The key to sanity in crazy times, is detachment. This detachment can either be based on animal instinct (when your brain is faced with traumatic circumstances, it will dissociate) or trained. The difference is that in a situation of (perceived) danger, your brain will run the ship for you – and in the other situation, you choose to drop out.
Although I don´t think that it is possible for regular human beings to meditate themselves through a dangerous situation (and thus dissociation will always take place in that event), you can meditate yourself through some mental and emotional hardship. Including dysphoria. It will not disappear, but it enables you to manage it better.
In tune with the analogy I made in my previous post between PMS and the use of drugs, I chose the name of the post. The reason why I chose this title is in the strategy of mindfulness. First, tune in with your deepest, most truest sense of Self: the “I”. The “I” consists of your presence – not more. It is the core from which thoughts arise.
“Drop out” simply refers to the choice to distantiate yourself from the turbulence that arises from thought. In the case of PMS, this might be a feeling of insecurity. In the case of dypshoria, it might be the feeling that you are not masculine or feminine “enough”. In any case feelings about ourselves are often based on thought.
Most likely, most people will not immediately recognize the link between our feelings and our thoughts, because our thoughts often roam just below our awareness, and we are not conscious of even thinking them. “I think, therefore I am”, becomes an expression that you can wonder about. Are you conscious of your thoughts?
One of the fundamentals of meditation and yoga, which I think you know, is seeing the thoughts that are in your mind. Perception, rather than trying to ignore all that chatter – which is what most people try when they first meditate – is the first step to tuning in to intuition and dropping out of the things created by the mind.
I´m aware of the fact that I probably sound very hippie, new-age or zen right now. I have no problem with that. In my experience, the practices of mindfulness is one of the most down-to-earth activities you will ever engage in. It is far more connected to reality than say, being on Facebook or watching the news on TV.
More about being Zen in Part II.