Is meditation a healing process ?

Topics related to physical, emotional and psychological forms of pain and suffering

Is meditation a healing process ?

Postby Phil2 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:12 am

Following our recent discussions about the nature of meditation, it appears more and more clearly that meditation is a healing process.

The key to understanding of ourselves lies in the unblocking of our repression mechanisms, which is our 'defense system' that protects us against our emotional pains (which is also what we call 'ego'). In other words our past wounds and conflicts are hidden, they remain unconscious. However those past memories operate unconsciously, in the darkness, and contribute to all kinds of mental disorders like anxiety, depression, stress and even some kinds of schizophrenia or paranoia in the worst cases ...

As long as those memories are not made conscious those unconscious memories will continue to operate and create havoc in our lives.


“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
- C.G. Jung

What happens in meditation is this: those old memories come back to our mind in the form of compulsive thoughts and emotions ... those thoughts cannot be escaped during meditation, painful situations must be relived consciously without any possibility of repression ... this is why it is important not to repress thoughts during meditation, but also they must not be fed or resisted ... and this is also why meditation is so hard for some people who cannot face their old wounds from their past ...

In this process we unblock those old memories and make the unconscious conscious.

Meditation becomes a healing process of self knowledge.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” Carl Jung
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Is meditation a healing process ?

Postby karmarider » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:48 am

Makes sense.

Meditation generally is self-observation, and in my experience, becoming more conscious, becoming clearer, moving away from fear and towards love--this has been a process of observation (meditation) and letting go (unblocking) and self-honesty.

The last Jung quote has been important in my experience. To face up to fear and what is negative in me, has been much more effective than to reach for positive-sounding spiritual beliefs.

What's interesting to me is that the process you describe, at least in my experience, has been a logical and practical process. Specialized methods have been helpful (Who-am-I self-inquiry, releasing, self-honesty, observation, and so on). That is, beliefs have not been required, and letting go of beliefs (to the extent that I had been able to) has been helpful.

But there is a point at which, in my experience, it has been necessary to adopt beliefs and knowledge, and there isn't always a logical explanation for the beliefs. Ideas about oneness, and that there is only consciousness, free will, deliberate creation, fall into this category. The possibility of these ideas is logical (the universe occurs in consciousness and so everything which can be conceived is allowable), but I cannot prove the truth of any of these particular beliefs, and yet I believe them to be true.
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Re: Is meditation a healing process ?

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:17 pm

Phil of Belgium,

What kind of "meditation" are you talking about?

On the cushion formal meditation? Off the cushion choiceless awareness or presence? Something else entirely?
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Re: Is meditation a healing process ?

Postby Phil2 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:33 pm

rachMiel wrote:
What kind of "meditation" are you talking about?

On the cushion formal meditation? Off the cushion choiceless awareness or presence? Something else entirely?


I'm speaking here of formal meditation, but not necessarily on a cushion, you can practice this sitting quietly on a chair or a sofa, or even lying in your bed (though not recommended as you can easily fall asleep), the physical position is not very important ... what is important is doing nothing, eyes closed and inhabiting and listening to your body (breath, heart, inner energy and tensions ...), watching your thoughts and emotions come and dissolve without following/feeding those thoughts and without repressing them just letting them be ... staying fully aware and attentive ... in presence ... for at least 30 minutes ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Is meditation a healing process ?

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:23 pm

Nice.

I do a similar kind of meditation when I have some emotional problem/block.

The only difference is that I "set the scene" by intentionally calling the problem space to mind: the physical environment associated with it, the feelings, the actions. It's like planting a seed and then waiting to see what germinates.
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Re: Is meditation a healing process ?

Postby Phil2 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:19 am

Phil2 wrote:Following our recent discussions about the nature of meditation, it appears more and more clearly that meditation is a healing process.

The key to understanding of ourselves lies in the unblocking of our repression mechanisms, which is our 'defense system' that protects us against our emotional pains (which is also what we call 'ego'). In other words our past wounds and conflicts are hidden, they remain unconscious. However those past memories operate unconsciously, in the darkness, and contribute to all kinds of mental disorders like anxiety, depression, stress and even some kinds of schizophrenia or paranoia in the worst cases ...

As long as those memories are not made conscious those unconscious memories will continue to operate and create havoc in our lives.


“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
- C.G. Jung

What happens in meditation is this: those old memories come back to our mind in the form of compulsive thoughts and emotions ... those thoughts cannot be escaped during meditation, painful situations must be relived consciously without any possibility of repression ... this is why it is important not to repress thoughts during meditation, but also they must not be fed or resisted ... and this is also why meditation is so hard for some people who cannot face their old wounds from their past ...

In this process we unblock those old memories and make the unconscious conscious.

Meditation becomes a healing process of self knowledge.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” Carl Jung


I come back to the OP and wish to go deeper into this.

I am currently reading a book called "The Mind's Own Physician. A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard Davidson. This book is a transcript of public discussions between scientists and comtemplatives (with the participation of the Dalai Lama) on the healing effects (psychological and physical) of mindful meditation.

One of the participants in the debates is a Christian Trappist (Cistercian) monk Fr. Thomas Keating who developped comtemplative meditation within the Christian faith.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Keating

Here's a short youtube video of Thomas Keating:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uvWDcc5W5s

So I came yesterday upon this statement from Fr. Keating which is totally in line with the OP here:
(I bought the French version of the book, so I re-translate from French, might not be the exact original words):

Fr. Thomas Keating wrote:"Meditation deals with the unconscious and all the emotional jumble which has been repressed during a whole life. This repressed stuff is accumulated into the organism and causes all kinds of problems.

...

When we allow the unconscious and the repressed stuff, the ancient emotional traumas, the addictive behaviours and negative motivations to rise (or move up) in consciousness and consequently to be evacuated, we then have access to information of a considerable importance. The body uses the deep stillness offered by meditation as an authorization to clear/evacuate which has no reason to remain stored in our nervous system and muscles It is one of the great sources of health offered by meditation"


Otherwise said the stillness induced by meditation 'unlocks' those harmful repressed memories and frees us from their influence which produces a global healing effect and health improvement, psychologically AND physically ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Is meditation a healing process ?

Postby Phil2 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:04 am

Here's another interesting video from Fr. Keating.

Thomas Keating's Reflections on the Contemplative Dimension of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIDhTv2bopw

@ 2:55 of this video:

'Fr. Keating wrote:"Comtemplation is beginning to be seen in scientific circles as changing the brain or is deeply affecting it, influencing it ... So I think it could be said safely that comtemplation refers to the evolution of the human species ... it hastens the evolution of human species ... so anybody who practices it is influencing and changing the future of the world ..."
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
Phil2
 
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Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:24 pm


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