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”

Struggle with Food Addiction – Part 1

I say part 1 on this post because I imagine it won’t be the last, who knows, maybe it will be a three part series like the Millennium Trilogy or a seven part series like Harry Potter. Clearly I love books 🙂

Nothing like a poor joke to make light of a serious subject. As I read in some of President Ikeda’s writing earlier this week:

In the midst of a genuinely desperate situation, he (President Toda) retained his sense of humour

– Indigo Magazine Jan 2018, page 30

Earlier this week when I really struggled to be able to manage my crazy rotation diet and sleep and work, I prayed with the determination that I must be able to do Gongyo, chant at least ten minutes, write here, have my food figured out and be able to get some sleep. For the last 3 weeks, sleeping at 2 am has really taken its toll on me.

Last night, I was ready to sleep at 9.30 pm. I still hadn’t written my blog or cooked lunch for today. I dragged my ass off the couch and somehow cooked and wrote. By the time I finished and got to sleep, it was 2 am again.

Oh wait I missed a step, after dragging myself off the couch, I ate. I ate even though I wasn’t hungry and had already eaten. It was a reward and emotional fuel to be able to do what needed to be done. I couldn’t do it without the emotional support food provided me.

Continue reading “Struggle with Food Addiction – Part 1”