Using Meditation to Heal Anxiety & Depression
By Natasha

Difficult physical and emotional sensations can often be overwhelming. Our mind can become like a little hamster searching for solutions. This busyness obstructs real healing as we only cycle through our up and down coping mechanisms. Whether you suffer from emotional pain, physical pain, or both, a daily sitting practice will help. This will gradually reveal the layers of habituated coping mechanisms that do not serve you.

By making a commitment to attune to your breath in meditation you can begin to witness what the mind is doing with the pain. Write down any sensations, feelings and stories in a journal. Then you can gradually begin to accept and recognize that you have a choice and that you can heal.

Using Meditation to Heal Anxiety & Depression

The biggest hurdle to establishing a practice is ‘the resistance to this simplicity’. The seeking and chasing for the new and the novel ‘pseudo relief’ solutions will continue to seduce the mind into temporary fixes. Understand that anxiety and depression signals a loss of authentic expression. Any pain is your invitation to heal.

To heal step by step

It is good news that it is within our power to heal. The paradox is that to heal, the process that is effective is counter-intuitive to the malware of coping mechanisms we usually turn to. To heal, restore and transform depression into beauty, we have to begin by examining the paradox of fixes and improvement themes that we have normalized and that are reactionary. They may provide temporary ‘relief’, but any chasing ultimately obscures real healing. The chasing only masks the countless parade of placebos that keeps the mind preoccupied.

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To begin to heal right now

To heal from anxiety and depression we must begin to observe our own aversions and what we give chase to. It is these sensations that are creating the very pulse of our felt contractions and expansions. Meditation and writing are tools that can help us better understand and express these sensations, and the feelings they inform, as we put our stories to paper. With a daily commitment to our own awareness training we gradually restore a willingness to attune to what is simple and direct, and in the process the ‘reset to being’ effectively takes root.

This commitment to a direct observation of our own process is fundamental to beginning healing. By choosing to create space for a daily meditation practice we begin to witness the field of all changing phenomena. With a clear and vivid awareness in meditation we can begin to notice the sensations that are immediate and direct. By direct observation we discover the phenomenal world of sensations that inform our feelings and emotions. We witness how they come and go, and how they move through us. Then we begin to experience reality as a play of energies and aliveness.

To heal by applying a simple method

The movement to make our process conscious is truly a cry to restore ourselves into our felt and experiential wholeness. It is a call for liberation from the dark and difficult spaces within ourselves. They are experienced as confusing. As we begin to witness any aversion or any clinging to the changing phenomena in life, we recognize that they do not need to pin us down. In the process we begin to see the conditioned and habituated response pattern of the mind, there for safety and outcome. As you observe these phenomena you starve out the old wiring. Then you can create new wiring that is more subtle and prior to any labeling.

To create a healing space is possible

It is truly possible to create a safe space for all the hurt and pain that you are tired of burying. To hide nothing from yourself, and to accept all you are. To gradually make peace with all that you are, inside and out. In your mediation the practice is to always let everything be as it is. Notice if you perhaps feel afraid of the intensity of feeling, of the raw honesty of pure sensations. Or maybe you are trembling from the power of an inner storm. Choose to pause and breathe, and be present and aware to the subtlest sensation. Notice the impact it has on your emotions, while choosing to have no resistance to the phenomena arising.

The narratives of self and other that obstruct our ability to heal

Begin to notice the many stories of self that these sensations give rise to. You may be overcome with self-doubt, shame and mental fogginess. Or have you given chase to a particular state of perfectionism, through a craving for a state of happiness and elation? By practising being on point we can lean into these edges safely. We can mine the experiential sensory confusion for greater understanding. This allows us to learn about the phenomena of hurt and pain that we experience as overwhelming. In the process we become aware of our reactive and wishful narratives. It is these that obstruct a clear view and authentic expression.

Whenever there is a preference, there is an egoic chase and attachment to a particular phenomenon outcome. In meditation we become aware of this. Karma is simply the amount of conditioning you have become identified with. When we avert or give chase to anything, this unseen movement obscures our ability to be present and equanimous in a state of continuous non resistance to what is at all times. Freedom is simply you, accepting and receiving life in its entirety, as you are.

Meditation for best outcome

True meditation is having no preference to any sensation. Stay with the field of change. Recognize the reactive entrapment of future or past tenses. Witness the ever changing phenomena of thoughts and emotions. Simply be with what is and notice any hindrances that may appear without having a preference.

Reproduced with permission, originally posted on freefallintoreality

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