Hypnotherapy and Meditation
What is Hypnosis?
It may be surprising to many to learn that we experience trance states often during the course of our lives. Even passing into ordinary sleep involves a kind of trance state. The experience of hypnosis is similar: neither asleep nor awake and a little like daydreaming, with a pleasant feeling of deep relaxation behind it all. Hypnosis is a different state of consciousness which you can naturally enter so that, for therapeutic purposes (hypnotherapy), beneficial corrections may be given directly to your unconscious mind.
In this way, hypnosis is an effective way of making contact with our inner (unconscious) self, which is both a reservoir of unrecognised potential and knowledge as well as being the unwitting source of many of our problems.
Realistically no-one can be hypnotised against their will and even when hypnotised, a person can still reject any suggestion. Thus hypnotherapy is a state of purposeful co-operation.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is using the state of hypnosis to treat a variety of medical and psychological problems. It is estimated that 85% of people will respond at some level to clinical hypnotherapy. It may even succeed where other more conventional methods of treatment have not produced the desired result. When carried out by a trained and qualified hypnotherapist the benefits can be long lasting and often permanent. It is natural and safe, with no harmful side effects.
Hypnotherapy makes use of the bicameral nature of the functioning brain and the conscious / unconscious processes therein. At its simplest level the unconscious mind becomes (through our life experience) the repository of our conditioned experience, while the conscious mind is the waking mind dealing with appraisal and decision making. In hypnotherapy the critical faculties of the conscious mind are sidestepped (through the hypnotic condition) and new ideas and 'suggestions' placed directly into the uncritical unconscious to effect beneficial changes when back in the waking state.
Clinical applications of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is medically accepted to benefit the following and more:
Unwanted habits - smoking
Pain control, Migraine
Reduce stress, tension and blood pressure
Self-confidence and achieving potentials
Nail biting & Bed wetting
Weight control / healthy eating
Improve work / study / sporting
Some sexual problems...
There are many things in life that are beyond our control. However, it is possible to take responsibility for our own states of mind – and to change them for the better. This is the most important thing we can do, and it is the only real antidote to our own personal sorrows, and to the anxieties, fears, hatreds, and general confusions that beset the human condition.
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.
Over the millennia countless meditation practices have been developed in the Buddhist tradition. All of them may be described as ‘mind-trainings’, but they take many different approaches. The foundation of all of them, however, is the cultivation of a calm and positive state of mind.
We teach two basic meditations that were originally taught by the historical Buddha. These help develop the qualities of calmness and emotional postivity: the Mindfulness of Breathing and Loving-Kindness (Metta Bhavana) meditations .
The Mindfulness of Breathing
Breathing is something that we all do, all of the time – yet we are often not aware of this. By bringing our focus intentionally onto the breath we can ground ourselves in the present moment. We can practice observing without reacting, simply watching each breath as it happens without feeling a need to change it.
You can do this exercise for just a few minutes, or for longer periods. Although the intention is to focus on the breath, you will begin to experience how unfocused our minds can be! You may find that your mind wanders a hundred times, or just a few. It is okay for this to happen and it doesn't mean that you are doing anything wrong, just notice the distractions and gently bring your attention back to the breath.
Loving-kindness is a meditation practice taught by the Buddha to develop the mental habit of selfless or altruistic love. In the Dhammapada can be found the saying: "Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness."
Loving-kindness is a meditation practice, which brings about positive attitudinal changes as it systematically develops the quality of 'loving-acceptance'. It acts, as it were, as a form of self-psychotherapy, a way of healing the troubled mind to free it from its pain and confusion. Of all Buddhist meditations, loving-kindness has the immediate benefit of sweetening and changing old habituated negative patterns of mind.
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