Vajrayana and PTSD

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby Simon E. » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:15 am

Yudron wrote:I've been reflecting on this. I have an elementary school friend who is apparently suffering greatly from PTSD. I don't know her, but she is a devout Christian and is a FB friend. Yesterday, I got a FB post that she is buying chicks to raise for eggs, meat and fertilizer. So, she is making the intention to kill them eventually. I don't know how one can recover from PTSD when one is setting up the causes and conditions for more trauma, from the karmic consequences of killing.

So, I think part of the picture is to be very diligent not to harm sentient beings, but to help sentient beings instead. Specifically, saving the lives of animals destined for slaughter. Releasing appropriate worms from a bait shop, for example, with prayers for them from one's tradition... which could be a simple as OM MANI PADME HUNG.

Sorry, but recovery from PTSD for a non Buddhist has no connection with observing Buddhist mores.
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:13 pm

Sherab Rigdrol wrote:I mention Vajrayana because of the inherent power of these practices to transform affliction. Obviously the specific Inner and Outer Tantras would in no way be suitable for anyone with dehabilitating PTSD. But maybe some Chenrezig, Medicine Buddha, or Green Tara practices? Also, Yantra Yoga seems like a great resource to release trauma from the body. All of these practice of course would be through the guidance of a Lama.
What do you think?


Green Tara, specifically, is not limited to Buddhists, and doesn't require a lama's guidance (unless of course practicing a specific restricted sadhana). Of course, without refuge and bodhicitta, it is not a Buddhist practice, but she can still help. I have a psychologist friend whose lama told her she can teach Green Tara practice to her clients. I think this is a great idea!
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby Nemo » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:44 pm

Everyone is walking wounded in Samsara. Diagnosed or not anyone with a truly open heart is traumatized by the horror and suffering of the human realm. To me PTSD is often just the hypocrisy and pretensions of our existence being stripped away. Having a pansy ass shrink trying to get you back into thinking you have a safe happy life is not for me.

:rolleye:
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby Simon E. » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:59 pm

dakini_boi wrote:
Sherab Rigdrol wrote:I mention Vajrayana because of the inherent power of these practices to transform affliction. Obviously the specific Inner and Outer Tantras would in no way be suitable for anyone with dehabilitating PTSD. But maybe some Chenrezig, Medicine Buddha, or Green Tara practices? Also, Yantra Yoga seems like a great resource to release trauma from the body. All of these practice of course would be through the guidance of a Lama.
What do you think?


Green Tara, specifically, is not limited to Buddhists, and doesn't require a lama's guidance (unless of course practicing a specific restricted sadhana). Of course, without refuge and bodhicitta, it is not a Buddhist practice, but she can still help. I have a psychologist friend whose lama told her she can teach Green Tara practice to her clients. I think this is a great idea!

I sincerely hope that any psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society..which keeps the Directory of Psychologists legally empowered to practice in the UK, does not attempt to teach Green Tara to her/his clients within an NHS setting..
They would find themselves in front of a disciplinary committee just as swiftly as would a psychologist who urged a client to invite the Lord Jesus into their hearts...
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby mandala » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:20 pm

It's a tough one... while meditation and deity practices are awesome, in someone who's mental state is overwhelmed by destructive thoughts and emotions it can be virtually impossible and sometimes counter-productive to attempt. A bit like trying to sit still in the middle of a tornado. Basic mindfulness techniques seem to be helpful to bring some calm and focus, to then be in a better place to engage in a practice.

For practices that don't require initiation (Vajrayogini is not appropriate in this instance, as it's a highest yoga tantra practice) - and assuming the client was open to Buddhism - Je Tsongkhapa could be a good choice, as his practice/mantra is good for depression, anxiety, illness, sadness & anger. It's gentle but also protective - the mantra combines the essence of: Chenrezig (compassion), Manjushri (wisdom) and Vajrapani (protection) all in Je Tsongkhapa. I've personally found this practice really helpful in dealing with depression.

For non-Buddhists, I don't know how you'd go about introducing any kind of deity practice. For something generic, Tonglen (for themselves), loving kindness meditation (again for themselves).

You mentioned about releasing trauma from the body... I'd recommend Kinesiology as a complimentary therapy. In my experience it can be beneficial to check in with the subconscious blocks in your body and diffuse the habitual ways we protect ourselves that mightn't be helpful. I talked to my therapist about stuff that came up in my kinesiology sessions and he seemed keen to look into it as a possible supplemental therapy for some clients.
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby Sherab Rigdrol » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:35 am

Nemo wrote:Everyone is walking wounded in Samsara. Diagnosed or not anyone with a truly open heart is traumatized by the horror and suffering of the human realm. To me PTSD is often just the hypocrisy and pretensions of our existence being stripped away. Having a pansy ass shrink trying to get you back into thinking you have a safe happy life is not for me.

:rolleye:


I half agree with your statement. PTSD is heavy karma being reaped, plain and simple. I focus on psychospiritual integration, which means without doing the basic psychological healing/strengthening there is little chance of making spiritual progress. Mahayana and Vajrayana are very complimentary and in of itself are healing systems, hence this thread. But the client has to have causes and conditions to not only hear the dharma, but to experience it as the truth about reality. I'll give a personal example. I spent my 20's immersed in different spiritual practices and paths-mostly of the hindu traditions. I would read about the dharma here and there. In fact first spiritual book I ever bought was the Art of Happiness back when i was in Middle School. Despite reading about Tibetan Buddhism randomly throughout my 20's it took 8 years for me to HEAR and FEEL it. Now I'm home and I couldn't be happier about it.

So while the person is incubating so they can experience the dharma, it is my job to provide a compassionate place for them to let go of their traumas. Safety results in confidence which ultimately allows us to LET GO.

mandala wrote:It's a tough one... while meditation and deity practices are awesome, in someone who's mental state is overwhelmed by destructive thoughts and emotions it can be virtually impossible and sometimes counter-productive to attempt. A bit like trying to sit still in the middle of a tornado. Basic mindfulness techniques seem to be helpful to bring some calm and focus, to then be in a better place to engage in a practice.

For practices that don't require initiation (Vajrayogini is not appropriate in this instance, as it's a highest yoga tantra practice) - and assuming the client was open to Buddhism - Je Tsongkhapa could be a good choice, as his practice/mantra is good for depression, anxiety, illness, sadness & anger. It's gentle but also protective - the mantra combines the essence of: Chenrezig (compassion), Manjushri (wisdom) and Vajrapani (protection) all in Je Tsongkhapa. I've personally found this practice really helpful in dealing with depression.

For non-Buddhists, I don't know how you'd go about introducing any kind of deity practice. For something generic, Tonglen (for themselves), loving kindness meditation (again for themselves).

You mentioned about releasing trauma from the body... I'd recommend Kinesiology as a complimentary therapy. In my experience it can be beneficial to check in with the subconscious blocks in your body and diffuse the habitual ways we protect ourselves that mightn't be helpful. I talked to my therapist about stuff that came up in my kinesiology sessions and he seemed keen to look into it as a possible supplemental therapy for some clients.


Non-Buddhists are often desperate enough to try almost anything. I've never heard of Je Tsongkhapa and I am really impressed with how comprehensive it sounds. I want to research this practice more for sure. Thank you. I agree about the wrathful deities, which is why I posted a caveat in my OP. I tried researching the Vajrayogini "goddess of trauma" label and found nothing but semi-new age websites spouting diet dharma.

For the physical stuff I think any practice the client could do on their own would be most beneficial ie prostrations or yantra yoga. Self empowerment (haha) is such a key factor.
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:02 am

Mig me tse wäi ter chen chän rä zig
Dri me khyen päi wang po jam päi yang
Dü pung ma lü jom dzä sang wäi dag
Gang chän khä pä tsug gyän tsong kha pa
Lo sang drag pä zhab la söl was deb

Avalokiteshvara, great treasure of unlimited compassion;
Manjushri, master of stainless wisdom;
Vajrapani, destroyer of the entire host of maras;
Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the sages of the land of snow;
To Losang Dragpa, at your feet I make requests.

The migtsema prayer was originally written by Je Tsongkhapa in praise of his own teacher, Jetsun Rendawa, with Rendawa’s name in it—“tsug-gyän Rendawa.” But Rendawa sent it back, replacing his name with Lama Tsongkhapa’s—“tsug-gyän Tsongkhapa”—saying that he was not worthy and that it was Lama Tsongkhapa who really deserved it.

http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=864


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhq96ENoDoc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXsq26CRIqY
http://www.migtsema.com/index_full.html
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby LastLegend » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:32 am

If they recognize their own condition and want to be helped, that would be helpful. If they don't, it's going to be hard even if Buddha is here.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Vajrayana and PTSD

Postby In the bone yard » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:05 pm

When I was first introduced to Buddhism it was categorized as a philosophy.
People might be more willing to listen if you say you're offering a way of life.
People can be turned off by the idea of religion because of ongoing hypocrisy.

Eckart Tolle has a way of teaching that is very gentle...
Marcus Aurelius' book 'Meditations' and Eckart Tolle's book 'The Power of Now' were my first two introductions to Buddhism.
Not Buddhism in the traditional sense, but the message points to the path and that is important. As long as you practice.

A common path I see is actual meditation and merit practice is being replaced by learning and studying for personal gain.
Trying to understand Tantras for example. There's not much merit or meditation practice in this.
Obviously, if you are studying tantra you should have enough superficial knowledge to practice Hinayana?
Or worse, maybe people bypass Hinayana sutra altogether and go straight to learning Tantra!
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