Mind Tools: Part 2, Part 3

HEALING THE MIND ~ MIND TOOLS - PART 1

by Walter Last

Our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs and emotions form the fabric of our inner world. They are the main factors that determine whether we are healthy or unhealthy, happy or unhappy. They have a direct influence on our body by changing or maintaining our inner blueprint and by directing, blocking or enhancing energy flows and glandular activities. They also act in an indirect way by determining which foods we eat, which environmental factors we choose, which kind of knowledge we acquire and how we use it. Therefore, in order to improve our condition, whether on the social, mental or emotional level or with reference to our health, we must first change our inner world.

The necessary steps in this direction are as follows:

1.      Examine your present condition on all levels; make a list of what you do not like and another one of how you would like to be instead.

2.      Acknowledge and release emotional blocks and past negative or unwanted conditioning. This may well be the most difficult step in your improvement program because most of these problems exist on the subconscious level.

3.      Use mind-control methods to reprogram your subconscious mind; participate in workshops.

4.      Adopt a holistic or spiritual philosophy of life.

There are some techniques that might be used specifically for either step 2 or step 3 of this program, while others may be used in varied form for both steps. However, it must be stressed that mind-control therapy for acute emotional problems should be accompanied by nutritional improvements: stabilizing the blood-sugar level, avoiding allergens and using appropriate supplements. In this way, the nutritional component of our emotional problems is easily rectified and you can make much better progress with the remaining, deep-seated problems.

RELAXATION

Deep relaxation is a precondition for being successful with most autosuggestion methods as well as with meditation and all other methods to contact the inner self. You may experiment with the methods listed below and see which one works best for you.

  1. Sit or lie comfortably and close your eyes. Focus your attention for 10 to 20 seconds on your right foot. Feel it becoming warm and heavy. Then move to the left foot, the right calf, the left calf, and so on, moving upwards to the head. Include the chin, the jaw, eyes, the back and top of the head. When using this method regularly, the focusing time on each area can be gradually shortened more and more, and related areas, such as a whole leg or a whole arm, can be relaxed at once.
  2. Imagine yourself being in a red-colored room on an upper level of a high-rise building. After a while walk to an elevator and feel yourself going down and down until you reach an orange room; then go further down to a yellow room, a green one, then blue, indigo and finally violet.
  3. Imagine yourself walking down a bush path to the bottom of a waterfall; feel the peace.
  4. With each slow exhalation feel yourself drifting lower and lower in a long tunnel, or imagine yourself diving towards the bottom of the sea.
  5. Slowly count backward from 50 to one. With each count imagine yourself sinking deeper and deeper.
  6. An easy method is slow, rhythmical breathing. Inhale for a count of eight, hold for two, exhale for eight, hold for two, and so forth. Focus your attention on your breath, how it quietly flows in and out. You may also focus on your slow inhalations and exhalations without paying attention to the timing.

You may combine several of these methods in one exercise to achieve deeper levels of relaxation.

Autogenic Training

This is the most thorough body and mind relaxation technique, developed by J.H. Schultz. It requires diligent practice for several weeks or even months to master the technique, but it is worth the effort, especially for those who are tense or who have difficulties in contacting their body.

Lie comfortably on your back, arms loosely alongside the body, palms down, or hands folded over the abdomen. Close your eyes and breathe slowly into the abdomen for a few minutes. At the same time focus your mind on the formula: "I am peaceful". Afterwards repeat slowly in your mind: "My right arm feels very heavy". Feel your arm becoming limp and heavy like a leaden weight. If you are left-handed use the left arm. After a few minutes bend and stretch the arm energetically and repeat mentally: "Arm moves firm and free". When you can readily feel the heaviness after several days of practice, include the other arm and finally also the legs and the torso. At the end of each session give the suggestion that the whole body is now light and free.

For the next step add the focus: "My right arm is streaming warm". After you can easily feel the warmth in the arm, include also the other arm, the legs and the torso. The warmth does not need to be taken back at the end of a session, only the heaviness. On average, it takes about three weeks until the heaviness and warmth can be readily felt together.

Now you can move to the next step. Support your right elbow with a pillow so that your right hand lies over your heart. Feel it beating and hold the mental focus: "My heart is peaceful and strong". When you can experience your heart, you may later keep the right arm in the usual position.

During further practice, add the focus: "It breathes me". Feel the breath flowing in and out without mental control. After a week or two include the solar plexus (inside the upper abdomen):"My solar plexus radiates warmth" or "My solar plexus is streaming warm". While exhaling imagine the warmth of the breath accumulating in the stomach and abdomen and heating them up. The final focus is: "My forehead is light an cool". You may mentally transfer the coolness felt in the throat from the incoming breath onto the forehead.

Each time go first through all the previous steps, such as heaviness, warmth, peaceful heart, and the focus on the next step you want to learn. Practice each new step for one or two weeks. After several months it will be easy to relax the body completely within a very short time. Body and mind will be still and peaceful, with the body feeling warm and heavy and the head cool and light. You may be in an altered state of consciousness but should be inwardly alert and definitely not drowsy. This is an excellent preparation to follow up with any of the autosuggestion methods and other forms of communication with the inner self.

REMEMBERING

Regression

A special technique of re-enactment that can be employed professionally, in a group situation, with a partner or friend, is regression therapy. In regression you go backwards in time until you remember an emotionally charged incident. Professionally, regression may be induced by hypnosis, but it also works well with self-hypnosis or simply suggestions given by a friend. However, the person leading the regression should have some experience or good common sense in guiding emotionally distressed individuals. Decide beforehand on which emotional problem you want to work. Even if you do not have a specific problem, you may have noticed that you have sometimes acted out of proportion in certain situations and this may be chosen as a theme.

Lie down comfortably on your back, close your eyes and relax in response to your own relaxation exercise or to given suggestions. Now your helper asks you to remember a recent emotional incident and to talk about it. Skillfully he or she will encourage you to go deeper and deeper into your feelings in that situation, while all the time keeping verbal contact. Then the helper will suggest that you slide back in your memory until you encounter a similar situation or feeling. After a short pause you will be asked to describe what you now hear or see before your inner senses.

You may also be asked how old you are in the remembered situation, who is present and what is happening. The questions should be formulated in the present tense. When you stop talking or reacting for a while, your helper will gently lead you back into your feelings. Release your feelings as much as possible while reliving the past incident. Finally, the helper will suggest that you relive the situation once again, but now change it in such a way that you are happy with the outcome. You invent your own version of a happy ending and try to feel it.

Another starting point for a regression is to find an unusual phrase that you sometimes use or one that expresses an inappropriate belief about yourself, preferably in connection with an emotional problem. You may sometimes say or think: 'I am too old (or too ugly or too shy) to find a suitable lover' or 'I am afraid of crowds (cancer, confined spaces etc.)'. Then, after relaxation, you repeat this phrase audibly over and over again until a vision or memory develops which you relate to your helper. Prompting questions will be used, as with the other regression method, to lead you deeper into your emotions.

Still another method, which is my favorite, goes as follows. We assume that this time you are the helper or therapist to regress a friend or patient. Have the friend lye relaxed on the back while you give instructions in a soothing voice. The initial aim is to induce as deep a relaxation as possible.

Then you may suggest: 'Now you feel very light and begin to float upwards. You rise higher and higher into the blue sky'. After reinforcing this suggestion for a while, it may be suggested: 'You look down but cannot see the earth because of a dense cloud cover. You continue to fly over the clouds to look for a place and a time that hold an important clue for understanding your present condition. When you have found this spot, dive through the clouds and descend to earth. After landing look around and tell me what you see or hear or feel.'

After each suggestion make a suitable pause. If the friend remains quiet, ask after a while what is going on. If the friend just describes a landscape, ask to find a house or some people and observe or talk to them. Always keep verbal contact. Whatever the friend reports, try to deepen the experience. Some may report vivid scenes and others just vague feelings. The related incident may be an actual forgotten experience or it may symbolize the problem.

A patient with cancer of the mouth and throat, for instance, related to me that he had landed on a beach. Some distance away he saw a group of people amicably gathered at another beach. I asked him to join the group to see what was going on but he found it impossible to approach them. He then realized that he had felt as an outsider all his life. While he was a good talker, he talked to or at people not with them in an open and personal way and he had felt separated and excluded from group activities. This caused the energies in his mouth and throat area to stagnate and allowed a tumor to develop specifically in this area.

Another patient related a true incident. He saw himself as a young man in a fishing boat with friends. They were drinking moderately. While all the others had just fun, this patient became rather ill and had to vomit. He said that this happened usually when he drank alcohol. This shows that he had inherited a weak liver that he damaged still further by trying to keep up with his mates.

In still another regression, a lady in her eighties recalled that as a baby she was nearly suffocated by a cat lying across her face. All of her life she had bee afraid of cats, even if thy just appeared on television. After I suggested that she imagine the baby jerk her body and throw off the cat, she immediately lost her fear of cats. In many instances memories and scenes come up that are obviously from a previous life.

Most common is the experience of a violent death as a cause of serious present problems. Someone with Parkinson-s disease was so afraid of fire, that she became rigid just watching a fire in a movie. In a regression she relived the experience of being burned as a witch at a stake. After suggesting that she can burst her ropes and run away, she was much improved. However, after some weeks she started smelling smoke when there was none. Another regression saw her being burned to death in the 'great fire of London' several centuries ago. After this she was never again afraid of fire.

Instead of inducing the regression as indicated here, you may find other suitable methods and invent your own. To end a regression, give some positive suggestions for coming back into the here and now. If memories become too disturbing and emotional, the session may also be ended with positive suggestions and repeated another time.

 Repeated regressions may probe more deeply into subconscious problems or explore different situations. If a strong negative experience arises, always ask the friend or patient to reinvent that experience with a happy or emotionally satisfying ending. One can also continue to work on unearthed problem areas with affirmations and guided imagery. As with all of these methods, it is good to start with a prayer or affirmation, stating your goal for the session and ask your Higher Guidance for protection and your Inner Self for cooperation.

Rebirthing

Rebirthing is one of the methods that may be used to release emotional traumas that have accumulated since conception. Preferably have one or more initial sessions with a professional rebirther or with a rebirthing group. Find a helper with whom you feel emotionally secure and who has some experience or a good measure of common sense in emotional guidance.

Lie down on your back without restricting clothing under a light cover. The helper may initially sit at the head end and lightly hold your head for reassurance. Breathe deeply, in a fast, regular rhythm, without a pause between inhalation and exhalation. The helper watches that the lower as well as the upper rib cage moves strongly. During inhalation press shoulders and buttocks into the mattress, while during exhalation, let both relax. Breathe through the mouth and with an open throat to make a sound during exhalation and preferably also during inhalation.

Let go of any emotion that arises, with the helper assisting by pressing, stroking, cuddling and giving verbal encouragement to bring them out. If no feelings well up, then try to remember an incident when you where irritated, angry, fearful, worried or resentful and deepen that feeling. After first working on more recent problems, try to relive your birth experience and rectify any emotional upheavals associated with it. A surprising number of people can actually come to remember their own birth in amazing detail. Have plenty of big cushions or additional mattresses around so that you can throw yourself about. Keep your eyes closed.

 Preferably use powerful, stirring music with a strong, regular beat during the first part of the session, becoming quieter towards the end and finishing with harmonious, uplifting qualities. Let your feelings follow the music. The session may last for one to two hours. Try to find a room or open location where you can shout and scream without attracting undue attention. Before you start relating your experience, use crayons to draw a picture of it, the various feelings represented by appropriate colors. You may then change places and your friend may lie down for a session. Repeat frequently for some time.