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Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.

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Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/29/14 12:40 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Jeff Grove 7/29/14 1:27 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Daniel M. Ingram 7/29/14 5:20 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. bernd the broter 3/9/17 4:45 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/29/14 5:27 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/30/14 12:09 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Andreas Thef 7/30/14 2:26 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/30/14 3:13 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Andreas Thef 7/30/14 4:50 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/30/14 6:17 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Tom Tom 7/30/14 2:53 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/30/14 3:16 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/30/14 4:54 AM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Tom Tom 7/30/14 5:21 PM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/30/14 6:17 PM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 7/31/14 4:02 PM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Tom Tom 7/31/14 10:42 PM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 8/1/14 8:31 PM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Dada Kind 8/1/14 9:51 PM
RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine. Matt 0983 8/2/14 4:32 PM
Hi all,

I don't have too many contacts with experienced meditators. I have been to some monasteries (way out bush) and been recommended to this site before by fellow meditators.

I was diagnosed with schizo-typal personality disorder in 2013, which my current psychiatrist changed to schizophrenia. Essentially I have had one drug-induced psychosis, and another psychosis that had no known triggers, it just manifested itself as a part of this disease. I would like you to keep in mind this is a mild disorder in comparison to someone with a chronic form of this illness, and I have insight (meaning I can distinguish reality from my symptoms). I also suffer from a bunch of anxiety and panic attacks.

Well let's get to it. I practice what I believe is called "samatha", my focus is on calming the mind and entering jhana through mindfulness of the breath (to summarize). I've been meditating for about 4 years, but I have taken breaks throughout those years.

Anyway I've been getting back into the practice again and really enjoying it and averaging about 1 hour of meditation per day (30 mins morning/night). I decided to try out some binaural / isochronic tones recommended to me by someone and found them very effective. My concentration was better and I found it easier to relax in general (I tend to be pretty high strung).

Well here comes the strange part, I got into a rather deep state (for my personal experience), and well... basically I had an orgasm up my spinal column... :S

I'm a little concerned. What is this? Is it dangerous for someone with schizophrenia? I don't want to end up with a kundalini crises or something like that!

Thanks for any help!!!

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/29/14 1:27 AM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Hi Matt,
Welcome to the forum
The experience you describe is very common, and nothing to worry about. It is very typical at the arising and passing stage. It would help to familiarize yourself with the territory, read Dan's book for some insight into the stages. My son has recently been diagnosed with szchophernia brought on by smoking pot, one thing I have observed is that his reality can be different then mine so it is important to have that trust in someone to listen when the illness is affecting you. The problem that I could foresee is that with the a+p there can be a huge increase in energy and this energy will create feeling feed thoughts. There are also stages that follow the a+p, dissolution, fear, terror, disgust called the dark night that can be destabilising. If there is any concern slow down and take up some physical exercise to redirect some of that energy
Cheers
Jeff

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/29/14 5:20 AM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Orgasm up the spine: basically classic A&P stuff. Check out the stage of the Arising and Passing Away. Watch for what comes next: read the book section called The Progress of Insight in Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha. Read the whole section. Let us know how it goes.

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
3/9/17 4:45 AM as a reply to Matt 0983.
According to this source (which I found via wikipedia), Metta can help against symptoms of Schizophrenia.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jclp.20591/abstract

Apart from that:
Somewhere on this board is a giant thread about meditating with mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia. Maybe that helps.

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/29/14 5:27 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Yes I have found the thread about meditating with mental illness and am about to read through it.

thankyou for the replies this is very reassuring. I'm going to read further into this A&P process!

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 12:09 AM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Although I'm quite new to all these terms, such as "arising and passing away", I do find it interesting that some of these a&p symptoms can potentially be a manifestation of subconscious processes...

I also find it interesting that these a&p symptoms resemble some of the symptoms I experienced in psychosis, suggesting that perhaps in some cases psychotic episodes can be related to a dysfunctional opening between the realm of the subconscious and conscious mind? Who really knows though.

Great! Thanks for the helpful replies guys. That thread on mental illness and the practice of intensive meditation is a great tool/resource for understanding how my mind will react to the coming influences/changes/insights etc. Assuming I keep the practice up of course.

Thanks Daniel for making the book free, it highlights your intentions. Do you accept donations? I think the book will be a brilliant resource for the journey through these meditative states and insights and would like to show my appreciation for that.

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 2:26 AM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Hello Matt,

I think one of the greatest things about Daniel's book is the message that this journey can be kind of fun even in its darker moments. All the more because they sometimes inevitably come up in one form or another. This notion of crisis as not just being a threat but as some kind of rite of passage has helped me tremendously in my psychotherapy, meditation and in my day to day life. I think it's very important to keep that outlook alive by reading, contemplating and so forth.

Also keep in mind that there are a lot of things that can help to balance you out (for me I suspect it's spinal breathing and TREs). I'm by no means an expert but I would recommend everyone with psychological issues to find some techniques and ressources for this. You can find some of these in the numerous articles and videos out there on the dark night and how to deal with it (e.g. one is the Cheetah House). I think it's good to be prepared even if it does not hit you. BTW, have you seen the TED talk by Eleanor Longden on her journey out of Schizophrenia? It's worth watching.

Another thing I found very helpful is my diet and lifestyle. It had an enormous impact on my social anxiety, panic attacks and OCD. And I suspect some of these came from a too sugar, alcohol and allergens laden diet (I have gliadin, lactose and histamine intolerance). I do great on a paleo diet and symptoms have greatly diminished with that. I've seen similar results with people with other psychological issues, among the schizophrenia and autism. Daily walks in nature, doing body work etc. also seem to help when intensity of psychological issues rises.

Psychotherapy as you do already is something I would also highly recommend. Talking to someone who knows about your condition and has no fear to accompany you (very important!) can be very helpful to get through the valleys of life. If it is someone who knows something about spiritual development and does not stigmatize the accompanying symptoms as mere pathology - even better.

Keep up the great courageous work and let us know how you are doing!

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 2:53 AM as a reply to Matt 0983.
That thread on mental illness and the practice of intensive meditation is a great tool/resource for understanding how my mind will react to the coming influences/changes/insights etc. Assuming I keep the practice up of course.


I take it you're referring to the thread I wrote here?

I just edited the title to say "Dharma practice and mental health / bipolar disorder / schizophrenia since it previously only said "bipolar disorder" which is inaccurate since the illness transitioned to schizophrenia and that is already reflected in the content of the thread.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.  

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 3:13 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Great, thanks for these resources Andreas, I'm excited to check them out. Yes, relaxing is something I certainly need to do more of!

I'll do my best to keep the forum updated on how I go with the process and my mental health.

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 3:16 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
That thread on mental illness and the practice of intensive meditation is a great tool/resource for understanding how my mind will react to the coming influences/changes/insights etc. Assuming I keep the practice up of course.


I take it you're referring to the thread I wrote here?

I just edited the title to say "Dharma practice and mental health / bipolar disorder / schizophrenia since it previously only said "bipolar disorder" which is inaccurate since the illness transitioned to schizophrenia and that is already reflected in the content of the thread.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.  

----

Yes that is indeed the thread I was referring too! Great resource, indeed this is somewhat of a frontier...

At this point I have alot of reading and experiencing to do, and as such don't have many questions formulated just yet. Knowing I can continue safely for now is enough and having a wealth of information to get through will help me better understand the whole process.

Great to see you still active on the forum, I figured it would be an old thread... I would certainly appreciate the ablity to ask you any questions in the near or distant future if that is ok with you?

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 4:50 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Andreas Thef:
Also keep in mind that there are a lot of things that can help to balance you out (for me I suspect it's spinal breathing and TREs)...

Just wanted to add that some spinal breathing techniques could possibly worsen kundalini-related and psychological symptoms. However the one linked above is claimed by some to have a balancing effect.

With the TREs I'm not sure how that feels for someone with schizophrenic symptoms as the tremors the TREs produce are more or less involuntary. In a certain sense this a schizophrenic situation (maybe in a more lax sense of the word). I don't know if that's something that can add to the symptoms or can actually balance and mitigate them. But they have definitely helped me to trust the process and my body more and let things happen. Whatever techniques you choose, it's probably a good idea to share and discuss them with your therapist.

Just some words of caution.

Best,
Andreas

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 4:54 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
That thread on mental illness and the practice of intensive meditation is a great tool/resource for understanding how my mind will react to the coming influences/changes/insights etc. Assuming I keep the practice up of course.


I take it you're referring to the thread I wrote here?

I just edited the title to say "Dharma practice and mental health / bipolar disorder / schizophrenia since it previously only said "bipolar disorder" which is inaccurate since the illness transitioned to schizophrenia and that is already reflected in the content of the thread.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.  


Is it possible we could have a chat over something more private? Email perhaps?

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 6:17 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Andreas Thef:
Andreas Thef:
Also keep in mind that there are a lot of things that can help to balance you out (for me I suspect it's spinal breathing and TREs)...

Just wanted to add that some spinal breathing techniques could possibly worsen kundalini-related and psychological symptoms. However the one linked above is claimed by some to have a balancing effect.

With the TREs I'm not sure how that feels for someone with schizophrenic symptoms as the tremors the TREs produce are more or less involuntary. In a certain sense this a schizophrenic situation (maybe in a more lax sense of the word). I don't know if that's something that can add to the symptoms or can actually balance and mitigate them. But they have definitely helped me to trust the process and my body more and let things happen. Whatever techniques you choose, it's probably a good idea to share and discuss them with your therapist.

Just some words of caution.

Best,
Andreas


Thanks I appreciate the concern. Yeah I will check them out with caution indeed, it can be easy to exacerbate my symptoms and even this experience of a&p is a bit worrying as the changes in brain chemistry (and whatever else) are quite profound (ime).

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 5:21 PM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Matt 0983:
Tom Tom:
That thread on mental illness and the practice of intensive meditation is a great tool/resource for understanding how my mind will react to the coming influences/changes/insights etc. Assuming I keep the practice up of course.


I take it you're referring to the thread I wrote here?

I just edited the title to say "Dharma practice and mental health / bipolar disorder / schizophrenia since it previously only said "bipolar disorder" which is inaccurate since the illness transitioned to schizophrenia and that is already reflected in the content of the thread.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.  


Is it possible we could have a chat over something more private? Email perhaps?

Sure thing! My e-mail address is vitale(two numerical zeroes typed here without the parentheses)   gmail.com.

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/30/14 6:17 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Thankyou

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/31/14 4:02 PM as a reply to Matt 0983.
While I have every intention of reading the book! I'm pretty flat out at the moment and going through somewhat of a minor relapse too which needs to be sorted out.

I was wondering if anyone give me a summary, or could direct me to the section / place where I could learn about insight, how to develop it, where to apply it.

I have been exposed to thai theravada / forest tradition quite a bit and basically all they say is once you develop jhana it comes naturally? I've also got a book on calming the mind and discerning the real based on non-tantric tibetan buddhism which I'm also excited to read, but as mentioned pretty busy right now.

If someone could give me a brief description I'd appreciate it!

---

Well I'll also give what is my basic understanding of it so far. Essentially when you have stabilised your meditation in the jhana (samatha), with the knowledge of the sufferings (impermanence, attachment etc), you can essentially contemplate, or direct your mind to contemplate certain objects, such as pores of the skin, a rotting corpse etc. which then leads to the deeply changing insight / realization which leads to letting go of these attachments and essentially the idea of the self.

So assuming that is correct? The best thing for me to do now would be to gain a thorough understanding of the knowledge of the sufferings, and the meditation objects used in insight contemplation?

Again the help and welcoming here is very much appreciated.

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
7/31/14 10:42 PM as a reply to Matt 0983.
So assuming that is correct? The best thing for me to do now would be to gain a thorough understanding of the knowledge of the sufferings, and the meditation objects used in insight contemplation?

It seems to me that the next thing you should do is acquire a solid technical understtanding of the difference between samatha and vipassana, an understaning that is independent of a person's opinion.  People have differing opinions on what level of concentration constitutes jhana, whether jhanas distract from awakening, whether jhanas help with awakening, etc...Jhana is a legitimate path to awakening as well as "dry insight" which means the absence of samatha jhana.  However, it's a difficult understanding since samatha and vipassana are two sides of the same coin and while you can change the percentages of samatha to vipassana (say, 80% samatha and 20% vipassana), technically one is never completely without the other.

First understand the difference between "samatha jhanas" and "vipassana jhanas."  They are the same territory, but there is a huge experiential difference between them.  Understand the difference between states and stages, but also understand that the stages traverse through the jhanic states.

MCTB ("Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book") is very good at clearing all the confusion away regarding the difference between vipassana and samatha, but it's difficult to point you to any chapter or specific section in the book that does this.  It's an understaning that would best come from reading the entire book  However, if I had to provide an answer I would say read the section on "concentration vs. insight," samatha jhanas ("concentration states") and then the chapter on the progress of insight.  After these two chapters read the section on the "vipassana jhanas" and then the section on "Bill (Hamilton's) Model."  You can read all of these online in the wiki by clicking this link and scrolling to the "mastery" section: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB/en






RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
8/1/14 8:31 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Great, thanks once again, this gives me a quick starting point.

I've read a few chapters - relating to insight and a&p/dark night. Obviously I need to allocate the time to sit down and give it a solid read, which I will definitely do.

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
8/1/14 9:51 PM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Bioenergetically, schizophrenics can be characterized by a severe lack of grounding and a 'splitting' of the body. It's as if there's an energetic barrier between the limbs and trunk. I recommend at first sticking to body awareness exercises (like bodyscanning), doing outer sensory awareness (Shinzen Young's 'focus out' where you focus on the physical feeling of the body, the outer sounds, and the outer visual field), and doing some physical grounding work. Just increasing the sense of stability of your legs and feet will have surprising effects on your psychological grounding. A simple start is getting a foot roller, and stretching your feet, toes, and ankles; typically these will be tight with a schizophrenic. Here's a simple exercise you can try for increasing the sense of grounding:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and facing forward (even if you feel slightly pidgeon-toed), bend your knees slightly, place one hand on your lower back while focusing on relaxing it, breathe with your stomach, and then focus on the feeling of your legs and your feet making firm, even contact with the ground. If you're open to such things, visualize your feet facilitating your direct energetic connection with 'Mother Earth', nature, so on. A few minutes will do.

I dunno if any of this is mentioned in the Bipolar/Schizophrenia thread but I intend to make a more detailed post about it in its own thread or in the Reichian thread but I figured you can benefit from it now. I have more bioenergetic-meditative schizophrenic-specific advice if you're interested.

Good luck emoticon

RE: Schizophrenia, meditation and energy up the spine.
Answer
8/2/14 4:32 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
So assuming that is correct? The best thing for me to do now would be to gain a thorough understanding of the knowledge of the sufferings, and the meditation objects used in insight contemplation?

It seems to me that the next thing you should do is acquire a solid technical understtanding of the difference between samatha and vipassana, an understaning that is independent of a person's opinion.  People have differing opinions on what level of concentration constitutes jhana, whether jhanas distract from awakening, whether jhanas help with awakening, etc...Jhana is a legitimate path to awakening as well as "dry insight" which means the absence of samatha jhana.  However, it's a difficult understanding since samatha and vipassana are two sides of the same coin and while you can change the percentages of samatha to vipassana (say, 80% samatha and 20% vipassana), technically one is never completely without the other.

First understand the difference between "samatha jhanas" and "vipassana jhanas."  They are the same territory, but there is a huge experiential difference between them.  Understand the difference between states and stages, but also understand that the stages traverse through the jhanic states.

MCTB ("Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book") is very good at clearing all the confusion away regarding the difference between vipassana and samatha, but it's difficult to point you to any chapter or specific section in the book that does this.  It's an understaning that would best come from reading the entire book  However, if I had to provide an answer I would say read the section on "concentration vs. insight," samatha jhanas ("concentration states") and then the chapter on the progress of insight.  After these two chapters read the section on the "vipassana jhanas" and then the section on "Bill (Hamilton's) Model."  You can read all of these online in the wiki by clicking this link and scrolling to the "mastery" section: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB/en





Yeah, I can't explain why but I have much more affinity with samatha practice and just wouldn't find the enjoyment or inspiration to practice dry insight. I understand though that insight is a highly important aspect of samatha practice and totally agree with this, now that I am reaching access concentration which is crossing over to A&P, I believe it is time I become well-versed in the understanding and application of insight.

I have a general understanding of samatha jhanas, but no idea whatsoever what a vipassana jhana is! This will obviously come with reading Dan's book. Again, I have limited understanding on the stages, but I am thirsty for this knowledge hehe.

Got up nice and early this morning, unfortunately dosed off in my meditation but got to read a number of the first sections of the book. Really liking it. I don't want to be consfused with a new age connotation, but the book is really 'resonating' with me. I just highly agree with what Dan is saying about the practices etc, it's giving me new insight and understanding, some sections are simply emotionally moving, and he just puts it in an easy to understand and straightforward way.

Good fortune I was directed to this site emoticon