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The research and development of this film started simply with a desire to learn more about meditation. In this case I started interviewing individuals who claimed that meditation had made an important difference in their lives. This is when I met Adam.

_76A0641Typically, as I get further into a project and start learning more about the subject, it begins to become clear what I want the book, exhibit or film to communicate and what I want that communication to accomplish. I like to set a clear intention for the project as soon as possible.  When I started this project, my initial intention was just to show what we could learn from cultures that are more accepting of non-ordinary states of consciousness and how that might change the way we look at some forms of ‘mental illness’.

Documenting Adam’s journey and interviewing the experts that could provide some perspective on what people like Adam are going through has resulted in an unintended consequence. As this project has progressed, I have come to learn more about my inner world and have gained more perspective on my own spiritual journey.

Once I learned how a 10 day Vipassana retreat had helped Adam, I decided to try it for myself. First, to see what Adam had gone through, but also to see what effect it would have on me. In short it was very physically challenging! Ten days meditating for ten hours per day left my knees screaming! However, I was impressed by how much my ability to concentrate improved in that short time. I could follow my breath without having my mind run away with me for almost an hour. Before if I went 5-10 minutes I was doing good. I can’t say I had a dramatic “ah ha” moment, but I did leave the retreat with a profound sense of gratitude for my good fortune and the people in my life.

This weekend I’ll be attending a Holotropic Breathwork session with Stanislav Grof. I am hoping that Adam will be joining me. I will be sure to share with you how it goes.

Do you practice Vipassana meditation or Holotropic Breathwork? How have these practices made a difference in your life?

9 Responses to “Continued Exploration of My Inner World”

  1. Vivian Fulk

    Holotropic Breathwork is contradictory for severe mental illness. Adam probably should not do this. I am a practitioner and love it. It has taken me to depth I never thought possible and allowed break throughs in areas I never thought possible. You will love it.

    Reply
    • Phil Borges

      Vivian, thank you for your concern. We have spoke with Stan and he has agreed to meet with Adam beforehand to make sure that a breathwork session will be appropriate for him. In addition we are aware that he may need support afterwards and will be addressing that as well.

      Reply
  2. Inigo

    It’s funny… I’m practicing Tai-Chi with some Singaporean friends in a Buddhist temple once a week. At the beginning you focus on the many details and movements. Your mind gets concentrated on that and stops thinking about anything else. In a way, it is a kind of meditation. People tell me that when you start feeling the pulse of your heart on the tips of your fingers it when you are “getting it”. I’m not there yet… A friend at the Tai-Chi group invited me to a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. This is the website:
    http://www.dhamma.org
    There are links to many places in the world where you can practice…
    (I would like to do it, but I’m leaving Singapore for good and I do not have those 10 days free. It is pretty intensive, it seems. I will try to make it in Spain)
    Take care, Inigo

    Reply
    • Phil Borges

      I am sure there are ties between Tai-Chi and meditation Inigo. Best of luck with your move. Let us know if you do get to do a Vipassana retreat in Spain.

      Reply
  3. meditation

    Many of us are susceptible to pessimistic thinking, which is the reason why they fail to realize the possibility of an option to the issue. Handling a positive and useful mindset will give a specific the strength to deal with the troubles of life and look for an option to the very same.
    Knauer

    Reply
  4. Ava Maginnis

    I did a Vipassana retreat in the uk and as the result, came home elated and in a slightly altered state of mind. This then evolved quite quickly into being fully psychotic. I had no help or guidance around spiritual experiences, indeed I didn’t know at the time that that is what may have been happening. My family and friends responded in the only way any of us knew how, which was the medical profession; which mainly means pharmaceutical drugs to suppress the symptoms. Almost 5 years on, two further episodes later, and no greater spiritual understanding, I am still using medication to remain balanced and be able to function. I feel a great sadness that these episodes are simply pathologised as an illness that needs to be cured or managed; they have deepened my life considerably and led me further towards myself and a way of living that is right for me, although they are extremely traumatic, especially without the space and expertise for spiritual support or guidance and instead being met with fear, anxiety and medication.

    Reply
    • Charlie

      The Guardian wrote an article on the dangers of mindfulness a few months ago. In some people it can cause/awaken psychological disorders. But this can also happen anytime in your life, the problem with psychology is it is not a science. No one has the right answers, what works for one person does not work for another.

      When a friend of mine, who suffers from OCD, took LSD she was able to step out of her conscientiousness and she how her disorder affected her life. She then finally decided to go to a therapist (something she had been avoiding). However the treatment did not help her at all, one to one therapy no medication. One of the techniques the therapist tried was 1minute of mindfulness. My friend mentioned that these were the longest 1minutes of her life, she hated being forced to stay quiet.

      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/23/is-mindfulness-making-us-ill

      Reply

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