Meditation, Malfunctions and ME Didn't get a chance to catch up on this thread until now; had a doc appointment (or as I call 'em, dis-appointments!) right after not being able to sleep a wink in over 24 hours; had the worst overall physical symptoms I've had in several months... Slightly better now after a nap, and ought to sleep but I'm so intrigued by the meditation discussion going on here..so please to forgive my humble brain aha yes and with most miserable apologies, yes please... All of you have written so beautifully and insightfully about meditation...I don't think I've ever read anything as descriptive of the stream-of-consciousness preceding and interfering with initiating meditation. Koan, your posts here are all fantastic! They're so helpful, and all written with the lilting grace that you always seem to bring, matching the flow of breath and thought you describe. (And I really like the puppy thing, too. It's such a gentle way to conceive of mental discipline: lovingly, in a non-stressful way.) teejkay, your last post brought me right back to the issue that first hooked me on this thread, when in the first entry you discussed the difficulty you had with self-aware meditation because of ME/CFS cog. problems.... That's been the most difficult thing for me as well, and the possible significance of that has been the most frightening (e.g. 'what's wrong with my mind?' or 'will I ever get back my connection to my...self?') When I read parts of Ken Wilber's guided meditation, I could actually sense some of that confusion and fear. When cognitive effects are bad do you ever experience anything like a disconnected, surreal feeling (what I suppose is similar to the shrink terms depersonalization, or derealization), a frightening feeling of being suddenly lost in an unfamiliar mental darkness without an anchor?... ...I've experienced that many times since my ME/CFS as a whole became suddenly worse in '95... it's the most disorienting cognitive symptom of them all. (In Verrillo and Gellman's "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide" they mention reports of "sensory and perceptual alterations" that can cause "feelings of dissociation or a sense that they are watching themselves, as though in a movie"). That, and other elements of mental processing probs/"brain fog" can reach a high intensity, as if I suddenly "tuned into it", when I try to meditate or just self-contemplate in certain ways...especially as I become aware of my own thought process. That's a major reason for the difficulties meditating that I mentioned in my first post here, and also why I can now only attempt to meditate by focusing away from myself entirely. So, strangely, both highly body-conscious techniques and the "I am not my body" form of meditation seem to get disrupted. I don't know quite what to make of it, except that somehow (for me at least) the disease interferes with the 'self-monitoring' pathway of consciousness, sort of the "who am I?" or "who is the seer?" circuit. I can't tell whether it interferes by weakening this circuit or by making it hypervigilant, and hyper-aware in certain perceptions. Either way the focus on this 'circuit' that comes with both types of meditation seems to trigger this (disturbing) response. I can only hope that continuing to try what ever techniques seem to work will somehow allow me 'proper access' to deeper meditation, and (even more hopefully) somehow restore proper cognitive functioning in this area. (This is sounding more and more neurological and less spiritual by the second, huh? That's another sad thing... ME/CFS has such pronounced physical effects that it's hard to think of the "self" in a non-physical, non-material way; it feels more like hardware malfunctioning than, say, a misdirection of spiritual energy.) Does any of this sound sort of similar to stuff anyone else has experienced? I'd really like to know if I'm not entirely alone in this. I've learned to tolerate it much more, but it's still a terrible thing to bear. Anyway, that's why I think approaches like this one from Koan may be very helpful to me in the future: "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." Also, this from dreambirdie: "I think the irony is that the more WILLINGLY I accept the chaos/fear/pain in my mind, the more peaceful I feel." Thank you all so much for this. Hope what I wrote is actually coherent; like I said I've had only a few hours of sleep in about two days now.. And thanks especially to you, teejkay, for opening a conversation I never thought I'd get to have.