My first post. Is anyone here practicing Dhamma and experiencing strong effects of past trauma in mind and body? For example anxiety and fear and so on? I’m finding when the panic has begun, its the Kilesas, I’m feeling it in the heart and all these old memories appear from long ago to be felt today - problem is I keep fighting the fear and sensations, which of course makes it worse as it’s aversion. Its like a merry-go-round of Panpanca, mental proliferations and full identification as body, mind. I see it later … there’s some kind of identification here that obviously I attach to then the cycle begins. I do practice Anapanasati daily, I do practice body sweeping daily and I do read and listen to Dhamma daily, yet there it is. I would so appreciate anyone sharing some wisdom either from the Suttas or personal. Thank you kindly and Metta to all.
Very common. And great that you recognize that your reaction is just aversion. Remind yourself that it’s just a memory. A memory cannot harm you. Experience it with compassion for yourself. This too shall pass. Best of luck!
Welcome to the forum!
My personal and professional experience is that Buddhist practices are not as helpful in dealing with trauma as modalities like polyvagal theory and EMDR. And in some cases Buddhist practices can be harmful.
My suggestion would be to find a counsellor who specializes in trauma. I quite like EMDR, but I know counsellors who do great work coming from other modalities.
If you want to discuss further, please do feel free to DM me. I’m not a counsellor (and could not offer any specific advice even if I were). But I do work in the mental health field and can talk more generally about trauma approaches available.
Edit to Add: If you do go the solely Buddhist route go to a monastery with a strong teacher. Monasteries have been dealing with people showing up with a wide range of starting places forever. Or find a Buddhist teacher who is specifically trauma informed. I would really distrust a non-monastic, non-trauma-informed setting or retreat for dealing with trauma.
Thank you very much for your guidance!
Yes I am seeing this via feeling the heart area, there’s hate in there and it’s teaching me about letting go. Thank you for the guidance!
Yes! Let it all out.
I recognise it. I feel, for dealing with trauma it is helpful to connect with the inner pain, the sadness, the wounds. If tears come, let them go. Do not block your emotions or ignore them or try to be a good buddhist-practioner.
Sometimes one can feel one must be a great buddhist practicer blocking emotions, liberating emotions, freeing emotions, seeing them as anicca, anatta etc. I do not think this is helpful with dealing with trauma because the reactions is too overexicted. But others can give their opinions too.
It is difficult to deal with the inner wounds in a sensitive way. But a strong physical wound also needs much attention to heal. I think there is a lot of accumulated grief inside. Sadness. It can eat oneself.
I would advice, just be yourself, and do not try to be a good buddhist or whatever to deal with deep wounds like trauma. I belief it is a kind of heartache. Also aversion. Hate. It is heartache. One is in pain, wounded but cannot really be with that, feel it.
I also belief it is helpful to talk about the wounds with others. Maybe a therapist or good friends. You are not alone. It can be very lonely dealing every dag with trauma and anxiety. Some help is needed.
Good sleep is also important. Sleep hygiene. Not drinking to much. No internet late at night, etc.
Excercising. Walking, jogging, biking. Sport. Some daily structure.
Hope this is useful. You are not alone.
I wish you well