Practice letting go

Article from the course "Train Your Brain» (Train your brain), developed by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Richard Mendiusom. The author tells about the neurobiological mechanisms of release practices and suggest specific exercises to learn to let go of his life unhealthy emotions, beliefs, inclinations.


This article focuses on the practice of letting go. Letting go (letting go) - one of the five necessary internal skills, along with awareness (awareness), insight (insight), the adoption of good (taking in the good) and use intentions (using the will)

. We are engaged in the practice of letting go whenever relax, free from stress and pain (eg, anxiety or anger), accept it's not so close to my heart and let go of the thoughts that make us or other people unhappy (for example, stop criticizing yourself or scroll in my head some scary situations that are unlikely to occur).

Releasing - the action of the mind. It is as simple and natural as the lower napkin in the trash. For example, on a solid level you practice letting go whenever exhale or take a bath.

The most important thing is that the release - is the opposite of clinging, which leads to suffering. That is why the release is in line with the practice of meditation and mindfulness.

A bit of practical exercises

In this article we will give a few practical exercises. If during the execution of some practice, you will feel some discomfort or "congestion", do not hesitate to interrupt her. This internal training sessions on skills rather than psychotherapy - and they can not substitute for professional care for the body, mind or spirit

. In addition, sometimes the exercise raised to the surface some shady stuff -. Especially if in the past you have gone through a traumatic experience or currently have difficulties in relations

First of all, take care of yourself. As the saying goes: "The first rule - do no harm." Do not hesitate to interrupt any exercise consciously not sink into it too deeply, or choose the optimum depth of involvement.

Also, if you can not make or recognize something, do not worry. Perhaps it is a sign to be cautious and not rush with the development of a specific material. Or it can be an invitation to get back and explore it later.

And a final warning. The course "Train Your Brain" includes contemplative practices. We appeal to them not for the purpose of religious propaganda, and use them as tools for development and personal well-being (and neuroscience are increasingly confirming their effectiveness in this area).

Of all contemplative traditions znakomymv most for us is Buddhism, so we will use Buddhist terms. But we do not attempt to influence your beliefs - you can treat the material as you like. As the Buddha said, "Always evaluate all their independent mind. Convince yourself that seems to be true, and that will be for you

useful. " Say: "Goodbye!»

To start, make a list of what you would like to say goodbye.

Unfortunately, there are many things that will not leave you, even if you tell them "goodbye!" It can be intrusive in-law or political leader, to which you do not care. Therefore, the greatest value is to make a list of actions, qualities or things, from which you can really get rid of - for example, the tension in your back, excessive irritation or habit of drinking a glass of wine once

. Now look at your list - if whether there is something that you really do not want to let go? For example, look at each item and imagine what a powerful force like the good fairy, space cleaner, God or whatever else can make this phenomenon disappear from your life.

Ask yourself if you really want it to happen. If your answer is "yes", go to the next step. If your answer is "no", cross out the item from the list.

And if you want to, you can break the list and really let go of all those items that are listed in it. You can mentally tell them "goodbye" as many times as you think necessary and sufficient to ensure that all of the items from the list disappeared.

Try to experience the true liberation of release practices. You can again and again to say "goodbye", imagining how you throw out unnecessary things in the trash.

How was this experience for you? What do you feel when you do this exercise? What do you understand and what they have learned?

Releasing as opposed disgust

When we think about how to let go of something, it is important to take into consideration the kind of feeling as disgust. When we need something disgusting, we resist, hate or are afraid of this.

Very often we feel an aversion to those things, people, events, who want to let go. But as you'll see, aversion to anything raises many problems.

So, let's look at how to appear disgusted, at what price and how to practice letting go without disgust.

disgust reaction in our body - is the result of profound evolutionary change in the structure of the brain, due to which our ancestors survived and were able to pass their genes on

. For example, a vivid expression of disgust - vomiting - run networks that are very deep in the oldest section of your brain - located in the medulla of the brain stem, which because of its antiquity is sometimes referred to as "the brain of insects»

. In short, in our brain constantly gets information from the outside world and runs the internal processes such as thinking, feeling, imagination, memories, the appearance of desires, and so on.

This information is constantly evaluated according to three criteria in different areas and networks in your brain: useful for survival; dangerous / harmful to survival; not important for survival. By "survival" we mean everything that pertains to life and death, and all that is between these two poles, satiety and hunger, pleasure and pain, anxiety and confidence, frustration and satisfaction, and so on <. br>
The information that is useful for survival, the brain identifies as pleasant feelings and emotions. Threats to survival - how unpleasant emotions. Neutral - as neutral emotions

. For staining of emotions meets the characteristic area of ​​the brain - the amygdala. Their two - small almond-shaped nodes in the center of the brain directly linked to the brain stem

. Interestingly, in the tradition of Buddhism emotional perception it is considered central to human experience, one of the five aggregates and five elements of the human person, which together constitute physical reality and our experience. Feelings as such should be one of the main objects of the four meditative awareness (these are called four foundations of mindfulness - Four Foundations of Mindfulness)

. Emotions are so important, because we vividly react to them: we want to attract to itself pleasant to alienate unpleasant and err on the neutral. And all this leads to the fact that at first we long for something, then cling to it, and then we suffer.

Our emotions and our reactions to them - this is an important area where modern neuroscience meets with the wisdom of the ancient contemplative traditions, and they are both profoundly enrich each other. It is interesting to reflect on and very useful practice.

We continue to consider the subject from the perspective of neuroscience, because the survival of the program embedded in the brains of animals (also including human), set out to avoid unpleasant and enjoy pleasant. These areas of the brain and the chain forming the positive and negative emotions are genetically programmed to perceive negative information and react to it - and it trains them to continue to receive and respond to negative information

. For example, the amygdala is programmed to respond to the facial expressions of other people expressing fear and disgust. These signals about the threat our survival, we obtain from the other members of our tribe - or our television

. Incidentally, this penchant for negativity in our brain - the reason why it is so important to consciously strengthen the positive experience, enjoy it and take it. This helps to compensate for the natural tendency of our brains to cling to negative experiences and show them to others, it is completely unaware of positive experiences.

So that we can survive and leave behind grandchildren, Mother Nature has provided us with negative reactions. But, as we mentioned earlier, it does not care if we suffer with.

Negative reaction - is the reason that we are suffering in many situations:

- It can be an unpleasant experience in itself. On the other hand, it is worth noting that the unpleasant feelings may lead to the rejection of unpleasant feelings. This so-called "kontrafobicheskie" reaction (ie, the desire to confront the situation, causing unpleasant feelings purpose of this -. Opportunity to get sharp feelings, without experiencing unwanted feelings -. Approx lane..). Examples of such behavior can be seen in some of the basic life strategies, for example, is "Seven" in the Enneagram.

- Aversion activates the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for the behavior of the "fight or flight". She sends Falls stress hormones throughout the body and literally "takes away" resources from the long-term processes such as digestion and maintaining a strong immune system. As you know, chronic stress reactions are serious long-term implications for both mental and physical health. For example, a chronic aversion, which manifests itself in the form of hostility - a major cause of heart disease

. - Due to the disgust we begin to express negative emotions are not the best way to influence others and thus to ourselves

. - Often, this leads to the fact that our actions are impulsive and sharp reaction - is too strong, and that all we are doing harm to both themselves and others

. - To a large extent, disgust, separates us from the world - we are in a position "against him", we separate ourselves from the world. Because of this, there is a painful inner tension between "I" and the world, and it adds stress to our "I", and so that in itself is a source of suffering.

Unlike disgust, letting go - in the sense that we put into it - does not include the aversion (even illumination, which includes everything, gives the place and disgust)

. What does "being released without disgust»?

- We'll just leave this man, the phenomenon of a thing, a situation, and we go further. Releasing. We say "goodbye" without anger and rage. Exhale. Throw out unnecessary trash. Refuses. To turn away from bad.

- Turn around to the good. Planting flowers. Moving on.

In a broader sense, a healthy release can also mean:

- First and foremost: do not get attached. Do not take another person's problems as your own. Do not assume that you're involved in this. Draw the line between themselves and other people, events and phenomena.

- Solid (and at the same time - without disgust) to push, to cut or abandon adverse

. Release - that does not mean to be indifferent, irresponsible or indifferent. You can really take care of what's important to you, and you can inspire and motivate sincere desire, but at the same time you do not get attached to the results of your wise action.

In our brain release is related to three major areas or systems. Understanding these structures gives you clarity on the three main aspects of the practice of releasing: choice, release / relaxation, and stay with it:

- Prefrontal cortex, located behind your forehead (in particular - for your eyes) makes a decision that must be released, and transmits signals to your brain the emotional network. It launches and supports your resolve - some call it right or wise intention. This area "chooses" release.

- When running the so-called release waterfall, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which enhances the feeling of relaxation and pleasure that you feel throughout your body. The sympathetic nervous system is inhibited at this time. This is the stage of liberation and relaxation.

- Anterior cingulate cortex, as well as the amygdala, located in each hemisphere, according to the form it looks like a finger and placed close to the center of your head. It controls how well you deal with letting go, and sends a warning signal if instead you start to persist and to cling to the object. This area is responsible for the "stay" in the release state.

During the practice of releasing these areas of your brain become your good friends, they are on your side. And so it is good to thank them for it.

Release on the physical level

I remind you that if at any point you feel uncomfortable, you can interrupt the exercise and turn their attention to something else. It is also perfectly normal to ignore our offers and choose the one that is now more relevant to you.

Now relax and open (or close) your eyes.

Concentrate on your breathing, especially on how to inhale and exhale feel inside your body. The way you breathe in the cool air, and it goes down your throat, and then exhale warm. So, as your lungs expand and contract, and this is especially noticeable in the area of ​​your breast. You continue to breathe and everything that arises in your mind, just flows through you. You do not cling to it and do not feel this hostility.

Now pay attention to your breath.

Feel or imagine that along with the air you breathe out everything that you want to release. For example, physical stress or discomfort, such as a hidden excitement or irritation. Or unwanted thoughts and plans. If you want, you exhale release some (or all) of the items on your list.

Now pay attention to how you feel breathing all over your body. All your body breathes entirely.

When you feel your whole body as a whole, then you can enter into a special serene state. It may come and go. And if he left you, just invite him to her again.

And now, if you can, let go of control of your breath "out of my head." Allow your body to control your breathing - just as it happens when you sleep. Your breath can naturally slow down to the minimum necessary.

Let go of all his body. Examine and note the total failure to control his breathing. Fully release the control. Just be a body that breathes.

And at the time of this release note, that at this time, and remains ongoing. Breathing continues. Awareness continues. The universe continues to exist. Your heart continues to beat. You stay, even while continuing to practice letting go.

You let go of your fear of letting go ...

And now, as you continue to practice, let go of any control over his breathing - as much as possible ... allowing it to be just ... taking it all the way it is ... letting go of any effort or any fight ... just breathing body ... awareness ... adoption ... < br>
You can complete this exercise whenever you want.

What have you experienced during the exercise? What have you learned that understood?

The main thing to remember: if you stop to control the breath, then comes to you a deep sense of release

. By the way, you may be interested to know that when you pay attention to internal sensations in your body, and when you become aware of your whole body as a whole, in your brain active island of Reil.

This brain region is adjacent to the anterior cingulate cortex, which we have previously said, and like her, there are two islets Reil, shaped like a finger and located close to the center of your head. Therefore Reil island is closely connected with the areas of your brain responsible for sensory, emotional and executive processes.

Islet Reil particularly strongly involved in the process called "interoception" - our ability to perceive the internal states of the organism. Interestingly, this is the main component of empathy: the better the person is aware of their internal state, the more it can show empathy. Именно островок Рейля активизируется, когда мы проявляем эмпатию.

Поэтому если вы хотите стать более чутким и проявлять большую эмпатию — или если ваши друзья, близкие, дети или коллеги хотели бы, чтобы вы проявляли большую эмпатию! — хороший способ сделать это — быть более внимательным к своим внутренним состояниям. На самом деле, чем больше вы это делаете (так же, как в йоге или медитативных практиках), тем толще становятся нейронные связи в островке Рейля.

Если не брать в расчет множество других преимуществ практики, простая внимательность к своим ощущениям помогает людям стать более чуткими.

Будьте лучшей версией себя

Прежде чем мы начнём, я хотел бы также упомянуть, что есть множество путей и способов отпустить мысли, чувства, телесные ощущения или желания, которые могут доставлять вам неудобства или приносить проблемы.

Как вы уже, наверное, заметили, отпустить что-то одно означает встретить что-то другое (даже если речь идёт всего лишь о том пространстве, которое остаётся на его месте).

Фактически, когда мы понимаем, что что-то приятное может присоединиться к нам, то часто это помогает почувствовать себя комфортно и набраться мужества, чтобы отделиться от того объекта, который мы отпускаем.

Например, когда мы вспоминаем те чувства, которые испытывали к нам те люди, которым мы нравимся или которые любят нас, нам становится легче попрощаться с человеком, который нам не подходит.

В индуистской культуре люди, дававшие обет безбрачия, то есть отпускавшие эту часть своей жизни, назывались «Брахмачарья», что означает: присоединившийся к Брахме, проявлению Бога.

В каком-то смысле, когда мы соединяемся с благотворными намерениями и состояниями, нездоровые тенденции уходят из нашей жизни естественным образом.


Итак, давайте рассмотрим всё это на конкретных примерах.

Возьмите блокнот и ручку и подумайте о чем-то важном, что вы бы хотели отпустить — и для каждого из этих пунктов попытайтесь определить одну или более альтернатив, которые могли бы прийти на их место.

Вот некоторые основные явления, которые вы могли бы отпустить:

— Болезненные ощущения;

— Какие-то устойчивые явления, которые вам не нравятся, но которые нельзя изменить. В этом случае можно попробовать сдаться, просто и естественно. Например: Я сдаюсь перед глобальным потеплением, хотя я буду делать всё, что я могу… Я сдаюсь, как ребенок, которого когда-то отдали на усыновление… Я сдаюсь и соглашаюсь с тем, что мне уже 54 года…

— Желания, которые приводят к страданию;

— Подходы, планы, стратегии, которые просто не работают;

— Цепляние за вещи, которые меняются.

Поэтому уделите пару минут списку тех важных вещей, которые вы хотите отпустить, и подумайте, какие полезные альтернативы могут прийти на их место.

И теперь, вернитесь к каждому пункту, который вы отпускаете, и уделите минутку тому, чтобы почувствовать, как вы присоединяетесь к полезным альтернативам. Почувствуйте, как каждая из них оживает в вашей жизни, почувствуйте, что всё это уже полностью существует в вашей жизни. Отметьте, на что это может быть похоже. Какую пользу это принесет вам и другим людям.

И сейчас уделите время тому, чтобы спросить самого себя о каждом пункте, который вы отпускаете: Разве это я? Я есть этот гнев? Я есть эта тяга к сигаретам? Я есть эта тоска по любви? Я есть это беспокойство о нашем сыне? Это беспокоит меня?

Почему мы держимся за что-то вместо того, чтобы отпустить? В основном это происходит потому, что мы идентифицируем себя с этими вещами. Это моя точка зрения. Моя работа. То, в каком ряду мой автомобиль едет по шоссе. Мои чувства, мои мысли, мои желания…

А теперь исследуйте: разве это и есть я?

Здесь нет правильного ответа. Просто исследуйте и обращайте внимание, что подходит вам, и продолжайте выполнять то упражнение и делать то, что поможет вам отпустить.

Возможно, вам будет легче делать эту упражнение если вы вспомните те телесные ощущения, которые вы испытали ранее: дыхание без каких-либо усилий. вспомните чувство глубокого расслабления и покоя и спросите себя вновь: все те вещи, за которые я цепляюсь — это и есть Я?

И теперь, когда вы все отпустили, включая такие понятия как «я» и «моё», почувствуйте, что проявится для вас в этом освободившемся пространстве — какое глубокое исцеляющее воздействие это на вас оказывает.

Это может быть Любовь… целостность… Бог… природа Будды… чистое осознавание…

Полностью откройтесь всему благу, возникающему в этом пространстве, отдайте себя целиком и отпустите всё остальное.

Пребывайте в этом состоянии несколько минут… соединяясь с благом и открываясь ему… пребывая в нем…

Каким был для вас этот опыт? Что вы испытали? Что вы можете взять с собой? Чему вы можете научиться?

Вот несколько ключевых моментов, связанных с этим упражнением:

— Повернитесь к благому и здоровому, вместо того чтобы бороться с чем-то нездоровым. Просто больше не цепляйтесь за это. Сфокусируйте свое внимание на том, что вы сажаете цветы, а не боретесь с сорняками (хотя это может быть частью процесса посадки цветов).

— Глубокое, естественное телесное ощущение, при котором мы ни за что не цепляемся. Это наше состояние покоя, наша истинная природа.

— Отпустите цепляние за «я» или «моё».


Выберите месяц и попробуйте сконцентрироваться в этот месяц на практике отпускания. Если хотите, вы можете выбрать для себя какие-то ситуации, которые могут вам в этом помочь. Например, делайте небольшую практику отпускания каждый раз, когда звонит телефон, когда вы проходите через дверь или бросаете взгляд на часы, — например, вы можете сделать глубокий выдох.

И в заключении вспомним фразу известного учителя Аджана Чаа (Ajahn Chah): «Если вы отпустите чуть-чуть, то обретёте чуть-чуть успокоения. Если отпустите много, то обретёте большое счастье. Если вы отпустите полностью, то познаете абсолютное счастье».

Рик Хансон, Ричард Мендиус: Книга Хэнсона и Мендиуса «Мозг и счастье. Загадки современной нейропсихологии».

Автор: Анастасия Гостева

Перевод: Алена Нагорная


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