Lama Jigme Gyatso
Panic Attacks and Meditation
The second to most recent episode of The Last of Us did a wonderful job of portraying the nightmare of a panic attack, with the tinnitus, vertigo, palpitations, flop sweat, and paralyzing befuddlement. I’d like to share a two-step process to not only cope with a terror attack but profit from it spiritually.
Let’s begin with a concise practice of Guru Yoga from the perspective of Mother-tantra. Recite aloud three times: “Kind Lama please blend with this NAVEL-mind!” Then let’s practice brisk, walking meditation.
Courageously train in mindfulness (vulnerable, passive, visceral, and spontaneous) while mentally reciting “Notice this…” during each inhalation. Practice meditation by mentally reciting “relaxing!” while exhaling as serenely as you can (given your circumstances) during each OUT-breath.
If you’re curious about both the medical and psychotherapeutic ramifications of such activities, you may enjoy Doctor Thom Hartmann’s “Walking your Blues Away.”
In the befuddlement of anxiety the threat of disorientation is a distinct possibility. I therefore suggest that you limit the course of your ambulatory meditation to briskly walking around your block, for twenty, or forty, or even sixty minutes. Doing so could neurologically massage the amygdala and hippocampus of your basal ganglia: restoring their equilibrium. Make a habit of practicing both the recitation as well as the walking meditation (every twelve hours or so). Your doctor will thank you and the next time you endure a panic attack all your metaphoric ducks will be in their figurative row, quacking happily away. _/\_
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