I recently read Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself, which is all about how to use meditation to free your mind and body from the effects of your conditioning. I also spent a month using the associated guided meditations every day.
Overall, it’s a great book. It’s the kind of book I was thinking of writing in fact, so perhaps he’s saved me the trouble; but there are a couple of things in it that I found distracting:
The most annoying for me was his use of quantum consciousnonsense in the first few chapters. I personally think that attempts by personal development authors to justify their work using quantum physics jargon is a furphy, and I’m not a fan. Fortunately, you don’t need to believe that consciousness arises from quantum effects (which it almost certainly doesn’t) in order for meditation to work.
He also cites a retroactive intercessory prayer study which was intended by it’s authors to demonstrate that statistical studies can be misused to show associations between causes and effects that can’t possibly be related; in this case, because it would involve going back in time which is clearly impossible. Yet Joe cites it as an actual example of the power of the mind to influence events in the quantum field. This sort of thing is exactly what the study authors were trying to debunk: It’s a misuse of science.
That said, there is also a lot of good material in the book about the link between thought patterns, emotions, the autonomic nervous system, and physical illness; which is highly relevant to CFS. Most of the book is essentially background information on how and why the meditations that he recommends work, to encourage you to commit to them.
The guided meditations consist of a series that become progressively longer and deeper each week over the course of a month, to eases you into the meditation process. They begin with guided relaxation, followed by some emotional release and then some thought pattern breaking. I enjoyed them, and while I wouldn’t say I’ve completely broken my old personality habits I did find myself feeling calmer and more grounded at the end of the month.
I’ve done a lot of meditation now and feel comfortable without any further guidance so I haven’t continued using them but I do meditate for at least 20 minutes now every day anyway. The effect of meditation is cumulative, so getting a result is all about practice, practice, practice. That said, I’ve found that one of the best “meditations” for recovering from CFS is simply getting on with my life and doing things I enjoy, within my energy constraints.
If you’re new to meditation and looking for a starting point, I’d recommend reading this book and doing the meditations in the sequence that he describes. The meditations are available from iTunes, but they’re a lot cheaper at Hay House or Amazon.
Here’s a talk by Joe Dispenza on healing disease by turning off the fight-or-flight response in the brain: