The clarification that Ajahn Brahmavamso makes between silent awareness of the present moment and thinking about it is very helpful. When we think about it, we identify with our inner speech and begin to believe what we think and the positions we take to be true. In taking our attention away from what is happening and identifying with the judgement we are removing ourselves from the experience.
Another way of finding silent awareness is to use mindfulness to look for the gap between thoughts. In these gaps we are able to recognise that most of the chatter that our mind creates has little value. As we become accustomed to the silence, the silence lasts longer. When we compare our mind chatter against that which appears in silent awareness, we recognise that the silence is more productive of wisdom and clarity than thinking.
In my Karuna Institute trauma training as a psychotherapist I was taught that all of our life trauma is held at a cellular level, this was hard to accept but it’s official. Thanks to information shared on the BBC Radio 4 Program Unhappy Child, Unhealthy Adult.
by the Department of Preventive Medicine, Southern California Permanente Medical Group (Kaiser Permanente), San Diego 92111, USA. Which looked at ACE scores (Adverse Childhood Experience) their conclusion was
We found a strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.
although the exact pathway of events from perception of stress in the brain to somatic cell longevity is unclear, the results reported here now implicate shorter telomeres in the adverse health sequelae of prolonged psychological stress.
Telomeres are associated with the chromosome cell regeneration and repair. On the Radio 4 program Elissa spoke of
problems with having shorter telomeres in our immune system making us unable to fight infections and systemic inflammation in our blood …. a major driver of the diseases of aging …. short telomere in tissues of other organs limiting cell renewal. Length of the telomere are a good predictor of “life span”.
Some good news Life Style Changes may lengthen telomeres so it’s not all bad.