Centered with Noise

DSC01318It’s not always going to be quiet and still when you’re getting Centered and while you are Centered. Focker will be doing everything he can to distract you. I’ve brought a CD/radio player and I’m going to play some different things while you practice going to Center and staying Centered. Everyone close your eyes. Take some time to go to Center and then explore your Center. (Over the next ten minutes, I played different kinds of music and tuned in different radio stations with different volumes). Open your eyes. There will be many variations of things going on that can make Centering and staying Centered more challenging. Part of your assignment for next session will be to create some situations that you might label as distracting. Do that at home this week and after a while you will notice you are becoming more skilled at getting into Center with or without distractions.

            Why am I having you do so many Centering Meditations? It’s part of your training and learning to get Centered is the key to your healing. When you think about basic training, I assume you don’t remember anything about it being fun and entertaining, but what you learned perhaps saved your life on a number of occasions.

            Break down in pairs, spread out, and designate yourselves one and two. Now, everyone close your eyes and go to Center. I’m going to create more distractions. Stay there for awhile and I’ll let you know when to open your eyes. (About five minutes)  Open your eyes. I want the ones to talk to the twos about how they got to Center, what it was like at Center from both a physical and mental perspective, how they see Centering as a path to healing and how they did with the distractions. Then twos talk to ones about their experience.

            I’ll give you an example of how that might sound. “I take about ten deep breaths to relax my body and slow down my mind and I’m in this grove of apple trees not far from the farm. Most of the time, I walk through the grove and I like early mornins’ just as the sun is comin’ up. I can hear a rooster or two and it’s real peaceful. Sometimes, I can’t see the grove, but I feel relaxed. Most of my thoughts are kinda like I can do this. This is gonna help me move on and get rid of this boozin’ and druggin’. One of my big problems is feelin’ guilt and shame and I keep workin’ on ideas like, ‘The past is gone. It’s not real. God forgives me. I can forgive myself. Focus on family and gettin’ better so I can take care of ‘em.’ Things like that. Sometimes I think it’s helpin’ and other times, I think I’m takin’ two steps backwards. That feelin’ comes most of the time when I’m drinkin’ and poppin’ pills.”

            This is another example. “I use the breathing too, but lately after about five deep breathes, I count backwards from ten to one and when I get to one, I’m walking in the woods. The counting helps me get my mind quite and concentrate. I’ve been thinking about continuing to do deep breathing while I’m counting like counting a number when I exhale. My favorite time is around twilight. I love sunsets so I usually find a place where I can watch one. It gives me a feeling of peace. My body feels peaceful too. My problems mostly are my panic attacks, flashbacks, and nightmares.” (Smiling) “Actually, I have quite a few others like girl friend problems, jumping out of my skin if I hear a noise, drinking too much beer, and I’m with you on the guilt and shame. Sometimes I feel like it’s helping and other times I wonder if it’s helping at all. I keep telling myself if I just keep training, I’m gonna get better. When I start to have the panic and flashbacks, I’m trying to interrupt them before they get started with the deep breathing and saying they will pass and I’ll be fine. I’m also trying not to freak out and fight them. I’ve noticed that when I can do that, they lose some steam. When I’m thinking about being Centered and have done some deep breathing, and I hear a loud noise, I don’t startle as much so that’s a good thing.”

            Okay, now take turns talking about your experience. (Group Discussion)          

            I will continue to emphasize the importance of the deep breathing. Throughout the remainder of our training, I will from time-to-time out of the blue say, “Go to Center!” Immediately start your deep breathing and you should right away feel your body relaxing and your mind getting quiet. If you don’t experience those two things, it just means you need more training. What I’m emphasizing now is that I want you to always do the deep breathing when going to Center. Be aware at first of your body relaxing and then you can notice that your mind is becoming quiet. As your mind becomes quiet, that means you are attentive and focused on being Centered and Focker is quiet.

            I want everyone to close your eyes and go to Center. Take a walk outside this place and take  no memory with you. It’s like you will see everything as if you were seeing it for the first time. Each moment is fresh and new. (About five minutes) Open your eyes.

            Think about the implications. If you can close your eyes and go to Center for five minutes and experience the moments without memory, is it possible to do it for ten minutes? And if you can do it for ten, minutes, can you do it for longer? I did it to excite a perception that it is possible to quiet the mind with no memory. So you glimpse the possibility and then before you have time to discover how nice it feels, Focker is back telling you this is a bunch of crap. Hopefully, you realize you still have some serious training to do. (Group Discussion)