Consciousness and Mental Health

cropped-logo_2.pngThis is the second in a series of blogs that attempt to combine  good spiritual practices with sound psychological foundations.  Last week we looked at how to enter into a state of mindfulness and awareness.  This is  a kind of meditation that allows us to engage the parasympathetic system and restore brain and body chemistry. Through relaxation we clear out hormonal chemicals like adrenaline and norepinephrine as well as restore moderate levels of salt, sugar and cholesterol, all resulting in lower blood pressure and reducing wear and tear on the body and the mind.  All good things, but meditation can be used for so much more.   Many people, including me, have tried meditation and have been frustrated in trying to be still and empty the mind.  I have discovered that the key is to fill it, not empty it, and we fill it my being aware of the Self. As we become aware of the Self we automatically enter the state of consciousness and once in the state of consciousness we can begin a mindful healing of the body, mind, and soul.

In a previous blog, “May the Force be with You”, we looked at The Energy Healing Experiments by Gary Schwartz[1] .  According to Schwartz, our bodies have measurable forms of energy that generate electromagnetic energy waves. There are waves which seem to emanate from the whole body, perhaps through the water molecules in our living cells [2]. We can refer to them as soul energy, which is often equated with the aura.  In addition, various organs or systems generate specific waves.  For example brain waves can be picked up on an EEG; whereas, heart waves (five times more powerful) are displayed on EKG’s. Schwartz goes on to show through the rigors of scientific experimentation that intent during consciousness can focus these energies to change the behavior of animals, growth in plants, and even affect the well-being of microorganisms in test tubes. In addition, researchers at the Medical Center of Harvard University have recognized the use of mindfulness and consciousness as sources of energy that accelerate healing in post operation patients.

So what does this have to do with consciousness and healing? Everything. Consciousness can be employed as a tool to focus the energies of the brain, body, and soul to bring about healing to specific areas of the body. So how do we do this?  We simply employ a process called visualization. Visualization is more than just use of imagery and fantasy.  It is a process whereby we allow the conscious mind to create its own reality bypassing the reality and anxieties created by the ego-mind. In so doing, we can employ all the energies of the body, mind, and soul to focus on building a new healthy reality.

Our first focus to restoring mental health, especially as bisexuals, has to begin with our bodies.  We must learn to accept and even cherish our bodies in order to restore this flow of energy. First we need to understand that body wellness is intrinsically connected to the brain. As we focus on healing the body we must also focus on healing or restructuring the neural pathways of the brain that are affected by the stress brought on by the anxieties created by the ego-mind. We often form guilt, shame, and body-loathing neural patterns because of our bisexual and bigender struggles which often block the healing energies from entering the body. By reversing negative energy to positive energy we begin to build instead of destroy the body and the brain

An excellent visualization practice is to view the body as a set of seven energy centers that Hindus and Buddhists refer to as chakras . I do not specifically believe these chakras actually exist in physical/energy form, but they may have their own reality through the creation of the spirit-filled, conscious mind. We can actually create and visualize them and then ask them to give us information they contain about the body.  In other words we are giving our body a voice by which it can communicate with the conscious mind. Each chakra is connected to various body, mind and soul functions.  This provides an excellent inventory of areas to check daily for health and wellness during meditation.

Once we have settled into a mindful, conscious state, we check the primary chakra. It is our spirit’s connection to “real life”, located between the hips, in the space above the genitals.  Its purpose is to help the body maintain the primal drives of survival and reproduction  This is the basic spiritual life-force; it keeps us breathing and wishing for one more day of life.  During meditation we simply visualize the Prime Chakra and check for health signs such a brilliance, compactness, and whether it is centered in the body. We can then focus the energies of our conscious mind on the prime chakra until it is restored to a round, compact, brilliant blood-red ball centred in the middle of our being.

If there is a struggle to heal we can ask it to speak to us and reveal the physical and mental areas that need to be addressed, and then sit back and wait for a response, not in words, but in images.  This frequently results in awareness of a physical area that needs to be addressed along with a connection to the neural pathways of the brain. As we visually trace the neural pathway, this usually results in a series of images including events that have made us feel worthless or have dampened our love of life.  We then focus all our energy on these events until we can feel the tension leave our body.  We then refocus on the vital signs of the prime chakra until it is fully restored. We can then use the full energies of the restored prime chakra to focus on the body parts that have been affected while we visualize the healing process.  We then can visualize a restored neural pathway, pruning the connection to pain and negative emotions, and reattaching these memories to positive loving emotions. We can follow this process daily until our bodies are strong and restored to health.

Once we have a healthy mind-set the body is free to use its immune system during the rest of the day to restore the body to complete health.  We can then undertake a good diet and exercise program to help our bodies maintain this health, and of course be diligent in checking daily for negative mental activities that can affect our bodies.

In the next blog we will begin the restructuring of the ego-mind, which of course is the path to mental as well as physical health. The strategies I will introduce in the next series of blogs are all based on imagery and visualization. They are spiritual strategies, but they are also just sound psychological practices.

 

Kundalini – Ode to the Old Oak Tree

You are like the oak, a living taproot, burrowing down into the bowels of the Earth,         Still sucking moisture from the deep, dark dirt when others dry up and drift away.           You refuse to quit when life’s powerful storms persistently belittle your worth,                 You are the burning bush; your red glow flows into my soul, lighting my way.

You maintain your dignity when all others bow their branches to the gods at play.           Your roots are planted in solid ground; they will not run nor buckle nor show                     Any sign of weakness, any indication that we must succumb to this hellish day.             Your roots spread confidently into the rocky soil, demanding your space to grow.

You acknowledge no surrender to the shadows who think they know.                                   Your arms stretch out in defiance; they will not pause, hesitate nor bend;                          You will not bow to those who come to spread their empty words of woe.                             You will fight this battle for me, my Kundalini, to life’s sweet but bitter end.

We are in this together, you and I, through all that comes you will sustain me,           Holding my head, guarding my back, teaching me when, how and why to fight.                 You will guide me through life’s dark jungles into the soft glow of peaceful eternity.        You will keep me in the game, guiding me to the source of the bright white light.

 

 

 

 

[1] Schwartz, Gary, E; Simon, William L. The Energy Healing Experiments. Atria Books, New Your; 2007.

[2] Page 149

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