Author Topic: How does vipassana alter our conditioned responses/ triggers (if it does)  (Read 3803 times)

Hazmatac

  • Member
What are your thoughts on this? What are the mechanics of this meditation changing your conditioning?
Say you have a bad reaction when you see a dog because of a bad incident when you were a kid. How does focusing on your breath for however long change your response to when you see the dog, if it does? Please, enlighten :) me.

Masauwu

  • Member
    • chipping away
Speaking from my limited experience, meditation practice makes subconscious conditioned reactions visible and lets me consciously choose a response (instead of instantly becoming a reaction). I`m not a neuroscientist but from a scientific point of view i think this might translate in re-wiring of some neural pathways - i posted in this topic some findings.

Focusing on your breath indeed makes you wonder how can such a simple thing bring profound changes. I think there are many factors in this one exercise: first, by keeping your attention focused on one object, you develop focus and depth of perception. Then, by keeping your attention alert so that you notice being distracted by thoughts and other things and bring it back where you want it, you develop awareness of things that were usually subconscious and apparently out of your control - with practice you start noticing them in everyday life not just in sitting meditation. Also, with the mind rested on one object it is kept away from the torrent of endless proliferating random thoughts that is the default state of most people and which creates stress; that practice brings calm, and this calm provides the space in which the previous results can be cultivated (focus and depth of perception, mindfulness of subconscious mechanisms, replacing subconscious conditioned reactions with conscious responses).
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Mindfulness and the development of calm facilitate insight into how things work in your mind. When you can see what's going on you have a chance to intervene in those previously unconscious processes. Additionally the regular practice of meditation increases pre-frontal cortex control mediated via the anterior cingulate - which enlarges and becomes more active in meditators. The anterior cingulate allows the prefrontal cortex to reduce the habituated reactions of the pre-mammalian brain, particularly the amygdala. The amygdala reacts very quickly to stimuli, much quicker than the thought out processes of the frontal cortex. The amygdala makes you jump back off the street when you walk in front of a bus - it has it's uses. Meditation has been shown to allow the cortex via the cingulate to suppress or delay reactions in the amygdala long enough to act not out of habitual deeply unconscious patterns but from the aware thinking mind.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Falkov

You don't drive and still focus mainly on breathing, do you?  You need to pay attention to what you are doing at the moment.  The breathing gives the grounding and focus, so your mind doesn't wonder around and think aimlessly- but you still need to maintain the control of your vehicle.    If you had some bad experience -it will take some time for you to get over it, or you just gonna have to really focus on the task and get on w/ your life. 

Now, once you advance w/ meditation- breathing is just a part of it, you will start becoming more aware of the present and what is going on around and w/in you at the time; and see things for what they really are not for what it was or will be.  You then can choose to do whatever you need to , w/ the thought being your tool and fear is no longer there. 

Interestingly enough, I had bad experience w/ dog once, but I got over that years ago.  Basically, when I now see a dog, I see what the dog is behaving right at the moment- whether it starts wagging its tail really fast or it start growling w/ the eyes fixing on you.    It is important though that you really see the dog w/ your eyes at the present, and not see it w/ your thought.

Sorry, I wasn't able to answer the question in (bio)mechanical terms, since my knowledge is very limited in that area.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 07:13:59 PM by Falkov »

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
I think it is hard to know what you would or wouldn't have done in any particular moment, and these 'big ticket items' tend to make us think that perhaps it hasn't done much sometimes. (for me substitute 'dog', with 'second son' for the trigger)
I find that that deep stuff is sometimes more distressing as part of my mind is identified with being peaceful and so reacts more. Which is obviously something...yeah.

Identification with these reactions, whether good or bad, is very much the heart of it though. good to see you around Rob. How have you been?
getting it done

Hazmatac

  • Member
Andrew, I have been good thank you. Well...good, and pretty dang horrible, but approximately somewhere around 'bad' for the majority of it. Honest answer.

Thank you all for your answers.

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
hahaha, I know what you mean when 'good' means 'bad', but hey sort of like what we are talking about really, being able to notice that 'something' is better than normal is all part of the remembering that keeps us going. Though it's so tempting to look at the 'fear of dog' and think, 'this isn't doing much'.

On the subject of changing things; It's early days, but I've been trying something out for the last 3 days which has helped; just smile all the time. Non-stop. Nothing goofy, just a subtle smile. It has helped make my at work 'good' (which is really mostly bad) actually quite good, which is actually... quite good. and because it is subtle, people don't ask 'what are you so happy about' but they do act differently, and so do I as the smile hiding just under the skin is reminding me to be attentive.

what has been 'pretty dang horrible' mate?

   
getting it done

Hazmatac

  • Member
Andrew, I said, good bad and horrible, mostly bad.
So, horrible has been something which I would prefer to... well, I would prefer to think about something nice you know, and keep positives in my mind.
Thanks for sharing the smiling idea too.

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
yeah, good choice, i think that is wise. we only have now.  :)
getting it done

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
3 Replies
2898 Views
Last post December 01, 2007, 11:32:00 PM
by Stefan
2 Replies
3665 Views
Last post December 22, 2007, 01:12:31 PM
by Vipassana_Beginner
9 Replies
3749 Views
Last post December 26, 2008, 11:47:24 AM
by Matthew
14 Replies
3954 Views
Last post July 26, 2010, 07:17:57 PM
by Matthew
8 Replies
3019 Views
Last post November 23, 2010, 04:24:12 PM
by James206
14 Replies
4241 Views
Last post March 05, 2011, 10:01:25 AM
by Andrew
7 Replies
3068 Views
Last post May 19, 2012, 07:40:19 PM
by Matthew