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.
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.