The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts

Discussion in 'Books About Cults and Extracting Oneself from Coer' started by lotus, Feb 19, 2014.

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  1. Free Being Me

    Free Being Me Crusader

    You've convinced me lotus, I'm buying this book at the beginning of next month. :) Do you get a commission? :hysterical:
  2. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous

    (shutttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt) :blush:

    Like it
    will make great discussions though! :happydance:
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  3. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

    I am really enjoying you sharing your thoughts as you read this book Lotus. I am truly looking forward to reading it.

    I like the concept of isolation pattern. Scientology uses heavy marginalisation methods - the old "us and them" at its finest. Done with a glossy smile "for your own good", it isolated me from the real world, and my own thoughts and feelings. I honestly can see this in all those I knew in scientology too.

    So I faked being happy. I faked and faked. A real pattern of being isolated from life and myself. But deep inside, there was this constant ache, this constant emptiness which I spent a lot of energy avoiding.

    It does make one very humble to see deep within, to feel all that one is capable of. The sadness, the bliss, the fear, the child-like wonder. It brings a gentle connection to true humanity. I think there is a kind of surrendering, which tends to go against all that (in my culture at least) I was raised with. I've had to reject a huge percentage of what I was raised with and nearly everything the scientology methods installed.

    And that is scarey shit. Giving up thousands and thousands of thoughts - unconscious thoughts which are patterned in and impact on every moment, every behaviour. Huge stuff.

    I grew up in a very competitive culture. Western culture is so much about being stronger than, better than, more than. Tests at school, exams for this, for that. Religions claiming to have "the answer". Comparing ourselves to others with our physical shapes, our bank accounts, etc. That's a lot of control which take a lot of energy. I was raised in a way to not be at all in tune with my emotions. Scientology finished it off and I became a robotic form of a human. I was so walled off from myself and hence unable to connect in any meaningful way (for me) to others and life.

    Since I've found inner calm (please note this is not a constant thing, there are days when I feel like I could have a wild panic attack any moment and have to take great care of myself at these times), I have discovered things deep within myself that are so fascinating. My creativity has opened up vastly.

    Can I tell you about a wonderful thing that happened the other night?

    I was looking at some vintage hats of my mothers. I was sad (she died last year). I was crying. For some reason I put one of the hats over the lamp beside me. The light behind the hat was stunning - breath-taking! The light showed up the subtle patterns of the hat fabric and brought life and beauty to it. This huge surge of creative energy hit me and to cut a long story short here, I am designing a wall-hanging with mum's old hats with lights behind them. When I get it finished I'll take some pics and share.

    This is kind of like when we get to really know ourselves. The light is within, the love is within, but we tend to only feel it from the surface or see/sense ourselves through our external experiences. I guess the big job is to shine that light deep within so we can see our patterns, our faults, our hearts.

    I really don't know Lotus. I just bumble along through each day and feel deeply thankful for life. :)
  4. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous

    Hello sally,

    what you wrote is very much touching to the heart as very much sincere.
    It takes a lot of humbleness to share about our own vulnerability, struggling, grief, and not knowing.

    I can share the grief you are experiencing because of the loss of your mother.
    The feelings you experience and the ritual you are performing, I am in the same process.

    I set a place in my bedroom, with her personnal belongings, teddybear, glasses- perfume, photo :blush:
    I don,t judge it as childish or morbid, It's a way to have her with me till I can make her living within me.

    It's a process to heal the grief and to remember her and keeping her alive in my heart.
    Unfortunately, I will have soon, to do the same process with another dear one. It's tough.
    But the only thing I can do is take care of my grief, and believe life has it's own plan for us all to reunite. :confused2:
    I doN,t know but I am confident life created something nice for us.

    This process you do is a self-compassion process and is helping you to deal with grief and loss and will be transform in less pain and more good memories with little time.
    I watched a documentary not long ago and was comforted in finding that many animals have funeral rituals - some for days,. They heal their grief for days!
    So I now believe it's a natural path of healing and integrate the memory of our dear ones within us.

    These situation I am overcoming are why I decided to give me a help with this book. I never succeded to share my grief neither my sadness with people, because of my education and path as a young adult, so I tried to find a way to heal myself.

    I look forward to your sharing of pictures - I know my eyes will be water though!
    Keep taking good care of you - giving up as you do, makes better moments of here and now!

    Thanf you for this beautifull post - lot of wisdom!

  5. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous

    I do play Birthday game with Kate - stats for thursday
  6. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous

    Sometimes I come across some cognitions here about ''expanding space'' (oatess cognitions)
    I often heard these cognitions within $cientology, including people in a mental breakdown or on the edge! :blush:

    While reading the book, it came to my ming that to feel such ''real''space on a permanent basis- it's like one has to come through the whole of a needle. One has to come back very small to become tall.

    When we find our vulnerability, lach of contorl in life, not knowing, fears, lack of responses,
    I think is the beginning of a new universe opening within us - It's not A huge sudden cognition
    it's more a daily basis work that makes a breach in the ego circuit defense system
    wich free many energies and space available to experience equanimity and comfort.

    When one do sincere effort and rech that point
    he\she is safe and will be able to deal with life event as he can embrace any event life brings, with resiliency.

    It's something completely different that a $scientology cognitions about having suddenly space and power.
    It like finding the place the waters are calm, despite agitation at the surface!
  7. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron


    I love how you have things in your bedroom to help you heal. I too have things of mums, photos, etc, which I spend time with. As times passes and the sadness changes, I spend less time with them. But still I desire that connection with her in the real world.

    I think of this grief as very beautiful. If you don't love, don't care, you never feel anything. You can shut down pain, avoid it, drown it, but then you also shut down joy and wonder and bliss. Emotions are not a "pick and chose" affair. For me, they are a package deal though I feel confident now that I can experience most emotions without reactions to external factors i.e. not much triggering going on or deep unexplored stuff deep within.

    For me the hardest part of watching someone fading away, and then dying, was the deep lack of control. It seems to me that humans crave control - over our experiences, our emotions, our world. It seems to me that this causes no end of suffering. I was so uncomfortable watching my mother fade to her last breath. Then I accepted it, bit by bit. Inch by inch. Somehow I found tiny ways of gently letting go and just loving and comforting her. By the time she died, I was at a place of peace and acceptance. Yes, sad as hell, but at peace.

    It was so simple. I loved her. Faults and all. She loved me. Faults and all. She told me I would be fine. I told her I was fine, because I was. She needed to know I would be fine after she had gone - mothers are like that eh. :)

    So mum has gone on her great journey. I sense her watching over me, smiling at me, and growling at me when I do something not quite to her liking (like ripping out the deformed yellow daisy bush from her garden). Our love lives on, our connection continues, in my heart.

    Animals feel grief in a very real way, imo. My cat was very close to my mother. He lived with her for about one year and they were deeply fond of each other. When mum died, my dear old cat was really sad. He just lay on the back porch, lacked energy, picked at his food and was nothing like his usual bouncy shelf. I was a little worried about him to be honest. I stayed calm with him, played mums music to him and tried to be extra kind to him - eventually he started to brighten up. It was a few months before he was back to his normal self. It was hard on him because we were taking all mum's stuff away from the house and I could tell he was really worried and sad.

    I am sorry you are facing loss again Lotus. I have found mindfulness, self-compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, etc, to be excellent at helping build resilience.

    I wish you great peace. :flowers:
  8. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous

    What you wrote had shaken me - it cleared some old tears.


    Sometimes, peope say so profound things there is nothing to add , and because we wish to keep it as beautifull it was said.

    You put in words, like a poem, exactly what it is!


  9. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous

    Her is an excerpt of the introduction:

    '' When we’re caught up in our pain, we also go to war against
    ourselves. The body protects itself against danger through fight, flight,
    or freeze (staying frozen in place), but when we’re challenged emotionally,
    these reactions become an unholy trinity of self-criticism, self-isolation,
    and self- absorption. A healing alternative is to cultivate a new relationship
    to ourselves described by research psychologist Kristin Neff as self-kindness,
    a sense of connection with the rest of humanity, and balanced awareness.

    That’s self-compassion.

    In this book you’ll discover how to bring self- compassion to
    your emotional life when you need it most—when you’re dying of
    shame, when you grind your teeth in rage or fear, or when you’re
    too fragile to face yet another family gathering. Self- compassion is
    giving yourself the love you need by boosting your innate wish to
    be happy and free from suffering.

    Dealing with emotional pain without making it worse is the
    essence of Buddhist psychology. The ideas in this book draw from
    that tradition, particularly those concepts and practices that have
    been validated by modern science. What you’ll read is essentially
    old wine in new bottles— ancient insights in modern psychological
    idiom. You don’t have to believe in anything to make the practices
    work for you—you can be a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a scientist,
    or a skeptic. The best approach is to be open- minded, experimental,
    and flexible.

    Clinical scientists discovered meditation in the 1970s, and it’s
    now one of the most thoroughly researched of all psychotherapy
    methods. Over the past 15 years, research has focused primarily on
    mindfulness, or “awareness of present experience, with acceptance.”
    Mindfulness is considered an underlying factor in effective psychotherapy
    and emotional healing in general.

    When therapy goes well, patients (or clients) develop an accepting attitude
    toward whatever they’re experiencing in the therapy room—fear, anger,
    sadness, joy, relief, boredom, love—and this benevolent attitude gets
    transferred to daily life.

    A special bonus of mindfulness is that it can be practiced at home in the form
    of meditation.
    Mindfulness tends to focus on the experience of a person, usually
    a sensation, thought, or feeling. But what do we do when the experiencer
    is overcome with emotion, perhaps with shame or self-doubt?

    When that happens, we don’t just feel bad—we feel we are bad.
    We can become so rattled that it’s hard to pay attention
    to anything at all.

    What do we do when we’re alone in the middle of the night,
    twisting the sheets around us in bed, sleep medication isn’t working,
    and therapy is a week away? Mostly we need a good friend with a
    compassionate heart. If one isn’t immediately available, we can still
    give kindness to ourselves—self- compassion.
    I encountered self- compassion from two directions, one profes-
    sional and one personal. I’ve practiced psychotherapy for 30 years
    with patients ranging from the worried well to those overwhelmed
    by anxiety, depression, or trauma. I also worked in a public hospital
    with people suffering from chronic and terminal illnesses. Over the
    years, I’ve witnessed the power of compassion, how it opens the heart
    like a flower, revealing and healing hidden sorrow. After therapy,
    however, some patients feel like they’re walking into a void with the
    voice of the therapist trailing far behind. I wondered, “What can
    people do between sessions to feel less vulnerable and alone?” Sometimes
    I asked myself, “Is there any way to make the therapy experience
    rub off more quickly—to make it portable?”

    Self- compassion seems to hold that promise for many people.''
  10. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous


    I completed the book, few days ago!
    I took time to ''digest'' and give a second try to some exercices.

    There is mainly 2 exercices in the book which consist of easy 5-10 minutes meditations

    1) is more directed to developp attention to ''here and now''
    (which relieves many mind struggling and unecessary suffering about the past that has gone and the futur wich is not

    2) the second is more directed at ''compassion and love'' to make grow within as well as gratitude or whatever.

    Despite I practice medidation for 15 years and was trained by a monk mindfulness teacher, I admit the compassion meditation is sometimes very difficult for me. A part of mu brain resist to be compassionate toward me and very few person I maintain few ressentment toward them.

    The tibetan buddhists practice it as Metta meditation.

    I tried few years ago with Pema Chodron teachings but it was difficult for me to give up on few negative emotions I want to give up.

    Probably , my family education background + scientology background made me someone unskilled in ''self-loving''

    Being very unreasonable toward self probably create a similar attitude toward other as having strong expectations.

    The book really, for the first time in my life, create an opportunity to heal this part of the self , to look at it, to understand we, very often devaluate ourselve or self-punish for mistakes.
    When there is a little bit of awareness, open heart and willingness, these easy meditations can open a breach in the
    resisting part within us , this part of the ego that like to make us feel pain and suffering while resisting on giving up.

    I think that while practicing it, we can get to a point of being able to forgive to most hurting offenses althoug we don't forget. It's only a matter at giving up to the suffering and miserable life some may experience about some traumatic event in their life.
    When experiencing that everything is fine in present time, here and now, we appreciate the deep sensation of equanimity
    and the comfort it brings in time of storms. Thus, it makes it easier to give up at any ressentment , grief, suffering.

    These are just thaughts about what I get from the reading and practice of this book.

    It did help me to understand why I have been trap in this cult and let some people harm me. The many informations he provides about brain structure - chemical - reactions - conditionning are very much enlighting.

    I prepare for the second reading soon.

    Thanks brothers and sisters for reading the sunday night preacher sermon - be in peace!

    I look forward to reading some comments on the book!

  11. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

    Beautiful Lotus!

    I wish I could write a river of words in reply but I am currently working on a small tablet as my trusty old laptop died. The tablet has my neurons sizzling as I wade my way into new pathways.

    Self-compassion and deep forgiveness and acceptance have been a struggle for me. It was so "easy" to cling to my resentments towards those that hurt me. I think it all began to fall apart for me one day when I was meditating on forgiveness. Somehow it became unbearable to spend energy on resenting those that had betrayed me, etc. Somehow in those exquisite moments my heart, struggling to fully open, ripped open, leaving the love which had always been crying out to be felt and expressed.

    My lack of self-respect, self-compassion, had crippled my dear heart. I hid in the external events, resenting others, hating others and so forth. The anger that protected my crying heart was always close to the surface. Forgiveness, deep and relentless brought a strength, and courage, to go deeper into my loving heart without fear. My mind no longer was noisy and the stillness brought sweet harmony and peace.

    I can still become noisy in my head but my loving heart gently leads me home at times like these. I do not fear suffering or myself. Therefore I cannot fear others when they suffer and feel the need to throw their pain out into the world. Difficult people have been my greatest "teachers".

    None of this is perfect or constant. I am human and that's the most wonderful experience. To bleed, to cry, to ache, to suffer, to dance, to paint, to enjoy the wonders this incredible human body is capable of - it fascinates me over and over. The way a body ages, the bumps and wrinkles, they are an honour to witness in myself and others.

    I am blessed to have been with my mother when she died. She showed me what each breath really means and the fragile beauty of life. She showed me the stunning wonder, the awe, that is being imperfectly perfect.

    Walking my talk beside her those last few weeks of her life, sitting watching her breath as she slept, gently accepting it all, letting go of all that had passed between us for over 50 years, there is no greater blessing. No greater love. I saw myself fully, felt it all, became truly human. The past integrated, the pain melted into compassion and love.

    I am. No less, no more. There is nothing to seek, only crazy fun curiosity filled days and nights, firmly in each moment, alive and breathing.

    Not a clue if any of this makes sense. Thoroughly challenged typing on this tablet with a touch screen typing surface slightly bigger than a cats paw. :)
  12. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation


    You've just re-reminded me to buy this book ... so I whizzed over to ebay and bought it a moment ago.


    I'll let you know how I go ...

    Thank you for thinking of us and for your honest report on your own progress with it.
  13. Free Being Me

    Free Being Me Crusader

    That reminds me, I forgot to buy this book. Off to Amazon! :pixiedust:
  14. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader


    I just bought this book. Your recommendation and detailed description were more than I could resist!

    Btw, thank you for all your wonderful posts lately. :bighug:
  15. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown


    Very moving Sally.
  16. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous


    Very much touching!
    You have a unique way to describe your path, to share your secret garden, with much sensitiviy and a way we feel walking besides you! These are words of heart!

    It's beautifull and inspiring!

    Thank you!

  17. tetloj

    tetloj Silver Meritorious Patron

    My goodness Sally! Your writing seems to bypass my brain and go straight to my heart. It is as if reading your words I can feel what you feel. It really is remarkable.

  18. tetloj

    tetloj Silver Meritorious Patron

    I've come back to this thread after contemplating again in the last couple of days the principle teachings of Buddhism (four noble truths and the eight-fold path). I've never been a great believer in spiritual matters, but find that these basic teachings say so much that makes sense about how to interact with the world.

    The nexus between eastern Buddhism and western psychology is an interesting space to watch at the moment, offering something tangible to those of us a little lost in 21st century narcissistic society, but without feeling like you have to undergo some kind of religious conversion.

    I've never been very successful at meditation (too fidgety and stuck in my thoughts) but I did get a powerful moment doing one of Kristin Neff's meditations. It was only about 15 minutes and dealt with thinking kind and loving thoughts about someone you really care about. Through the guided meditation she then tells you to flow that love to yourself - I really did feel that and it was pretty awesome.

    Imagine loving yourself as much as you care about others!
  19. Gadfly

    Gadfly Crusader

    Interestingly, I have been practicing that as a key part of a healing therapy I have been a part of over the past 4 months.

    It seems to me that ONLY when you TRULY accept, forgive and love yourself unconditionally can you do so to others. When you accept, forgive and love yourself on all levels - past, present and future, large and small, real or imagined, forgotten or remembered - then the same sort of feelings can effortlessly extend outward to the rest of creation. Because, you have attained a sort of self-realization, and part of that deep awareness recognizes at a very fundamental level that "we are all the same" (other than all the differences due to experiences, perspective, education, etc.).

    We are taught to forgive others, but never how to REALLY forgive ourselves - without the need of priests, auditors or any outside agency. Even when some accept the all-loving forgiveness of Jesus, some still clutch onto shame, blame and regrets. Why? Because, he or she has not yet fully forgiven his or herself. I mention forgiveness because it is linked to love and acceptance. They go hand-in-hand.

    :handinhand: :handinhand: :handinhand:

    Self-forgiveness is a skill anyone can learn, but it is not commonly understood or taught. It requires no dogma or system. Just the simple act of forgiveness (which is not simple at all when you first begin to try to do it on parts of your past). It is a skill that improves with practice, effort and determination.
  20. Free Being Me

    Free Being Me Crusader

    This entire thread belongs on Golden Quotes. :)

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