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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Triggering Beliefs and Meditation - 23feb23

For a good many millennia human culture (and the spiritual systems that drive it) have been belief oriented. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “saved by faith NOT works”. It is therefore NOT surprising that many therapists subscribe to the notion that our emotional triggers are belief oriented; change the belief and the trigger evaporates, or so they hope.

But humanity’s luminaries have never been frightened off from putting popular beliefs to the test, in fact the greatest reveled in it. When we observe the same emotional triggers that humans present with, in (so called) lower animals incapable of abstractions such as faith then we must look elsewhere for triggers’ causes.

Neurology demonstrates that our primal triggers are rooted in the dopamine oriented reward system of our brainstem. If the hunter’s dog barks up the wrong tree the quarry escapes and the hunter’s family goes hungry. Similarly, if the therapist directs his patient’s time and energy to the analysis and sorting of their beliefs, then triggers’ true causes go untended.

The most effective way to tame the ravings of our basal ganglia therefore is by mindfully accessing our sympathetic nervous system during each inhalation and meditatively accessing our parasympathetic nervous system during each exhalation. The late Lama Yeshe was correct, our autonomic nervous system could function as our factory installed therapist, when we meditate like a Jedi. _/\_

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