Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby LadyAnn » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:37 am

Hello, I am also new to the practice of meditation, so I understand there's a lot of "practice!" involved, but I was also wondering--

In early September of this year (2011), I was involved in a car accident. I don't know how hard my head hit the window, but the car which hit my car was traveling at 65MPH--so I had neck and back injuries which still continue to hurt. Right now, my doctor told me there are bulging discs in my neck and lower back. It is hard for me to hold up my head (my neck aches after a long time) and sit up straight for awhile (my lower back begins to ache). I'm still receiving doctor's care--I don't like taking pain killers which sedate, because I'm very sensitive to the medicine and even a quarter dose for adults puts me to sleep! So I ask him not to prescribe these and instead work on attending to the injuries while not on pain killers.

Is there anything I can use for meditation to lessen the burden on my back while these injuries heal--such as a specific cushion or technique to seat myself? Are there specific techniques I should avoid doing so I don't aggravate these injuries? I can bring up the information on the exact location on the spine and neck that is injured, if needed.
LadyAnn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:59 pm

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:47 am

I don't know of any specific techniques for this exact problem. I'd ask a physical therapist for sure. The closest I've come to this is having to lie flat on my back briefly and meditate during a Zen retreat (my back had gone out suddenly during the retreat).

But if there are any positions that are more comfortable, under the circumstances do that and meditate for brief periods. Definitely don't push it.

May you quickly be well.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4570
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby wisdom » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:21 am

Meditation happens in the mind and the foundation of a stable mind is stable breathing. If all you can do is lay down or sit in a comfy chair that's fine, you can meditate like that. Your body being comfortable is important, we sit up straight because of how that balances the energies of our subtle body. If you can sit in a relatively straight position, even if its with the support of a comfy chair, thats fine. Better than hurting yourself or aggravating injuries which will prevent you from accomplishing meditation, unless you are trying to meditate on indifference to the body and pain!

I second the advice of asking a therapist. Yet maybe look into one of those neck pillows you get on airplanes. Maybe it would help create some support.
User avatar
wisdom
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:33 am

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby Adamantine » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:43 am

LadyAnn wrote:Hello, I am also new to the practice of meditation, so I understand there's a lot of "practice!" involved, but I was also wondering--

In early September of this year (2011), I was involved in a car accident. I don't know how hard my head hit the window, but the car which hit my car was traveling at 65MPH--so I had neck and back injuries which still continue to hurt. Right now, my doctor told me there are bulging discs in my neck and lower back. It is hard for me to hold up my head (my neck aches after a long time) and sit up straight for awhile (my lower back begins to ache). I'm still receiving doctor's care--I don't like taking pain killers which sedate, because I'm very sensitive to the medicine and even a quarter dose for adults puts me to sleep! So I ask him not to prescribe these and instead work on attending to the injuries while not on pain killers.

Is there anything I can use for meditation to lessen the burden on my back while these injuries heal--such as a specific cushion or technique to seat myself? Are there specific techniques I should avoid doing so I don't aggravate these injuries? I can bring up the information on the exact location on the spine and neck that is injured, if needed.


HEY not an answer to your specific question but I highly recommend seeking the advice/help of a properly trained osteopath and/or visceral therapist. Look up "visceral manipulation" in this search for therapists you can conduct for your region http://www.iahp.com/pages/search/index.php I know people who practice this modality and they have been able to help many people with similar conditions. Also, a gifted acupuncturist may be able to help you as well, but you should get a good recommendation not just visit anyone.

Aside from that, it is great to sit in proper meditation posture but you have to work with your circumstances and the poise of the mind is the most important thing. Remember, the post-meditation is essential too, and that doesn't involve any particular posture! It just involves maintaining mindfullness, keeping bodhicitta intention, etc. you know!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2976
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am
Location: Space is the Place

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:49 am

To my opinion the meditational posture is all about being in a position conducive to staying awake alert and with no hinderances to the flow of things.
Some consider it a "holy" position or some such....I don't abscribe to that view.

As such when very young I would and did have good effect with meditation in a totally supine position. My mind was very active and alert at that age and sleepiness was far from it. Energy flow also seemed not a problem.
I could not do that now certainly but a very strict posture I also do not find absolutely necessary.
I would at times in classes of sorts utilize a modification of the meditational posture to maintain focus...and it worked absolutely wonderful.

So I would say it is preferable to have a meditational posture, in a formal sitting session, but depending on the person it is if due to physical disability a thing that can be worked around.
Try what works without causeing pain is my suggestion.
Something very well might to my experience.

Older peoples I have seen have good result with simply sitting in a chair with feet crossed and arms upon their legs...so personally I would not worrry a whole lot about it. It is all about result. If you feel OK with a posture due to disability and your mind appears alert with no obvious bodily constriction apparent.....it may then be OK.

That is my opinion..I would not sweat it.

On the specific...as mentioned by others....... of course talk with your doc, that is firstly most important . Some things I find help in things of sitting, is sitting upon a small stool. Another thing is pillows under the knees to support them and perhaps lessen pressure of the legs pushing the spine in a certain position. The cushions may help with that. Other than that.... one could perhaps sit with back against a wall. Even a small cushion between the back and the wall in a position of assistance(experiment). A thing for some meditators is a type of sash that wrapped upon the knees, and goes around the back and helps one to maintain posture a bit effortlessly. Tibetan buddhist meditators may have or know of that thing..I have seen it but it is not common. There is a name to it but I forget. Others probably know of it.

All are just examples on different things one may try. YOu may perhaps see what fits your disability. Not forceing anything but useing what seems to stop any pain....which one may or may not. Again first check with your doc, in any of this. Before any of this.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
User avatar
ronnewmexico
 
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby dakini_boi » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:10 pm

you might benefit from seeing a really good yoga teacher who has credentials in yoga therapy. Especially if trained in Iyengar or Anusara styles.
dakini_boi
 
Posts: 683
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby Asabandha » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:37 pm

Not long after I started meditating I was involved in a head-on collision. My pelvis was broken. For the following two years I exclusively meditated lying down because sitting was too painful. If falling asleep during meditation is an issue, practice active breathing with counting for a while until you become very accustomed to lying down and relaxing without going to sleep. This will form the lifelong habit of meditating prior to sleep and never falling asleep spontaneously just by lying down, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Good luck and I pray that your injuries heal fully. May you meet with success in the journey of self-other-no-self-no-other discovery. :)

Ed: Slightly off topic, but on the topic of "alternative" postures, I only meditate on straight backed chairs or tall cushion-seats because I have an artificial hip and cannot sit cross-legged. Most important is to train the mind and body to be alert no matter what position you are in. Cross-legged positions are ideal because the mind is alerted by the seat posture and the immobility of cross-leggedness translates to stabilization of mind, but that does not mean other positions are impossible or that you cannot reach the same meditative states in other postures.
Asabandha
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:52 am

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby Huifeng » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:29 am

LadyAnn wrote:Hello, I am also new to the practice of meditation, so I understand there's a lot of "practice!" involved, but I was also wondering--

In early September of this year (2011), I was involved in a car accident. I don't know how hard my head hit the window, but the car which hit my car was traveling at 65MPH--so I had neck and back injuries which still continue to hurt. Right now, my doctor told me there are bulging discs in my neck and lower back. It is hard for me to hold up my head (my neck aches after a long time) and sit up straight for awhile (my lower back begins to ache). I'm still receiving doctor's care--I don't like taking pain killers which sedate, because I'm very sensitive to the medicine and even a quarter dose for adults puts me to sleep! So I ask him not to prescribe these and instead work on attending to the injuries while not on pain killers.

Is there anything I can use for meditation to lessen the burden on my back while these injuries heal--such as a specific cushion or technique to seat myself? Are there specific techniques I should avoid doing so I don't aggravate these injuries? I can bring up the information on the exact location on the spine and neck that is injured, if needed.


Hi LadyAnn,

Sorry to hear about your injury, I hope that you can make a full recovery!

Quite a few years ago I was involved in a serious car accident. While it left me with some serious neck pains, it was only one year later that I found out that I fractured a vertebrae in my neck, which left a little bit of bone broken off from the rest. And I only found that out because of a second injury, that fractured another vertebrae in my neck, along with a head injury requiring 38 stitches to sew up again. So, I can sympathize for your situation.

For the first few months after the second injury, I was in a rather large neck brace. I couldn't stand or sit up for long. But, I would often lie down for long periods of the day, and meditate in that posture. It had to be with both legs out straight, and arms by the sides (anything else would cause all sorts of problems). I tried to get off the painkillers as soon as I could, but that still took a month or two, because without them at first I could not function at all.

After about 9-12 months I was mostly up and functioning again. But, it took a few years to be entirely free of little shooting jolts through the nerves around my neck and shoulders, and also the head wound. Some nerves appear to have never fully reconnected. Never mind.

Once I could sit in meditation again, I did so very regularly. But I would also often use lying meditation if I was physically not up to sitting. I slowly got myself into a bit of yoga - but be careful, very careful. Once I gave myself another nasty neck injury doing head stands. But, hey, I could do head stands! :P

Nowadays, quite a few years later, there really is not problem at all. It takes time, but I believe that the body and mind can heal almost anything. So, have some confidence and faith in yourself, that's very important.

All the best!

~~ Huifeng
User avatar
Huifeng
 
Posts: 1471
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:38 am

My appologies for deviating from point,and hoping one gets better quickly, but.....I am getting the distince impression meditators are for some reason prone to injuries of this sort :smile:
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
User avatar
ronnewmexico
 
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby catmoon » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:28 am

So, if you want to be a Buddhist, you need a brain injury? Hmm... i did take a couple of nasty falls and landed on my head when i was a kid...
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 3006
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Meditation after being involved in a car accident

Postby AdmiralJim » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:32 pm

HI there,
You can meditate lying down and there are specific positions for this, we had a lady on retreat who had trapped nerves in her neck, she just lay down. Look up corpse pose
I don't know where we are going but it will be nice when we get there
User avatar
AdmiralJim
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:11 pm
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland


Return to Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>