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Buddhism and Depersonalization.

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#1 Floating Tears

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 09:10 AM

I found this on google "The Buddhist Blog: Buddhism and Depersonalization." while seaching... looks like an interesting read. I can't post links yet but just google for "Buddhism and Depersonalization.".

#2 backagain


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Posted 01 November 2009 - 08:29 PM

I have heard that buddhists actually strive for the depersonalized derealized state of mind.. They see it as some sort of intermediary state towards enlightenment.

I can see it the same way, but the people who get dp/dr aren't usually aware of this, they got to be that way in one way or another but not by using the steps the buddha shows and So they are completely bewildered by the experience as it is one that they did not strive for consciously and is in stark contrast to the reality that they have been brought up and conditioned to believe. This is the battle that most dp/dr sufferers are fighting. They want to go back to the way things were before dp/dr but it is not wise to want to go back to the beginning as it will only lead you back where you started, to the beginning of the tunnel. In the midst of the darkness of the mind tunnel, we are surrounded by all kinds of illusions that blind us and hold us back from ever breaking through our minds darkness. The fear inside of us keeps us and we become trapped in the endless darkness of our mind's insecurity, governed by our own illusioned thoughts, emotions, behaviors, closed in views, etc. That we hold onto to preserve the existence we know through the ego identity we have developed in this period of time and within the confines of our social structure.

We must seek the awareness that leads us through the tunnel, the self less awareness, compassion, understanding of existence and we must find something to believe in other than our selfish egotistical existence of self and it's own self preserving ways. You must go through the tunnel of darkness and come out through the other side to find the light of truth of being inside. Each mental tunnel is unique to the person and synonymous with his/her own judgements outward/inward reflecting illusions back and forth to preserve continuation of the ego and it's desires for fulfillment that blind us from gaining glimpses of the ultimate reality of life.

Have you ever gone through a dark tunnel ? For example when I was a young kid, I would find myself roaming through a sewer wash where there was no light just trash,darkness, graffiti, and no visible outcome of what was to be, there was only a tunnel of darkness ahead. During the encounter with the tunnel you are uncertain, insecure, fearful and all these question marks in your mind keep you from stepping forward into the uncertainty of the dark tunnel. There you contemplate if you should go through to see what becomes of it or stand before it in wonder of what could be. You either succumb to the perils of the mind or you overcome the fear in search of a greater answer. The mental fear within the self arises from the perception of the unknown darkness of the tunnel of what the tunnel may bring which reflects only the unknown darkness within our own mind. You come to either fight these uncertain contemplations of existence or you stay in the boundary limit of "self" preserving state of mind. If you take the steps forward through the tunnel of darkness with each step into darkness comes more uncertainty, further distancing yourself from your previous place of comfort of not knowing and moving onto the answer of knowing. So as I step through, I become selfless, distancing myself from the illusions of the mind and moving forward with the power of the wonder of what is to be. A trip through a dark tunnel of unknown outcome is in itself a trip that defies the rules of the self governed mind. The darkness is blinding but the question is still there as I hold on to the faith of wonder and what is to become of the tunnel, halfway through the tunnel you are caught in between 2 self made realities, the reality of a previous self and the reality of a new self. When you decide to keep moving into the new self you take with you the self made reality of the previous self and until you reach the light at the end of the tunnel, you cannot begin to reflect on the judgments of that previous self. So When your eyes finally reach the end of the tunnel and the light at the end of the tunnel reaches your eyes,. You are given a new meaning, an answer to the fears that blinded you. A refreshing vision of the world on the other side of that tunnel. The sense of self is replenished with the shining light of knowing, the spirit is strengthened to move ahead and in my own personal belief it means God is happy for you. The God in us all

What is it that keeps us moving ahead, is it not the wonder of what will be ? Have we lost the wonder that drives us to go on ? Are we stopped in our tracks by our self made realities of what is and what is not. Are we trapped between the beginning and end of a dark tunnel of mind. Can we accept ourselves and move on to what the Buddha was trying to teach us. It's up to us as individuals to find our way in this world, it's up to us set our own paths and hold onto the faith that leads us to our destination. It's up to you to know what is right for you. But do you know who you really are ? Behind all the fascades that we reflect in the mirror, behind all the illusions that we reflect off each other, behind the meanings we infer from the judgments of others, Behind what we believe is key to our survival, behind all that there is a real person inside. One with no rules, no boundaries, no attachments, the eternal being within.

#3 DownTheRabbitHole


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Posted 01 November 2009 - 09:00 PM

good post backagain, id say that was worth a thread of its own, some deep shizzles! and almost inspiring in some sense to me personally.

#4 backagain


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Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:52 PM

Sorry I went off on a tagent hope u understand

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 03:56 PM

Interesting Floating Tears. This is something I'm researching and writing a short article on. Started to do this on my blog and it's gotten to long.

At any rate: the link: http://thebuddhistbl... ... ation.html

This all said, I have found Buddhism to be like another psychiatrist who has a tried and true prescription for emotional stress--meditation.

When I find myself outside looking in and feel it really interfering with my day or lasting longer than usual I have watered the seeds of good habit energy enough to feel some doer inside that body move for me to get on the meditation cushion. So when I start breathing and concentrate upon that I feel my body and mind return together in union. The breathing is like a gentle guide helping me return to the reality of oneness much like someone helping a person with dementia return to a place of security and peace.

[/i]Another good habit that I've developed to help connect me back to my body and present moment is to touch the ground from time to time while meditating as the Buddha did. It helps me feel something tangible that anchors me back into the experience of being.[/i] I have also found it helpful to wear a strand of prayer beads or mala around my wrist at all times because it is another physical touch object that brings me back to the present moment. It is comforting to feel a fabricated object touch my skin because it helps me remember that my body is in fact real. It also reminds me at the same time of the teachings of Buddha to remind me that I what I'm experiencing is a delusion which sometimes helps me return to myself.

The author has an interesting POV, and a good attitude.

I my studies of Buddhism which are basically Zen Buddhist writings of Thich Nhat Hahn, I find that DP/DR are the exact opposite of enlightenment. I have worked in DBT to "return from this dream" and ground myself in certain Buddhist practice. BEING IN THE MOMENT, BEING MINDFUL. BEING PRESENT. BEING IN THE REAL WORLD. NOT TRAPPED IN MY MIND, OR TRAPPED BY THE FEARS MY MIND GENERATES.

There used to be an old website called Trancenet that was around to help people who medidated themselves INTO DP and needed help getting out. I think this person has it figured more logically. DP/DR are not enlightenment. DP/DR are not "being in the moment." We can however use Buddhist techniques to "ground" ourselves as this individual does. I do some of the same things.

I do yoga and consciously count in my head why doing certain repetitions or holding a pose. The counting is the only way I can "empty my mind" of negative intrusive thoughts or worries. When I have felt horrible DP/DR I touch familiar fabrics ... so strange that person says that ... to "bring me down to earth" to feel a part of existence.

I still think people misunderstand DP/DR for being enlightenment. In my humble opinion, what I've read, what I've FELT, it is not. Also, it's interesting however, in Suzanne Segal's "Collision With The Infinite" -- she found comfort in interpreting her DP/DR as a spiritual journey/experience. Ultimately however, it did not give her much comfort.

I think the key is to see using "Core Mindfulness Skills" are helpful in reducing anxiety which subsequently reduce DP/DR. This along with proper sleep, diet, exercise, relaxation techniques, BRING US BACK. That is the simplicity of the Buddhism I follow. And I follow it in a very narrow way. (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy training). FInd "Wise Mind" if you're flipping out. Move from the far ends of being overly rational or overly emotional and move towards the "Grey" area which is the melding of both extremes.

This centers and calms.

I think this goes in the religious discussion section though. Oops.
I bookmarked that Blog.
Very interesting.
I have to find that Trancenet site. People recovering from "trying to lose themselves" -- and they do ... certainly if they are predisposed to doing so. The mind amazes me.

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:14 PM

Well, I can't find Trancenet now. I haven't seen it in years actually. But there can be a negative effect ... and I've experienced it myself of focusing INWARDS. My goals are not so much meditation but to allow negative thoughts "pass through" ... leaving the mind "empty" ...well it can never be empty or we'd be dead. :shock:

Anyway, I usually find what I find incorrect statements that DP/DR are what are the goals of the Buddhist, and so far this is not true. The words SEEM the same but aren't. For instance, living in the present, one does not stress -- worry about the future, worry about the past, but only the task at hand. DP/DR keep me from feeling that, being in the present. And I can't "force myself" to feel in the present, so I have to use techniques to calm the mind.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. We have to learn to live happily in the present moment, touch the peace and joy that are available now."

Our mental being is not to "transcend" THIS WORLD, it is to be COMPLETELY A PART OF IT ... which DP/DR takes us from. I can attest to that from a horrible experience this week where I prayed to God I wouldn't kill someone in my car as my DP/DR got so bad, a red light started to lose its meaning. I knew I wasn't supposed to feel that way, but that's how I felt, how everything looked. Nothing was familiar/recognizable on a street a few miles from my apartment. I had to find a parking lot to "collect myself." If I'd remained a mess for much longer (about an hour total) I would have phoned 9-1-1 and had an ambulance take me to a hospital -- no lying. I was at that time in my car "a danger to myself and to others."

Glad I slowly came back to the "normal DP" I have. And that was by repeating, "This is just a bad DP/DR episode caused by sleep deprivation, emotional stress, too much coffee, some confusion on the freeway (I got lost for a short distance), etc." I had to say. Red light means stop. Press brake. Bank is near store. Store is near parking lot. Stop car in parking lot. I feel bad for X reasons. This will pass. I was using "wise mind" ... in the past I would have become completely terrified, and I hate to think what might have happened.

And this was not a panic attack, I had no panic attack before this. This was a hideous "wave" of BAD DP/DR that came over me "out of the blue" ... unfortunately on a freeway off-ramp. (But I could figure WHY it happened, but had no control over it save to think as logically as possible.) The individual in the blog is trying to "get grounded" in the same way. As I call it, "Seek the familiar."

My GOD, the worst DP/DR I've had in 4 or 5 years. At this point I'll take the daily dose I have thank you.


#7 Sleepwalker


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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:22 PM

Glad you pulled through, Dreamer. :D You're very resourseful

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:12 AM

Thank you sleepwalker,

As far as I'm concerned, I have come a significant way in terms of talking myself down from a HORRIBLE wave. I'm actually proud of myself. If this had happened even 5 years ago, I would have been in bed for a week out of terror. Mind you, I did not drive my car for several days after this happened, but realized I'd have to get back into the stupid thing eventually. Was low on food stuffs and printer ink.

It is true, if you get socked in the head to TRY, little by little to find Earth again.

I'm still not a happy camper, but I am here.

Take Care, ALL of you.
Know your limits.
Know your strengths.

#9 FoXS


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Posted 14 November 2009 - 06:54 AM

hello everyone,
i think there is a grave difference between buddhism / meditation and DR/DP.

- the buddhists, monks and the meditating person WANTS to feel the extension of the consciuousness, the release of the self, the out-of-body-experience. they know what will happen, what the effect will be and how to deal with it.
- WE are FORCED to feel this, we CAN NOT handle it and we DON'T want it to last!

so this is why we can not see an advantage in this condition.

#10 berlake



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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:41 AM

I just wanted to add (in case anyone is still interested in this subject!) that I think one needs to be careful when equating DP with spiritual practices or aspirations. My reason for saying this is born of personal experience and quite alot of research, but please accept that I'm obviously not "enlightened" or "Self-Realized"....

Buddhism in particular is liable to cause some problems when viewing DP in its philosophical context. Buddha seemed to teach the doctrine of "Anatman" or "Annatta" as a central principal in his Path. There seem to be many refernces to his assertion that everything is empty of inherent self-nature or essence, including "self". However, he is also quoted as stating that he was NOT teaching a doctrine of annihilation or nihilism, and that the goal of meditation was to reach the "Unconditioned" - or THAT about which nothing can be said.... Ultimately, then, even the Universal Self of the Advaita Vedanta is placed in a subordinate postion to the Ground of Being (I'm aware that Buddhism predates the Advaita Vedanta).

Now, it is easy to assume that DP resembles the process of detachment that the Buddha prescribed, and, indeed, it fits well with the Atma Vidya of Shankara - the process whereby one gradually dissociates oneself from all objects within his or her awareness, including one's thoughts and feeling and, eventually, body. BUT, what is maintained trhoughout this process is SELF CONSCIOUSNESS. So, one's awareness of one's self - or one's sense of Being - is never let go of (at least not until it is transcended - but that's way beyond Self, rather than being in opposition to it). And this would appear to me to indicate something almost the reverse of DP, as DP seems to accentuate awareness of the CONTENTS of one's consciousness, i.e., one's thoughts and one's external environment. The reason things seem so empty and meaningless with DP is because the external world IS empty and meningless wihtout a self present to give it meaning. It is precisely because one has somehow become alarmingly detached from one's actual self that life seems so barren and unreal - not to mention existentially empty. Psychotherapies which credit the self with some existence aim at re-establishing one's identity with this self after deconstructing the fragmented and failing construct which has been utilised to protect oneself from the slings and arrows of chilhood and adolescence. The re-identification of oneself as Oneself is a type of Self Realization, though the latter term should probably be reserved for Realization of onself as the Universal Self - as the inverse of the objective universe; the meaning, value, love and life which creatively projects the objects we've come to mistakenly identify with....

The primary reason I feel it is dangerous to confuse DP with any discipline which encourages "no self" is that it is my personal experience that a deep sense of guilt, pain, self-blame, self-hatred and judgement are at the heart of my DP symptoms, and it's all too easy to utilise these spiritual instructions and philosophies in a negative way AGAINST ONESELF, only serving to strengthen the feelings of unreality and awful, crushing nihilism. Detachment is described in some writings as being a joyous practice, as it involves liberating the self from its confines and its delusions. It usually involves valuing others as highly as oneself, if not more highly, as it is recognised that each person (indeed, each thing) shares the same Self.....

I hope that makes some sense and helps, perhaps, to disentangle the positive from the negative :-)

#11 DownTheRabbitHole


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Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:24 PM

great post dude, i understand, and i have now adapted some of my views. thanks

#12 FoXS


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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:39 PM

So, one's awareness of one's self - or one's sense of Being - is never let go of (at least not until it is transcended - but that's way beyond Self, rather than being in opposition to it). And this would appear to me to indicate something almost the reverse of DP, as DP seems to accentuate awareness of the CONTENTS of one's consciousness

that is what I sad, isn't it?

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