FALLING INTO THE MEDICATION TRAP?
Over the last 3 months I have had more and more past attendees come and sit for some 1 to 1 time to undertsand a little bit more about what is going on with their practise and their inability to work with anxiety and stress as they had been able to on the Foundations course. FALLING INTO THE MEDICATION TRAP
They have all fallen into the medication trap. . .
We sat down and looked at what had happened since they had finished Foundations…
Shortly after completion, they all felt so incredibly good and positive they just let their practise slide. They went from 5/6 practises per week to 1 per week and then eventually practise was swallowed up by life again.
It took about 2 or 3 months (varying) till they realised they were feeling stressed, anxious and seemed out of control again. The voice of negativity had returned and was making them doubt everything they had learned and experienced about the practise. There was a lot of confusion and frustration around why anxiety had returned, stress had returned, sleeplessness had returned.
Over the last 18 months I have seen more and more attendees fall into the trap where, like with medication, we tend to stop what we are doing because we feel we have reached the required level of calmness or peace, thinking we have cured it like tonislitis. We try and restart the practise with a much shorter fuse, feeling like even after a day if it hasn’t brought equanimity back into life, we have failed and the practise doesn’t work.
There was an incredible amount of frustration felt, they knew they should be practising, they knew it would be of benefit, they just had zero motivation to do it and didn’t have the time to dedicate a couple of weeks to re-engage.
This is where the group meditation practise is so important, or returning to the teacher and working through the frustration, re-invigorating the practise, realising that the practise never left, it just sat back waiting to be engaged formally again.
To use the Buddhist philosophy of the group (sangha), purely as it is like quoting Einstein when discussing relativity, re-emphasises this importance to work through all these sufferings together. As a group we all improve. I once heard Eckhart Tolle say in one of his inspiring talks, that practising in this way (secular as well as non-secular) is like rolling a log up to an already lit fire, both fire and log burn brighter.
We need to realise that we are not alone in this. That we can easily and instantly re-engage with the practise if we just stop fighting the ego within us. Just remember these judgmental and negative thoughts are not who you truly are. You are an incredible unique being that deserves happiness. That calmness has never left, you have just been trying to fight a battle of overthinking with more thoughts.
You need to spend the time, you need to come and sit, come and experience. The benefits for most are incredibly real, incredibly achievable, incredibly important. . .
You just need to find the time. You need to make the decision as to whether the time spent fighting your own inner negativity could be better used understanding it.
Think of all the time wasted thinking about what to do and just do it…