I was reminded of my own struggle with my mind over last 40 or so years. Every few months, I will ask: do I need to meditate every day? Cant I have a little holiday? Believe me, I took many official and unofficial holidays!!
And yet, I would come back again and again with a stronger realization that I needed to deal with my mind, that I needed to sit quiet. Years later, I realised that in my youth, even in meditation, I was struggling, competing, fighting to “achieve” something; That is what we all have been taught: you must be an achiever! What can you get without effort?
Yes, later I realised that there is nothing to achieve or find. You just have to go home- be your self. Because we all have a mind, what more could we want to achieve? to posses? We just have to become aware of it, our mind, our thoughts. The “gift” has always been there: inside. We dont have to go out and seek some great “realization” or “samadhi” or “chakra opening”. THAT often is an ego-trip, a mind game, a distraction.
Have I arrived? NO! But I am trudging along happily and take very few leaves now! (and when I do, I try not to feel guilty! I accept that too!) So, what is the connection with stammering- I can see you asking. Mindfulness can truly help you deal with what happens during and after you stammer in your mind. No, Lalit and I are not saying that it will CURE your stammer. Here is an excerpt from the book, I have been reading (Stuttertalk book– see the older post).
Excerpts: Mindfulness and Stuttering by Michael P. Boyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, Oklahoma State University ….
Mindfulness is the process of intentionally attending to present moment experience in an open and non-judgmental manner. The practice and experience of mindfulness have been identified as having relevance to many of the challenges faced by people who stutter.
Researchers and clinicians in the field of speech-language pathology have established justifications for why mindfulness may be helpful in managing negative thoughts and feelings about stuttering more effectively, in addition to potentially improving sensory and motor skills for increased speaking efficiency (Boyle, 2011; Plexico & Sandage,
I can’t believe I just blocked so badly in front of him… What does he think of me now? He probably thinks I’m really strange because I couldn’t say my own name… Why do I always have problems saying my name? I’ll never be able to do this… Even a child can say his own name… What an idiot I am…
This pattern continues on and on, illustrating a conceptual (language-based) mode of processing our experiences. In essence, we have “thoughts about thoughts” or “reactions to reactions” in which we give extra meaning to our internal experiences (Williams, 2010). These simulations continue the thought association process and maintain negative emotional states. Why does the brain work like this? This conceptual processing is necessary to accomplish most of our daily tasks, solve problems, and understand language. It is essential for a wide variety of cognitive tasks required for everyday living (e.g., labeling, analyzing, judging, goal setting, planning, comparing, remembering). The problem is that in some contexts this mode of processing leads to either suppression or elaboration of internal events (e.g., emotional expression) that can have the unintended consequence of maintaining the negative state we had hoped to fix or reduce (Williams, 2010).
As Lalit said, Vipassana helps, but you must attend many courses and practice it on your own at home. I will encourage others who have done Vipassana or any other meditation course to share their thoughts.. Approaches and techniques may differ but we have one and same mind and if Carl Jung is to be believed – there is just One Mind- universal mind! So let us share our experiences.