Exploring depression – tonglen, dialog, notice as awake space etc.

After receiving a three-hour (!) Vortex Healing session for my liver three weeks ago, I have not felt very good. I feel wiped out. My energy level is low. A lot of emotional things are surfacing1.

This morning, I woke up feeling depressed. (I am not sure if it’s actual depression since it comes and goes quickly. It’s probably more of a mix of hopelessness, sadness, and grief. It could also be bubbles of old depression in my system dislodged and surfacing from the healing.)

THOUGHTS

When these things come up, it’s easy for the mind to go into thought patterns to fit what’s coming up. Thoughts that are not helpful in a practical sense, and only amplify the sadness and hopelessness.

Fortunately, my mind also noticed what was happening and recognized the pattern.

The thoughts are not true. In another state, the thought pattern is different. There is no need to go into or fuel those thoughts.

FOOD

I know that certain foods would also amplify it (dairy, sugar, wheat, refined foods) so I had a good salad for breakfast (spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, sunflower seeds, olive oil) with an herbal tea to help my kidneys.

I took electrolytes in water and my body felt more alive and lighter.

MOVEMENT

I did some Self-Breema exercises which shifted something in me. My system lightened up a bit and there was more sense of space and also space around what’s coming up.

Just about any movement can be helpful: dance, yoga, tai chi, chigong, going for a walk or run, and so on.

TONGLEN

I did some tonglen with myself by visualizing myself in front of me.

This definitely shifted something in me.

WRITING

I decided to write this, which helps me notice more what’s going on and serves as a reminder to myself for the future.

NOTICE & ALLOW

As I write this, it reminds me of another exploration…

I sit down and notice what’s here. I notice it’s already noticed and allowed. I rest with and as that. I allow myself to soak in it and more viscerally get it. As I do that, I notice more space around it and it’s easier to notice it all as space and awake space. That noticing goes more into the foreground.

THANK YOU

After some minutes, and within that noticing, I say: Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. Stay as long as you want. (I say it to the areas of space where the sensations associated with sadness, grief, and hopelessness are.)

NOTICE WHAT IT’S MADE OF

I ask these parts of me – the sadness, grief, hopelessness – what are you really? What are you made of? I notice they are made of awake space and rest in and as that noticing, allowing myself to soak in it and take it in.

EXPLORING PARTS OF ME REACTING TO THE SADNESS

I notice any parts of me reacting to these other parts of me (the sadness, grief, hopelessness). I find it mostly in sensations in my forehead. I do the same with these. (Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. Stay as long as you want. What are you made of? And resting in and as that.)

A FEW MORE WORDS

As usual, there is a a lot to say about this, and really, it’s just about exploring it for ourselves and see what works for us and what shifts.

I did the easiest things first: Food and water, then some light movement, then tonglen and more quiet exploration. I helped my body first, which help me as a whole and makes the rest easier.

A lot of this has to do with aligning with reality, with what’s already here.

Of these things, tonglen, notice & allow, and the brief dialog seem to shift things the most. Tonglen and dialog help shift my relationship with it and soften any struggle with it. Noticing that it’s already noticed and allowed helps me consciously align with what’s already here. It’s all already happening within and as awake space. Allowing my system to rest in that noticing feels deeply nourishing and healing.

I also notice that I am fascinated by noticing it all as awake space. There is something more there for me.

In a conventional sense, it’s not new at all. It’s something I explored since my teens. And yet, it feels completely fresh and new. It is fresh and new since the other times this noticing happened are in the past, they can only be found in imagination. And I am sure there is a lot more for me to explore, especially in terms of allowing more of my human self to soak in it and align with it.

Note: I took some time to do just that now, and it feels deeply right. I can see how I have not allowed myself to fully do it consistently. I have, almost without noticing, been caught up in fearful parts of me telling me it’s dangerous. It can seem dangerous, and those parts of me only want to protect me and come from love. I also know, from experience, that it’s not dangerous. It’s a relief. What’s “dangerous” is actually to keep not doing it when my system keeps inviting me to do it more fully. That’s what maintains the discomfort. (And the sense of danger.)

NOTES

(1) It’s not uncommon for things to surface during or in the days after a healing session, but my system seems especially eager to release a lot which sometimes can be challenging. It didn’t use to be that way, but after I asked the divine to “show me what’s left” about thirteen (?) years ago, it seems to be that way.

I suspect my system needs much shorter sessions and far more time spent on integration. I may also need several follow-up sessions with integration in the following days.


INITIAL DRAFT

TONGLEN AND DEPRESSION

After receiving a three-hour (!) long Vortex Healing session for my liver three weeks ago, I have not felt very good. I feel wiped out. My energy level is low. A lot of emotional things are surfacing. (I suspect my system needs much shorter sessions and far more time spent on integration.)

This morning, I woke up feeling depressed. (I am not sure if it’s actual depression since it comes and goes quickly. It’s probably more a mix of hopelessness, sadness, and grief. It could also be bubbles of old depression in my system dislodged and surfacing from the healing.)

I noticed my mind going into thought patterns that would only amplify the sadness and hopelessness. My mind reminded itself of what’s happening. The thoughts are not true. In another state, the thought patterns are different. I don’t need to go into or fuel those thoughts.

I know that certain foods would also amplify it (dairy, sugar, wheat, refined foods) so I had a good salad for breakfast with an herbal tea to help my kidneys.

I took electrolytes in water and my body felt more alive and lighter.

I did some Self-Breema exercises, which shifted something in me.

I did some tonglen with myself by visualizing myself in front of me. This definitely shifted something in me.

I decided to write this, which reminds me of another exploration.

I sit down and notice what’s here. I notice it’s already noticed and allowed. I rest with and as that. I allow myself to soak in it and more viscerally get it. As I do that, I notice more space around it and it’s easier to notice it all as space and awake space. That noticing goes more into the foreground.

After some minutes, and within that noticing, I say: Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. Stay as long as you want. (I say it to the areas of space where the sensations associated with sadness, grief, and hopelessness are.)

I ask these parts of me – the sadness, grief, hopelessness – what are you really? What are you made of? I notice they are made of awake space and rest in and as that noticing, allowing myself to soak in it and take it in.

I notice any parts of me reacting to these other parts of me (the sadness, grief, hopelessness). I find it mostly in sensations in my forehead. I do the same with these. (Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. Stay as long as you want. What are you made of? And resting in and as that.)

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