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Buddhism & CFS

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by starryeyes, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    OH yeah... nail and head... go together for me too.

    Embracing hell makes it just plain ordinary hell without the constant editorializing about it.
     
  2. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Prayer Thoughts In Reply

    The names of those trees, a song of praise!

    For those who can still praise, in the midst of suffering,
    who try to be honest and continue sincere, in the midst of suffering,
    Life, which is conscious, hears and will respond.
    Receive its new message to your heart.

    Cecelia
     
  3. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    Wow, that's really beautiful. :eek: thanks for posting that.
     
  4. Denn

    Denn Guest

    Spiritual exercises

    Starcycle--

    I have had a similar experience: I can no longer meditate either. I can no longer find my energetic center. Also, I find that I no longer desire to practice Yoga or Chi Kung. Actually, I was training in Chi Kung and found myself feeling worse while I practiced. However, I do see this as part of the process. I have experienced that each spritual practice has its limitation and dark side. My feeling is that these practices are not appropriate to me now and that ceasing them has opened up other channels of energy: I do not believe that being sick hinders your spiritual progress, just the opposite.

    For the record, I do love trees very much too! Also, Cecelia, I love Mirceau Eliade as well and please do lecture as I am sure there are many lurking lovers of philosopy in this group.

    Love and peace to you all this Christmas season,
    Denn
     
  5. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    The Trees in the Garden of Eden

    Dear Denn,

    Along the lines of Eliade's work in symbolism, there was a great issue on Trees that Parabola magazine did in the 80's. In it was a tradition from esoteric branch of Judaism which said that there was really only one Tree in the Garden of Eden rather than two. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was really only the outer layer of the Tree of Immortality!

    I loved that story and to me it suggested how our dualistic vision, based in the ego and its judgments, was too superficial, seeing two where there was only one. We didn't go far enough then in our exploration of reality and truth.

    Buddhism and other non-dual traditions try to rectify this perception and understanding.

    I wanted to include that story because the Creation Myth from the Bible always disturbed me in a number of its aspects, including that one. Seeing the tree-climbing serpent and woman as evil too when they were initiating steps in consciousness seem like further premature judgments. And then we got to pain and suffering--well, we know about that part and are talking about it here. But this isn't the end of the story, the whole story.

    I wonder what this myth would say instead if it were written by an enlightened human being?

    Sing
     
  6. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    A deep holiday bow to all you Buddhas-to-be. :)
     
  7. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    Hi Cecelia - I don't know if it's a traditional understanding, but one Jewish interpretation I heard of that story is not so much that anyone was "evil" or was expelled for seeking knowledge, but that they were expelled because after eating from the tree they failed to do what in hebrew is called "teshuva," which loosely translated is a kind of repentance.

    Of course that presupposes a violation against the action in the first place, i.e., against gaining knowledge in this case, but that kind of attitude is so alien to what I know of the Jewish tradition at least that I have to think that's a post-judaic misinterpretation, also.

    But thinking of it in that way always seemed to humanize the story more for me in some strange way. It seems to turn it more into a story of the perils of ego in failing to humble and empty itself than one of transgression, punishment, "evil," and so on.
     
  8. Denn

    Denn Guest

    Reply to Cecelia

     
  9. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    It's been 10 years of being home/bed bound for me too and I have the same thoughts all the time. Like every day, many times a day. Thank you for articulating them.

    Yes it sure does.... cuts to the bone.

    I think that's a great koan. It can cause one to become instantly enlightened.

    That poem is beautiful Cecelia. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I used to do a lot more meditation and I used to practice Chi Gung and Yoga as well. They really helped me at the time but as I've gotten progressively worse I can no longer do them. Now and then I can do a part of what I learned from them but it's nothing like it was. One thing that does help me now is focusing in on my chakras but I can only do it for a few moments instead of long enough to do serious meditation. But try just imagining your chakras lit up and lined up inside of you.

    Very nice Denn. I believe that too.

    Auuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
     
  10. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Cecelia's poems brought this one to mind:

    Try To Praise The Mutilated World

    by Adam Zagajewski, translated by Renata Gorczynski

    Try to praise the mutilated world.
    Remember June's long days,
    and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
    The nettles that methodically overgrow
    the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
    You must praise the mutilated world.
    You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
    one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
    while salty oblivion awaited others.
    You've seen the refugees heading nowhere,
    you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
    You should praise the mutilated world.
    Remember the moments when we were together
    in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
    Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
    You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
    and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
    Praise the mutilated world
    and the grey feather a thrush lost,
    and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
    and returns.
     
  11. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    That's beautiful Fresh eyes. It's so soothing and perfect for all of us here.
     
  12. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    More Ruminations on the Creation Myth

    Dear Starcycle,

    I really like your additions to our thoughts about the story of the Garden of Eden! That fits, doesn't it?, that a failure to be humble and surrender (the ego) after eating of the first Tree would stop the spiritual progression and lead to a fall into suffering--before the next different opportunity for spiritual awakening, as those always arise.

    And back to the first Tree, taking in the knowledge of evil, do we stop there? It is tempting! The rational mind screams its protest and tries to erect its defenses and systems of control. But in the center of all these remains the shrine of fear and belief in evil, so how can these difficulties ever go away?

    Rambling....!

    Sing
     
  13. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Dear Denn,

    In reply to your beautiful, thoughtful post, some of which is here:

    "I do believe that Love/Eternal Consciousness is the fundament of all reality. CFS, like all other aspects of the human condition, is the medium through which we must struggle to cultivate awareness and reach our connection to this consciousness. However, Love is, ultimately, self-healing and we will all, in the end, return to our true nature.

    Now if I could only reconcile that in some way with those creation myths! Can't and I apologize to all for rambling so long..."

    I don't know the story of the Nutcracker Suite now--it has been so long since I saw it--but I have a feeling it involves humbleness, generosity, redemption, and transformation, all shown in a context of great beauty. Is this so?

    It seems to me that creation myths tell just the beginning, the starting points, rather than portraying the whole story--all its changes and completions, however it will go! I've actually never liked creation myths. Though I have loved fairy tales--those wisdom tales of which the Nutcracker Suite is one. And like you I don't like a heavy emphasis on suffering or evil or judgment from any religious tradition. I feel as though I/we are plenty aware of these, have done this "hugely" in life, and need to find another way.

    Back to humbleness and surrender--

    Sing
     
  14. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Maybe, try this: Only don't know.

    Be ok with what is whatever it may be.

    Only don't know with as much loving kindness as you can.

    What do you think?
     
  15. Lisette

    Lisette My daughter and I

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    Sigh of relief

    Instead of having a nervous breakdown from the holidays with family-- I decided to pop on here. Glad I did!

    Koan-- the story of your mother saying, "you should get down..." had me almost weak with wanting to laugh, but holding it in lest I wake people. Oh, me, oh my-- did we have the same mom? The fierce female liberator-- to me it's little wonder that people are named what they are.

    I first read the puppy analogy in meditation in Jack Kornfield's book "A Path with Heart." Did he get it from someone else?

    I find that if I interrupt my thought and bring it back to my breathing, I just end up getting fuster-betated (a kid's mispronunciation of "being frustrated" that I find onomatopoetic).

    So I just let the thoughts run their course, but realize that noticing them and not feeling like I have to take any action on any of them helps me a little.

    Other times I feel a little more like taking my thoughts in hand-- like if the puppy has started chewing on my favorite shoe.

    I am of the Gen X crowd that came into meditation on the coattails of the Boomers, so when I see people getting into a conflagration of ideals over the best way to lose one's ego and become one with others and catching the "judgment" in each other's philosophy I... judge them, of course!

    Dr. Yes-- I have had that same feeling of dread and unreality but I have also discovered better living through chemicals. Who needs to be saddled with _that_ feeling when everything is hard enough as it is? Yeesh. (Combo of "yikes" and "sheesh", I guess).

    CFS kind of zapped my meditation practice. I tried both traditional Buddhist, and then the fairly recently formed Christian "Maranatha" mantra one that someone posted-- I managed to visit a center that conducted this, but although I found it sweet and peaceful I found it too difficult.

    There are two churches in my town that have a labyrinth-- one is at a Catholic church, and one is at a Presbyterian church (mine). Oops-- did I just out myself? I probably had a little bit of something to do with the formation of our labyrinth. Bad little Protestant, am I.

    I had a fascination with mazes and labyrinths for a while. My husband gave me a great book of photos of them from around the world. One of those Jungian things.

    Brenda-- you speak your position clearly. I appreciate those who ask that while no one should be pressured into believing or practicing anything, that people also should not try to make Christianity more palatable and denying some of its more difficult-- yet not necessarily untrue by virtue of its difficulty-- just to make the medicine go down.

    There were so many others posting on here-- I wish I could remember what everyone said. I really appreciated each post.

    Is it Fresh Eyes that is in pain? Whoever that is-- I HEAR you-- God, it's so hard. In fact it makes you go-- Uh, God, um... are you there? I realize that you came to us, identifying yourself as a weak little lamb destined for the slaughter, so, I get it that you have suffered, too, and still suffer through the Holy Spirit, but HONESTLY!

    I was very piqued (in a good way, not as in temper) the idea that the next Buddha is the community. That sounds slightly similar to the idea of Pentecost-- that the teacher has to leave as a local personality so that the more universal spirit can live in each person.

    Yet, I know that these are _not_ the same events. I'm not trying to blur them together into a finger-painting that has been overworked and gone all brownish green.

    I just feel a certain sense of relief-- like another plank in a bridge has been laid.

    I'll leave off with my impressions of oneness and sameness-- someone besides me must have been wondering the same thing-- that U2 Bono guy, who had a Christian background, like I do.

    And it may be a generational thing too-- not seeing the desire to retain personhood in the process of giving up ego-- even though that seems contradictory. In fact, it might be even crazy, given the tension of that premise.

    So while John Lennon sings "I am the Walrus", something in me responds to Bono's song "We are one, but we're not the same/ We have to carry each other". Somehow that feels uplifting to me, but it may feel like a horrible burden to someone else.

    So, I'm glad that everyone is not like me! Cuz, ugh, one of me is enough!

    I'm going to put these cramped up fingers to sleep. I think my posts are too long, and that's why people don't respond. So, I'm used to it. Don't worry.
    Lisette
     
  16. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I've been massively wiped out lately, :p:p:p but have really enjoyed tuning in for just a few minutes and reading some of these great posts.

    You all seem so brilliantly wise and brain functioning!
     
  17. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    one mystery solved

    Hi Lisette,

    I read your post a little while ago and was so glad someone had replied to the Buddhism and CFS thread but thought it curious that the last post was on the 15th (it didn't seem like THAT long ago that I had read a post). I took a break from my computer and noticed someone had again responded to the Buddhism and CFS thread. But when I looked, your post wasn't there! Scratch my head. Look at the thread title again. Wonder what other thread I could have been on that made me think I was on the Buddhist thread. Decide it is a mystery, just as so many, many things are in life . . .

    And then it popped into my head there are TWO Buddhism and CFS threads! Cort copied the original into this Mind/Body section. Sigh of relief . . . I'm not crazy after all . . . well, maybe just a little.

    You might want to check out the Buddhism and CFS thread over in the Community Lounge. I think it is more updated. You might get more of a response over there, too. And you can decide again if you want to "out" yourself. (I caught that!)

    Keep posting. I'm enjoying your thoughts even when I can't think of a way to respond. I like this quote of yours:

    It feels good to me, too. See you around the forums.

    Gracenote
     
  18. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Once on a (Zen) meditation retreat I had a flash that "eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil" meant slipping out of the eternal-present-moment, just-this, only-don't-know mind, into the dualistic mind that says yes/no, right/wrong, I like this/I hate that, This is good/That is evil. Don't know if it's true (!) but it made quite an impression on me at the time.
     
  19. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

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    Freshie, that's exactly what Joe Campbell and others have made of it, too.

    Eden, in their view, was a metaphor for the Transcendent, which is beyond all distinctions; the lion laid down with the lamb, man and woman were of the same flesh and "were one", etc.. The "original sin" of eating from the tree is a metaphor for losing the awareness of the Transcendent and dropping to the level of duality where there are, as you said, this/that, right/wrong, good/evil "pairs of opposites" and therefore judgements and distinctions. And then they saw that they were different (distinctions, duality) and became ashamed (judgements). In Genesis itself the concepts you mentioned are clear to see, beginning with the serpent talking Eve into eating from the tree:

    "'For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.'
    And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
    And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked..."

    So I guess you great minds think alike!
     
  20. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    A problem I tend to have with these kinds of "takes" is that, unless we're Jewish, the Eden story, "Old Testament" (Torah), etc. isn't really ours. It has *become* part of the western tradition, but only because it was essentially stolen from another culture in the first place (the Jewish culture). I question at times what right we, e.g., people like Joseph Campbell," have to "interpret" anything about it whatsoever, especially when those interpretations 99 times out of 100 are nowhere near how the rabbis interpret it. And they wrote it, after all - their forebears, at least, in a long and revered tradition going back 3,000 years. As gentiles, it's really not our book to tamper with, imo.

    I think of it as being akin to taking a Native American tradition, making up all kinds of new "meanings" for it, and then discussing it as if we are having all kinds of insights and brilliant self-congratulatory ideas. It's a little bit violent, actually, in the sense that genocide doesn't merely mean killing the people, but it also means taking and destroying their culture, traditions, myths, and so on.

    If we want to learn about Eden and the creation myths, old testament, etc. imo we should first study it from within its intended context, according to the views of the people whose culture it belongs to. Then if we want to form our own ideas later -- well, that is up to us, I guess -- but at least we have respected the tradition enough to learn what IT has to say to us, rather than we trying to say something to IT. I have to say I tend to find that latter approach to be a little bit disrespectful.
     

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