My Journey with Transcendental Meditation – Part 2 – by Lauren Vaknine
Last week I touched on the profound experience I had very early on into my journey with TM and I promised that I would elaborate a bit so here we go!
When I was seventeen I was sexually abused. My arthritis was getting worse, I was in a lot of pain, I was doing drugs to cover up the pain and there was generally too much for my seventeen year old mind to deal with so somehow – and I’m not quite sure how – my mind found an interesting way of dealing with it. Until four years ago, it was as if this incident had never happened, I had ‘forgotten’ about it. Four years ago, when I started writing my autobiography and the story of how I overcame Juvenile Arthritis, it all came flooding back and I didn’t know how to cope with those emotions. I fell into a deep depression for two weeks while I tried to understand what was going on.
Through seeing therapists, it was explained to me that my mind had too much to deal with and it couldn’t process all the information so as a defence mechanism, it pushed this incident to the back of my mind, to a place in my subconscious where it would likely pop up again at some time in the future but for that moment in time, would stay tucked safely away until I was able to deal with it. How clever the mind is. For a long time I couldn’t believe that this was something that happened. Who knew that the mind was that clever?
The main problem I had once I started talking about things was nightmares. Get ready, this part is very interesting. At the very beginning – four years ago – my nightmares were violent. The man who had abused me was there and the dreams were physically violent in a scary, nightmarish way and I would wake up screaming at least four times a week. Very slowly, the dreams stopped being violent and instead, they would be more creepy, for example, I would be in a crowded place with lots of people but I’d look through the crowd and see him lurking behind people, or lurking behind a fence like the scary clown in the film It. This creepy stuff scared me more than the violence. Then, after about a year of this, it changed again and he would stop lurking and stand in front of me and I’d have to figure out what to say or do. Sometimes I’d hit him or hurt him in some physical way. After a good few months, the dreams evolved yet again to the point where there would be nothing scary happening but I would scream and shout at him. At the beginning he’d scream and shout abuse back, but after a few months, he’d listen. Then, once again, the dream pattern changed and we would just talk to each other.
All this was happening in my dreams, in my subconscious and I came to appreciate that the subconscious was working its own magic. I didn’t find therapy to be helpful at all but my mind was obviously doing its own work and I found it fascinating that it was able to evolve.
But that is where the evolution process ended, me talking to him and him listening. My homeopath said that I still hadn’t fully dealt with it because things were still cropping up but I didn’t know how else to deal with it or what else to do. I’d seen a counsellor, a psychologist and had CBT and hypnosis, and my subconscious was doing this interesting thing. What else was I supposed to do? I said to my homeopath that I didn’t understand what else I was meant to do, I was doing all I could, it wasn’t my fault that there were still things there that were affecting my physical health because of it.
Then I started TM and an amazing thing happened. I kid you not, the night after the very first day of my TM course I had a dream that was different to me just speaking. We were in a large room with lots of people who had been friends during the time when the incident happened. He was at the other side of the room but we both kept looking over at each other. It was as if he didn’t want to invade my space but I wanted him to come over. In the dream I had no inclination to shout at him or talk to him about what had happened because none of it mattered and I went back to having feelings of compassion and admiration for him, all feelings of hate had dissipated. I just wanted to have a normal chat with him and catch up. Casual, normal. But this felt counterintuitive when I woke up because ‘normal’ had become hating him.
Nothing much happened in the dream that was outwardly significant but I kept thinking about it. I knew that there was something in the fact that I didn’t hate him anymore.
The next night, another dream, except this time he died and I grieved.
I told only my homeopath about all of this and she said that I had finally, after thirteen years, forgiven him and let it go.
In the third day of the TM course, our coach asked if anyone had had any significant dreams. I didn’t raise my hand but it hit me right then, like I said in my last blog, like a cartoon image of a light-bulb epiphany and I realised it was because the meditation had calmed my mind and got it to a place where it felt like it could release. Because of this I have finally leg go and healed. After all, we can only move on from something once we have forgiven. Hate is a poisonous emotion to carry around and letting it go is the key to healing.
I haven’t had any other dreams since, good or bad, so I can conclude that I do feel liberated that I have finally let it go and I can put it all down to TM and for that I will be forever grateful!
By Lauren Vaknine
To contact Lauren please get in touch with NW London TM at firstname.lastname@example.org
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