C3 offers a solution to those who are trapped by ever-escalating disharmony and suffering. In a previous post, the C3 Approach is introduced for handling harmful behavior patterns. We then introduce the Metta Technique and the Anapanasati Technique as specific methods for assisting the mind in recognizing and breaking free from harmful patterns. Freedom from exposure to post traumatic stress, emotional impairment, physical injury, and other horrific experiences starts with a person’s willingness to think and respond in new ways that can reduce risk by minimizing emotional engagement.
Before we discuss the last technique used in the C3 approach, it should be noted that all meditations are best practiced by sitting on the ground cross-legged, on pillows or a small stool, or if necessary, on a chair. Keeping the back and neck in a straight line is more important than being close to the ground. Hands can be folded in your lap or set on the knees, either faced down or up. Eyes are closed or almost closed. Breathe in and out gently. No music or other distractions should be present - it's just you and your mind.
Try not to move excessively, but it is okay to scratch, sneeze, cough, and move your legs if they hurt. Remove distractions; over time the body will get used to being still. For some, it can be beneficial to be around other people who are also meditating.
Energy Field Meditation Technique
This particular meditation technique promotes the recognition of the energy field possessed by all beings that is sometimes called the “aura”. Energy fields are clearly and easily measurable by scientific devices such as an electrocardiograph, electroencephalograph, volt-ohm meters, and Kirlian infrared devices.
This process also supports compassion, acceptance, and awareness of electromagnetic energy possessed by all living creatures, including your own energy field. Although it is unclear if beings can communicate subconsciously, being aware of your own energy field seems to benefit both the subconscious and conscious mind.
Some people may appear to be hyper-engaged with the world around them. This is especially true for those with post-traumatic stress and with those who have experienced years of abuse. These folks are easy to identify as they talk at every opportunity and respond to every cue even when the conversation is not directed at them. Those who find themselves unable to stay focused in a conversation, ultimately talking about past emotional experiences, may also be included here.
People with post-traumatic stress may find it difficult to monitor themselves and will often issue a flood of emotional information, usually at an inappropriate time. While very alert externally, those dealing with traumatic stress frequently feel disconnected from themselves and are often unaware of how to self-direct. Energy Field Meditations may help those coping with traumatic stress and long-term abuse by helping them reconnect with themselves and others, and learn how to follow appropriate cues for their reactions.
On an individual basis this meditation is most effective when the heart is full of loving kindness. Hold your hands a few inches in front of the solar plexus and several inches apart palm to palm. Relax. Imagine that between your palms is one of the "four elements of the ancient world” consisting of fire, water, air, or earth (earth could be represented by sand, liquid metal, or any semi-solid element). Imagine representations of one of these four elements in any color, or you may decide to imagine changes in color. Focus on the heat and vibration between your hands. Breathe deeply and slowly and imagine the element of your choice intensifying in color and brightness. When your hands become hot or after about five minutes, slowly inhale while placing your right hand on your heart and feel the warmth, then place your left hand on you right hand, then slowly exhale and smile. Somehow smiling seems to complete the process.
As a group, this may be practiced if everyone in the group is able to manifest a calm mind. Sit in a circle on the floor, on pillows, or chairs facing inward. Hold your left hand at your side faced upward and your right hand a few inches away from the other person’s left hand, facing downward. Do not make contact - just attempt to feel the sensations that arise on your hands. This palm to palm arrangement can sometimes feel like heat or a vibratory sensation. Many describe this as a “warm tingle."
Imagine the space between your left hand and your neighbor’s right hand as generating one of the "four elements of the ancient world" which are fire, water, air, and earth. Imagine energy coming into your right hand from your neighbor and select a color (or colors) for this energy. Notice the electromagnetic energy moving into your right hand and out of your left hand. After a few minutes, but for no more than 3 or 4 minutes, someone needs to cue the group to bring their hands together in front of them, facing palms inward same as in the individual form of this meditation. Then place first the right then left hand on your heart as you breathe in slowly and with purpose. After a second the facilitator says "exhale" and everyone exhales gently. Don't forget to smile at the end and look at each other.
This meditation can be used when someone is feeling alone or abandoned, or wishes to connect with others. Feeling the warmth and energy of your own energy field or from others helps refocus and retrain thoughts on harmony and being peaceful with those around you. Energy Field Meditation may also be a good way to end a support group meeting.
There are 3 different techniques used in the C3 approach, and we have discussed each one in previous posts. Adapting meditation techniques can assist in internal transformation. Starting with training the mind to be calm, these techniques can help to focus on solutions and promote better understanding, allowing choices to be made with intention rather than being at the whim of your reactions. Your allies may or may not want to engage in this type of mental training, but small groups of friends are often very helpful in facilitating the right environment for C3 Approach development.
The three mediation tools described are Metta, Anapanasati, and Energy Field, each having a different purpose and use. The more you practice these techniques, the more available these skills are to you when you need them.
When you recognize discomfort, first say to yourself "I recognize discomfort." Then state the nature and cause of the discomfort, for instance: "My partner getting angry with me makes me feel uncomfortable." Then acknowledge what your perception of the interaction is, for example: "My partner is trying to get me upset." Next, decide if you want to get upset, remain neutral, or become calm. Finally, select a meditation technique you have been practicing and use this as an anchor to achieve your desired outcome.
When in the midst of an abusive situation, it may be difficult to think clearly and come up with a solution to remedy the abuse, while trying to implement it may feel almost impossible. However, given the right tools and the will power to create change, it most certainly is possible, even more so– it is probable. Many may feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start, but it is important to start somewhere.
Please continue to check in with us each week for a new post about abusive behavior and how it can affect your life and the lives of those around you. There is always that first action to helping someone you care about. Let this be it!