Healing Trauma via Buddhism – Part 2

Continuing on from my post here, writing further about what I learned at the workshop “Trauma, Neuroscience and the Evolving Therapy of Traumatised Children and Adults” by Dr Bessel van der Kolk earlier this week and referring to his book The Body Keeps the Score.

The most important job of the brain is to ensure our survival, even under the most miserable conditions.

– The Body Keeps the Score pg 55

Amygdala is the smoke detector in the brain that detects danger. In a traumatised person’s brain, the amygdala becomes hypersensitive, very involved. It goes off all the time. This also translates into low serotonin production. Boosting serotonin can help quieten the smoke detector too.

Using the Buddhist practice in the present moment, I can rely on my prayer for survival. This action focused on bringing out my greatest potential enables me to bypass the in-built brain circuits that were formed in the past. I am gently nudging myself to not fall back to old ways, but let in new possibilities. SGI activities, visiting members, connecting to others, going to meetings gives me a sense of belonging that helps to boost my serotonin levels to calm the smoke detector.

When I sought guidance from the general director earlier this year, I was told that “Until the time, I am stuck in the mode of why is my life this way, why is this happening to me, I am still looking for the Gohonzon outside of myself. Instead when I chant to embrace my situation and I determine to engage with others, no matter what, I will find creative ways to solve my current situation”.

Continue reading “Healing Trauma via Buddhism – Part 2”

Allowing myself to live

Two weeks ago, I got handed a “crazy” diet plan to work around my food allergies, sensitivities and tendency to develop new sensitivities.

Broadly, I have a narrow set of foods to choose from and I can only eat each of them only 1 or 2 times a week. It’s been rough to manage. Two weeks ago, I sought guidance from SGIA General Director and really my focus has been learning to embrace and accept my physical constraints.  This is what is need to do to look after my physical self so I can contribute to kosen rufu, my larger purpose, so I can accumulate treasures of the heart i.e. strength of character to cultivate a state of absolute happiness in my life.

I was told, while I am wishing for the situation to be different from what it is, I am looking for the Mystic law outside of myself and that is not the correct practice. On the contrary, when I fully embrace myself and my situation, I will start to find wisdom to best deal with it so I can still contribute to kosen rufu and to happiness for myself and others.

When I started writing this post, I had to actually check the calendar to really believe that it has been only two weeks of this crazy regime. In a way it feels like forever. Last week was full of sleepless nights, with me needing time to wind down, do my health appointments and cook and clean-up each day. My good friend in Sydney suggested I find domestic help again and helped me post an ad on Gumtree. She prayed for me too.

Miraculously, I got only one response.

Continue reading “Allowing myself to live”