Thoughts: Zen & Trauma

Listen While You Read to Sleepless by Daisy May Erlewine :

So an intelligent, receptive Buddhist monk (and former psychotherapist of thirty years for people with PTSD) says something very interesting: Trauma frees us because we have come to the edge and returned. We no longer need to be fearful (http://clearmindzen.blogspot.com/2010/05/zen-of-trauma-part-one.html ).

So what happens when we no longer need, but we still are? Does it go beyond will? If we need more help along with our will, then is the will damaged? Or deterred? Can we really will our thoughts into healthy, helpful ones? I believe in part that we can (which means, based on will, we can’t) but we need therapy and perhaps medication–depending on the damage and severity. We need an outside means of survival…unless we’re really strong? No, this has nothing to do with strength. We need the patience and the awareness of the enlightened? We need to realize we are not our bodies and our minds, we are in everything and everything is in us. That’s forging a path for me–hard to see–but it’s there. Our society suggests to us that we are broken. Our own raising suggests it. Well we’re not. Something larger than us happened and something larger then must help repair. Or is that dualistic thinking? To have the full faith in the truth–that we are not our bodies and minds–is a breath of fresh air in this tight, achey chest. Because doesn’t that then knock down our terrorizers from the almighty pedestal of doom? Doesn’t that shame them as they cower in their own weakness? I think so. The deal is not to be concerned with ‘them’ or ‘it’. Oneness with the Self. Awareness and respect for the Self. That opens up an entirely new way of thinking. Is it possible to follow this and find your way and have faith in it–while you’re freaking out out of nowhere, dissociating, and depersonalizing? Can we find it and achieve it–the Moksha, the meditation, and deeper to the Self, beyond all desires, towards Brahman–can we find that place and life of being while our brain and nervous systems are chemically out-of-whack? Why are we so terrified–knowing deep down that yes we have seen the worst (thus far we hope) and we have been to the edge and back–it scared our balls off. Yet something in us tells us to go on without fear, because there is something much more amazing out there–or in here. Our instincts whisper to us like always, and when they’re in overdrive don’t we still feel a part of us that just knows (no matter how bad the flashback or whatever gets) knows knows knows that we aren’t entirely that scene. Our soul, our Self, knows no pain, but waits. Waits for us to catch up, with all the patience in the world, with our hearts. I’m sure I sound totally Western here but hear me out. The Buddhists have a name for depersonalization (panna?), and it is a level they seek to achieve. Hinduism isn’t all that different. What are these Eastern thoughts saying? I can’t wrap my brain around it and I’m becoming forever caught up in it–it’s only natural. Because it’s everywhere. And those of us with PTSD and Chronic PTSD (wave my little flag there) know that over time, all of our questions to evolve, they turn away from us and into something bigger, something more important. Is that Brahman? Are we tapping into what our pains and losses and loves have been trying to teach us?

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