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Lions Roar : March 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2012 81 Sleep deprivation aggravates the trauma. Davidson and Seppala want to test the effectiveness of using techniques that do not involve medication. That yogic breath- ing works so well for the vets encourages Davidson that he is on the right track with his contention that meditative practices are not one size fits all. Some practices are ill-suited to some people in some cir- cumstances, while others may be perfectly suited to them. Seppala is hypothesizing that there is phenomenon known as “memory recon- solidation.” Trauma sufferers have strong emotional relationships with the memo- ries that emerge in their minds, but if the memories can be “reconsolidated,” their relationship to them changes. “I believe the breathing puts them into such a deep state of relaxation that when the trauma emerges, they create a new relationship with the memory,” she says. One vet had been assigned to do inter- rogations using extreme measures, tor- ture essentially. Stateside, he never slept. After some days of doing the Sudarshan Kriya program, he reported that he fell asleep on the couch watching television, a normal experience for many but a break- through for him. “I remember everything that happened over there, but I realize that’s not me anymore,” he told Seppala. That’s the past. I don’t have the same emotional connection to it.” WHAT CHALLENGE could be more compelling for the human mind today than the survival of our planet? CIHM has a project in the design stages that would study how meditative practices might alter the way individuals make decisions about how we use resources, and therefore alter the collective effect we have on our environment. Donal MacCoon, the scien- Donal MacCoon, the scien- tist developing the project, told me about the Happy Planet Index, a measurement of sustainability developed by the New Economics Foundation that is expressed as a fraction. Illustrating the index on a whiteboard, MacCoon explained that Healthy Minds continued from page 49