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Buddhism & CFS

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

  1. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Now returning to our regularly scheduled program

    [video=youtube;YyStv12eBTM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyStv12eBTM[/video]
     
  2. kit

    kit

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    buddhism and boundaries

    Hi Gracenote (and all),

    I am brand spanking new to this site, and am still trying to figure my way around, but I just wanted to introduce myself, and say how powerfully your post on the Buddhism and CFS thread spoke to me (post #11), on boundaries and "no self". Wow, it's like you articulated something I have not yet been able to put into words for myself, and as a result a little door opened for me this morning. You wrote:

    "I am also asking as someone who was raised with Christian fundamentalist beliefs that got interpreted to mean that having a "self" at all was not "spiritual." That translated as "I can't have any boundaries but I need to respect yours." So this "non-self" self was open to invasion AND was not to fight back or defend her non-self.

    When I read Buddhist writings, I start to go numb. I begin to feel erased. I cannot get to the "no self" place by reading about it. It overlays too much with my distorted early teachings.

    To survive, to actually stay alive on this planet, I had to work really hard to develop a "self." What do "I" want, what do "I" need, how does that feel to "me"? I had to learn to say "stop," "go away," "that's mine," "you can't take that from me."

    It was after I reclaimed my right to exist as a self that I found the freedom to experience those surprising expansive moments of being one with everything, of that "no self" place. This seems to confirm, in a very indirect way, that my efforts to become a self were necessary.

    I loved, love, Carol Lee Flinders book At the Root of This Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst. She writes a little about this in relation to women and following a meditative path."

    So very well put, I completely relate, and it helps me make sense of my approach/aversion relationship with buddhism. I am very inclined to check out that book. Thank you!

    I am a relative CFS newbie, have had it for 3 years . I'm so glad to have found this forum and look forward to getting to know others here.

    Wishing you a wonderful day.

    Kit
     
  3. Marylib

    Marylib Senior Member

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    Hi Kit,

    I am put in mind of my niece, who was raised as a "fundie" Christian. She is now an academic and her studies have revolved around feminist literature, which have been instrumental I think, in helping her to reclaim herself out of what she calls "the bubble" she was stuck in throughout her fundamentalist days.

    Wondering if you might like me to get in touch with her -- she may have other books and writings which could help you. She has a bit of a cause in helping other woman who have been through the same thing.

    I am not Buddhist myself. My path is a bit more eclectic, encompassing meditations and practices of many traditions, including Buddhist . I am very lucky to have found a teacher who is of like bent, so I am now a very happy camper, spiritually speaking. And my spiritual life is everything to me. Well, except for chocolate and the occasional sip of this really good brandy my husband got for Christmas.

    Hope you will gain as much from this beautiful thread as I have. And from the beautiful people who contribute to it.
     
  4. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    Welcome!

    Thank you Kit.

    I'm so glad that my words meant something to you. Welcome to this thread where non-Buddhists and our questions are accepted warmly (along with just about everything else). And welcome to this forum. I think you will find it helpful and educational and sometimes even funny, and always you will feel less alone.

    Gracenote
     
  5. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Kit--

    Welcome to this thread, and to the forum.

    Like you, I'm really not much of Buddhist, though I do enjoy some of the Buddhist writers. And I am not inclined to living a "boundary-less" existence. That has made MUCH trouble for me in the past. I can really appreciate what you said about how your SURVIVAL on the planet required for you to "DEVELOP a self." I think this is true for all of us who suffered though any kind of severe abuse as children, or in our intimate relationships, and had our relationship with our SELF distorted and/or broken by those involvements.

    I agree with what Jung calls the individuation process, becoming FULLY oneself, by tuning in to inner guidance, intuition, and dreams. In doing inner process work, I've found that trusting my instincts and my intuition and following their lead, rather than what "I think I'm supposed to do" has been the key to ongoing liberation. Even if I make a mistake, coming from that place, at least I know it is MY mistake, and I can live with that.
     
  6. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Hi Kit,

    I just want to second your observations about Gracenote. She is so quietly wise, very gentle and, I suspect, very brave. We are graced by her presence.

    And by yours! Welcome!
     
  7. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Some thoughts on INDIVIDUATION

    Hi Kit-- Here's something I thought might interest you.

    "The unifying theme of interest to me is Individuation. Becoming one’s Self, distinct from all others is the Great Work of the Soul in each incarnation. While it is the truth that we are all One, one point of light within the Unified Light, one drop in the Sea of Life, we are also “someone.” Bringing to consciousness who we are as an essential Being, and then manifesting that Self in life is the work of Individuation.
    This has nothing to do with the ego. If we truly individuate, the giving of the gifts of the greater Self enriches all of life and serves to refine the conditions around us... I believe Individuation is an ethical requirement. Giving the best of our Selves benefits others and society, and that is the best possible outcome of a fulfilled life." (from my first Jungian therapist--Anne)
     
  8. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    Thank you so DB - I've been attempting to articulate this for most of my life. This is beautifully expressed.
     
  9. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    I just want to clarify this statement as it has come to the front again. It is true that when I read Buddhist writings, I start to go numb. I cannot read them very easily because my head starts to hear the "no self" language in a very distorted form. But I am very heartened each time I dip into these books (and I do like to own them, and look at them, and hold them Pema Chodron, Dalai Lama, Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, Shinzen Young, to name a few authors I keep around me) to find that my experiences have been put into language by others. So I have to have my own experience first, then read about it, and then say "Ahhhhh . . . that seems to be so." It is also quite possible that many ideas I have read have found a home in me and have thus shaped my experiences. One can never know. I also have a bookshelf full of Jung, and of feminist writers sharing their journeys of faith. And while I'm at it, I will mention Huston Smith and Karen Armstrong. And Nature.

    Aw, Koan. You are very kind. And wise. And much appreciated.
     
  10. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Your welcome IF.

    I like it too, as it comes from real experience from someone who has lived it, and assisted others in doing so as well.
     
  11. kit

    kit

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    ah yes, it must be my soul's thwarted desire for complete individuation that causes it to roar when i hear or read that to be attached to the self is unenlightened. though meditation is good good stuff, i wouldn't go without it. thank you dreambirdie for that very illuminating quote on individuation. and for clarity's sake, it was gracenote, not i, who wrote of the need to develop a self to survive, though i *was* quoting her in a i-relate-to-what-you're-saying kind of way.

    marylib, it's very nice to meet a chocolate and brandy loving spiritually eclectic happy camper. i would welcome book recommendations that have helped your niece reclaim her identity post christian fundamentalism.

    koan, gracenote, thank you for your warm welcome.
     
  12. Marylib

    Marylib Senior Member

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    for Kit

    Hi Kit,

    I will ask my niece about this -- may be a few weeks as she is on holiday.
     
  13. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    Hi Kit

    I'm afraid I don't know of any but just to say that I shared in that loss of identity but was brought up an atheist and it has been through finding the real Jesus not the one that is found in many places that I have had soul healing and have found my self. The Christian way is to deny self but how can you deny what you do not even know about and own? You are on the right track - we must find ourselves.

    I am so sorry you were hurt by the church and dreambirdie and others. I wanted to put this on the Christian thread but maybe the message will get to more here and I cannot be too long online as I have salmonella and things look a bit intense there :O

    It was not acceptable nor was it the true way of Christ that you were harmed and I would love to wrap my arms around you and tell you this. It is not unique though, people are abused as children in every walk of life - it really angers me but when I found Jesus and looked at myself within, I could see that there was nothing that man did that did not have the seeds inside myself, and people who are damaged go on to damage others. It just showed me what a terrible state man is in and when I got enlightened, saw it was me too.

    The really wonderful thuing is that through all of my suffering and the rejection I had known since a small very sick child with a mentally ill mother who rejected her child who cried a lot because she saw this as rejection of her, it made me seek God and it was Buddhism on the pathway for a while (and Islam got a look in) before one day when I had an encounter with Christ who changed me ever since but it took a long time before I understood it at a higher level so that my soul was completely healed and I found union with the divine that mystics talk about and other religions seek but do not find.

    dreambirdie I can well imagine why you turned to nature and feel at one with it but it does not love you or care about you in that it can turn and wipe you out in one blow - the sun that warms the skin abd makes us feel happy burns us and gives us skin cancer. We are nothing to nature but the one who created nature can do the repair work we all so much long for.

    I wish you all well in you search.
     
  14. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
     
  15. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    47.jpg



    ETA Thinking about this lovely picture.

    This picture demonstrates how sentient beings may behave when they are safe, well fed and have the great gift of time and safety to get to know other beings very different from themselves.

    The bird accepts the cat as it is and enjoys the warmth of it's soft fur. The cat does not ask the little bird to be other than it is.

    My guess is that they are both enriched by this relationship of mutual affection and respect.
     
  16. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hey Koan--Very sweet photo.

    I know a bird like that, who lives with 2 cats. They don't sleep together, but they have a blast chasing each other thru the house.
     
  17. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    Buddhism Thread:

    Marylib it's wonderful you get to go to a Spiritual Retreat and very nice that you'll have the option of staying in bed as much as you need to... hopefully that won't be too much. What kind of retreat is it?

    Koan – I'm delving into that site you posted, Lotus in the Mud. What a great name :) I'm listening to Pema Chodron explain Maitri. Phonetically that says 'my tree'. :)

    Pema says that Maitri is a Sanskrit term that translates to unconditional friendship with oneself. That's a great concept. I've got that. :)

    I pointed out Pema's video to my hubby and then I said, “Btw, it's her calendar that we have up in the kitchen for 2010” and he said, “Well what's she gonna use?” lol

    Welcome to our Sangha, Kit. It's nice to meet you here and I liked reading about the book you posted about spirituality and feminism.

    tee
     
  18. kit

    kit

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    Thank you Marylib, that is generous of you. I will be here in a few weeks.

    Hi Brenda. I wish you well on your search as well.

    Tee, thank you for welcoming me to this Sangha. I feel a bit as if I'm warming my hands at a fire's edge. Such a nice fire!

    Kit
     
  19. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    love it DB

    One of my favourite stories is The Parable of the Hole in the Road:

    On the first day... a man walks down a street...
    Suddenly the world goes dark. He thinks he is lost.
    Then he realizes he is in a deep hole. He tries to find his way out, and it takes a very long time. Once he is out the day is gone ... so he walks back home.

    On the second day... the man walks down the same street.
    The world goes dark again. He is in the hole again.
    He takes a while to recognize where he is. Eventually he finds his way out... and so again he walks back home.

    On the third day... the man again walks down the street.
    He knows the hole is there and pretends not to see the hole... and closes his eyes.
    Once again he falls into the hole, and climbs out ... and walks back home, the day lost once again.

    On the fourth day... the man walks cautiously down the street.
    He sees the hole and this time walks around it. He is pleased.
    But the world goes dark again. He has fallen into another hole.
    He climbs out of the second hole, walks home ... and alas... falls into the first hole. He gets out of the first hole... and walks back home... to think.

    On the fifth day... the man walks confidently down the street.
    He sees the first hole..... and recognizes it.
    He walks around it... but forgets the second hole, which he walks directly into. He gets out immediately... and walks straight back home - to weep and hope.

    On the sixth day... the man walks nervously down the street...The hole is there and he thinks "I won't fall into the hole again"... and walks around the hole. He sees the second hole, avoids the second hole... but as he passes, he loses his balance... and falls in. Climbing out he walks back home ... taking the time to carefully avoid all the holes.

    On the seventh day... the man goes for a walk....
    ... and chooses to walk down a different street.

    I find some things only take becoming aware once. Love those. Others are like this, and for me, usually more than 7 times! The trick of being able to say to myself "oh - I fell in that hole again," get myself out (love the Cher line from Moonstruck 'snap out of it'), and then let go of it - no blame, just notice that I'd done it again. My ego is so clever - I used to get into 'self-flagellation' - oh how could I have done that again?, I'm so ___negative adjective___, ......
     
  20. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi IF--

    Thanks for posting this. I've been falling in a lot of setback holes lately, so it's good to read.

    I'm finding that the FEAR of how I REACT to the hole is the worst part of it. :(:Retro tongue::Retro tongue:

    Once in meditation, I had a realization that "the reaction is optional."
    Now I just need to remember that.
     

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