Sunday, September 9, 2012

Buddhism and Aspergers: An 'Enlightening' Coping Mechanism!

Holy jumpin'! I can't believe that its been two months since my last post on this blog! For the record, I am sorry about this, but with the transition to a new job and life in general getting in the way, its been a hectic time. Now that that's out of the way, the idea for this post has been with me for some time but now I'd like to finally put it out there. Like many out there, I've been on a spiritual journey for some time, and while I am generally a rational-minded agnostic, I've always had a soft spot for eastern spirituality, in particular Buddhism. In fact, I have found that there are some teachings inherent in it that have been helpful to me in living with some of the more, shall we say, neurotic tendencies of Aspergers. But first, a disclaimer:

Disclaimer: The following blog post is in no way meant to force religion or spirituality down anyone's throat. Spirituality is an intensely personal journey and no one can or should tell anyone how to go about it or what to think. Its a path each of us has to walk ourselves, I'm merely sharing here what has worked and continues to work for me.

Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to explain exactly why I think Aspergers and Buddhism make not-so-strange bedfellows. As any Aspie can tell you, there is a certain amount of anxiety and neurosis that can come from the lack of ability to understand the nuances of social situations, and in cases such as these I find that meditation is infinitely useful. I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but I have attended yoga classes and practiced meditation enough to be able to tell you that it has made a difference in my life. I find the perspective offered by meditation and buddhism in general has allowed me to live a more relaxed, peaceful life and provides me a way to calm myself during neurotic social situations.

For those of you who think meditation is complicated and time-consuming, nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, it does require finding time in our increasingly busy schedules to do, but the benefits far exceed the inconvenience. Meditation itself is as simple as practicing relaxed breathing and taking a passive position in your own head; observing the thoughts as they pass through, but not engaging with them. For anyone interested in learning more about how to meditate, I highly recommend visiting your local bookstore for a great selection of how-to books.

In conclusion, this is what has worked for me, and I really hope it works for you too. As the Buddha himself once said; "try it and see!" There are so many benefits to Aspergers but for those times where the neurosis and social difficulties become too much, this has provided me a sense of inner peace and with practice it may for you too!

Until next time!

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