Article: In the Dragon's Jaws: How To Be Sick - A Buddhist Guide to CFS by Toni Bernhardt #1

Comments

Thanks Cort....
Sounds like an interesting book to read.

Expectation always leads to dissappointment, my challenge is how do I balance the desire for wellness and acceptance?

Hope Love Light
 
Well, my take is that according to these theories the desire or thirst for wellness when wellness is not present simply creates more distress. Now Buddhism does have ways to create 'states of wellness' or joy or love in the midst of distress; that is entirely possible and being able to do that, I would say, is one of the key promises of Buddhism. I think the book will get to that in later chapters.

Expectations are an inherent part of our makeup - you can't really do anything about them, I don't think - what you can do is notice that we have these expectations and get that the expectation itself often ads problems to the situation itself. Once you see the impact expectations can have - they can just dissolve; seeing the expectation in action clearly sometimes allows it and the troubling feelings to just dissolve - you see, Oh, it was my expectation that so and so would occur and my anger, frustration, etc....... that arose out of the fact that it didn't...that was causing problems.
 
On your recommendation, I've just bought a copy of this book and am looking forward to reading it. Hope it helps a bit but I suspect I'm too much of a spiritual novice to "get it". I certainly need a more philosophical take on my life, as I feel I'm getting consumed by my anger and bitterness in the last couple of years. The only plus point I could think of was that at least I'm feeling something - better than just being numb? :confused:
 
I'll bet it will help Mog (like the tag name by the way)....being ill is no piece of cake obviously but being consumed by anger and bitterness quenches the good stuff that is left over after illness and there really is good stuff left over. Its an ENORMOUS challenge but what a breakthrough if you can achieve it. Maybe illness is a training ground that has the potential to make us so much longer when we get well. Good luck with everything.
 
Tori does a lovely explanation of the book at audiodharma.org and there are some great dharma talks there for working with mental states. Like not adding to the distress of being ill with anger and fear. I listen to a new one everyday and I can say it's made this new life much easier for me. (grins)
 
Woof Woof George - thanks for the resource :) I'm building up a resource section for stuff like this :thumbsup:
 
Thanks very much for that, Cort. And thanks George for the link to audiodharma - looks like there's masses of good stuff there to work with. I once met a Buddhist nun, only for about an hour, but she was the most together and calm person I've ever met; she just kind of exuded peace and calm. Wish it could be bottled and passed on ;) Best wishes to everyone on their search for inner equilibrium.
 
Thank you for the comments and the links.
 
Thanks Cort!

I've been lurking around awhile, I have CFS, and I just wanted to say thanks to you for all your posts! They are almost always helpful to me and I realized that I don't think I've ever said that to you. Today I got to thinking about how much encouragement I would need to write blog/post day after day and I know I've been reading yours awhile and I bet there are lots of other people who read them too but just were too sick or tired to actually write...
My point is, for everyone who posts a thanks to you, there are probably scores who agree but have just never told you so!
Keep it up my friend!

And the idea about "choosing" what already is is powerful!!! I'm gonna play around with that mindset awhile and see if it helps...
Toodles,
Jane






Well, my take is that according to these theories the desire or thirst for wellness when wellness is not present simply creates more distress. Now Buddhism does have ways to create 'states of wellness' or joy or love in the midst of distress; that is entirely possible and being able to do that, I would say, is one of the key promises of Buddhism. I think the book will get to that in later chapters.

Expectations are an inherent part of our makeup - you can't really do anything about them, I don't think - what you can do is notice that we have these expectations and get that the expectation itself often ads problems to the situation itself. Once you see the impact expectations can have - they can just dissolve; seeing the expectation in action clearly sometimes allows it and the troubling feelings to just dissolve - you see, Oh, it was my expectation that so and so would occur and my anger, frustration, etc....... that arose out of the fact that it didn't...that was causing problems.
 
Thanks Jane! I really appreciate that - and I will choose the happy feelings I get from reading it! :)
 
Just to second what Jane says Cort. When I first found this site it took me ages to post as people seemed so educated about ME/FM. I was a lurker!

I am guilty too of taking it for granted now and visit every day, sometimes more when news might break. As I'm sure like many others I get very confused with the science, and find the Buzz great to get a handle on it.

I appreciate your patience too in the face of personal attacks and sarcasm.

This site is a safe place to go and a wonderful resource, it helps me keep my sanity and cope with the medical indifference we all know so well. Many thanks too to all the excellent members who give so much of themselves.

Paddy :thumbsup:
 
Life is not about the Destination, Life is about the Journey.

My advice is to Stop looking for the Past, the Past has gone. It can never be recaptured, so stop clinging to it. Stop wishing for what you once had.

Just be grateful for what you have now. Look not to the Future, for the Future is not here either.

Be in this moment & enjoy it for what it is. Today will be tomorrow's yesterday & so Today will become the Past (never to be recaptured again). Enjoy today while you have it, for it will never come again.
 
I sort of, kind of, like certain parts of this book, and some parts, not so much. I am not a very good Buddhist. It must be my Jungian background. :Retro wink:

First of all, total acceptance of what is is a mastery that I have not yet mastered... :rolleyes: and I don't really plan on it in the future. I know my limits. Sometimes I can fully embrace my illness and be with it, and sometimes I just can't.

When I can't, I enter that resistance with gusto, and express it as honestly as I can by drawing, painting or singing it. Not with the intention of making a pretty picture, but rather to enter the depths of my angst, anger and despair and REALLLY LET IT OUT, in its rawest, purest form. That usually brings me some measure of release and relief.
 
Balance

Life is not about the Destination, Life is about the Journey.

My advice is to Stop looking for the Past, the Past has gone. It can never be recaptured, so stop clinging to it. Stop wishing for what you once had.

Just be grateful for what you have now. Look not to the Future, for the Future is not here either.

Be in this moment & enjoy it for what it is. Today will be tomorrow's yesterday & so Today will become the Past (never to be recaptured again). Enjoy today while you have it, for it will never come again.

I'm with you Victoria. Here is a piece I wrote in 06 I stll find it applicable.
Balance

It isn
 
Balance

It isn’t that I don’t recognize that I’m ill and have very limited abilities and freedoms. I realize it fully. I also realize that I may not get any better; that this is the way my life has been since I was 40 and it may well continue this way until the end. But I never give up hope that things can change for the better, that I might be able to get well and walk and work and play and garden and do all those things I love. I keep this hope at the center, then also do little things that give me joy each day. This way most of my time is spent in things that give me joy and peace. I also know that things can change for the worse, so I appreciate each day and each person and each ray of sunshine in my life. This is how I stay positive and happy in the face of such limitations. It is a fine line between acceptance of reality and hope for a better future. I am also finding that it is an attitude that can be applied to many situations besides my own.