Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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ashley72
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by ashley72 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:05 am

Fore,

Ive be at this for about 6-7 years intensely. I've read and researched just about everything out there related to anxiety disorders.

Exposure therapy is the only sure cure for overcoming avoidance-safety behaviors that are inappropriate responses to otherwise benign stimulus.

Over the years I've suffered from panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety, GAD & OCD etc.

The only aspects of the disorder that remains is moderate social anxiety & stage fright.... But each day I recover further & these remnants of the disorder are becoming less of a limitation on my life.

I've cured myself by exposing myself gradually to each feared stimulus until the unpleasant sensations go away.... And repeating until the Amygdala no longer associates that stimulus as a fear or dangerous.

All I can say is it works. It is a gradual recovery. You don't just wake up without any irrational fear responses. But you understand what you need to do in order to recover gradually with increased exposure each day. I'm living proof that it works and will continue to preach the benefit of this treatment as a cure. D

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Fore
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by Fore » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:44 am

ashley72 wrote:Exposure therapy is the only sure cure for overcoming avoidance-safety behaviors that are inappropriate responses to otherwise benign stimulus.
Says who?
ashley72 wrote:Over the years I've suffered from panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety, GAD & OCD etc.

The only aspects of the disorder that remains is moderate social anxiety & stage fright.... But each day I recover further & these remnants of the disorder are becoming less of a limitation on my life.
I'm genuinely happy for you, but when these are gone will you be fully enlightened, freed from suffering?
ashley72 wrote: I've cured myself by exposing myself gradually to each feared stimulus until the unpleasant sensations go away.... And repeating until the Amygdala no longer associates that stimulus as a fear or dangerous.


What about the dangers of pleasant sensations, have you done work with craving?

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ashley72
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by ashley72 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:19 am

Fore,

I'm not seeking enlightenment, or 100% freedom from suffering.

I'm just satisfied to to find a cure for OCD, panic, agoraphobia & anxiety disorders, which had stolen my ability to keep & even form new relationships.

There is a big difference between normal suffering and the dysfunction that arises from these specific disorders.

I certainly don't expect to be free of the suffering felt from the lost of a love one... For example.

Some seekers may want that ultimate enlightenment of being at peace 100% of the time, under any circumstance... I for one don't seek this kind of freedom from suffering. My goals are far less lofty. :lol:

Having a healthy dose of gratitude for the miracle of life and a normal amount suffering is all I could wish for. :wink:

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ashley72
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by ashley72 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:45 am

Fore wrote:What about the dangers of pleasant sensations, have you done work with craving?
Most drug addictions, sex addictions or food cravings come from the sufferer wanting to alleviate unpleasant feelings or sensations by countering or opposing it with a thing which produces pleasant feelings or sensations. Again it's avoidance behavior or safety behavior that drives the urge or craving. However, unlike an agoraphobic who runs from a stimulus, in this case there is no identified thing or stimulus to run from, but the unpleasant sensation or feelings themselves.

In sex addiction, a person may feel unpleasant feelings or sensations for no apparent reason and may decide to seek sex as a way of escaping those uncomfortable sensations by replacing them with more pleasant feelings or sensations. Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle just like agoraphobia... As the sufferer is usually racked with guilt once the sex is over. This is how the sex addiction reinforces itself. The sex addict goes back for more sex to alleviate those unpleasant feelings or sensations again. A positive feedback loop forms. :wink:

The only way to break free of a sex addiction is to stop using sex as a way of alleviating those unpleasant sensations. You need to stay with the unpleasant sensations until it goes away.

Operant (reward based learning) & classical (paired) conditioning is why the sufferer has thoughts of seeking sex (cravings) when the unpleasant sensations arise.

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Fore
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by Fore » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:49 pm

ashley72 wrote:I'm not seeking enlightenment, or 100% freedom from suffering.
Yes, you are.
ashley72 wrote:I'm just satisfied to to find a cure for OCD, panic, agoraphobia & anxiety disorders, which had stolen my ability to keep & even form new relationships.
No, your not.
ashley72 wrote:There is a big difference between normal suffering and the dysfunction that arises from these specific disorders.
What? The level of clinging.
ashley72 wrote:I certainly don't expect to be free of the suffering felt from the lost of a love one... For example.
Oh, is this an acceptable time to experience an anxiety attack? Are the felt sensations different in this situation?
ashley72 wrote:Some seekers may want that ultimate enlightenment of being at peace 100% of the time, under any circumstance... I for one don't seek this kind of freedom from suffering. My goals are far less lofty. :lol:
Enlightenment is not being at peace 100% of the time, it is simply accepting this moment fully, as it presents itself from moment to moment.
ashley72 wrote:Having a healthy dose of gratitude for the miracle of life and a normal amount suffering is all I could wish for. :wink:
Whats a normal amount suffering?
ashley72 wrote:Most drug addictions, sex addictions or food cravings come from the sufferer wanting to alleviate unpleasant feelings or sensations by countering or opposing it with a thing which produces pleasant feelings or sensations. Again it's avoidance behavior or safety behavior that drives the urge or craving. However, unlike an agoraphobic who runs from a stimulus, in this case there is no identified thing or stimulus to run from, but the unpleasant sensation or feelings themselves.
There is no difference Ashley, the drug addict and the agrophobic's thoughts are multiplying their misery.
ashley72 wrote:In sex addiction, a person may feel unpleasant feelings or sensations for no apparent reason and may decide to seek sex as a way of escaping those uncomfortable sensations by replacing them with more pleasant feelings or sensations. Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle just like agoraphobia... As the sufferer is usually racked with guilt once the sex is over. This is how the sex addiction reinforces itself. The sex addict goes back for more sex to alleviate those unpleasant feelings or sensations again. A positive feedback loop forms. :wink:
Again, the individuals thoughts are producing sensations and the old habit of blind reaction is occurring.
ashley72 wrote:The only way to break free of a sex addiction is to stop using sex as a way of alleviating those unpleasant sensations. You need to stay with the unpleasant sensations until it goes away.
Simply doing this will not prevent this from reoccurring, one may develop an unhealthy attitude towards sex and simply develop a new condition. Developing loving kindness towards our sensations will slowly change the way we think of these sensations, this will also effect ones vibrational frequency. Lets say you are like a radio receiver, capable of receiving stations from hell to the highest heavenly realms. What kind of music do you want to listen to? The thoughts you create are linked to a vibrational frequency, they will simply produce music from the corresponding station. If we want to listen to heavenly music but we keep having hellish thoughts, well you get the picture.

As we learn to simply accept the music we are generating at this moment without trying to change it, simply accepting it. We will raise the vibrational frequency, and the music will begin to change, it will become more peaceful and harmonious. While listening to this peaceful and harmonious music, an old thought pattern may occur, this may be an old though regarding sex addiction. For a moment the music will change and we will experience some music that is less peaceful, less harmonious. At this point is where insight occurs, and can lead to permanent change, one actually feels the music change with the associated thought. The old thoughts are much less attractive and much easier to let go of.

As ones practice matures, their taste in music is naturally of a higher frequency, and the old habitual thought patterns fall away. Ones preference in music becomes subtler and subtler, until a point is reached when even the subtlest heavenly music is unattractive, as the frequency rises to even subtler levels the music will stop playing.....

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ashley72
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by ashley72 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:39 pm

Tuning into vibrational energies?

No thanks... I'm seeking more pragmatic goals... like simply staying in each scary situation (perceived danger) until your fears subside. That way, you’ll learn that the feelings won’t hurt you and they do go away.

Sufferers that resist specific things usually deploy safety behaviours to escape the unpleasant feeling or sensation that comes with the fear response. That just doesn't work but in fact makes the fear conditioning more potent.

BTW, I'm not seeking your definition of enlightenment either -which is to be fully present in each moment. I aren't bothered if I get caught up in my thoughts from time to time.... and don't care if I get angry sometimes or even sad. I see that as just being human.

Irrational fears that limit relationships and experience is what I'm trying to cure.

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Fore
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by Fore » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:29 am

Okee-doke Ashley.

Kind regards,
Fore

davidm
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by davidm » Sat May 24, 2014 5:06 am

ashley72 wrote:Observing the mind to overcome anxiety didn't work for me. The reason being is the Amygdala (sub cortical part of the brain) actually hijacks the prefrontal cortex during a fear response... a purely physical response overrides our thinking mind, causing a freeze/fight/flee response.

My behaviour was to flee, which reinforces the stimulus to a stronger Amygdala response the next time the stimulus is encountered. It's a vicious cycle or positive feedback loop of learned behaviour & operant conditioning

By understanding that the Amygdala response can only be altered by exposure and staying with the stimulus until the unpleasant sensations go away... Is the way to break the pattern of fear conditioning.
Because I'd like to read up on this stuff, where did you get this knowledge? I believe I attained a terrible anxiety disorder based on the flee response that might have been related to trying to be present and watching the thinker. My mind runs away from itself each and every millisecond. It's awful. It's like I fled deeper and deeper into dissociation because i thought my mind to be so "eviley" and "egoic". If I can just relax to some extent for one day and not run away from objects of awareness, I'd be grateful.

davidm
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by davidm » Sat May 24, 2014 6:02 am

davidm wrote:
ashley72 wrote:Observing the mind to overcome anxiety didn't work for me. The reason being is the Amygdala (sub cortical part of the brain) actually hijacks the prefrontal cortex during a fear response... a purely physical response overrides our thinking mind, causing a freeze/fight/flee response.

My behaviour was to flee, which reinforces the stimulus to a stronger Amygdala response the next time the stimulus is encountered. It's a vicious cycle or positive feedback loop of learned behaviour & operant conditioning

By understanding that the Amygdala response can only be altered by exposure and staying with the stimulus until the unpleasant sensations go away... Is the way to break the pattern of fear conditioning.
Because I'd like to read up on this stuff, where did you get this knowledge? I believe I attained a terrible anxiety disorder based on the flee response that might have been related to trying to be present and watching the thinker. My mind runs away from itself each and every millisecond. It's awful. It's like I fled deeper and deeper into dissociation because i thought my mind to be so "eviley" and "egoic". If I can just relax to some extent for one day and not run away from objects of awareness, I'd be grateful.
Is depersonalization ever a result of spiritual "accidents"? I have heard that this disorder takes an average of eleven years to overcome. I got myself involved with inner work to cure misery but not to create several different tormenting disorders. It seems thats whats happened.

goran
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by goran » Sat May 24, 2014 6:51 am

Here's an essay I wrote that might be useful.

Enlightenment: What It Is And How To Get It: http://www.uncoveringlife.com/enlightenment-what-it-is
http://www.uncoveringlife.com – Enlightenment Starts Here

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ashley72
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by ashley72 » Sat May 24, 2014 7:42 am

davidm wrote:
davidm wrote:
ashley72 wrote:Observing the mind to overcome anxiety didn't work for me. The reason being is the Amygdala (sub cortical part of the brain) actually hijacks the prefrontal cortex during a fear response... a purely physical response overrides our thinking mind, causing a freeze/fight/flee response.

My behaviour was to flee, which reinforces the stimulus to a stronger Amygdala response the next time the stimulus is encountered. It's a vicious cycle or positive feedback loop of learned behaviour & operant conditioning

By understanding that the Amygdala response can only be altered by exposure and staying with the stimulus until the unpleasant sensations go away... Is the way to break the pattern of fear conditioning.
Because I'd like to read up on this stuff, where did you get this knowledge? I believe I attained a terrible anxiety disorder based on the flee response that might have been related to trying to be present and watching the thinker. My mind runs away from itself each and every millisecond. It's awful. It's like I fled deeper and deeper into dissociation because i thought my mind to be so "eviley" and "egoic". If I can just relax to some extent for one day and not run away from objects of awareness, I'd be grateful.
Is depersonalization ever a result of spiritual "accidents"? I have heard that this disorder takes an average of eleven years to overcome. I got myself involved with inner work to cure misery but not to create several different tormenting disorders. It seems thats whats happened.
David,

You can recover fully from a nervous illness if you learn how to correct the problem.

Basically a nervous sufferer is continually being tricked into treating otherwise neutral stimuli as "dangerous". This is the 1st order of the condition. Sufferers can sometimes suffer from a 2nd order of nervous illness. This is when the sufferer treats the nervous response as "dangerous" as well. This causes a positive feedback loop of nervousness. :?

This is how a typical positive feedback of anxiety looks like... Try and understand this positive feedback mechanism as it will help you expose yourself slowly to fear triggers and start the recovering process.

Image

Nervous sufferers usually use safety behaviors or avoidance to combat a nervous illness. This is part of how the anxiety trick works to keep the sufferer stuck. This also limits their life greatly and can lead to depersonalizations or de-sensitization disorders... which are acute forms of anxiety. Sometimes the sufferer will feel like their going crazy or losing their mind. It can be extremely terrifying states of mind. I actually experienced these states 5 years ago and have now recovered fully. Don't despair. You can be fully treated with proper knowledge and exposure to the nervous triggers.

This website is an excellent resource http://www.anxietycoach.com

davidm
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Re: Seeking Advice From Those That Have Found Truth

Post by davidm » Sat May 24, 2014 11:36 pm

Sometimes the sufferer will feel like their going crazy or losing their mind. It can be extremely terrifying states of mind. I actually experienced these states 5 years ago and have now recovered fully. Don't despair. You can be fully treated with proper knowledge and exposure to the nervous triggers.

This website is an excellent resource http://www.anxietycoach.com
Thanks so much. It's very relieving to hear that you've been through similar things and recovered.

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