Archive for the ‘General information’ Category

Is therapy anartha-nivrtti?

January 1, 2008

The following discussion is a little bit esoteric and is aimed primarily (though not exclusively) at members of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna consciousness). This discussion may not be of interest to those suffering the effects of trauma and who are seeking assistance in returning to health. (more…)

Low batteries!

August 18, 2007

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Since June I haven’t written any posts on the blog. Unfortunately, I’ve been struggling a bit with keeping up with my course work (I’m studying craniosacral therapy in London) and as a result my energy levels are a bit on the low side. It’s getting better now, so I hope to be able to put my energies into things other than anatomy, physiolgy, and the like…

If anyone has any suggestions for topics, or have questions, that they’d like to hear something on, then that would also help. When I’m tired I find it hard to think in a straight line…! 🙂

Reframing

May 14, 2007

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Reframes (discussing the issue in a new light to see what positive aspects are there for a desired, but blocked, course of action) are much easier to use after tapping on the negative stuff. EFT produces profound cognition changes and effective reframes merely plug into the client’s new beliefs.

PoP 3: The power of affirmations

May 14, 2007

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The most important thought that comes out of the Palace of Possibilities series is that:

“Our consistent thoughts become our reality.”

This is true both materially and spiritually. If somehow or other we can remember this and apply it, then it is probably one of the most valuable and powerful tool available. Essentially, yesterday’s thoughts (and subsequent actions) have created our present and today’s thoughts (and subsequent actions) will create our future.

Now, the problem is that we have both positive and negative thoughts. Fortunately, there are ways of conditioning our thoughts to be positive, rather than being strangled by our negative ones. One way to do that is through positive affirmations. Affirmations are amongst the most powerful tools we can use for personal transformation. Not only are they reliable, but they are also easy to use.

The persistent repetition of an affirmation conditions the mind to perceive things differently. As a result, an affirmation can eventually become installed as a consistent thought which then shows up in our reality.

In the next post I will discuss how to deal with one of the ways in which we sabotage this process of using positive affirmations.

Technical troubles

May 14, 2007

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I started editing the blog using Mozilla Firefox, but then I didn’t check how it looked with Explorer (I’m a bit new at these things and didn’t realize it was important…). However, I just had a look, and noticed that Internet Explorer has been mis-displaying recent posts (especially one’s where there are lists). Apologies! I hope that the problem is now “fixed” and I will try to keep an eye on it so that it stays that way.

If anyone notices any technical glitches with the site, then please let us know so that we can rectify it as quickly as possible.

Finding wisdom

May 11, 2007

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Once upon a time, a man decided that he wanted to make a new start in life, so he moved to a nearby city. When he arrived at the station he met an old lady, and asked her, “What are the people like here?” She responded, “What were they like where you came from?” “I didn’t like them very much.” He replied. “They were unfriendly, unkind, and always gossiping. No man would help his neighbor. No one shared anything.” The old lady said, “I think that you will find that they are the same here.” The man felt discouraged as he walked out of the station into the heart of the city.

Shortly after, another man came to the city looking for work. He also met the lady at the station and asked her the same question, “What are the folks like, hereabouts?” Again she responded, “What were they like where you came from?” The man replied, “I liked them very much. They were friendly, kind, and helpful. Every man would help his neighbor if he was in difficulty. They shared everything.” The old lady smiled and said, “I think that you will find that they are the same here.” Feeling very much encouraged, the man entered the city.

The most important thing?

May 11, 2007

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Someone once asked me, “What is the most important ingredient in therapy?” Now that’s quite a question! Well, the most important thing to be successful in therapy (or indeed anything at all!) are the blessings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The previous post on “What is health?” also discusses this topic.

That said, it might be useful to consider what is the second most important part of therapy. In my experience, the second most important thing is that the person who has the problem knows that they have it and wants to do something about it. Without that, there is literally nothing a therapist can do because the person won’t even go for therapy.

Study reveals global child abuse

May 11, 2007

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A shocking picture of physical, sexual and psychological violence being perpetrated against children on a daily basis has been revealed in a UN report.

The first UN study of global violence against children says such abuse is often socially approved or even legal. It concludes that violence against under-18s occurs in every country, every society and every social group. The UN has called on states to outlaw violence against children and to ensure their rights are protected. The study, which was requested by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, is the result of four years of research.

Psychological scars

The report’s author, Professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, says the situation revealed is not acceptable and decades of silent abuse can no longer remain unchallenged.

“Protection from violence is a matter of urgency,” writes Mr Pinheiro, “Children have suffered adult violence unseen and unheard for centuries.”

The UN is calling on every country to have a national strategy to prevent violence against children. The report, the first of its kind, charts various kinds of violence, from prostitution to school bullying, taking place in different stages and spheres of childrens’ lives – at home, in the community and in institutions.

It estimates that some 150 million girls, 14% of the planet’s child population, are sexually abused each year, as well as seven percent of boys, or 73 million children. Such violence can leave serious long–term psychological scars which result in increased risky sexual behavior, substance abuse and violence towards others in adulthood.

Hidden violence

The study suggests that between 80–93% of children suffer physical punishment in their homes, although many of them do not speak of it due to stigma, shame and a lack of faith in legal systems. The home can also be a dangerous place for some of the estimated 82 million girls who marry before the age of 18 and can face violence from their partners.

“There are several modalities of violence that are invisible or there is a wall of silence – violence inside the school, inside the home, at the workplace, the community and institutions,” Mr Pinheiro told the BBC.

Gender also shapes the likelihood of experiencing different types of violence. A study of 21 mainly developed countries, for example, found that up to 36% of women and 29% of men reported being sexually victimised during childhood. But boys, especially in the 15–17 age group, are up to four times more likely to be murdered than girls of the same age. The authors said they were encouraged by the participation of 135 governments from across the globe.

But the report recognises that one of the greatest challenges is changing a social mindset that tacitly accepts violence towards minors. It includes a list of recommendations including the creation of national commissioners to prevent violence against children and national legal frameworks to protect children.

“After the emancipation of the workers in the 19th Century, the emancipation of the women in the 20th Century, I think that this is the moment to recognise children as being protected by rights, as full citizens, and not as mini–human beings or the property of their families,” Mr Pinheiro said.

On the “lighter” side

May 11, 2007

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The counseling department of the University of Maha Maya announces a special weekend course in Creative Suffering

(Twelve Proven Techniques to Help you Become Depressed)

1. Dwell on past mistakes and failures. This is most effective when you focus on things which cannot be changed.

2. Set unrealistic expectations for yourself and others. Expect perfection now! This way you can guarantee failure.

3. Constantly compare yourself with others. To get the most out of this technique compare your worst traits with their best.

4. Avoid all involvement and responsibility. It will be unwise to try something new and risk success and satisfaction.

5. Remain negative and problem oriented. Spend all energy and effort you can criticizing and judging yourself and others. There are always faults to be found if you look long enough.

6. Allow yourself to be controlled by people and circumstances. This way you can dislike yourself for being weak and others for controlling you.

7. Internalize and personalize the problems of others. Believe that you are somehow to blame and you should have the responsibility to make it right.

8. Don’t forgive yourself for anything. You deserve to be unhappy. To really suffer, hold long and deep grudges against yourself as a further proof of your unworthiness.

9. Seek isolation and avoid contact with those who care about you. Be cautious and reject any help offer.

10. Do everything you can to please others. Believe that your personal value depends on their acceptance of you. You might find that compromising your standards and values for someone else will help you feel even worse.

11. Base your worth as a person on external things. View such things as “how you look” (appearance), “what you can do” (performance), and “what you have” (possessions), as a measure of your personal value.

12. Forget serving the servant of the servant as often as you can.

Refreshments will be provided. Please wear uncomfortable clothes.

Hamlet’s question

May 11, 2007

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There’s a debate simmering as to whether it’s OK for devotees to go for counseling/therapy: “To go, or not to go – THAT is the question?”

One guiding principle that seems to be helpful in answering this question is that in Krishna consciousness we should “accept that which is favorable for our advancement in devotional service, and reject that which is unfavorable*.” Srila Prabhupada also used the phrase, “Somehow or other” become Krishna consciousness**. If getting therapy helps a person to engage more effectively with Krishna consciousness activities, then under this definition that would be OK, otherwise it’s better to steer clear. Activities that are not strictly bhakti, but are supportive of it, are known as “gauna-bhakti.”

Because we don’t have much time to perfect ourselves spiritually so that we can escape this material world (and all the events that have traumatized us!), we should use our time wisely and not waste it in unnecessary material pursuits.

As a side note, I thought that it might be useful to list some of the difficulties that devotees go to therapy to try to deal with:

  • Panic attacks (so bad that they can hardly leave their house for more than 3 minutes)
  • Horrific nightmares every night for years
  • Addictions (sex, intoxication, food, etc.)
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Depression (so bad that they can’t get out of bed)
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder – i.e. they can’t sit still or concentrate)
  • Severe phobias

Anyone who has lived with challenges like these knows how formidable it can be to even deal with everyday practical needs, what to speak of trying to practice and develop spiritual life. Certainly, chanting Hare Krishna is the ultimate cure for all evils in this world. However, someone with this level of difficulty is often unable to concentrate on (or even practice) devotional service because the mind (and body) is too preoccupied with the pain and anxiety that they are experiencing.

This has been a difficult post to write, since I know that there are strong feelings held on both sides if the debate. I hope (and pray) that devotees will forgive me if I have upset them by anything that I have said here. Comments please!

*Nectar of Devotion, Rupa Goswami
**Rupa Goswami