Your Earlist Memories

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Your Earlist Memories

Postby reddust » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:12 am

Years ago, in 1992 I went into therapy because I lived with a blackout drunk of a husband to deal with my anxiety. He had gone into rehab to dry out and part of the deal was family also had to go into therapy with him. My therapist and I talked for at least six months trying to get to the bottom of my anxiety and we really couldn't find a solid reason why I was so anxious and having night terrors and panic attacks. Well besides living with a violent blackout drunk Vietnam Vet with PTSD and surviving childhood sexual abuse.

So my therapist decided to hypnotize me so we could find the start of all this anxiety. She told me to go back to my first memories of fear and anxiety. I found myself in this black space, I started crying and I couldn't breathe, it was awful. I had a full blown panic attack. My therapist couldn't talk me down so she pulled me out of the hypnotized state. We couldn't figure out what that black space meant or my inability to breathe.

I was talking to my mother a couple months ago and she told me I was born feet first, breech birth. I was born in a military hospital in Germany and the doctors couldn't catch both feet to pull me out of the birth canal. So they would tickle one foot so I would stick my other foot out and stood around telling jokes to my Mom. Instead of sticking both feet out I would pull my foot back in and they did this for hours, that's what my Mom said but take that with a grain of salt, she was high on pain killers. I am sure this didn't go on for hours...

I also remember crawling so I had to be around a year old. I was holding on to my dads pants trying to stand up so I could watch him brush his teeth. He was very tall, around 6'2. I could see foam from the toothpaste rolling off the toothbrush onto his hand and dripping into the sink. I thought to myself, "When I get to brush my teeth I am not going to be so messy. " To this day I am very neat and tidy when brushing my teeth, I wish I could say the same thing about the other projects and tasks I do....total mess maker!

That's why I am afraid of the dark and had panic attacks and night terrors from an early age...I had a good laugh with my Mom, totally made my day. I still have some fear of the dark, especially closets but that's controllable. My night terrors and panic attacks left after my first two vipassana retreats a couple years later. I still get anxious but that's just being a normal human being.
Attachments
pregnancy-week-33.jpg
pregnancy-week-33.jpg (25.31 KiB) Viewed 875 times
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
User avatar
reddust
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:29 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Lindama » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:41 am

Thanks for sharing Reddust, I have no doubt that these early memories exist, often out of consciousness. I've done quite a bit of process with pre and peri-natal work and have experienced the energies involved in my own birth, both mine and my mothers. They have influenced my reactions to life until I saw them... even now there are still signs. I've done this in community with others who have experienced breech births, cesarean births and attempted abortions experientially, often with no prior knowledge. The organism has some instinctive consciousness... if the process is interrupted as with cesarean there are incomplete processes which seek life long to be completed. ofc, the professionals for the most part discount the experience. Fortunately, I worked with psychiatrists who thought outside the box. The psychiatrist that I knew discovered his own attempted abortion by his mother.... years later he asked her, she responded "I never told anyone, how did you know?" It's one of those things that you can only know through experience. To this day, I have nearly no memory of my childhood although there are no signs of trauma (that was a concern bec I do carry trauma). Apart from a few sense memories, it is a blank I have to wonder if we can ever separate the personal experience from the transpersonal experience of the world at large. I was born shortly after my father returned from WWII, even as a young child I knew that he could not talk about the horrors of war, tho I asked him. But, more so, I somehow understand my trauma of incarnation. I've always been well compensated, but I have to wonder....

At one point, I wanted to write my dissertation on pre and peri-natal experiences, but it was a forbidden subject for research. So I quit. I have never regretted that. what to say?
:namaste:
Lindama
 
Posts: 467
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby LastLegend » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:48 am

So how does it help to know?
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Lindama » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:59 am

LastLegend wrote:So how does it help to know?


If we are receptive, we can see our present actions as an extension of the original experience... we are repetitive beings until we are not. Repetitive may also be seen as a form of attachment or karma. It may not be about the rational side of knowing... it maybe an experience of the energetics if we are able.

back in the day, there were studies in Sweden about birth trauma and how it related to suicide methods

how does it help to know?.... not very much. we are taking about instincts here. Instincts are energies, not thoughts. Instincts keep repeating until they are fulfilled... this is nonrational. We as rational beings can hold them, love them and notice when they are happening. we need not be at their effect.
Lindama
 
Posts: 467
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby reddust » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:19 am

LastLegend wrote:So how does it help to know?


I don't think knowing the details of my past helped me let go of trauma. Kinda like wanting to know the name of the guy who made the arrow that's stuck in your back before it is pulled out. The vipassana retreats didn't erase the memories of the trauma, just the emotional reaction to the data and the meditation just deals with mental and physical sensation, memories are often experienced as physical sensation which you watch with equanimity.

This post was more of a curious sort of thing, how memories shape us. Things we don't remember still linger like groves in a vinyl record and how these songs play out in daily life. My record player got stuck in one grove and the song played over and over and that's who I thought I was. Also it's kind of cool to remember that far back, like a magic trick :tongue:

Lindama wrote:At one point, I wanted to write my dissertation on pre and peri-natal experiences, but it was a forbidden subject for research. So I quit. I have never regretted that. what to say?
Wow....did you become a Ph.D or walk away completely away? Why are so many interesting things forbidden? Prolly have to do with money and control.... How dull higher education must be with so many signs telling you what to do, how to think, what questions to ask and not to ask.

Does it help the subject to remember the details of the trauma whilst in their normal daily awareness? Or do they have to experience the event again while in an altered state of mind? Most of my childhood is a blank too, unless I asked myself to remember the event and put it in my memory box or the event had so much impact I couldn't forget even if I wanted too.
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
User avatar
reddust
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:29 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Lindama » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:44 am

I walked away. There were other factors, but it felt like a fake to me. Just for me, I'm not sure we need to remember, but we do need to shake out the physiology... sometimes it may just be shaking for a while, not knowing what is happening... if we can resist putting a concept on it. At one point, I worked with Peter Levine... wild animals who escape the hunt will just lie down and shake it out... then run off to live again.
Lindama
 
Posts: 467
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Roland » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:21 pm

I had a similar very rough birth (I actually unintentionally wrote "rebirth" at first lol). I remember a traumatic experience when I was maybe 3 or 4. Someone was terrorizing us (my siblings and I) and I clearly, like it just happened, remember watching this stuffed animal we had rise from the dresser and float across the room. Then I remember a blanket that was on the ceiling, that was put there before above the bed, the animals on it were moving.

Anyways, I have no idea if that happened in that way, really. It was so long ago and memories distort and change over time. Recently I was listening to a talk by Rick Doblin of The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) http://www.maps.org/about/staff/ who was talking about those with PTSD who have benefited from MDMA (Ecstasy) therapy. Basically, MDMA suppresses the fear centers of the brain and increases activity in the frontal cortex, which is where we put things into context. They are able to re-experience memories of traumatic events without being re-traumatized.

What I'm getting to is his explanation of how memories work. He says when we uproot or remember something, that memory is reconstructed and then put back into "storage". So when experienced again on MDMA, the memory is reconstructed stripped of all the fear and anxiety associations that were attached to it when the trauma happened.

I found this so useful and had a sort of "AHA!" moment because this is what I experienced with meditation. I would sometimes uproot some memory that I didn't even know I suppressed and it would be like blowing a gasket. One time it was like 2 memories were competing for my attention and sort of "wrestling" each other. They weren't always traumatic experiences, sometimes just some weird thing I forgot about that was some how associated with fear or anxiety. A much more rough way but I think this was a re-experience of the event complete with the fear and horrendous feelings, but in this case, in meditation holding those feelings in attention, they were experienced fully (physically and emotionally) for the first time and the memory was stripped, re-calibrated and re-stored as just a memory without all the negative associations.

I don't know, maybe this is a useful contribution, perhaps just rambling...
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Anders » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:18 am

LastLegend wrote:So how does it help to know?


Unlike the others, I am of the opinion that simply remembering can often have a curative effect. That goes even for past-life trauma.

But even when it doesn't, remembering the source of trauma gives you opportunities to work with it in a more raw and and exposed form.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 740
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby shaunc » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:43 am

Just a little bit of trivia. In the Philippine Islands, away from the cities, breech birth babies are often trained as healers/shamans. I know this as I'm married to a filippina & her sister (my sister-in-law) who is now deceased was a healer/shaman in a small fishing village about 200km from Cebu City.
shaunc
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:10 am

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby reddust » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:35 pm

Anders wrote:
LastLegend wrote:So how does it help to know?


Unlike the others, I am of the opinion that simply remembering can often have a curative effect. That goes even for past-life trauma.

But even when it doesn't, remembering the source of trauma gives you opportunities to work with it in a more raw and and exposed form.


Thank you Anders, you are right. I know my triggers now. I've been remembering a lot of details from my really early childhood years lately. I hear that happens when you get older and elderly. Working in the garden away from all the noise and distraction of city life seems to open things up a bit too. I used to have one fever dream over and over again when I would get really high fevers. This was before my sister was born, so it was before I was two years old and into my adult years when I was stressed. I would be on a silver like bullet train heading towards a bridge over a bottomless gorge straight into a huge mountain cave that contained a monster that was made up of quivering flesh and a huge mouth as big as most mountains. When it screamed it made the whole world shake. The only way off the train would be to jump into the unknown. I was stuck...I finally figured out the symbolism behind that monster, I thought it was my fear of death. It was not, it was my rage, rage I carried before I was abused, from prior lives, which left along with my night terrors and panic attacks after my first vipassana retreats. If I have to I can call up my rage and use it, usually to leave an impression on someone who needs help. I used it in a intervention several years back when someone I love was drinking themselves to death. I scared them so bad they wanted to call the police, they didn't though, I wouldn't let them go, I held onto them and let the rage go and used the metta I learned to see in vipassana. I scared the shit out of them but I wasn't really angry. They didn't stop drinking directly after that but several months after that intervention they got sick and tired of being sick and tired and stopped drinking on their own. So the monster can be called on to help out once in awhile :tongue:

shaunc wrote:Just a little bit of trivia. In the Philippine Islands, away from the cities, breech birth babies are often trained as healers/shamans. I know this as I'm married to a filippina & her sister (my sister-in-law) who is now deceased was a healer/shaman in a small fishing village about 200km from Cebu City.


That explains a lot Shaun! It's not an easy life to be a shaman, I've read a lot about their calling. I've been attracted and interested in shamanism for years, now I know why <3
Last edited by reddust on Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
User avatar
reddust
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:29 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby reddust » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:40 pm

Roland wrote:I had a similar very rough birth (I actually unintentionally wrote "rebirth" at first lol). I remember a traumatic experience when I was maybe 3 or 4. Someone was terrorizing us (my siblings and I) and I clearly, like it just happened, remember watching this stuffed animal we had rise from the dresser and float across the room. Then I remember a blanket that was on the ceiling, that was put there before above the bed, the animals on it were moving.



My sister and I had some of that stuff happen to us while I was going through puberty. We would rise up off our beds while we were sleeping until our nose touched the ceiling and we would wake up and fall back into our bed. We thought we were dreaming until my sister saw me float above my bed. All sorts of weird stuff happened that one year and then it stopped. I think children don't have the walls we adults put up in our minds to keep the unknown out...When we are little we are wide open to the unknown :namaste:

I love these stories please all of you share more!
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
User avatar
reddust
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:29 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby gianni » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:41 pm

probably my earliest memory is from 2 or 3 years old.sunny isola d'elba,few different memories,very difficolt to judge which
one is the oldest,but a sense-feeling of marvel,a kind of(I would'nt seem to exaggerate)..Bliss?
marvel is definitly an apt word...and it was to be my companion for a long time.in fact although moderated by life's experiences,it still is with me..to some extent.
User avatar
gianni
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:38 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Challenge23 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:51 pm

My first memory is of my grandfather who would get together with a group of WWII veterans that lived near him for breakfast at Denny's to talk about the old days.

In particular I remember a family friend named Al who was talking about what it was like to see Buchenwald after it was liberated. I remember it was almost like he created virtual reality with his words. It was as if I was with him seeing the corpses, feeling the stray fly brushing against my cheek, smelling the overwhelming stench of the dead.

It helps me a great deal to know this because it reminds me that the almost absurdly dark lens through which I view life isn't necessarily how things are as much as due to the fact that I was exposed to really, really dark things from a very early age.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
User avatar
Challenge23
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:36 pm

Re: Your Earliest Memories

Postby Will » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:15 pm

Nearing 70 now, so this may be a memory of a memory, why it I can still recall it - beats me.

It is neither bad nor good, just a 3? year-old watching. Somewhere in Florida I ambled down the street from our house to a wooded area and into a small gully of red dirt. I lay down on one side of it, my cheek pressed to the red earth and observed the many daddy-long-legs spiders going into, around and coming out of their holes.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1922
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Your Earliest Memories

Postby denny » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:27 pm

Will wrote:Nearing 70 now, so this may be a memory of a memory, why it I can still recall it - beats me.

It is neither bad nor good, just a 3? year-old watching. Somewhere in Florida I ambled down the street from our house to a wooded area and into a small gully of red dirt. I lay down on one side of it, my cheek pressed to the red earth and observed the many daddy-long-legs spiders going into, around and coming out of their holes.


""]Nearing 70 now, so this may be a memory of a memory, why it I can still recall it - beats me."

Hi Will. I'm about your age with a few old memories also. :smile:

For really old old memories (the ice man and the coal man deliveries, etc.) I find it expedient to access the memories I've created of the original memories I don't wish to blur. I discovered this technique accidentally by once accessing the "memory of remembering" of an event rather than the memory of the event itself. I find this can leave the original memory mostly intact (but still subject to change). I've only used this technique to preserve my very oldest memories.

Subjectively this works very well.
denny
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:38 pm

Time to let them go, I say.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby denny » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:07 pm

Simon E. wrote:Time to let them go, I say.


Hello Simon E.

I believe memories do not completely disappear so I can not believe
it's possible to "...let them go...."

I believe to recall older deep memories, one needs subtle methods,
and practice. Perhaps my memory is not as readily accessible as
others?

I personally don't "go dredging" for memories but see this as a mental
tool and not as part of my daily routine.

Could you say why you want to let your older memories "go?"
denny
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:11 pm

Not just older memories. We breath in. We breath out.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Karma Dorje » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:39 pm

Simon E. wrote:Not just older memories. We breath in. We breath out.


The Buddha remembered all of his past lives even. Not sure we need to get rid of memories, just our clinging.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
~Arthur Carlson
User avatar
Karma Dorje
 
Posts: 895
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Your Earlist Memories

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Fair enough...I am not sure we could get rid of them anyway.
But neither is there any merit that I can see in focusing on them.
That seems to me to be a residue of some kind of Freudian catharsis, which has been eclipsed rather by a more existentialist approach.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Next

Return to Personal Experience

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>