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Thread: Attention deficit disorder

  1. #1

    Attention deficit disorder

    A method often prescribed for attention deficit disorder is breath counting, or mindfulness of breath. Can shaikantaza help with this also? Or should one maybe do both if they are afflicted with this annoying diagnosis?

  2. #2
    Greg,

    I have ADD and found sitting to be most helpful, but I don't think I ever counted breaths. If I did, it wasn't for very long. Being still was not and isn't easy, but over time sitting has helped immensely.

    I never thought of it as an affliction or that it was annoying (though you should ask my wife about the second one!). It just is part of what I call me. Labels like that can get in the way, but don't neglect getting a proper diagnosis and treatment by professionals. Zazen is not a cure for anything.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Sat today

  3. #3
    Hi Greg,

    Following or counting your breath may be helpful for your ADD to build concentration and control. Try it and see if it helps. It seems as if it should.

    But Shikantaza has another purpose (yes, even though we say "Zen is good for nothing", best not to take that too literally ). That is to teach you that there is nothing to ADD or take away from your ADD (pardon the cheap joke). Your ADD is just the ADD. When having ADD, just be at home and free with having ADD. When cured of ADD, just be at home and free with not having ADD.

    "Being at home and free with having ADD" does not mean you should just give up on trying to treat or cure it, if that is what you want, by the way. In fact, try whatever treatments the doctor recommends. However, when trying to treat or cure your ADD, just be at home and free with trying to treat and cure it. Got the point? Be at home with what is.

    Shikantaza is dropping all resistance and separation to life, even the parts we do not like and are working to change. We can accept them and be one with them, even as we work to help the problem.

    So, just sit in equanimity, dropping all thoughts of good or bad, how you wish things "should be", and resistance to what is. At the same time, try counting or following your breaths if it helps.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Hi all,

    ADD isn't something you cure...it is a part of what makes you what you are. It also isn't about control of yourself...many folks with ADD actually like themselves that way and wish others would change!

    People with ADD probably did very well in the more primitive times of our species, serving as sentries and lookouts not because they have no concentration, but because they can sustain high levels of concentration when that is all that is asked of them. Today's world can pull them in many directions and what we call ADD is a difficulty adapting to that world. So, I believe zazen can offer a unique opportunity to put all one's attention into sitting and allowing oneself to see that act as complete. Nothing to add or take away. Just this!

    All of this is just my opinion of course and everyone should experience these things for themselves to see if they ring true.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Sat today

  5. #5



    All harmful words, thoughts and acts
    ever commited by me since of old
    on account of beginningless
    greed...

    Dosho, can we swap?
    Please?
    OK, your family might not understand.
    Your calm is inspiring.

    Three sampai to those who are who they are, complete and without suffering.


    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  6. #6
    Hi Dosho,

    I so appreciate what you wrote here. Your attitude toward ADD is a really fine example for others. I’m sure Jundo meant no judgement when mentioning a “cure”, I think he’s just contrasting “having” with “not having”, with the point being equanimity.

    But you bring up a truth that many people never consider, when thinking about “disabilities”. A different way of functioning is only a disability if it hampers someone from doing what they want to do. Everyone has disabilities. As you say, different abilities are valued differently in different settings. As an advocate for people with “disabilities”, this is one of the most important ideas I try to share with people. It can be a life-changing realization for someone, to realize that they are not flawed, or “made wrong”, because they are different from the majority. And the goal is not to make oneself more like everyone else, the goal is to live a fulfilling, productive and happy life. Everyone can do this, with their own particular gifts and challenges.

    Back to the original question, Greggorious, I think it’s up to you; give shikantaza a try and decide for yourself if it is beneficial for you. You are the best judge of what works for you. You’ve definitely come to the right place if you are curious and want to learn about shikantaza and get support along the way.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    Last edited by Byokan; 02-20-2015 at 10:19 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    Hi Dosho,

    I so appreciate what you wrote here. Your attitude toward ADD is a really fine example for others. I’m sure Jundo meant no judgement when mentioning a “cure”, I think he’s just contrasting “having” with “not having”, with the point being equanimity.

    But you bring up a truth that many people never consider, when thinking about “disabilities”. A different way of functioning is only a disability if it hampers someone from doing what they want to do. Everyone has disabilities. As you say, different abilities are valued differently in different settings. As an advocate for people with “disabilities”, this is one of the most important ideas I try to share with people. It can be a life-changing realization for someone, to realize that they are not flawed, or “made wrong”, because they are different from the majority. And the goal is not to make oneself more like everyone else, the goal is to live a fulfilling, productive and happy life. Everyone can do this, with their own particular gifts and challenges.

    Back to the original question, Greggorious, I think it’s up to you; give shikantaza a try and decide for yourself if it is beneficial for you. You are the best judge of what works for you. You’ve definitely come to the right place if you are curious and want to learn about shikantaza and get support along the way.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    Thank you Lisa. Everyone is a shining jewel in Indra's Net, just as they are. My wife and I are volunteers with the differently abled, in my wife's case with folks who are sometimes called "the deaf". Many are quite radical about such, even insisting on the human superiority of being without hearing over having, others refusing available medical options, others looking upon the condition as a deficit and true "disability". Each is entitled to their own viewpoint, and own life. As I said ...

    "Being at home and free with having ADD" does not mean you should just give up on trying to treat or cure it, if that is what you want, by the way.
    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-20-2015 at 11:46 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Greggorious View Post
    A method often prescribed for attention deficit disorder is breath counting, or mindfulness of breath. Can shaikantaza help with this also? Or should one maybe do both if they are afflicted with this annoying diagnosis?
    Hi Greg,

    I think so.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  9. #9
    As a fellow add'er, I think it can be very helpful. For me, I have to sometimes remember to be kind to myself, as it can be difficult to "settle" in. But I've learned that there isn't anything wrong with that, and just sitting with the crazy, while challenging, has been helpful....and annoying at times lol

  10. #10
    Thanks for all your replies people, it means a lot.

    Gassho

    Greg

  11. #11
    Hi Greg, Dosho and friends for this interesting thread.
    I think I have expected for many years that my practice gives me more concentration capacity, or helps me focusing or improving my persistent forgiving of simple things, which have been one of my most annoying characteristics since my young years. My hope, on the other hand, was well founded. As a health professional whose training is based on science, I did an internet search before start to meditate and I discovered that there are a lot of research supporting the positive relationship between meditation (in general or specifically zazen) and those outcomes.
    Some years have passed since I started in this path and I think I haven’t improved my concentration and my memory problems continued in the everydays life. However, I think I increased my acceptance about who I am in the present moment. I am trying to follow Pema Chodron recommendations, and see my characteristics as “a situation” and not as “a problem", and respecting Joko Becks idea that my practice is not basically intended to be good for me, but for others (Eventually I could find a benefit for me, but the priority is always inverted).
    Gassho
    Miguel
    #Sat Today

  12. #12
    Hi,

    Just one person's experience, but for years I have taught ADHD'ers simple meditation, following Herbert Benson's technique of counting. Most people say it has been helpful, particularly when we generalize that focus onto daily life. If nothing else, it gives a sense of control... that one can do something about a problem that can be very frustrating.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat today

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