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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Interrupting Anxiety with Contemplation

Generalized anxiety disorder is a pain in the ass, and NOT in the fun tingly way. Our under-brains evolved an amygdala and the ability to panic to help us survive, which, I’m sure we can all agree survival is a very good thing, but this mechanism, like all others, is subject to dysfunction. Although the spiritual strategies I am about to share with you could be helpful they are no substitute for the assistance of an exceptional physician, I therefore recommend using PCRM’s free service to find a plant-based psychiatrist to help you transcend your triggers, both physiological and psychological.

More than thirty years ago I was introduced to the idea of a pattern-interrupt. The performance of geriatric, step-back, squat thrusts can disrupt the electrical signals oh so necessary for our body to really build up a good head of steam. If you can perform that exercise before a Buddha image while uttering a universally compassionate intention that could be even better.

A second pattern-interrupt could be walking meditation. Stride briskly around your block for twenty, or forty, or even sixty minuets during each inhalation you could practice passive mindfulness as you mentally recite, “Notice this…” and with each exhalation you could practice visceral meditation as you silently recite, “relaxing!” all the while giving your mind license to wander all over hell’s half acre of the: external, internal, physical, mental, pleasurable, painful, interesting, boring, glorious, and grotesque.

A third pattern-interrupt could be seated contemplations. Through the skillful use of rhetorical questions we could explore circumstances, bodies, relationships, minds, and the sixteen permutations of: stress, interdependence, change, and selflessness.

Select from this palate of eighteen techniques every twelve hours or so and you too could meditate like a Jedi.

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