub-cortical brain regions. Positive feedback loops arise, a normal part of dualing systems.

In other words, sufferers take steps, rituals & avoidance behaviours, in order to stop unwanted thoughts or feelings... This in turn causes the sub-cortical brain to treat this as "dangerous"... The result is more unwanted thoughts & unpleasant sensations. It causes a positive gain on the two brain regions.

This is why acceptance of unwanted thoughts, and exposure to your unpleasant sensations is so important in recovery. :wink:

The last thing I'd like to say, don't bother looking for a permanent inner stillness... It doesn't exist. Anxiety at normal levels is part of the sub-cortical brain regions normal functioning... It's designed to make you work faster than the cortical brain in times of rapid response. If someone lunges at you with a knife or holds a gun to your head, expect the Amygdala to kick in automatically to get you to act faster than the cortex (rational decisions) can.
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Re: Hello from Oz!

Postby sidstrate » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:32 am

Thanks for the posts guys,

Ashley, you hit home with your comments on fighting against, i think I've been trying too hard to find quiet and peace. I'll take your word on the brian science!

So rather than shutting down the fiendish mind, we are learning to live comfortably in it's presence and as a result, the mind will become more quiet. In that order.

So when I'm conscious (Alone in a quiet place concentrating) I feel that I can grasp the 'is-ness' of feelings and thoughts and happily live with them (At least some of the time). I suspect though that the other 99% of the time (unconscious) I am a serial avoider. So homework for me - Try and look out for when I avoid any unpleasant thoughts and/or feelings. Then try to shine the light of presence on those bad boys!

Effort
Speaking of avoidance, I am conditioned to avoid and procrastinate. It's 9pm, the kids are in bed, do I sit on the veranda and enjoy the peaceful night watching the trees blow in the wind and against the night sky? No, lets watch some crap on TV. It's 6am, an hour spare before needing to get ready, do I go for a nice walk or do some mindful yoga stretches? No, let's jump on my phone/laptop and check facebook/amazon/email/sports news.

ET talks about not waiting for the future because it's in the now and also that presence should take no effort but i increasingly have to rely on self discipline (Not always successfully) to break these habits. I can see why they have those strict Buddhist Monasteries with no FoxSports!
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