This weekend we heard about a friend that had been traumatized at seeing the death of a child. The friend whom this had happened to, and his wife had actually been first on the scene. This child died in his arms.
This friend had soon mentally locked into the story about this child dying in his arms, and identified with it so deeply, that he couldn’t escape. It consumed him. This is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can hit any of us for any random event we are mentally unprepared for dealing with. The friend’s response to the horrible event was to twist every new event and every new story to somehow be about or connected to that event. His own life story had essentially stopped because of the event, in fact. It stopped because he couldn’t accept the reality of what happened and move on. It hit some core issues with him and his wife both I’m sure, since she was also on the scene and a part of “the story”. Those deep-seated issues having to do with trust certainly come up in PTSD victims. Hoping the ending of the story is he was able to let go of it on such a personal level, and his strong personal identification as a participant in it. This is the ego at work, stressing out while trying to change the reality of our simple or complex delusions about ourselves and the world as a whole.
While we do not generally inflict trauma on ourselves and can not control that, we can and should try to control how we respond to that trauma as best we can. If we just leave everything up to fate, after all, that would be foolish. If our minds are not prepared for an event, then they must expand and unwind to embrace the reality as laid before us, without shame or embarrassment, but with compassion and acceptance. This is the way things are, and we have to accept it. This is also how we learn and grow. Resisting this natural process of mental development results in a feedback loop of minor mind-body pain that gets amplified over time, until the person becomes debilitated and dies from the pain, the neglect, or the morphine. The good news it does not have to be this way!
Vipassana meditation can help with PTSD, the main cause of which is not accepting the reality of what had been experienced. While I am not a mental health professional I have had a personal interest in this subject and have found vipassana meditation to be an effective method to understand the process of how and why we suffer.
We have to accept unpleasant facts so we have a clear basis of reality from which to plan our course to make the reality better – and truly better – not just what we think might be better. And this is where Vipassana meditation comes in. Vipassana is not a religion, but a meditation technique that was taken from the basic meditation techniques taught by the Buddha himself 2500 years ago. It’s a pure study of the interworkings of the human mind, and how it interacts with the body. Rooted in science and based on actual results, Vipassana meditation can be the fast track to identifying some of the core issues limiting us as individuals, and providing actionable methods for addressing our limitations super-effectively, while making best use of our native virtues as well!