I have started a daily meditation practice again. I started about 3 days ago.
Considering the advice of Yutadhammo Bikkhu I am approaching it with caution because of my mental illness/mental ill health.
I am going to be doing breath counting in cycles. So counting up to 5, then up to 6 all the way up to 10.
I find it very hard to count up to 10 without getting lost so I decided the duration of my practice will consist of one cycle or two if I finish before 3 minutes.
Wish me luck
Best of luck @shanyin! Hope it proves fruitful for you.
I will dedicate my morning practice to your success
Good luck. Every day, every moment is a new beginning.
Indeed, each moment is a rebirth. Much metta coming your way.
Sounds like a meaningful yet safe practice. I hope you have a calming effect from taking the meditation position and doing the counting. I have done counting and I would not worry about how high you get (in numbers or state of mind!)_. It is often quite comical how hard it is to do that exercise! The nature of mind is to diffuse then focus. You can't have one without the other. Yet the sharpening up of the mind is a worthy pursuit. I used to be more mindful (attentive) back when I did the counting practice.
Hi, shanyin! Wish you luck in your practice! Meditation is always a challenging if most rewarding practice.
Excuse my ignorance, but could anyone please explain to me why people with mental health issues is always so sceptic about practicing meditation?
A friend of mine suffers from bipolarity and she was recommended to refrain from practicing meditation.
I think for certain people it can cause them to be too much in their head in a negative way. Though I personally would explore the possibility or reasoning of being told why not to practice meditation with someone who understands Eastern practices/religions and psychology at the same time. A lot of western doctors poo-poo all Eastern stuff just as a matter of practice even despite all the benefits coming out about meditation. I'd want to know why, myself.
Anyhow, @shanyin, best of wishes to you! Congratulations on choosing to restart, I hope it goes well for you. Don't think poorly if you cannot get past a certain point, it's more so that you are meditating that is important, not in how far you get in counting.
Thank you for your answer, Karasti! It seems to me that meditation and metta are complementary practices, shanyin. You should probably try both at the same time. Meditation, in order to silence all the mental chatter and to precisely prevent you to be "too much in your head in a negative way" as Karasti has expressed it.
Metta, reaching out to help others, on the other hand, to prevent you from being too much in your own persona. A neighbour of mine was diagnosed with psychosis and another acquaintance with anorexia. I have noticed that both tend to talk too much about themselves, to relate everything to themselves... as if the world revolved around them only. Personally, Metta has helped me to put my own person in perspective and not take myself too seriously. I always tell these people to look beyond their belly button, plunge into the world and simply connect with other people. I am sure Metta, especially, would help a lot in their recovery.
I read all your responses, thank you all.
I am dealing with a little bit of anger lately. I am so upset with people in my life. I feel like everyone in my life is just a bully, not letting me alone to live my life as an adult.
dharmamom, I think like some people have visions during meditation so with a mentally ill person their are dangerous mental phenomena. I have schizo affective disorder and I meditate, but I do a self sealing method. If a person is not ready for the method it won't hurt them.
When I was around your age it was fairly normal for young people to pack up and head out west to make a fresh start. These days many are heading up to the oil patch. Maybe something like that would be good for you. Make your own way, without so much input from others.
Of course, I don't know how much of a hindrance your mental illness would be to a more independent life. Just a thought.
Thank you, Jeffrey for the clarification.
Anger is our lot in life, shanyin. Always bear in mind the intentions behind people's actions. Are these people beloved ones? Next of kin? When we love we don't want to see the other person hurt. Sometimes we meddle, sometimes we interfere because we think we know better, but the intention is basically good. The other people, those whose intentions are rooted in negative criticism, envy or well, simple bullying, I drop them from my radar.
When I get upset over someone else's attitude, I try to reason "I can't control other people's reactions, but I can control mine." The idea of focusing on the things that depend on you is empowering.
When I eventually get to sit again - my kids and wife are all ill with some viral bug - I'll send you good will in your practice. Listen very very very carefully, because the birds and street sounds along with the telephone and other electrical paraphernalia might try to obscure it, but the sound will be a pure OM - I will be posting my singing bowl sound soon (it's easier to produce bowel sounds I know, but... good luck
I take it you live in Canada as well. My dad went out west when he was young, and so have both my sisters.
My sisters friend offered me to literally go live in his house as a guest while we get me set up out there and working with the oil. (Alberta) I'm not sure I agree with the tarsands from an environmental staintpoint. That's a con. Getting a fresh start sounds great though.
I've been living alone for about 2 years now. I've been fired 3 times in that time, I just started a new job and it's going OK. I have been trying to discipline myself, with a journal and writing lists of daily things I should do everyday. I've never even had a full time job before... but a fresh start sounds good.
My parents really have only done 1 thing that I know of that was wrong... it was years ago. They are pretty good to me. They give me rides pretty much on a daily basis and provide groceries for me and cook me meals. It feels almost like theyre still raising me as a teenager. I can get suspicious, irritable and maybe even paranoid around them.
I was angry yesterday because I had a meeting with an old councellor and my psychiatrist and I didn't like what they were saying. My psychiatrist told me I am schitzophrenic. By the time I got home I was infuriated... even when I woke up the next morning I was so upset I couldn't stand it.
It is really comical isn't it! I sort of think of or view this type of breath counting meditation as training for the mind and to let the mind come to reality. If we can train our minds to do more and more cycles or 5-10, I wonder what else the mind will be able to do!
I lived in Toronto through my teenage years. It didn't work out well for me. I dropped out of school. I too got fired. And I struggled with drugs.
If I had the right kind of support I might have had a chance to make it there. As it was, B.C. was a much better fit for me.
If you can find a way to fit in close to your parents and your health professionals, that might be best.
In the north there are very likely jobs that don't involve working on oil extraction. Like cooking or maintainance in a camp.
Personally, I use so much oil in a year that it would be hypocritical of me to object to the oil business on ethical grounds. I just wish Canadians could benefit from it by lower gas prices.
"If you can find a way to fit in close to your parents and your health professionals, that might be best. In the north there are very likely jobs that don't involve working on oil extraction. Like cooking or maintainance in a camp."
I'm uncertain what you are meaning to say. Fit in close to these people... you mean stay where I am? I am have been unhappy for a while here. I have been very unwise in life, and sort of stagnant. I have been more organized and a little more positive in my thinking over the past few months, but I still have some difficult decisions to make.
I struggle with drugs as well. I smoke weed which I view not as a major issue as long as it's in moderation... the problem is when I get bored and do cocaine.
I mean if you can get and keep a satisfactory job where you are. And start to have some happiness and stability.
People don't always belong where they grow up.
My parents were born in the UK then moved to Canada. We were born back east and our kids were born out west.
You don't seem like an unwise person to me. You are on here talking about self improvement and getting on with your life. That puts you apart from many young people that I've known.
Who doesn't smoke a little weed when they are young? You can put that down when the time is right.
You should probably just say no to the coke. It ruins lives daily. And I can say that as someone who used it.
Yes... that might be the best option. You're reply is cheering me up . My thoughts can be disorganized at times. My job is going well atm. and I feel better because of it.
There's something I wanted to bring up but I feel like I'd rather not start another thread over it.
I'm wondering if I'm in a situation where I could sue someone, but it happened about a year ago.
Bassically: (and this isn't the first time this has happened) I was hospitalized into a psychiatric facility by police. Aparently my parents went to the justice of the peace and had me put into there. My rights to make medical treatment decisions were removed, (which is aparently supposed to require an assessment within 24 hours or something, and that did NOT happen). I was co-erced into taking medication, and I was kept in the hospital until I signed a Community Treatment Order, which states that I do not have the capacity to make treatment decisions, and that I agree to take treatment.
2 people I know told me I could probably sue them over it, one called it entrapment.
If I could I would, I just don't know what to do. I think it would be standing up for what is right.
I'm no lawyer. My feeling is that it might be better to let some more time pass to put a longer perspective on what happened before taking any kind of action. Only a year has past so there is no panic on it.
Apart from the appalling cost of paying for a lawyer to make a case for you, suing your parents is drastic and it could ruin them. Emotionally and financially.
Maybe spend the time to document everything that you can remember about what happened in case you decide to start an action in the future.
At some future time, you may find yourself in a good place, and you have to acknowledge that all the good and evil things that have happened to you were the path that brought you there, and you are grateful.
@shanyin, there are times when I want to hug people, but can't because they are so close to me or there is a professional dividing line; you are faraway but I believe you deserve a big hug right now - nothing you have said is outside of my domain of experience. Drug experiences are just that, drug experiences - shopping experiences are just, shopping experiences - though there is no profession that treats shopping as a disease - yet... lets leave it there - or as a passing comment, you have a psychiatric label that has become attached to you, and that is causing you a certain dissatisfaction. And your loved ones and everyone else are not seeing beyond the label?
There is a lot more going on behind the scenes than is painted in this thread, what can I say other than what @robot is saying, help yourself, there are people who offer support.
I grew up in a culture where there was always someone else to blame, and it always lead to grief. If you have really been harmed, then you know what must be done; however, forgiveness, although hard might be something to practice right now. I don't know if this is helpful, but it seems right to me.
@robot, I did write down everything that happened, every little detail. It was shocking to see it on paper and I wish I hadn't have thrown it out.
I don't think I would sue my parents. I would however, sue the doctors or someone involved in the system. The Canadian mental health system is sick.
Thank you for you're e-hug.
What REALLY bothers me is the first time I was hospitalized by police. It was out of the blue. There was no violence, there was nothing wrong that was going on. I wasn't acting strangely.
Metta to you @shanyin
Is there a way you could stop doing drugs? Excuse my ignorance but I never did drugs. I don't know if it's easy to get out of it.
But maybe, just maybe, breaking this habit would help you put things in perspective, have different views of your situation? What if you found other less harmful ways to unwind?
I have an acquantaince who has been diagnosed with psychosis. Looking from the outside, I know her parents mean well and try their best to help her, but she's totally unable to acknowledge that. She has the idea that everyone is out to get her and her prejudice totally blinds her to other sides of her reality.
I don't think anyone has the right to coerce you into helping yourself, but are YOU doing all it takes to help in your own healing? And how do you feel other people might help? You might not like the way they handle the situation, but what if they are just trying to help?
Instead of indulging in anger against "them", why don't you use the feeling as an opportunity to get to know what it is inside you that is really bothering you?
I am not a professional and excuse me if I sound naïve. It's just a very humble opinion.
Yes it's possible to stop doing drugs. People do it all the time.
The way to stop is to stop, to cease the activity. It's seldom that simple, but that's what it comes down to. There are all sorts of methods to help with that. Depending on the individual, some work and some don't. The biggest factor is really wanting to stop. If thats not in pkay then nothing will work.
Yes you can stop doing drugs. But why would/should you, do you need an external influence or can you see the harm they are doing (that's the best way IMO)?
In a sober moment, fill in the blanks - I want to stop doing drugs because:
Reflect on these reasons, and then
go back and fill in the blanks.
Recite them like a mantra
I don't want to do drugs because:
Then when you are in a situation which normally provokes you into buying or doing drugs - e.g. after having a beer or meeting with a certain friend or group of friends, ask your self to fill in the blanks.
If you go on to the indiscretion, then you know only you are to blame, but you need to discover you a bit more then don't you...
Yours free from drugs - anatman
About a year ago I came up with the exact same idea/process. That was after I was asking myself the question dharmamom proposed, am I doing all I can do to heal. I am very pleased I have found this forum.
I feel almost as though right now I don't want to stop doing marijuana at all, at least for the time being. Actually.. as I'm typing this I realize I guess I do want to stop for the impact it has on the brain. But I will admit that there are other cons than that. Maybe an exersize I can do is write down the pros and cons. I can also admit that there are going to be more cons.
Drug use will not help you @Shanyin you will become even more lost within your own mind.
Last week I had a meeting with my doctor. He asked me if I believe I have a mental illness. I didn't have an answer. He said it's a basic question.
That's the state I have been in for years. Sort of 49% believing I have a mental illness. It's been my madness/mindlessness. I do not want to be on neuroleptics because there is more and more evidence showing how much damage they do, including shrink the brain. I am in a sort of legal bind/agreement that I must take treatment to live in the community. I want to talk to a psychologist and talk about my mental ill health issues but I am afraid he will believe I am too lost in my mind to talk about it.
I definetly got partially into this mess. I want to be able to practice mindfulness.
I want to tell the psychologist that I have been sort of half believing I have a mental illness and work out it out with him.
Do you have hallucinations? If so you do have a mental illness, I think.
@shanyin Mental illness is in the mind.
And if you have it, you know it or know it is self-induced.
If you have it and know it and it is not self-induced, it is a disability.
If you have it and it is self-induced, you know what is causing it.
So you now know it needs to be removed; so you can stop doing that thing which makes you feel and be ill.
You may be right that you came to the right forum. However, this forum is a reflective one and the essence of it is that you need to liberate your self from intoxicating behaviours.
Not sure if this helps.
If you have an illness it could be your genes causing it. I find it slightly offensive to suggest that there is something someone could remove mentally to be cured. I have a 1/100 chance to be cured according to my doctor.
@Jeffrey I did not mean offense. Perhaps you should re-read what I wrote but with a less defensive posture. My reference to you having a mental illness and knowing it may mean you have a disability. But disabilities can be overcome as can addictive behaviours.
My post is about self-reflection and attitude to what one sees. I wish you get that 1 in 100 chance you deserve!
I dont think so @anataman . And neither do most psychiatrists...depending exactly how you are using the term ' mind ' .
The current general consensus is that much of what we call 'mental' illness has a physiological cause..and a great deal of it results from genetic loading.
The single most important thing you can do for yourself at the moment is to stop smoking weed.
Cocaine is likely to be extremely deterimental to your well being , but dope in your case is probably worse.
'mental' means: of or relating to the mind @Citta. So mental illness, is just that, an illness that the 'mind' perceives as something disabling or detrimental to its health (it may well have a physiological basis, that can be traced back to a genetic abnormality, but we are really just discussing the same thing).
So I stand by what I have posted. It is not meant to be a read as having a rigorous scientific foundation that the light of a paper appearing in a peer-reviewed journal may have; it is about how we can view and tackle these things in a supportive environment; the more views that are expressed, the more likely one will resonate, and perhaps it may be enough that @shanyin will turn away from the habit that is causing mental ill-health. You quite rightly advised @shanyin to keep off the dope. Our message was the same.
Why don't you like what is being said?
It was with my doctor and councellor and my councellor said that I lost a job that was "easy". He said that on medication I am taking less time to respond verbally. This is frustrating because I do not value his opinion on such matters.
I do not believe in psychiatry for the most part. I was also upset because they told me it is written on my Community Treatment Order that I must meet with my doctor if I wish to withdraw consent for the treatment order, which is was false/lie. I was told by everyone that I can do anything I want with the CTO.
I disagree with CTO's and psychiatry in general.
Do you feel there is anything wrong?
Do you feel cannabis or meditation is more helpful? I do not understand how taking drugs is helpful? What would be helpful?
It sounds like you are in a difficult situation.
I hope they can study canabis and mental illness. Right now there are no studies done. The proof is in the pudding and we need research to resolve a question rather than self-dogma.
There have been several studies done in the UK @Jeffrey..they point unequivocally to the exacerbation of symptoms that occur in many people with a ' mental health ' problem if they smoke cannabis.
This is not the place for the debate, but we would have to agree on a definition of ' mind ', specifically 'mind' in a Buddhist context..with reference to the skandhas.
Not as simple a matter as it seems...
It matters in this context because if it is a physiological phenomenon ( of rupa ) the subject can't simply pull themselves through it.
Any more than a diabetic can stay on top of their symptoms by willpower or insight.
Is MJ legal in the UK? If not then how are they studying. So many things there is research going in both ways ie two sides to the story.
I'm personally pretty sure that excessive cannabis smoking contributed to my mental illness, just glad I'm pretty stable today thanks to the meds. I wasn't diagnosed until I was in my thirties which is pretty late. Personally I started smoking dope as self prescribed medication for depression and towards the end I was smoking a quarter ounce of weed a day.
I pretty much stopped after my first admission to a psych hospital, I've occasionally dabbled and it just makes me paranoid and delusional.
I smoked with my cousins and was the only time since I was 20. I am now 36. It made me totally unpleasant in my head. I won't be trying that again any time soon!
Wow @Lonely_Traveller, a quarter ounce is a lot.
lol this is kind of funny to me:
"Aaron is aware that any incidence of non-compliance will be shared with his CTO Team. Should a CTO team member termine that Aaron's mental health status is changing they may request an assessment by Dr. _____
Aaron be brought in for a psychiatric assessment if there is reasonable cause to believe that he is not compliant with the terms of the treatment plan. In the event of non-compliance, reasonable attempts will be made by the CTO Team to locate him, inform him of failure to comply, provide assistance, and if needed inform of the possibility of a Form 47 being issued"
I did not make a typo. They didn't say Aaron may be brought in or Aaron can be brought in. They said Aaron be brought in. Whether or not that is a typo on their part, or just covering theyre assess in some way, I don't know.
I was also informed yesterday that due to my non-compliance "police may locate you and bring you in to the hospital"
I think it might acutally happen
I hope the police are trained well. Why don't you seek out 'good egg' mental health professionals and work with them. You don't want 'bad eggs' and if you are dragged in against your will you will have to take whatever they gave you.
Mental hospitals I've been in are not bad. The worst is the expense, but if you have insurance it is ok. Don't be afraid to be in the hospital. In my experience I got to do art collages where we ripped things out of magazines that we found expressed our values. And then other artwork workshops. We even got one cigarette after dinner. You can have chocolate milk and watch TV :buck:
The medicine is not assumed to be bad for you. With a 'good egg' psychiatrist you can problem solve to find the best balance between illness and side effects. If you are resisting treatment the 'good egg's won't trust you.
Going willingly in my experience is better. Don't be afraid to go to the hospital aside from the money.
On an infrequent but regular basis I initiate similar action if in my professional opinion a patient is likely to do harm to themselves or another.
I think it would be completely irresponsible of me to do anything else in some situations.