All in the mind?

Hello All,

I have been having technical issues with the blog. I’ll be honest, I am not here for my technical ability. I would rather just turn up, do the writing and then go home. If anyone knows anyone who likes to do computer type things and would be happy to help, pleased let me know. I would pay. Obviously, it would be better if there was some technical ability involved, not just someone having a pop at it.

Anyway, I don’t know what it’s like near you but here, the weather seems to have checked its watch and decided to bang in a bit of Summer for the first week in September – which is nice – although I am a bit hot, I’ll be honest.

So, I have been doing sensible reading. I mentioned this book at work, having seen it in the Sunday papers, thought it might be interesting and then promptly forgot the title. I had been interested because part of it is about chronic pain and, as I do have a bit of a tendency to migraines, I thought this might be the thing for me. I then thought, nah (especially having spotted the price). The problem was that someone at work, after having listened to my long and boring story about how I can’t remember 50% of any facts I hear or read nowadays, had, very kindly taken it upon himself to search Google for the book and so I felt duty bound to buy it. And, it’s very good.

When I say I get migraines, the last thing I would like to do is insult anyone with genuine migraines – the ones that hospitalise you – by suggesting that we suffer from the same disease. However, when they kick in, most painkillers don’t touch them and I could do without upping the tablets to the point where I am stopping people outside Boots asking if they will go in and buy another packet for me.

Anyway, this Monty person, who has a plethora of letters after his name, has some really good stories to tell. For instance, there are people who have a condition that means that they don’t feel any pain. (It’s called congenital analgesia – you are welcome). You might think it would be great to live a life without pain but, in fact, people who have this condition rarely live to a grand old age. It seems the body needs pain – to alert us to things going wrong inside our body or to let us know that our fingers are on fire and to cut ourselves off from pain is dangerous. (I think there may be sermon in there somewhere).

He also talks about vaccine hesitancy and suggests that some people may find a vaccine more painful or traumatic than others. Dr Monty suggests that by playing this down – “It’s just a sharp scratch” we ignore a real problem which will not only lead to people refusing vaccines (and not because they have seen something on the Internet that says that they are injecting aliens into us) but also refusing blood tests etc. and passing this fear onto their children. ¬†Like I said, interesting.

One of the areas I found interesting was how he dealt with his IBS – a condition he had suffered from since childhood. He had tried everything – diet, medication etc. and nothing had worked – until he tried hypnotism and meditation.

As a youngster in church, we were always warned off meditation. I seem to remember a scripture about demons moving in and using a Dyson on your brain or something. I know it’s vague. You’ll have to look it up.

Then, last week, we were watching McCartney on Disney Star (Highly recommended) and he talked about visiting India and the Maharishi where he learned to meditate. He recounted that the Maharishi had given him his own Mantra to mediate with. Apparently, he had also offered to give Mia Farrow’s sister Prudence – her own “Mantra” on the same trip. And kept offering it often enough to make her lock her chalet door and refuse to come out. (Prompting John to write the song “Dear Prudence”).

So meditation doesn’t have the best reputation where I come from. It was a bit of a surprise therefore to find it recommended as a Biblical practice. As early as in Genesis, Isaac was meditating and it’s a practice that is very common. So I started giving it a go – using Scripture as a base and it is surprising – in a good way. It makes you calmer and helps prayer and takes you down a peg (not in the way my mother meant when she used to say that I could do with taking down a peg) you just feel yourself come away from anxieties and concentrate. I wish I was better at it.

Has anyone else meditated? Does anyone find it helpful? Am I weird? Does it ever challenge you how much more there is to people than we look to have on the surface. And, to find what makes us tick and function properly as we should we need to slow down, stop even and spend the time reminding ourselves on a deeper level about the things that are true.

Have a good week.

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7 Comments

  1. Jenny Young
    September 6, 2021 / 12:43 am

    I’ve lived with chronic joint pain since my mid30s. I’m 55. I do think diet has a lot to do with my pain but I’ve found in the last 5 yrs or so that the mind really has a just as much influence…on my pain at least. I guess I do a form of meditation though I don’t really think of it as that. I do deep stretches that I learned in physical therapy. I also do deep breathing exercises. As I stretch & breath (ha!) I try to let go of things in my mind, totally relax my body. Sometimes I’ll think on a Scripture, sometimes a song, sometimes I imagine I’m in the woods on a cool sunny day or if I’m really stressed I just talk to myself…’let it go’ or ‘it doesn’t matter’.

    When I was growing up in church I was taught the dangers of eastern religion type meditation but we also talked about meditating on Scripture so it’s not new to me. It just takes such discipline & I struggle to do it. I do my best meditating or thinking while walking in nature.

    • lesleyps91
      Author
      September 6, 2021 / 7:50 pm

      Also, we took my Mum to a church where the preacher began the sermon by encouraging everyone to physically breathe in Jesus as you would air because he explained that God is in all things. I was a bit sceptical but I am doing it a lot now and I really like it

  2. Kirsten
    September 6, 2021 / 7:08 am

    I was taken aback to be warned in horrified tones that yoga was ‘dangerous’ because you were inviting snake demons to inhabit your spine. …
    I slow myself down, especially when I can’t sleep, by doing slow, deep breathing on every phrase of the Lord’s prayer, maybe holding someone’s name in mind. Or use my fingers as a rosary; Our Father for thumb, Jesus prayer round fingers and Gloria on last thumb.

    • Kirsten
      September 6, 2021 / 7:09 am

      Ps, don’t the Psalms mention meditating on the law….?

    • lesleyps91
      Author
      September 6, 2021 / 7:52 pm

      Between you, me and the gatepost, I am considering having a small tattoo on my arm because I saw it used as an aid to prayer. Just as a reminder as you go through the day. I really fancy the idea and my son gave me a £20 voucher to get it done so would probably be rude not to.

  3. September 6, 2021 / 4:12 pm

    You are not weird, and meditation is a wholesome and constructive thing to do.
    I admire people who meditate and always feel I should; instead, I tell myself stories. This may be a distant relative of meditation.
    I also have chronic pain and get through life by throwing down serrapeptase in handfuls.
    There’s an awfully good book about pain by Paul Brand. Old now, but I recommend it; not the sort of thing that goes out of date.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pain-Nobody-Wants-Paul-Brand/dp/0060170204
    x

    • lesleyps91
      Author
      September 6, 2021 / 8:06 pm

      Thank you – will look for that. Sure I saw something where Philip Yancy said that Doctor Brand was one of the most admirable people in the world. Blimey – good enough for me

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