Tag Archive: meditation


This is Russell Razzaque, a psychiatrist in London, talking about breakdowns and spirituality and similarities and overlaps between the two that he has noticed through his own meditation experiences. It is well worth watching.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

breakingIn the video below Dr. Russell Razzaque shares what he learns about the psyche when he starts meditating. He is surprised when he comes to recognize many states he experiences in meditation to be similar to states that are pathologized in psychiatry. He sees them in his patients and recognizes them in his own experience when meditating.

I’ve certainly found meditation to be a way to learn how to recognize and integrate many parts of my psyche…including those which got me locked up and drugged many years ago as a young woman. It’s become clear to me too that which gets labeled pathological in psychiatry are simply extreme examples of what is simply human nature.

The biggest problem in the mental illness system is that most mental health professionals don’t understand these things about the psyche. They don’t know their own minds and therefore are afraid of people who display…

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Down Time

I am hijacking my blog with complaints about staff and such like, and I think I would like a change of direction.

A few weeks ago I made some notes in my notebook.  I looked at them briefly (that is, the first note), and decided against putting them all up here.  They had been intended for my blog at the time.

One thing I was thinking at that time is that I am honouring the wrong writing voice (for the sake of psychiatric staff reading, many writers recognise more than one voice.  There is a play by Pirandello called ‘Six Characters In Search Of An Author’.  It is something like that and doesn’t call for medication.  They are writing voices, not psychotic voices, whatever psychotic is supposed to mean).  I recognise at least two voices that present as – one a motivation for writing, one a source.  The one I had been ‘honouring’ was a ‘yatter, yatter, yeah, critical’ one.  A follow and reproduce one, not a source.  I felt the one I needed to honour was more grounded and sprang out  of an emotional/devotional relationship to God and love for others.  I’m not sure, in fact I know that I have not always succeeded in going with that perception or even in always believing it to have been valuable.

I will write a few of the notes I made, especially after having put this one in writing.  Some of them were made with my blog in mind, others with my psychologist.  Also I was thinking about Terry at the time, because he had recently given me some time that meant a great deal to me.

~~~//~~~

“My lecturer, on a day like the one I’m having today, said there was a lot of ‘id’ around . . . This always seems to happen when I feel inspired and best able to express myself . . . Everybody around me seems artificially happy and deliberately uncaring.  I’m even feeling as if some people are being deliberately obstructive.  I’m sitting in a cafe trying to write”.

(I then drew a line in a different place and started again with . . .)

“I know I’m not mimicking anyone”.

“The staff are supposed to be here for us, not themselves and each other.  But the way they misbehave then lie about it or get evasive shows they are basically here for themselves”.

“Thoughts, staring, fear and outrage – grief” (That is, when I get a thought I want to let run and chase where it is going, people stare at me, I feel fear and outrage which I suppose to be grief because the inspired thought is stopped).

“Honouring the wrong voice.  Writing voice – spirit”.

“Jim said ‘come on’ when letting me out of the door.  I said ‘no, I’m not a dog’.  Possible misinterpretation of what meant as affectionate support.  Bless him”.

“I love Jim – I enjoy his smile when he sees me”.

“Kiran – mimicry, bubble – I vulnerable, she not – shameless, barefaced liar’OK’ – no – slander and perjury.  She is beautiful and her eyes are full of light – makes me feel i shouldn’t have a problem with it – Mimicry, copying, matching – why is she doing it – I have a right to know – don’t I?”.

“I think the problem here might just be culture shock – I’m not used to Nottingham, I’m from London.  When I’m out I hear quite a few people talk like the nurses”.

“Robb Thompson – what did he say that I just thought of?”.

“My shame is their shame.  Voice?”

“Terry – the way he looked at me – my glory and the lifter of my head” (It was intelligent, appreciative and kind, not to say tender.  That look has passed now.  I kept wanting it again, or somehow to retrieve something it communicated and made me feel.)

The last thought was as far as I got sitting in the hotel restaurant drinking whatever it was at the time.  The rest was on the Arboretum a couple of hours before seeing my psychologist.

I was feeling afraid in the Arboretum for some reason of what people might be thinking of my sensitivitiies as manifested by my body language and wrote this next comment:

“Most of the time our heads are so full of our own thoughts we might not notice the sights and sounds around us, unless for some reason we have become particularly sensitised”.

“William Blake – damn braces, bless relaxes” (I had received that as braces are to be damned, relaxes are to be blessed.  But in recent months, if not years, I have thought of it as ‘damn’ causes you to brace yourself, and ‘bless’ causes you to relax, more often than not, for both giver and recipient).

“This nervousness and ‘no’-screaming resistance when I write like this for a meeting (comments missed out, quite personal) is just anxiety and self-censorship and I needn’t pay it any attention.  I don’t need to worry about its impact on the other person or fear lack of efficacy when notes eventually become communication.  If it serves as nothing else it can serve as a seed or launching pad for later exploration.  What matters is that we trust each other”.

~~~//~~~

I cut my notes a little early, basically I got bored and didn’t feel the others were going anywhere.  I’m bored with it now.  I might come back to this post later and fill in the end gaps.  One thing I said was that I’m not available to people – I’m walking around in a stupid cloud of fear and trauma.  I feel raw and unprotected, undefended.  That was then.  Sometimes it is now as well.

Out here writing from notes feels better than trying to think as I go, but the notes I wrote this entry from were all written in public.  I have given up the idea of ever having a home where I feel at peace and have any degree of privacy.  I feel open to everyone against my will, and it isn’t only because of my blog.  I still feel there are psychic connections between my concentration and disturbances when I am on my own in a room and disturbances happen nearby.  I’m not sure which is the cause and which the effect, but it seems to work that way, much more often than not.

“It’s All About You”

I heard someone say something recently and he sounded as if he could be talking about . . . well, never mind, anyway.

I was just thinking earlier as I made do with some packet apple and cinammon pancakes because I have run out of just about everything else, if someone tries to get in on something you’re doing and finds they can’t, that you’re not open to it, and they therefore go away and say, “it’s all about you, you’re not bothered about anybody else”, guess who just did a projection job.

If I’m doing something and someone else can’t get in, it doesn’t mean it’s all about me, it just means it isn’t about them.  Does that make sense?  Because I’m doubting it myself now.  I’m thinking if it isn’t about me then anyone should be able to get in whenever they want.  But if it’s about focus and openness to something or someone other than the person who wants to get in, is that true?

I’m thinking about meditation.  People say, ‘accept what comes, accept the distractions’.  But that doesn’t mean stop and go with them or even affirm them, does it?  No, of course it doesn’t.  I’m being stupid.

I answer myself, have you noticed?  No one else does, so I might as well have the whole argument!

The Moon

So, what is the moon to me? 

When I went to school we had a song about the moon, or a man who lived there.  His name was (not sure how to spell this) Achin’ Drum.  And he played upon a ladle.  And something to do with cream cheese.

It has always been an object of beauty to me, and valuable for that alone.  I am assured that it is probably going to be around for at least as long as I am.  So I can look up, and there it is, awesome, beautiful, especially in the mountains on a cloudless night.

Why can’t we just look at it from a distance and love it, and love its maker?  Why can’t we let it be separate and appreciate it for its light and beauty?  Why do we have to get close up and analyse it?  To find that it has enough water per tonne for a shallow bath, but it isn’t drinkable, as said in Fiona Bruce’s News at Ten last night, ‘there are problems’.

Someone said, ‘a thing of beauty is a joy for ever’.  Someone else said, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’.  Since we can analyse anything we want to, why should we be grateful for or awed by anything?

My first intellectual reaction to the report was, in this era of austerity, isn’t it a waste of money to be ‘conquering’ space in this way?  Isn’t it only scientific man’s way of flexing his muscles, and isn’t it an intellectual luxury we can’t afford?  I think so.  I don’t think anyone is ever going to live on the moon.  I might be wrong, but we don’t need that space, it will only be novelty and ‘because we can’ if we do.  But it’s showing off and we can’t afford it.  In all kinds of ways we can’t afford it.  I believe the fabric of who we are can’t afford it, and I think it is immoral.  Just because we CAN do something, it doesn’t mean we SHOULD.

I went to a political talk in Deptford on climate change last year, hosted by Joan Ruddock, my MP.  I didn’t feel informed enough to contribute, so I sat and listened and thought, and eventually she waved a hand in my direction saying, ‘some people, of course, don’t even care’.  I defended myself, saying it wasn’t that I didn’t care, just that I didn’t feel qualified to have an opinion, and that the experts were divided, at which point someone suggested quite forcefully that I could leave if I wanted to, but I held my ground and stayed.  Later I asked about the impact of space exploration on the climate and the environment, but she said it was minimal, and all the lights left on and CFCs etc were more harmful and these little changes made all the difference.  I’m not convinced of that, and I thought her answer was very defensive and evasive.  Having watched parliament for a while as well, it appears to me the issue of climate change is often used strategically and metaphorically anyway.  It’s a handy issue to have going.  I was invited to the talk at a very strategic point in my own life last year, having never been invited to anything before or since.  I think I had emailed her or we had had a brief correspondence or something.  But I had had contact with her ages before that as well.

I think space programmes are an intellectual luxury we can’t afford, which adds only to our material knowledge and satisfies some of our curiosity but does nothing really for the quality of our lives, unlike other areas of science, and unlike the arts, and religion.  I suppose a few drugs might have their origin on the moon, but at this point I don’t know.

In this age of climate consciousness I wonder if people still find it so ridiculous to say, ‘if God had intended us to fly, he would have given us wings’.  Hasn’t the number and intensity and geographical reach of wars increased with our mobility?  Could we have had world wars without aircraft?  Most of us can’t afford the ‘benefits’ of air travel (going on holiday is up there in the list of the most stressful things to do as well – we need a holiday.  We need the stress of going on holiday to get away from the stress of everyday life and recharge our batteries, they tell us.  Maybe that is why many of us don’t bother with our neighbours ‘too much’, we can walk away, put space between us if it becomes too intense, and come back and maintain the comfortable distance), but apparently we can’t afford it environmentally either.

We look out there for everything, if we can’t easily find the solution nearby, everything comes at us from out there, and we end up out there ourselves.  There is no centring anymore, no respect for the individuality and separateness of another, whether it be person, family, community or country.  We cross the boundaries whenever we think we will.  Modern day mass media gives us the impression of immediacy and responsibility, but the reality is, we do not have it in us to take on that kind and amount of responsibility (or to be busybodies), and we are suffering for it.  We need more independence.  Our economies need more independence.  There should be no such thing as a global economic crisis, and no possibility of there being.  That’s what I think, but I might be wrong, I’m not that educated or well informed.

But back to science and stuff.  I’m not sure if we have the moral and ethical compass to keep pushing the boundaries.  Every new discovery seems to add more reasons to our lives to be afraid than it does benefits, and we always seem to be being told that we can’t afford the benefits anyway, as in drug treatments.  Please sir, why can’t we afford the benefits if we can afford to keep funding the war and fear machines?  Please sir, why not?

Who are all these despots that keep terrorising their people, who have been put in place by the western world leaders?  Is the selection process itself responsible for the havoc they can create and maintain?  All these famines and things where we can’t or won’t deliver because of the countries’ leaders.  I don’t want to just bandy words about that I don’t understand, but this really IS still colonial Britain, isn’t it?  Imposing our ways and values on every people we get involved with.

IF multiculturalism doesn’t work, why don’t we adopt the same ‘no pain, no gain’ policy towards dealing with that in the face of all the PC protests and accusations of racism, the same as we do with economic issues, where the accusation is that of classism?  Or on that is everyone saying, ‘you turn if you want to, the lady’s not for turning’?  Why is it taboo in England even to consider that?  Protests don’t stop our politicians in any other area of national and public life.  I’m not saying we should, I’m just asking why we can’t even give respect to the people who think we need to regain the separateness of our national identity.

Here endeth this little foray.

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