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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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    I have tried on MANY kinds of meditation: TM, Tibetan Buddhist, Zen Buddhist, Vipassana Buddhist, Sufi (which is dancing meditation), Hindu bhagan chanting, shamanic breathwork trance meditation... and there are probably others that I can't remember right now.

    I agree with Koan that it's the DOING not the DURATION that matters. It's easy to get caught in the "rules" of a particular school and how THEY SAY to meditate, but in the end what matters is how it works for you. There is no "right" way to find peace. So if you want to do it standing on your head, or lounging in the bath tub, hurray for that!
  2. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
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    Likes:
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    N. California
    I have tried on MANY kinds of meditation: TM, Tibetan Buddhist, Zen Buddhist, Vipassana Buddhist, Sufi (which is dancing meditation), Hindu bhagan chanting, shamanic breathwork trance meditation... and there are probably others that I can't remember right now.

    I agree with Koan that it's the DOING not the DURATION that matters. It's easy to get caught in the "rules" of a particular school and how THEY SAY to meditate, but in the end what matters is how it works for you. There is no "right" way to find peace. So if you want to do it standing on your head, or lounging in the bath tub, hurray for that!
  3. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    I agree, with Dreambirdie. I think people think they should make their mind go blank and maybe there are people who can but I don't know them.

    When one's brain, the thought generator, generates thoughts in its thinky, thinky way, the most useful response is: good, this is just what I need to work with!

    Everything happens in the returning of your attention to the breath. Your brain is like a puppy and if it doesn't run away you can't train it to come, sit, stay.

    The noisy chaos in your head is not a problem, it is exactly what you need. Getting sidetracked is not a problem, it is just what you need. Forgetting you are meditating and finding yourself lost in thought is not a problem, it is precisely what you need to train your brain.

    One returns and returns and returns again... and the brain gets trained to do what one wants it to do and not be on thought spewing auto-pilot all the time.

    It all happens in the returning. Come, sit, stay. Good brain!

    Some of the thoughts seem really frightening or really important or really compelling... the more so for being rammed up against each other. Let them go. Return to the breath. Breathe away any sense of alarm or worry or fretfulness... just in this moment, that's all, just this moment.

    The brain is learning not to attach fiercely to scary thoughts. The brain is being trained to see thoughts for what they are: just thoughts. The brain is being trained, like a muscle to behave in a certain way: alert, awake but untroubled by the thoughts that come and go.

    I don't actually meditate to feel peaceful in the moment although I do feel somewhat more peaceful while I meditate. I meditate to train my brain so that the way it functions all the time is different. I meditate so that I feel some mastery over my brain.

    My meditation has not addressed my cognitive issues in any way that restores function but my reaction to my cognitive problems, which are mighty, is curiousity rather than alarm. I truly don't think I could handle feeling so befuddled and alarmed all at once, I really don't.

    This is not a good thinking day at all. I do hope I'm making sense. :p
  4. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    I agree, with Dreambirdie. I think people think they should make their mind go blank and maybe there are people who can but I don't know them.

    When one's brain, the thought generator, generates thoughts in its thinky, thinky way, the most useful response is: good, this is just what I need to work with!

    Everything happens in the returning of your attention to the breath. Your brain is like a puppy and if it doesn't run away you can't train it to come, sit, stay.

    The noisy chaos in your head is not a problem, it is exactly what you need. Getting sidetracked is not a problem, it is just what you need. Forgetting you are meditating and finding yourself lost in thought is not a problem, it is precisely what you need to train your brain.

    One returns and returns and returns again... and the brain gets trained to do what one wants it to do and not be on thought spewing auto-pilot all the time.

    It all happens in the returning. Come, sit, stay. Good brain!

    Some of the thoughts seem really frightening or really important or really compelling... the more so for being rammed up against each other. Let them go. Return to the breath. Breathe away any sense of alarm or worry or fretfulness... just in this moment, that's all, just this moment.

    The brain is learning not to attach fiercely to scary thoughts. The brain is being trained to see thoughts for what they are: just thoughts. The brain is being trained, like a muscle to behave in a certain way: alert, awake but untroubled by the thoughts that come and go.

    I don't actually meditate to feel peaceful in the moment although I do feel somewhat more peaceful while I meditate. I meditate to train my brain so that the way it functions all the time is different. I meditate so that I feel some mastery over my brain.

    My meditation has not addressed my cognitive issues in any way that restores function but my reaction to my cognitive problems, which are mighty, is curiousity rather than alarm. I truly don't think I could handle feeling so befuddled and alarmed all at once, I really don't.

    This is not a good thinking day at all. I do hope I'm making sense. :p
  5. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    You know, Gracenote, one of our biggest obstacles is feeling that we are special because we almost always feel we are specially bad. We are the same. Same/same. SAME. same Same.

    I think that's such a huge relief!

    same.
  6. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    You know, Gracenote, one of our biggest obstacles is feeling that we are special because we almost always feel we are specially bad. We are the same. Same/same. SAME. same Same.

    I think that's such a huge relief!

    same.
  7. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Let your breath carry away painful feelings but, don't fight them.

    Let it go but, don't push it away.

    Don't push. Just let it go.

    If it doesn't go, just breathe...

    just attend to the breath,

    just this one breath
  8. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
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    Let your breath carry away painful feelings but, don't fight them.

    Let it go but, don't push it away.

    Don't push. Just let it go.

    If it doesn't go, just breathe...

    just attend to the breath,

    just this one breath
  9. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    N. California
    I think the irony is that the more WILLINGLY I accept the chaos/fear/pain in my mind, the more peaceful I feel. :eek: I ALWAYS FOGERT THIS! and have to be RE-minded minded minded over and over again. :eek::p:p

    You'd think after a couple decades I would get it... but damn I am slow!
  10. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    4,918
    Likes:
    2,970
    N. California
    I think the irony is that the more WILLINGLY I accept the chaos/fear/pain in my mind, the more peaceful I feel. :eek: I ALWAYS FOGERT THIS! and have to be RE-minded minded minded over and over again. :eek::p:p

    You'd think after a couple decades I would get it... but damn I am slow!
  11. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Aren't we all.

    Ah well.

    :D

    And what you said about WILLINGLY. Yeah, what you said!
  12. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Aren't we all.

    Ah well.

    :D

    And what you said about WILLINGLY. Yeah, what you said!
  13. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    Bay Area, California
    Excellent. I love this thread :)

    First I want to say that for me Buddhism is not a religion but a spiritual philosophy. This article explains some ideas about Buddhism as a philosophy and/or a religion:

    http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/philosophy.htm

    Koan-- just reading your thread on Breathing Meditation calms me and helps me meditate. Thank you for writing that out and your puppy analogy is funny and true.

    For those of you who are noticing your thoughts as you try to meditate, good job. :) Awareness is the first step. Notice that your thoughts come and go but that there is always a calm place in the center of your mind in the midst of it all. The eye of the storm.

    Thich has a song about this that goes:
    Your thoughts are like clouds see? Just notice them as they come and go and notice how you are reacting to them. Then gently bring your mind back to your meditation................. Repeat.......................... repeat........................................ repeat............................

    I find guided meditations help me the most now that I am severely ill. I just entered "meditation i am not my body" into Google to look up a link on it and our fellow CFS sufferer Ken Wilber is at the top of the list! lol

    He writes a nice guided meditation on this subject. I'm sure he finds this very helpful because he has CFS:

    Here's the link: http://www.integralworld.net/meditation.html

    Aummmmmm....
  14. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,513
    Likes:
    4
    Bay Area, California
    Excellent. I love this thread :)

    First I want to say that for me Buddhism is not a religion but a spiritual philosophy. This article explains some ideas about Buddhism as a philosophy and/or a religion:

    http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/philosophy.htm

    Koan-- just reading your thread on Breathing Meditation calms me and helps me meditate. Thank you for writing that out and your puppy analogy is funny and true.

    For those of you who are noticing your thoughts as you try to meditate, good job. :) Awareness is the first step. Notice that your thoughts come and go but that there is always a calm place in the center of your mind in the midst of it all. The eye of the storm.

    Thich has a song about this that goes:
    Your thoughts are like clouds see? Just notice them as they come and go and notice how you are reacting to them. Then gently bring your mind back to your meditation................. Repeat.......................... repeat........................................ repeat............................

    I find guided meditations help me the most now that I am severely ill. I just entered "meditation i am not my body" into Google to look up a link on it and our fellow CFS sufferer Ken Wilber is at the top of the list! lol

    He writes a nice guided meditation on this subject. I'm sure he finds this very helpful because he has CFS:

    Here's the link: http://www.integralworld.net/meditation.html

    Aummmmmm....
  15. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Hi Teej,

    Lovely stuff and such useful links! Isn't it interesting how we can forget, come to believe we can't do it any more and then it all comes back. I love that!

    I just wanted to say that if a new meditator cannot distinguish a calm place in the centre of their mind, that's ok. I know I couldn't and I felt that not being able to meant I could not meditate. I hear that a lot from people who truly believe that they are uniquely unable to meditate - people with ADD, ADHD, persistent anxiety and sadness... and, of course, these people usually benefit most once they practice for a little while and find the thoughts parting slightly, like clouds, revealing the clear blue sky.

    It's ok to believe there is no calm place. Just do it and it reveals itself to you.

    You know, Tee, I've been writing and talking about that unruly puppy for years and I'm starting to see it elsewhere on the www. Makes me happy in an ego ridden kind of way :p :eek: :p

    I don't know what Buddhism is for me - philosophy, religion... way of life, maybe. I just don't know what to call it. All I know is that I really needed it because I was very good an creating suffering for myself and, of course, for others, too. These tools, this guidance and what small understanding of universal compassion I can grasp are like a miracle in my life.

    namaste
  16. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes:
    53
    Hi Teej,

    Lovely stuff and such useful links! Isn't it interesting how we can forget, come to believe we can't do it any more and then it all comes back. I love that!

    I just wanted to say that if a new meditator cannot distinguish a calm place in the centre of their mind, that's ok. I know I couldn't and I felt that not being able to meant I could not meditate. I hear that a lot from people who truly believe that they are uniquely unable to meditate - people with ADD, ADHD, persistent anxiety and sadness... and, of course, these people usually benefit most once they practice for a little while and find the thoughts parting slightly, like clouds, revealing the clear blue sky.

    It's ok to believe there is no calm place. Just do it and it reveals itself to you.

    You know, Tee, I've been writing and talking about that unruly puppy for years and I'm starting to see it elsewhere on the www. Makes me happy in an ego ridden kind of way :p :eek: :p

    I don't know what Buddhism is for me - philosophy, religion... way of life, maybe. I just don't know what to call it. All I know is that I really needed it because I was very good an creating suffering for myself and, of course, for others, too. These tools, this guidance and what small understanding of universal compassion I can grasp are like a miracle in my life.

    namaste
  17. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    UK
    Thanks Koan. First of all I looked up labyrinth and found that some think it is the same thing as a maze -


    http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm

    And here is something about walking the labyrinth which is what I think you were referring to

    http://www.sacredwalk.com/

    Although the information from the Canadian Christian Meditation Community which you quoted says that the aim is not a striving for an altered state of consiousness, it will be the result especially when using a mantra and this is where there is a huge gulf between it and authentic Christianity, however much the two have been blended together by some in their quest for 'salvation' in these modern times where the interest in any form of spirituality has increased enormously.

    It may be according to some understandings but not according to what I am calling authentic Christianity or Biblical Christianity, as the aim of the Buddhist teaching is to still the brain of its activity whereas Christianity says that this is a dangerous thing and opens the mind up to negative forces. The Christian way is to retain consciousness at all times but to contemplate on spiritual matters as opposed to fleshy and to be listening to God speak in the still small voice within. One of the greatest Christian mystics Madame Guyon, recommended praying fromt he heart and not the head. But in all of these practices there is no sense of altering conciousness.

    The teaching today is that all roads lead to the same destination but that is against what Jesus taught when he said that he is the way the truth and the light and no man comes to the father but by him.
  18. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

    Messages:
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    559
    UK
    Thanks Koan. First of all I looked up labyrinth and found that some think it is the same thing as a maze -


    http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm

    And here is something about walking the labyrinth which is what I think you were referring to

    http://www.sacredwalk.com/

    Although the information from the Canadian Christian Meditation Community which you quoted says that the aim is not a striving for an altered state of consiousness, it will be the result especially when using a mantra and this is where there is a huge gulf between it and authentic Christianity, however much the two have been blended together by some in their quest for 'salvation' in these modern times where the interest in any form of spirituality has increased enormously.

    It may be according to some understandings but not according to what I am calling authentic Christianity or Biblical Christianity, as the aim of the Buddhist teaching is to still the brain of its activity whereas Christianity says that this is a dangerous thing and opens the mind up to negative forces. The Christian way is to retain consciousness at all times but to contemplate on spiritual matters as opposed to fleshy and to be listening to God speak in the still small voice within. One of the greatest Christian mystics Madame Guyon, recommended praying fromt he heart and not the head. But in all of these practices there is no sense of altering conciousness.

    The teaching today is that all roads lead to the same destination but that is against what Jesus taught when he said that he is the way the truth and the light and no man comes to the father but by him.
  19. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    UK
    Thats exactly right Brenda.

    I have met people who have tried to blend Christian meditation with Bhuddism, Mantras and other exercises such as yoga and they all seem to end up in confusion.
  20. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

    Messages:
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    UK
    Thats exactly right Brenda.

    I have met people who have tried to blend Christian meditation with Bhuddism, Mantras and other exercises such as yoga and they all seem to end up in confusion.

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