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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: ZEN PRACTICES THAT CAN HELP WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
vertical line Posted on Nov.01.2013 @ 06:18AM EDT by Berabouman
--- Hello all. First off I'd like to say that I don't consider myself a Zen aspirant or a practicioner in the traditional sense of the word - i.e that I do not 100% fully or espouse central Zen tenets like say, for instance, non-attachment. That being said, I still find considerable guidance, wisdom and solace from my "incomplete" practice of Zen, and I seek to learn as much as I can from it and others. I have suffered from mental illnesses for the past 18 years or so caused by a variety of events, and I've found Zen practices, especially mindfulness, very useful in gaining some form of clarity and insight into whatever is troubling me. Recently I've begun to read more about Zen and uncovered other things which may help me in my recovery. On the other hand, thought, I am quite worried about using them since I don't have the deep and abiding faith in the nature of Zen which I feel may be needed to do some of the exercises. I'll give an example. I read a commentary on the Lion's Roar (can't find the link right now though) and one comment that struck me was that if one could get into the nature of depression itself, to become it and feel it's texture and essence, than that might not be a negative thing (I'm not quoting verbatim that was just the gist of that particular section) This intriges me and seems like something that I might want to do and that might help. However, it could also be a potentially dangerous thing to do. Which brings me to this post I guess. :) What do you feel about the role of Zen practices in recovery from and treatment of mental illness? Could it help? Should we only do "certain" exercises? What are your feelings and experiences regarding this subject?
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Reply from football
Nov.01.2013
06:34AM EDT 
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vertical line Peace!
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 154985
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Reply from Woodsman
Nov.01.2013
01:51PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line We help ourselves by helping others.  Even helping nature, or the natural world around us, through open observation, of something that is ignored by others but yourself have come to honor makes a deep internal connection that heals our suffering, and opens the door to awakening.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 154986
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Reply from so_teh
Nov.01.2013
07:10PM EDT 
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vertical line Mental illness is ambiguous. Zen and mental health are closely related. If you find you revere psychology, go with psychology. If you find you revere Zen, go with Zen.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 154987
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Reply from leoj99
Nov.02.2013
12:18AM EDT 
vertical line Zen practices like Zazen wil result in a shift of consciousness. Since  you say you are not so stable  you might not be able to handle such shift in consciousness and it could worsen your situation...
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Reply from Berabouman
Nov.02.2013
01:13PM EDT 
vertical line Thanks everyone for your replies! I do try to help myself and others out, but I feel that my ego gets in the way sometimes. I am continuing to work on it and be more mindful of things. Psychology has helped me great, but I feel a resonance with some Zen precepts, though not everything. I'm not sure whether it's 100% zazen, but I do try to sit and have awareness of the breath. In this state, when I experience different things, I try to notice them and be aware without reacting. So far it has helped...is this what you mean?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 154991
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Reply from leoj99
Nov.02.2013
03:00PM EDT 
vertical line Yeah I think that is a good sign and if  you can do that  you are doing well...
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Reply from so_teh
Nov.02.2013
04:03PM EDT 
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vertical line In my personal experience it simply came time for me to sit. I wasn't necessarily enthusiastic about sitting, sitting (Zazen) came as a kind of momentum of my current life energy. It was in accepting this new energy, and new mind in the beginning and finally it's been learning to walk again, this time in whole-steps.
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Reply from leoj99
Nov.02.2013
05:57PM EDT 
vertical line Just sit even without any aim at all.. but in actual practice you have to sit because you have a particular goal .. anything like lowering  your stress levels.. but with patience and in time you have reap more than what you aim for... just do it.. it will train  you to be patient... never mind the dead legs most of t he time..
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Reply from football
Nov.02.2013
06:32PM EDT 
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Quote: "Thanks everyone for your replies! I do try to help myself and others out, but I feel that my ego gets in the way sometimes. I am continuing to work on it and be more mindful of things. Psychology has helped me great, but I feel a resonance with some Zen precepts, though not everything. I'm not sure whether it's 100% zazen, but I do try to sit and have awareness of the breath. In this state, when I experience different things, I try to notice them and be aware without reacting. So far it has helped...is this what you mean? "
.........

very good question

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Reply from so_teh
Nov.06.2013
09:12PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line My personal experience with psychosis was an awakening in itself. It hit me like a lightning bolt. I took the opportunity to transform psychosis into dharma. Recovery wasn't my goal, my mind was charged forever at that point, so my goal was to recreate my life around this new mental process.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 155040
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