Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

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Strive4Karuna
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Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby Strive4Karuna » Fri May 03, 2013 10:44 am

Anyone have any experience with this or ideas on how to overcome? Especially experiences from childhood? Abuse, severe neglect, being an orphan etc.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 03, 2013 10:49 am

Greetings,

Strive4Karuna wrote:Anyone have any experience with this or ideas on how to overcome? Especially experiences from childhood? Abuse, severe neglect, being an orphan etc.

Cultivation of the brahma-viharas.

:group:

Metta,
Retro. :)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)

"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." - Thomas J. Watson

Never again...

santa100
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby santa100 » Fri May 03, 2013 1:16 pm

Also contemplate on the anicca(impermanent) nature of all conditioned phenomena. Dukkha is no exception... :smile:

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robertk
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby robertk » Fri May 03, 2013 1:37 pm

elements arise and cease completely instantly. understand that -even to a small degree-and the past will seem like an empty dream..

Feathers
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby Feathers » Fri May 03, 2013 4:26 pm

Be kind to yourself. I sometimes find that because Buddhism teaches "the way out of suffering" I fall into my old ex-Christian habits of feeling that if I am suffering I am sinning - i.e. it is morally wrong of me to feel suffering/pain/sadness/etc. This totally misses the point, so when you look at Buddhism to help you heal and teach you to cope with suffering, don't inadvertently inflict more suffering on yourself. Of course you may not do that anyway, but it is one of my early pitfalls.

:hug:
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binocular
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby binocular » Fri May 03, 2013 6:07 pm

Strive4Karuna wrote:Anyone have any experience with this or ideas on how to overcome? Especially experiences from childhood? Abuse, severe neglect, being an orphan etc.


I've known several people who have used Buddhist teachings for the purpose of sweeping their problems under the rug ...

IOW, there is the danger of applying the teachings wrongly, but nevertheless having the conviction one is advancing in the practice and getting better.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri May 03, 2013 7:56 pm

It's an interesting question. Psychologists studied the monks who came from Tibet and were emprisoned and tortured, and they concluded that they had no PTSD sympthoms. The only explanation is that they practice meditation.

Bhante Yuttadhammo, iirc, told the story of a woman who was abused when she was a child and went to therapists for years and never got over the traumatic event. She was very miserable. He said that she learned to meditate (properly) and she got to a much more peaceful state of mind.

On the other hand, I've read that a person who was abused during childhood, went on a retreat and got out of there earlier and s/he said that it was like living it all over again and that s/he couldn't stop thinking about it.

What lessons can we take from this? In my humble opinion, it's that meditation can help you a lot, but to do it in apropriate dosages.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri May 03, 2013 8:52 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:What lessons can we take from this? In my humble opinion, it's that meditation can help you a lot, but to do it in apropriate dosages.

This is important - you can't just power through trauma by racking up a certain number of hours on the cushion. Brahmaviharas, mindfulness, and samadhi are incredibly helpful when it comes to dealing with painful experiences, but they are also capable of doing great harm when practiced or developed incorrectly.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

Strive4Karuna
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby Strive4Karuna » Fri May 03, 2013 9:24 pm

Just to clear things up, I have never been abused nor am I an Orphan

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Ben
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby Ben » Fri May 03, 2013 11:31 pm

Strive4Karuna wrote:Anyone have any experience with this or ideas on how to overcome? Especially experiences from childhood? Abuse, severe neglect, being an orphan etc.


Yes, I have.
Practice sila, Samadhi, and panna.
It has worked, and continues to work, for me.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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ground
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby ground » Sat May 04, 2013 1:22 am

Strive4Karuna wrote:Anyone have any experience with this or ideas on how to overcome? Especially experiences from childhood? Abuse, severe neglect, being an orphan etc.

Mindfulness.
"Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:sage:

Sadge
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby Sadge » Mon May 06, 2013 11:03 am

Mindfulness, mindfulness, mindfulness. Getting distance and a non judgemental acceptance of traumatic memories is hugely helpful.

MontrealMonk
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Re: Buddhism & overcoming traumatic experiences?

Postby MontrealMonk » Thu May 09, 2013 3:12 pm

Ben wrote:
Strive4Karuna wrote:Anyone have any experience with this or ideas on how to overcome? Especially experiences from childhood? Abuse, severe neglect, being an orphan etc.


Yes, I have.
Practice sila, Samadhi, and panna.
It has worked, and continues to work, for me.
kind regards,

Ben


Very well said.

:namaste: Nice to meet you, Ben. I'm Freddy from Montreal, Canada.


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