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The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?

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The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Chris André 12/20/17 7:55 PM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? shargrol 12/21/17 6:51 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? shargrol 12/21/17 6:54 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? streamsurfer 12/21/17 7:06 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? D. 12/21/17 8:47 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? seth tapper 12/21/17 8:01 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? seth tapper 12/21/17 8:27 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? shargrol 12/21/17 6:15 PM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Ann 12/22/17 5:00 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? shargrol 12/22/17 5:42 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? seth tapper 12/22/17 7:27 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Chris Marti 12/22/17 9:11 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Dream Walker 12/22/17 12:32 PM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? shargrol 12/22/17 2:06 PM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Ann 12/23/17 7:10 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Chris Marti 12/26/17 8:40 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Ann 12/24/17 6:07 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Chris Marti 12/24/17 11:11 AM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Stirling Campbell 12/21/17 5:31 PM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Dream Walker 12/22/17 12:48 PM
RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle? Paul Anthony 12/23/17 10:55 AM
Hello :-)

I'm trying to formulate this awakening-process as some kind of trauma release cycle, and wondered if I could get any comments on this.

I think basically our parents, school-system and society has failed at modeling the most optimal way of relating to phenomena for us, so therefore we get stuck in our heads, neglect what our bodies are telling us, and end up disconnected and traumatized.

The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle:

1. Getting into our bodies (Arising & Passing Away)
2. Getting in touch with all the traumas stored there (Dark Night)
3. Overcoming resistance to these traumas, finding peace with them (Equanimity)
4. Not getting attached, even to the peace of equanimity (Stream Entry)
5. A new cycle can now start as one has learned to release the previous one fully.

Finally one has learned to ride a trauma release all the way to the end. There is an emotional intelligence that comes with that. Some way of relating to our emotions our parents failed at modelling for us.

And now, as we have found a clear way to release it, our bodies are now ready to empty it all out. We can cycle through, again and again.

There is less of a need to separate oneself off from phenomena, as one has now found a more skillful way of relating to the pains and frustrations of life, so the old tendency, to create an observer that splits off from the observed, is not as strong anymore.

Thus one gets even more intimate with whatever is left of karma / trauma stored in the body, and it is released. At some point the need to even split off at all disappears, and finally one feels whole and complete. There can still be dark night / karma / trauma left in the body, but there is no need to split off from it, so it is experienced fully when it is experienced.

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 6:51 AM as a reply to Chris André.
I'm so glad that you wrote this. I think it finally gelled a framework that I've been struggling with... I'm still hashing this out, but here's an attempt.

That there are three domains of development that occur in parallel during meditation practice:

-- cleaning up "psychological pathologies"
-- conventional "adult development"
-- and insights into emptiness/mind nature

These are so intimate with each other that they interact with the other, but making the distinction leads to greater clairity and a better ability to fine-tune practice/teaching.


>>> Ah! And actually what is interesting is different methods under the big category of "meditation" have different emphasis which relate to these three domains...<<<

What you described is basically getting rid of psycholgical pathologies. "Monkey Mind" is basically the mind distancing itself from an intimate experience of the current moment and this is the early phase of practice. We have to intially lose our enchantment with our own mental chattering. (Doesn't have to go away, just lose interest in it). Then there is more subtle repressions/defense mechanisms/layering over traumas. This clearly comes up in meditation practice and it's clear to me that this has been the intention of Buddhism's pointing toward "outflowings" --- the automatic reactive patterns that are running on autopilot and get triggered whenever we encounter a condition that we can't experience with compassion (i.e. fully experience with sensitivity and equanimity). Basically, it initially seems like our sense of personality is going away because we identify with these habitual psychological patterns, but loosening up the knots results in a better expresion of our true personality and unhindered intelligence. This is more of a relating to things as they are, so an "intelligence" domain. So that's all psychological. 

Then there is the stages of ego development, which can be hindered by lots of psychological pathologies, but is a different "context" for holding the sense of identity.  I always point to the Cook-Grueter 9 States of ego development as the best resource I've found. As one loses a backlog of pathologies, an adult is likely to movel along the ego development stages, but this is much more highly influenced by a person's culture. It is very difficult to grow beyond certain stages of indentity without having models or being around people who are at these highest stages of development... because each stage of growth loses a kind of easy certainty about who we are and what is meaningful in life. I don't know what to quite call this, but I would say that this is more of a "wisdom" spectrum, but each stage has it's own wisdom and frankly a good hearted person at a lower stages is better for the world than a pathological higher level person. I think it is probably possible to be psychological "clean" but at different stages of ego development, likewise it's possible to be have advanced ego development but lingering psychological pathologies that overwhem the person -- so you can get evil geniuses, so to speak. In general, however, the further the ego development, the less suffering there is from one's own internal material, but unfortunately one's ego identity can clash with the dominant cultural ego identities... which creates a different kind of suffering, a feeling of being on the fringe, so to speak.

Then the third aspect is the domain of mediation, and like it or not, it's all about the emptiness of mind nature. Like I said, the other aspects dominate what happens in meditation, but meditation investigates mind nature in a way that goes beyond these domains. One way I would say it is that there is a kind of "optimizing" that occurs in the previous two domains. Meditation seems to go beyond finding states in which "one feels whole and complete". Meditation recognizes that too as a "state" of being, which has characteristics and an experiential "tone". And people who go really deep into meditation are curious about that and "what recognizes/experiences this state?" This leads into very very subtle investigatons, really below the domain of words/ego identity and prior to fully development psychological pathologies, and teases apart a very subtle knot of suffering/identity. The same language of psychology and ego development can be used to explain this, but really there aren't words for this and there certainly isn't external authority for this. It's a very personal investigation and oddly enough, everyone's awakening looks slightly different, even though there is a kind of universality that makes it possible for it to be recognized. 

The interesting thing about awakening is while the person has to be fairly psychologically clean and ego developed, they don't need to be fully so. So this is why you get all the fucked-up guru/teachers. I think it's a losing battle to argue, "oh you don't know mind nature" because they might, but it is not the point. So it's much more direct to say: hey fucked-up guru/teacher you are psychological regressed and at a low stage of ego development and so you think criminal actions are okay. We're going to treat you like any other criminal, into the courtroom and the prision you go. You see what I mean? This would be a case where the meditation domain is much more advanced than the psycological and ego development and being clear about this makes things much easier to understand.


Okay, that was a quick bunch of typing. I'm definitely interested in feedback.


Adding on... So the one thing that this helps me understand is I find that pursuing meditation to the exclusion or as a work-around for the other psycholgical and ego development is pretty much a failure. If you want psychological clarity, be clear on that and focus on it. (Meditation methods can be used, but focus on psychology aspect of it). If you want ego development, be clear on that (yes, meditation methods can be used for this, but focus on the ego development aspect of it.) If you want awakening, make sure you are getting your psychological and ego development together, because what you will wake up to is the psychological and ego development that still needs to be done! emoticon 

Anyway, I hope this helps people think about their practice and why there is a lot of value in really taking a whole body/mind/heart approach to practice rather than strugging to complete something according to someone else model/map. Only you know what is giving you trouble in your life. Honor practices that work on the things you need to work on. Don't blindly follow a method or map. Become your own expert of your own condition and follow a path that makes sense to you.


RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 6:54 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Oh, and I have a request... does anyone know of a good "overview" paper on psychological methods? I tend to use wikipedia for my references, but there might be something like the cook-grueter paper but for psychology that I'm missing. Any leads?

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 7:06 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Wow good thought emoticon
I especially like the idea of  "evil sages", since I know christians, which could be described as limited in ego development in the way of obtaining dogma, holding to it, and not really accepting different worldviews. But on the other hand, these people are a shining light of love on this earth and do really honestly good to their environment.

The question always bothering me is if a stage of insight triggers the relative psychological stuff or vice versa emoticon Personally I had examples for both types of causalities..

@shargrol, what are you looking for exactly? psychotherapeutic methods?

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 8:47 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Other than meditation what allows for 'psychological/ego development'? Does it just happen through life experience or something?

I've progressed massively from the cowardly obsessive-compulsive mess I was 2 years ago but haven't really done anything else except diligently practice meditation(and examine my often shitty behaviour I guess) Which suggests that meditation is the 'battery' that powers psychological development.

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 8:01 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargol, 

I think this is a good 3 stage kind of model, but it is from the "inside" of the mind.  It is how the expereince feels.  From the outside, you can look at it as simply seeing through or releasing conditioning.  Lets take it as a Given that we are just nervous systems that have evolved to misunderstand the world and believe that we are seperate beings with goals, defects, the capacity to experience and create meaning, the capacity to suffer and find love  and to be free or have responsibilities.  These false beliefs have been trained into us by biology and society and the progress of deconditioning the mind takes us through phases where the stories we believe in are less and less delusional.  First we care about our own pain and the meaning we seem to be immersed in. Then we care about society, the ones we love and Justice.  Then we see that the mind is actually empty of meaning.  Then we see that empty, We are one love.   It is a winding down from thinking we are human beings full of import to accepting that we are a pile of atoms or vibrations or just nonsense. 

In reality, my mind has jumped between these ways of looking as I have practiced with the mean mind state slowly moving towards the lastway of seeing.  (if there are more, I dont know about them and in that final state there is no desire to find out, so I dont think I will progress any farther - interested in opinions).  I can force my mind into "higher" - less delusional ways of seeing by getting high.  I can get high on many things, (e.g. drugs, on retreats, on beauty, on love, on laughter, on sex or on concentration meditation. )  I think that people who hit high states of clarity while high on a practice can hit delusional states while immersed in stressful or emotional situations.  (the bad guru syndrome) .  

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 8:27 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
A shorter way of saying this: 

We keep asking ourselves "Why can't I just relax" and we keep getting different, less egocentric answers until we discover. "Fuck, I can relax and there was never any reason not to." 

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 5:31 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol - 

I like what you have there, and how it is arranged. It works with a sort of timeline, where the focus moves from each point, but perhaps never completely leaves any of them.

I've always appreciated your posts here. emoticon

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/21/17 6:15 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
I think this is a good 3 stage kind of model, but it is from the "inside" of the mind. 

Just to make sure I made my point clear: this is a 3 overlapping domains model, not any statement about sequential stages. (Which is what I think of when something is characterized as a 3 stage model.)

Basically, the "turning toward" ill will/suffering/resistance/discomfort causes progress in all three domains (faster developmental feedback loop), yet each domain can be distinguished if you want to optimize for one.

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/22/17 5:00 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
seth tapper:
I think this is a good 3 stage kind of model, but it is from the "inside" of the mind. 

Just to make sure I made my point clear: this is a 3 overlapping domains model, not any statement about sequential stages. (Which is what I think of when something is characterized as a 3 stage model.)

Basically, the "turning toward" ill will/suffering/resistance/discomfort causes progress in all three domains (faster developmental feedback loop), yet each domain can be distinguished if you want to optimize for one.
Ultimately, what is the point of all this development? In my opinion, to become capable of continuously more skillful compassion. And so there really is no distinct end point and we can always find a place to work even if it is simply refinement rather than big leaps. 

I really like this approach of parallel but interconnected processes. By framing it as three domains, this allows people to focus their efforts wherever they can make the most difference at any given time. It seems better to take longer on the path of insight and develop in a balanced way than bypass salient psychological/emotional issues and risk a path to mad guruhood or other unfortunate outcomes. Compassion has an intelligence, if we listen to it, and this can allow us to see those aspects of our selves and our lives that most need our attention. 

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/22/17 5:42 AM as a reply to Ann.
Well said A.

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/22/17 7:27 AM as a reply to shargrol.
In my experience it has been pretty sequential, not only this then only that but mostly this and then mostly that.  You didnt experience it that way?  

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/22/17 9:11 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I'll weigh in, too - I didn't experience things sequentially. I believe a 3 pronged framework has a lot of value and does indeed give us more choice about how to navigate. I think we'd all like the path to be simpler and sequential because it's easier to grok that way, but it's like everything else - more complicated and occuring in parallel.

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/22/17 12:32 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I'll weigh in, too - I didn't experience things sequentially. I believe a 3 pronged framework has a lot of value and does indeed give us more choice about how to navigate. I think we'd all like the path to be simpler and sequential because it's easier to grok that way, but it's like everything else - more complicated and occuring in parallel.
I'll put my 2 cents in too,
I tend to like to project upon 3 - wisdom stuff/paths will fix the 1- psychological and 2- development (morality)

1 -- cleaning up "psychological crap"
2 -- conventional "adult development"
3 -- and insights into emptiness/mind nature

I have found the opposite to be true over and over. Whatever you are projecting upon enlightenment stages, needs to be addressed first to get that specific goal.
I am currently working upon the next to last "noisey process" that has to do with the heart center to get the next shift. Again, back to psychology and a bit of diety hacking to clean up that stored trauma, otherwise I cant keep quiet enough to stablize the previews.
Sigh, so much work in so many ways to "get" it.
lol
~D

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/22/17 12:48 PM as a reply to Chris André.

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/22/17 2:06 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:

Whatever you are projecting upon enlightenment stages, needs to be addressed first to get that specific goal.


Nice, well said!

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/23/17 7:10 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I'll weigh in, too - I didn't experience things sequentially. I believe a 3 pronged framework has a lot of value and does indeed give us more choice about how to navigate. I think we'd all like the path to be simpler and sequential because it's easier to grok that way, but it's like everything else - more complicated and occuring in parallel.
That's the thing--any model will by its very nature be reductive and simpler than what actually occurs. Models are lies that help us see the truth, the map is not the territory, etc. Humans are complex, dynamic systems and awakening occurs over the course of years, decades. There's a lot going on! 

But if the goal is for people to become highly functional agents of compassion, it makes sense to help meditators address at least their most problematic psychosocial issues early on so they make better life decisions and aren't effectively hamstrung by their circumstances once they wake up. 

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/23/17 10:55 AM as a reply to Chris André.
I do agree that the progress of insight cycles resemble, at least superficially, the cycles that are often seen in exposure-based trauma work. There's probably something to it. We may not know enough about trauma yet to really pin it down, IMHO. 

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/26/17 8:40 AM as a reply to Ann.
But if the goal is for people to become highly functional agents of compassion, it makes sense to help meditators address at least their most problematic psychosocial issues early on so they make better life decisions and aren't effectively hamstrung by their circumstances once they wake up. 

Heck yes. Thanks, A.

I'd go so far as to recommend a combination of meditation and psychotherapy as the two processes are complimentary. Nirvana manifests if you can find an experienced meditator who is also a good psychotherapist.

emoticon

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/24/17 6:07 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

I'd go so far as to recommend a combination of meditation and psychotherapy as the two processes are complimentary. Nirvana manifests if you can find an experienced meditator who is also a good psycotherapist.

emoticon


In a perfect world, everyone would have access to a an experienced meditator who is also a good psychotherapist, or even just access to a good psychotherapist to help with the stuff that comes up along the way. Depending on the nature and severity of a person's issues, it may even be a necessity and I hope these people find those who can help them in the ways they need. But what with the availability of books and online resources these days, there's still much that can be done on one's own if a people are highly motivated. The reality is that most of us are limited in time and/or money and even if we have the resources we may not have ready access to a competent psychotherapist that we gel with.

I've personally benefited greatly from reading books on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and going through the exercises. And simply educating myself on my own particular issues. I've invested a significant amount of time and energy in this and it has absolutely been well spent, and has at times appeared to free up whatever snags seemed to be holding back the gravitational pull that the path of insight seems to exert. Maybe it's just me, or I am misinterpreting--I don't know. But it has most definitely helped me make better life decisions that have led to better conditions for practice, that's for sure. 

RE: The progress of insight as a trauma release cycle?
Answer
12/24/17 11:11 AM as a reply to Ann.
Do-it-yourself is a good option for a lot of us, A.