Buddhism & CFS

Marylib

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Tree's essay; glad to be here

Yes thanks so much for putting Tree's essay up. I very much related to "refraining." I kind of wish I had a little placard with that word on it constantly dangling in front of my eyes! Well, not really, but perhaps you catch my ME brain drift. :p

I am hoping to be able to keep up with this thread regularly...hope so.

As I said in a previous ridiculous post, I don't identify as a Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Christian, nor Kabbalist, etc. But I adore using spiritual practices and mediations from all these traditions. I find it very liberating (literally - I hope!) to know that unity of truth that various traditions can give. And the experience of the the Soul, the true Self, the Atman that meditation brings......

So anyway, glad to be here. May not show up much through January as I will be attending a spiritual retreat (can you believe it? a person with ME?). The only way I can do this is because my husband (healthy, thankfully!) and I are currently the caretakers of a retreat lodge and all I have to do is manage the walk to the meditation hall! Or not, depending on how I feel. For all I know I may be crashed in bed. :(...hopefully not.

At any rate, I am supremely lucky to be living where I am now. And supremely lucky to have met you lovely people.

Wishing all of you dear, bright, loving souls a utterly fantabulous and gently rockin' New Year...;)

It is 2010 over here for ten hours already. So far so good.
 

fresh_eyes

happy to be here
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But then...as I continued to read, I started to feel BETTER! - like maybe I WAS on the right street, knocking on the RIGHT door and maybe I was HOME!

I began to "recognise" the names, to "hear" my friends voices, grasp each individual sense of humor - the unique and heart-felt writing styles.....yep, this is home!

I am B R E A T H I N G (quite Peacefully).....once, again:)
Beautiful, jackie!

May not show up much through January as I will be attending a spiritual retreat (can you believe it? a person with ME?). The only way I can do this is because my husband (healthy, thankfully!) and I are currently the caretakers of a retreat lodge and all I have to do is manage the walk to the meditation hall!
Wow, lucky you Marylib - retreat lodge in New Zealand...I'm so envious. I know you'll benefit even if you can't always make it to the meditation hall. (Hey guys, after we're all better can we have an ecumenical reunion retreat in New Zealand? :))

Happiness in the New Year to both of you and to all the lovely people on here. And, what the heck, everybody else too. Gassho.
 

MEKoan

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http://lotusinthemud.typepad.com/sujatin/

I've posted Sujatin's lovely Lotusinthemud site before but she has given me a wonderful excuse to do so again!

She has linked here one of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time: Medieval Tech Support.

I'm still laughing!

PS Just to remind everyone that Sujatin has ME and is another excellent guide if one is interested in Buddhism.
 

MEKoan

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Also from the current Lotusinthemud newsletter - a newsletter I highly recommend - an essay on love, being human and all that jazz...

from a Buddhist perspective.

different kinds of love

Dharmavidya writes:

Buddha taught us to live in the "unconditioned". What is the unconditioned? The unconditioned, also called nirvana, is love. It is the love that Buddha talks about when he speaks of love, compassion, sympathy and equanimity. In Buddhism there are different ways of practising love. There is the love of the renunciant who loves all equally but with detachment and there is the love of the bhakti practitioner who loves passionately and devotedly. There is love for the Buddha and love for one another.

The problem for a great many Western practitioners, however, is the question whether the ordinary love of lovers has any place in Buddhism. Does being a Buddhist mean detaching oneself from one's nearest and dearest? Is it a matter of avoiding grief by never caring sufficiently about one person to be vulnerable? Undoubtedly some people do interpret Buddhism that way.

However, intimate relationship can also be a demanding spiritual path. In the midst of a close intimate relationship one is likely to be challenged at a greater psychological depth than in almost any other situation. Issues of power, commitment, willingness, self and selflessness, vulnerability, the management of emotional vicissitudes, the translation of sentiment into action, the challenges of conflicting loyalties - in fact all the stuff of real life, appears here often in magnified form. In an intimate relationship that remains alive one's habitual scripts and old karmic patterns are exposed. One's bluff is called. One goes through a process that changes one deeply and goes on being an ever unfolding mysterious process of discovery.

Sometimes people choose the religious life in order to escape from all this and to do so is a quite understandable life strategy. But the religious life is subject to the same dynamics and dilemmas. There are spiritual "games" that one can play in order to hold onto an ideal that provides apparent stability and fails to grasp the deep meaning of the saying that the bodhisattva has no ground on which to stand. The celibate life can also be deeply challenging or become a rut that one gets stuck in. To practice the path of love, in whatever modality, always means to remain vibrantly alive.

In a spiritual community, too, there will be people on different paths in this respect - this is certainly so at The Buddhist House. Can we all respect each other's different ways? Can we be supportive to one another when, in this respect at least, paths are different? It seems that we can, though one should not ignore the difficulties. In fact, the key to peace in the world is not in the domain of finding common ground or all being the same - it is in finding ways to appreciate and cherish what is other and that too is love. In Pureland this appreciation of the other is assisted by the knowledge that the other is also held in love by Amida just as one is oneself. Sometimes we have difficulty believing that I myself am loved and sometimes we have difficulty believing that others - or a certain other - is lovable, but it is in this area that much of our most penetrating spiritual practice occurs.
 

gracenote

All shall be well . . .
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to remain vibrantly alive

Thanks Koan.

I really like this thought:

To practice the path of love, in whatever modality, always means to remain vibrantly alive.
 

Dr. Yes

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Great 300th post, Koan!

(Not yours - I know you have like a million-seven now; I refer to the "thread count"!)

An auspicious number on an auspicious evening. The omens are good.

Happy NEW year!

May all among us and all who sit alone in the darkness, unrecognized, alike be blessed.

 

MEKoan

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That is such a beautiful blessing! And, such a lovely butter lamp!

Thank you!

With much metta to you, my dear friend!

Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
pour into the rivers and join together in the oceans,
so may the power of every moment of your goodness
flow forth to awaken and heal all beings,
Those here now, those gone before, those yet to come.

By the power of every moment of your goodness
May your heart's wishes be soon fulfilled
as completely shining as the bright full moon,
as magically as by a wish-fulfilling gem.

By the power of every moment of your goodness
May all dangers be averted and all disease be gone.
May no obstacle come across your way.
May you enjoy fulfillment and long life.

For all in whose heart dwells respect,
who follow the wisdom and compassion, of the Way,
May your life prosper in the four blessings
of old age, beauty, happiness and strength.
 

gracenote

All shall be well . . .
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as we break open

As We Break Open

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken, a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open
to the place inside which is unbreakable
and whole,
while learning to sing.

Rashani a Sufi poet
 

MEKoan

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There is a crack, a crack in everything,
that's how the light gets in...

Leonard Cohen ~ Bu-Jew
 
K

_Kim_

Guest
I haven't walked a labyrinth for a long time and don't know where there is one near me. I will have to find out. Maybe I should start a Labyrinth Group to meet on my local beach to create and walk a labyrinth on Sunday mornings!
Just me, popping into the conversation to let you know that there is a World-Wide Labyrinth Locator that I learned about from a friend who created a labyrinth on her land.
 
K

_Kim_

Guest
I learned something from the Labyrinth locator, too. That friend whose labyrinth I walked has become quite a labyrinth leader. She's designed and built several of the NJ labyrinths and organizes walks to visit various labyrinths in the area. I saw her at a party this summer, but I had no idea how much she'd done since I'd last been to her home years ago. Cool stuff!
 

Sunday

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Just want to offer my appreciation for this thread, which I often read when in need of times of refreshment. I also liked the "remain vibrantly alive" goal for good spiritual practice. And Tree's essay. And Dr. Yes's new year blessing.

And I want to know this: how do I become a Senior Gibbon?
 

gracenote

All shall be well . . .
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Who would have thunk it?

A screaming gibbon on the Buddhism thread!

I can't imagine where this wild and wonderful community will wander next. Can't wait to see.

Or maybe I can . . .