I wonder about the effectiveness of meditation as much as I wonder about the effectiveness of vaccines
When I first sat down to write this piece I began to think about how effective meditation would have been for me some years ago. Whilst in the middle of being terrified and lost would meditation have been of any value to me? Would it have even been possible?
In answer to those questions, I think without it being explained to me, in clear terms, what the effects and consequences of improved awareness are, my experience of meditation would have been very brief. However, if, by first understanding exactly why my life was such a disaster (to be made aware of all the consequences to loneliness and a better exploration of my delusional beliefs) meditation might have saved me a lot of time and suffering.
When we’re grasping for the next thing – be this a drink or some other distraction – to gain control, we need to see the underlying cause
It was last night that I found myself thinking about isolation. How, as a child, if my behavior was disruptive, I would be punished through being sent into isolation in my bedroom. I hated this, I remember feeling very troubled when excluded from the rest of the family. I would creep to the top of the stairs, which were open-plan, so I could see what was going on, only to be spotted by one of my sisters and then told to get back to my room.
I know now, that the reason being in my bedroom alone was so difficult, was because it compounded my sense of loneliness. When in company my loneliness was far less apparent. The effect and consequences to this, in adulthood, was to spend time drunk (to feel comfortable around people) in pubs to make my loneliness less apparent. A further consequence was my need for constant stimulation and the avoidance of quiet time alone.
What I’ve since needed, in order to stop grasping for something to ease the pain of loneliness, is an understanding of what lies at its root. If we neither know or like ourselves, loneliness is the result. We will always seek ways to ease this pain.
With this knowledge, meditation, that leads to improved everyday mindfulness, helps me defend my mind against the many predators and players in life, and also remain vigilant to the importance of self-awareness
The long and the short of it, is improved awareness, has great value provided we understand the root to our dysfunctionality. If you are currently experiencing a high degree of instability, working through this, with a mental health professional, is recommended. And a must before Meditation to Mindfulness Workshop attendance.
Philip Whittingham is currently only able to offer Analytical Hypnotherapy Services through home visits in the South West of England.