Thursday, February 25, 2016

Impulse Control and Meditation

In resent years, I have come to recognize that my overeating problem is a group of problems, and that low impulse control, temptations, are part of the overall problem. Impulse control is one of those separate issues.   

Impulse Control for overeating issue can help when the issue is impulse and temptations are available. It is easier to remove myself from the temptation situation, but that is not always practical. Does meditation help? The answer is yes, at least when the low impulse control is active, and while the meditation practice is active.  So it is not yet clear if it is the meditation or displacement that is effective, that is to say that meditation can be a form of displacement.

Displacement is simply the act of going or doing something where we take our bodies to a location of activity or to a place where food is not an issue. It is difficult be be interested in food in a barn, sewer plant, dump, dusty field, root patch, rock patch, or anywhere we busy and want to be. Work is a great place for some, hell for others.

Meditation practice can be conducted in a environment where one is not being attached by conversation, TV, Radio, or other intrusive conditions, and attention can be diverted from the surroundings for an extended period of time. Nothing special is required, but quiet really helps, as does comfortable body position. The physical position is not critical for short term meditation, but if you intend to sit for times where hours would be the appropriate way to measure time, some of the elements of position becomes important.

Meditation is a state of mind, regardless of how we get there. It is a form of concentrated directed contemplation, or just contemplation. The ease that various people can drop into this is variable; some have difficulty, and for others it is near automatic. The depth varies and changes over time. After a bit we start to see thought objects and the gaps between thought objects, feel sound, and learn to look where thought objects come from. We may even learn to deselect thought objects and put them in other places. I do not have the vocabulary to describe some of these effects. It is not of the physical world, but seems very real and is in the realm of concepts and concept objects, X files sort of stuff, but short of fancies. It needs to be experienced, not intellectualized. It is a state of mind.  

So what does this all have to do with overcoming food issues. The solution may be to go meditate on it. But what do I know?

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