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Febrile Illness totally wipes me out

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Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 3/29/13 11:34 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Jane Laurel Carrington 3/9/13 9:07 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 3/9/13 10:34 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Dream Walker 3/10/13 12:34 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 3/10/13 12:42 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 3/10/13 12:44 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Dream Walker 3/10/13 1:03 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Curt Welling 3/9/13 9:32 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Change A. 3/9/13 10:36 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Adam . . 3/10/13 1:11 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 3/10/13 1:30 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Adam . . 3/10/13 3:50 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 3/10/13 3:57 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Adam . . 3/10/13 2:08 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Some Guy 3/15/13 7:28 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Shashank Dixit 3/10/13 11:57 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 3/15/13 9:22 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Scott P 3/15/13 4:19 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 3/16/13 3:43 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Scott P 3/17/13 6:08 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Zed Z 3/17/13 11:01 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Bruno Loff 3/17/13 7:49 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Change A. 3/17/13 1:13 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Change A. 3/17/13 1:24 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Shashank Dixit 3/17/13 11:17 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Change A. 3/18/13 9:29 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out This Good Self 3/19/13 9:16 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Change A. 3/19/13 9:51 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out This Good Self 3/21/13 4:20 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Simon Ekstrand 3/21/13 4:50 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Brother Pussycat 3/21/13 7:45 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out This Good Self 3/21/13 7:22 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Brother Pussycat 3/22/13 4:23 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Change A. 3/21/13 10:28 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Darrin Rice 3/26/13 1:15 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out This Good Self 3/26/13 7:06 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Brother Pussycat 3/20/13 11:28 AM
RE: CCC T DC 3/20/13 9:47 PM
RE: CCC Change A. 3/20/13 10:22 PM
RE: a reply to T DC Ian And 3/21/13 1:25 AM
RE: CCC Brother Pussycat 3/21/13 3:07 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Florian 3/26/13 10:49 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out S. Pro 4/29/13 1:43 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Daniel M. Ingram 4/30/13 5:08 AM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Paul Anthony 4/19/16 12:40 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out magpie 2/14/19 3:43 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 2/14/19 4:58 PM
RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out Ernest Michael Olmos 4/21/16 8:35 AM
Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/29/13 11:34 PM
on march 5 i got wiped out by some horrid viral thing, probably flu b, i would guess, given recent exposures

it was amazing how some little bit of protein and genetic material combined with the totally dysphoric immune chemicals a virus inspires my body to release can basically reduce one's level of physical function to that of an near invavlid and fog an otherwise sharp mind to the point that my meditative, jhanic and baseline abilities were about 90% shut down

terrible muscle aches and joint pain

wicked headache

head totally congested

so tired yet couldn't sleep worth a darn, and usually sleeping is one of my talents

spinning vague fever-thoughts: do i have meningitis, if i got sicker could i get up the energy to call an ambulance, i have been laying around for days so are those leg cramps now blood clots,

so fatigued I could barely get up the energy to make one simple meal a day

just keeping hydrated took almost too much energy

at my best moments i was able to collapse in a papa-san chair and watch Glee, Charmed and Secret Circle: tried more sophisticated fare but couldn't handle it

at other times my eyes ached so badly imcould barely open them, which reminded me a lot of the dengue i got in cambodia

missed work on the 7th: I haven't missed work since one day in residency about 8 years ago

spending my 11th wedding anniversary alone tonight as i told carol to stay away as she truly doesn't want this: such was my wedding anniversary present to her

tried to go into work yesterday: they took one look at me and signed me in as a patient

IV's really hurt

IV fluids gave me chills but i felt somewhat better

went home fogged, vague, spaced out

finally fell asleep about 5am

woke up with a terrible sore throat that felt really tight, started coughing and gagging until i vomited, swallowing not only hurt like crazy bit made it feel like i might cut off my airway: OMG, i thought, do i have epiglottitis, am i going to get a trach, came the thoughts, though luckily i can see my own epiglottis in the mirror and it was ok

knowlegde is a curse a times when one knows what can go wrong

today i am somewhat better, still taking it easy

point is, mortality is hard, and it is easy to be confident if one has been some long period of time from something like this, and one might be tempted to say something like such moments are a challenge to our practice, but more accurate would be that practice was basically impossible in any way i might think of practice, and basic survival weakly took over, and even that fails to really capture the arc of the illness, which really was its own thing, like a hurricane to a beach town: just ride out the destruction as best you can

i have always found the limits of practice interesting, and moments like this one make me reflect on platitides like "pain plus resistance is suffering" and a recent tweet i saw along the line that if we learn to handle all emotions we can handle anything, and think that they either know something far beyond what i know or they have not recently been sick enough to remember that there are things that can lay us low despite what we might have thought of as powerful practice and lasting transformation

interesting aside: when laying there in the hospital bed getting fluids i was on the monitors and i kept trying to get into something jhanic, as i find them healing, and the alarm on the bed kept going off, as my respriratory rate would go below 3/minute at times and generally stayed around 7, and when it went the lowest was when i was able to get something passable as perhaps weak 3rd jhana, and then the O2 sat monitor would go off as my oxygen sat kept dropping to the high 80% range, which correlated well with the better mindstates, so one more question for the scientific journal: is hypoxia and/or hypercarbia part of the jhanic buzz?

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/9/13 9:07 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
What comes to mind to ask is, what would this experience have been like if you hadn't been practicing all these years? Can you remember being this sick before you attained paths? How do the experiences compare?

Oh, and I sincerely hope you get well soon. Thanks for the sobering reminder that we all have bodies that are subject to these things. There's a reason why so many spiritually-inclined people want to rise above embodiment somehow.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/9/13 9:32 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
"the flu is like being seasick, at first your afraid your gonna die, then after a while your afraid your not gonna die"

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/9/13 10:36 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I once got sick but not to an extent as you and nobody that would care for me. I did manage it quite well because I let go of the resistance.

I don't know what will happen if I get as sick as you but I guess I won't be able to manage it as well.

Edited to add: I still think that death meditation is very important!

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/9/13 10:34 PM as a reply to Jane Laurel Carrington.
As to what it would have been like otherwise (had I not developed my practice), it is really hard to tell, I think, as feeling somewhat better now, I don't honestly think I can recollect in full accuracy what it felt like at its worst, and that was just 3 days ago, and so I am pretty sure my memory of the last time I had the flu before I had my practice trip pretty together, which is too many years ago now, will not be that great, but my honest guess is not much different: whatever those immune chemicals are, they really do a number on this stuff, I think, and clearly adversely impact brain function, attention regulation, energy level, perceptual clarity, and the like. As noted above, I kept thinking about when I had dengue (1995, about 7 months pre-stream entry): very similar sort of horrible, I seem to recall.

As to flu and seasickness, so true, except then there is the stage where you are too tied to care if you live or die, as you just don't have the energy or mental capacity left through the fever-induced brain fog, sort of the hell-realm version of equanimity.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 12:34 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel,
Do you ever consider that there may be individuals that would use "powers" to injure you to try to stop your spreading of a very effective dharma? I hope you have your shields up or whatever you do.
Sending you metta, be well
~D

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 12:42 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Interesting thought. Know any specifics I should watch out for?

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 12:44 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I think that it is good to have the antibodies now when I am younger, such that when I get old I will have more flu strains that my immune system knows how to handle.

I remember the flu season from 2 years ago, the swine flu season, and noticed that I didn't see a single patient who was over about 55 with it, and we were just buried in flu. I presume it must have been close enough to something they got exposed to that younger generations didn't. This year I am seeing it in the elderly and it is not pretty, so it must be more novel or at least since they were born.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 1:03 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
First off, thanks a ton for your book. It helped me immensely and still does.

I was reading my other favorite forum the other day and came upon this-
http://wiki.my-big-toe.com/index.php/Bullying,_Voodoo_and_NPMR_Assisted_Bullying

I really like Tom Campbell theory of everything and have been trying to cross pollinate the information between forums. I believe you may also enjoy his perspective. I really hope you check it out.
Thanks,
~D

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 1:11 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
...baseline abilities were about 90% shut down


curious what you mean by that^

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 1:30 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
meaning that generally there are all these things I have access to very, very easily, with trivial to no effort, just there, and whatever those cytokines and other immune chemicals do, they clearly interrupt a lot of that functionality to varying degrees.

Typically my baseline level of perception has this immaculate, pristine direct clarity to it that is very noticeable and nice: not so when dazed with that viral thing.

Typically jhanas are right there, just a slight nudge away or just spontaneous when just laying down: not so when wiped out with that viral thing.

Typically fruitions are a dime a dozen: not so when wiped out with that viral thing.

that helpful?

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 3:50 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I guess I was just wondering about the traditional dogmas which say that some aspect of awakening is irreversible by any conditions. For example thanissaro bhikku reports of ajahn suwat that even after the brain injuring car accident which eventually killed him he said that "the thing I got from meditation" was unchanged despite things like hallucinations going on. Is any "baseline" stuff totally unshakeable for you? Do you have any thought on why not if its all still subject to karma? Is attaining something totally constant and unshakeable important to you?

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 3:57 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Ah, ok...

Did the illusion of duality reassert itself? No.

Did the illusion of agency reassert itself? No.

Did centerlessness re-distort to a sense of a center point? No.

Did any of those really seem to matter when I was laying there in dazed, bleary, wiped-out pain? Uh, this question would seem more theoretical than practical. I could point out some interesting things I noticed about how the unfound mind retained that uncanny diffuse silence when the IV was being inserted despite me being a total needlephobe, and how the direct pain of that 18g needle was totally unfiltered by the dualistic distortions that plagued the Daniel's of Old, and yet, something in that is missing something of what was going on as the main focus of the experience, and that is not its intrinsic luminosity but the total suckiness of the whole being-sick-like-that thing.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 2:08 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks Daniel. And also thanks for keepin us all up to date on your practice I always like hearing about it.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/15/13 7:28 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Get well soon.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/10/13 11:57 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hey Dan

I hope its all fine for you now !

I recall my own rush to the emergency twice. In one case I was having a terrible kidney stone pain. Like you
say , its difficult to meditate at such times. however during those painful moments , there were a few intermittent
moments were there was less pain to no-pain and it is during these times I seized the moment and reflected
on anatta / stream-entry and the wicked inner laugh came..you know that one ? the one that sees nobody is there
inside !

In the other case , I was terribly fatigued so I could not incline to do any kind of practise at all..I'm not sure
whats the best thing to do when one is exhausted and fatigued to incline to anything at all..it is for these
reasons I gave up actualism - somehow its impossible to see the universe as benevolent..benign - yes

maybe more concentration is key ? so that in the midst of the terrible things going on, insight occurs quickly and leads to relief soon ?

Disease and pains have always been interesting topics to uncover in the framework of insight practise.

Regards
Shashank

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/15/13 9:22 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
This makes me wonder.

I have heard that the Buddha was able to abide in jhana even at the point of his death.

Also I remember hearing a teaching by Sri Ramana Maharshi that some "Jnani" will seem to suffer at the time of death while outwardly exhibit calm.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/15/13 4:19 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Glad to hear you're feeling better Daniel.

I've often wondered how you find practicing alongside being a doctor. I am training in the health care profession myself in a much less demanding role and often question my career choice! If you wouldn't mind answering is there anything you've found that has helped your practice while training/working as a doctor? And do you feel anything has hindered your practice at all?

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/16/13 3:43 AM as a reply to Scott P.
Practicing while being a doctor...

Well, the preposterous hours and pace force one to adopt a make-every-moment-practice point of view at least to some degree, as time for what most people would call formal practice can be very, very limited.

The extreme situations regarding sleep deprivation, crazy pace, intense personal interactions, very complex rapid-fire problems with very high stakes, life-or-death nature of some aspects of the work, the risks involved, the blood and odors, the violent patients, the lack of time to do things like urinate and eat for very long periods (sometimes up to 14 hours or so), along with the patients/family members/staff members with major personality disorders and the very complex politics on many fronts make for an extremely challenging job, a job that will show you daily what limits your practice, has, as you are likely to find them very, very rapidly under those conditions, and that really allows one to be more honest about what has been done, what hasn't been done, what else there is to work on, what holds up well despite profound pressures, and the like, so it is sort of like the ultimate pressure cooker beyond, say, a war zone, which at times the emergency department sort of looks like, though bullets flying are very rare (but fists, spit and vile language are not).

As to hindered my practice, that would very much depend on what one wanted to do. It is a great service, a great opportunity to do good in the world, a great opportunity to connect with and help thousands of people, to save lives, to increase the world's happiness and wellbeing, so were one looking for that with good pay, one can find it there.

It is not very good for one's own physical health at all: the circadian flips, the brutal hours, the lack of ability to take time to eat: very taxing on this mammal.

It is not good for the sorts of things that take very long hours of practice in a short space of time: finding, say, 14 days in a row to do serious concentration practices 18 hours/day so as to get up to the levels I can access when I get that sort of warm up: basically impossible in my current life, so that is a hindrance. However, I am going to be changing jobs and the hours won't be quite as extreme and more time for things like that will be possible, at very long last...

The Three Characteristics present at all times, and all sensations are worthy of investigation, so making that the focus all through life: that is the thing you get from doing what would otherwise look a lot like working yourself to death...

Helpful?

Daniel

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/17/13 6:08 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Your description of being a doctor sounds much more horrible to me than your description of being ill!

Yes thanks it's very helpful in that its a great example of practicing well under (very) imperfect conditions. I have worked in A&E (as we call it in England) and found the 'circadian flips' very difficult, I found it a very unnatural thing to be doing. I am now in oncology which I feel is better on the old mind and body. Still its hard to focus on form rather than content in these settings, almost dangerous.

Hope your new job works out, are you staying in the same field? ED, ER, however its called in the US.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/17/13 7:49 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hey, thanks for sharing.

I was also ill recently, and it was also a very powerful and violent experience. Also remarkable was that I had fever-induced paranoid-like mind states. However, I can say that meditative practice helped me in keeping things in perspective. My reaction to having paranoid thoughts was to find a friend and explain to him that I was having paranoid thoughts and asking for comfort. I knew that the thoughts were being caused by the fever, and I only partially bought into the content. I suspect that a few years ago, before going through the extremes of A&P and DN mind states, I would have totally bought into the content of those thoughts. Nowadays I have a sort of background vigilance that protects me somewhat from that kind of thing.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/17/13 11:01 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel,

Your job description is really scary. Can enlightened (or highly realized) people experience burn out? If so, how to cope with it, if at all?

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/17/13 1:13 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
interesting asside: when laying there in the hospital bed getting fluids i was on the monitors and i kept trying to get into something jhanic, as i find them healing, and the alarm on the bed kept going off, as my respriratory rate would go below 3/minute at times and generally stayed around 7, and when it went the lowest was when i was able to get something passable as perhaps weak 3rd jhana, and then the O2 sat monitor would go off as my oxygen sat kept dropping to the high 80% range, which correlated well with the better mindstates, so one more question for the scientific journal: is hypoxia and/or hypercarbia part of the jhanic buzz?


This is what Harmanjit had to say in his critique of Vipassana:

file:///C:/Users/ASTALA~1/AppData/Local/Temp/vipassana-critique.html

"The experiences of inner silence are accompanied by low oxygen supply to the brain (medically called Hypoxia). The mind becomes very quiet after the first few days, after focusing on the nasal region, and the breath becomes very slight. As the oxygen supply to the brain becomes much lesser than normal, the brain activity simmers down considerably. The peace experienced by the brain is an artificial peace created by attention manipulation and mild hypoxia."

Though I myself ain't so sure if there is direct link between jhana/peace and hypoxia.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/17/13 1:24 PM as a reply to Change A..
My hypothesis in terms of evolutionary psychology would be that if we try to concentrate without tackling the problems that keep the mind churning will result in low rates of breathing which in turn would cause hypoxia. Low rate of breath is the usual response when animals find themselves in a dangerous situation so that they make the least amount of sound to keep them hidden from the predators.

But if during concentration, we also gain insight into the nature of the mind and get to the root cause of it, I think the jhana/peace that will result in would not cause hypoxia. Daniel, I wonder what would have happened if you had done some insight practice as well during your experiment.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/17/13 11:17 PM as a reply to Change A..
My hypothesis in terms of evolutionary psychology would be that if we try to concentrate without tackling the problems that keep the mind churning will result in low rates of breathing which in turn would cause hypoxia.


This happens because one has not calmed the bodily fabrications...the primary among them being the heart area.
Bodily fabrications take up oxygen and on top of it if we try to calm the brain and reduce oxygen to it , its going to
create serious shit. So in short , one has to calm the bodily fabrications first and then go for jhana etc as that will
channel the much needed oxygen to the brain and not other parts of the body.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/18/13 9:29 PM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Sounds plausible.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/19/13 9:16 PM as a reply to Change A..
Arahatship didn't prevent suffering. Is that a fair comment?

Is the idea of Buddhism to bring an end to suffering?

Why has no one else asked this question?

Maybe suffering is a part of being human that can't be altered.

If that's the case, maybe the best one can hope for is a few nice altered states of consciousness every now and then.

I had a colleague who went to a "millionaire seminar" type of thing - you know the deal. She was going to learn all the things to do to become super wealthy from the guy on stage. I checked in with her after the seminar and she told me the seminar that she'd paid a lot of money for was more of an 'introduction', and that she had signed up for a very expensive "super millionaire seminar" where the real secrets would be revealed. I checked in with her again after that and lo and behold she had signed up for yet another seminar, this one in Hawaii, and costing a huge sum of money - the "super duper millionaire seminar". After the third seminar she had less money than she started with and a head full of dreams. I was still interested. The guy running the seminar was so impressed with her commitment that he made her a crew member for his follow up seminars (no pay, mind you), and she would get to run around and help the newbies get into the millionaire mindset. She was also offered a top-up super millionaire course at half the usual price. On return to Australia she set herself up as a personal coach for the creation of wealth and fitness, despite being overweight and not having that much money herself. It failed and eventually she went back to working in IT (her first job) and gave it all away. Is Buddha the ultimate Tony Robbins?

edit: I just remembered the guys name - it was Chris Howard. He never seemed to run out of seminars. There was always a more refined and more exclusive club that you could join. You never really arrived but you were getting closer - that was the message he peddled. Reminds me of the levels of Theravada Buddhism. "Just a little further.... just one more level and you'll arrive.... ok a little bit more...come on!! keep going you're nearly there!". emoticon

Altered states happen - there's no denying that. Strange things can happen when the mind is focused. But the end of suffering. Maybe that's just a dream. The nth level, where n = never gonna happen!

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/19/13 9:51 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
That was funny C C C.

But the difference between the example that you gave and myself is that I have gained a lot from all this endeavor. I have become a lot more happier, lot less stressed out, and healthy as well. Though you may be right that the end of suffering is a dream.

emoticon @The nth level, where n = never gonna happen!

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/20/13 11:28 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Arahatship didn't prevent suffering. Is that a fair comment?


Wait for it...

Depends on the definition of Arahat emoticon

RE: CCC
Answer
3/20/13 9:47 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
I read a quote by Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche which said (something like), "you do not come to the full elimination of suffering, but only an increasingly refined understanding." I can't find a source, but I'll post it if I do.

It makes sense to me because just being alive, and constantly needing to eat and drink and sleep to keep our body maintained could be said to be irritation. Beyond that, our cell are constantly working, and dying, and being produced, so it seems highly unrealistic to expect some kind of static peaceful state.

Another quote I remember is one by Lama Zopa Rinpoche which again said something like, "Life should be experienced as incredible intensity such that you do not know if it is happiness or suffering"

Both of these quotes seem to be pointing toward enlightened experience which does not support the perhaps naive notion of enlightenment as the total elimination of suffering.

RE: CCC
Answer
3/20/13 10:22 PM as a reply to T DC.
The canon depicts the Buddha as saying that he taught only two topics: suffering and the end of suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/khandha.html

RE: a reply to T DC
Answer
3/21/13 1:25 AM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
The canon depicts the Buddha as saying that he taught only two topics: suffering and the end of suffering.

That's only if one inclines to translate the word dukkha as "suffering," and not, as Fitter Stoke once suggested in a thread, as the wider more inclusive idea of "dissatisfaction" in whatever form it is to be found.

Better to leave the word untranslated in that quotation so as not to imply a narrowing of meaning down into one aspect or another of what has been translated as either "suffering" or "stress" in modern translations.

On the other hand, I find the idea expressed that "you do not come to the full elimination of suffering [dukkha], but only an increasingly refined understanding," to be closer to reality in that while there are things going on that are productive of the implication of dukkha in one's experience, it is in the "not minding" aspect of one's approach to such that the effect of dukkha is attenuated, if not eliminated.

To clarify that last, I recently read a quotation by someone who described his reaction to a dukkha-like situation as: "The trick is in not minding it as it is happening." With the implication being that one does not personalize the event ("Oh, I am suffering so much!"), but rather observes it as though outside it.

I find in my own experience when out running in the winter desert, the cold (which I'm not used to, having been raised in this temperate climate) is an unsatisfactory condition to have to endure for the duration of my run (1 mile). And yet in recent years I have found that "not minding" the cold produces less dissatisfaction during my run than it previously used to. I allow the body to "become one with" the cold, so to speak (yeah, I know it sounds Kung-fu-ish to say) so as not to trouble the mind while running. That doesn't mean that after the run that I still don't relish the warmth of indoors. It just means that for the duration of the run, I don't let it bother me and endeavor to meld into it (to accept it) "as it is."

RE: CCC
Answer
3/21/13 3:07 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:


It makes sense to me because just being alive, and constantly needing to eat and drink and sleep to keep our body maintained could be said to be irritation. Beyond that, our cell are constantly working, and dying, and being produced, so it seems highly unrealistic to expect some kind of static peaceful state.


As long as one is "in" the body, it probably is unrealistic to expect that, yes. Who knows what can or not cannot happen upon being "released" from the body upon death.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/21/13 4:20 AM as a reply to Change A..
Change, it's good to hear that you have achieved more happiness, less stress and better health. But I always look at these things in a cost-benefit analysis. Happiness, less stress and better health can be achieved probably much more easily by playing tennis, spending more time with the family and eating better.

If significant reduction in suffering cannot be achieved, Buddhism basically isn't worth the trouble. Like, not at all. What in fact can it offer? Just a bit more happiness and peace? I'll play tennis instead...and maybe a hot bath afterwards.

Daniel's description is actually quite disturbing in the intensity of his suffering. To me that says all the meditation was a waste of time and effort. The whole thread is a real let down and a reality check.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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3/21/13 4:50 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Change, it's good to hear that you have achieved more happiness, less stress and better health. But I always look at these things in a cost-benefit analysis. Happiness, less stress and better health can be achieved probably much more easily by playing tennis, spending more time with the family and eating better.


But what about the unhappy people that already play tennis, spend plenty of time with their families and eat well?

Simon

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/21/13 7:45 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Change, it's good to hear that you have achieved more happiness, less stress and better health. But I always look at these things in a cost-benefit analysis. Happiness, less stress and better health can be achieved probably much more easily by playing tennis, spending more time with the family and eating better.

If significant reduction in suffering cannot be achieved, Buddhism basically isn't worth the trouble. Like, not at all. What in fact can it offer? Just a bit more happiness and peace? I'll play tennis instead...and maybe a hot bath afterwards.

Daniel's description is actually quite disturbing in the intensity of his suffering. To me that says all the meditation was a waste of time and effort. The whole thread is a real let down and a reality check.


"Just a bit more happiness and peace? "

Speaking for myself, the "bit more" is more like "the kind of happiness and peace I've never known before and never thought I would be able to achieve." Also a confidence in my own abilities I've never considered myself capable of. And that's with a sloppy, inconsistent practice.

Now true I'm also eating better nowadays (but not by much, I like my unhealthy food too much) and have a better professional situation (though nothing special and it may not last) - but I doubt either would have been possible without the benefits of sila/samadhi/vipassana. Less food cravings and less resistance before the often uninspiring stuff I have to do at work and less stress whenever things don't go as planned (which is often). And I'm as lazy as I ever was when it comes to physical exercise, and feel fine regardless (though I know that's ultimately a very harmful attitude).

Also, mindfulness has been the go-to thing for me whenever I'm overcome with any aches and pains. Now, it's true none of these things
can compare to what Daniel had to go through, but I'm not nearly as bummed by the prospect of a headache as I used to be, for example.

So yeah, different people, different outcomes and all that. But for more reality checks, I've seen Buddhists on another forum say they shrugged off non-anaesthesised root canals thanks to their practice, for example.

Also you might want to seek out posts by Omega Point.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/21/13 7:22 PM as a reply to Brother Pussycat.
Pussycat, I don't doubt what you're saying about the benefits. But what you describe still seems like the sort of changes that might more easily be achieved with other means. From my reading into the research on 'happiness', it seems relationships are far and away the most important factor, particularly for men. If that side of things is sorted, everything else seems to follow along (that's my own observation, not the research). What do you think about that?

Simon, I guess that person could meditate for such benefits. Presumably anxiety would be at the heart of the issue, and maybe CBT would be easier? Would antidepressants be more or less effective? Very few doctors seem to prescribe meditation for anxiety and depression, so there must be a lack of supporting evidence. In fact a lot of the evidence I've seen tends to indicate that anxiety and depression are aggravated by meditation.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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3/21/13 10:28 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
But I always look at these things in a cost-benefit analysis. Happiness, less stress and better health can be achieved probably much more easily by playing tennis, spending more time with the family and eating better.

If significant reduction in suffering cannot be achieved, Buddhism basically isn't worth the trouble. Like, not at all. What in fact can it offer? Just a bit more happiness and peace? I'll play tennis instead...and maybe a hot bath afterwards.


No amount of playing tennis, spending more time with the family and eating better would have produced the results that I got with meditation.

I have achieved significant reduction in suffering because of Buddhism. I'm absolutely sure that nothing else would have helped.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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3/22/13 4:23 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
What do you exactly mean by 'relationships'? As in sexual partners? Obviously there's much potential for well-being there, but also potential for things like jealousy, neediness, fear for your significant other's safety and health etc. etc. Been there, done that.

This also extends to family. It's all very bittersweet really. A lot of unpleasantness that seems to be inextricably tied up with the pleasantness.

I can pretty much restate what Change A. says. I have achieved significant reduction in suffering because of Buddhism.

Now, Buddhism is not only vipassana or equivalent, it is also (perhaps even primarily) sila. Many translate sila as 'morality', I like to translate it as 'not being a goddamn idiot.' And to avoid being a goddamn idiot, to choose the healthiest (not always the most pleasant) course of action, one needs to know what is going on in one's head and body at all times, so as not to be pulled around by whatever little whimsical sensation may break into the control room at any given moment. Hence some form of vipassana. And hence some form of samadhi to make sure that the vipassana actually works. And hence sila, to enable samadhi to arise in the first place. And so on, and so forth.

I'm sure there's other systems that could have done the job as well as Buddhist practices . But at the end of the day, they'll have their own takes on the trio of sila/samadhi/vipassana underlying them, so not much difference there.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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3/26/13 10:49 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel

I hope you have recovered from this, and I hope you've both had a chance to make up for the missed anniversary.

Reading about your experience reminded me of a similar report by Duncan: Illness.

Thanks for writing this.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
Answer
3/26/13 1:15 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Change, it's good to hear that you have achieved more happiness, less stress and better health. But I always look at these things in a cost-benefit analysis. Happiness, less stress and better health can be achieved probably much more easily by playing tennis, spending more time with the family and eating better.

If significant reduction in suffering cannot be achieved, Buddhism basically isn't worth the trouble. Like, not at all. What in fact can it offer? Just a bit more happiness and peace? I'll play tennis instead...and maybe a hot bath afterwards.

Daniel's description is actually quite disturbing in the intensity of his suffering. To me that says all the meditation was a waste of time and effort. The whole thread is a real let down and a reality check.


Please check out the link below. There is serious scientific research going on that shows the benefits of "meditation". I can verify in my own experience that I am "cured" of bi-polar disorder. After experiencing what may have been first path (waiting for the year and a day emoticon ), I slowly reduced my medication and came totally off it without any side effects that I or my wife of 32 years have noticed. As a matter of fact she brags to family and friends about the difference it has made in my life. This is a hard core Christian who scoffed at even the thought that it could make a difference in someones life. As everyone knows (all good Christians anyway), only God can make those kind of changes in a person. Now she will recommend it to others although she refuses to do it herself. (Don't tell her but she practices little techniques I taught her to calm her mind that are definitely forms of meditation)


http://www.mindandlife.org/

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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3/26/13 7:06 PM as a reply to Darrin Rice.
Thanks for the replies guys. Sometimes a doubt creeps in. Strangely, today it's gone.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
pranayama
Answer
4/29/13 1:43 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
....and then the O2 sat monitor would go off as my oxygen sat kept dropping to the high 80% range, which correlated well with the better mindstates, so one more question for the scientific journal: is hypoxia and/or hypercarbia part of the jhanic buzz?


Daniel, are you familiar with Stanislav Grof´s work? He induces altered states of mind with basically hyperventilation (he calls it holotrophic breathing). Not sure if it´s jhana related though.

As a side note, I know from first hand experience that pranayama reduces one´s heart rate.

Get well soon
Sven

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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4/30/13 5:08 AM as a reply to S. Pro.
My mom actually used to do workshops with some guy who as big into holotropic breathing, and may have even studied with the man himself, not sure about that, but it is the sort of thing she would have done back in the day, so, yep, I am familiar with it, and I also did some with a shaman of sorts in Guatemala some years ago.

Anyway, a friend of mine (Pluto, of the band Plutopia, in which my sister played keyboards and sang (findable on iTunes, etc.)) crossed the A&P doing holotropic breathing with my mom and it basically ended his marriage not too long thereafter when he hit the Dark Night: good times...

People mucking about with little understanding of what they are doing: altered states just for altered states without some larger understanding of the basics of what they are and what they do, sort of like what the Ceremonial Magicians think of Spiritualists who will just ask any random spirits who happened to be lingering around into the room...

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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4/19/16 12:40 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
This is a really old thread - but it caught my eye because I just did one of these Holotropic sessions. Interesting points to me are:  Grof has a consciousness map of his own, which is interesting, though I haven't looked at it. Jack Kornfield takes it seriously enough to write the forward to Grof's book.

Daniel's comment is that the practice could put people into the Dark Night in his experience, like so many similar practices. This led me to the thought that Grof has created a really strongly defined ritual frame around the holotropic session so that it is well discriminated against "everyday" reality.  This wasn't entirely his idea of course - back at Esalen, he used various trance rituals to stitch this practice together like a quilt. But for me it brings up the fact that there is a big difference between a Goenka type practice that encourages a continuum into everyday life (two hours a day of vipassana) and a ritual event that is basically a singularity. And maybe this has implications for the experience of the Dark Night.  Perhaps the ritual frame is functional in that it mostly protects the individual against spill-over into life, relationships, work. 

Part of what is pushing this question for me is a slight skepticism around the Dark Night paradigm.  Yes, I think it happens but the extreme view is that every darn thing we do to help people can put them into "Dark Night territory" - a territory with sketchy borders, not easily distinguishable from common or garden suffering or mental illness. As a psychotherapist I wonder about the usefulness. 

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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4/21/16 8:35 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Well, from what I know so far, there are 2 situations:

1. You are in pain, but it is local. You can think, you can move, you can do things. Even if you are in a lot of pain (and can't do anything about it), I think attainments are a great plus in this situation. You tend to resist less the pain, and you can think clearly. You don't freak out or get delusional, and the improved relationship between the body and the mind (the control-surrender thing) is a big plus. I do think one could practice or try to in this situation.

2. You are in pain everywhere. You have fever and there's a fog in the mind. Basic functions like moving, breathing and swallowing are compromised. Even thinking is compromised.
Even here I think there is an a little advantage in having overcome duality. You don't fight so much the thing. You are aligned with the suckiness of the situation. However, I don't think this is a big plus in this situation because, well, you can't do anything. Paractice is impossible.

Being really sick sucks. Being in a lot of pain really sucks.
You are in contact a lot of sick people everyday in a stressful job, so I guess getting really sick from time to time is to be expected.

Glad you are feeling better.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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2/14/19 3:43 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
This is a really old thread - but it caught my eye because I just did one of these Holotropic sessions. Interesting points to me are:  Grof has a consciousness map of his own, which is interesting, though I haven't looked at it. Jack Kornfield takes it seriously enough to write the forward to Grof's book.

Daniel's comment is that the practice could put people into the Dark Night in his experience, like so many similar practices. This led me to the thought that Grof has created a really strongly defined ritual frame around the holotropic session so that it is well discriminated against "everyday" reality.  This wasn't entirely his idea of course - back at Esalen, he used various trance rituals to stitch this practice together like a quilt. But for me it brings up the fact that there is a big difference between a Goenka type practice that encourages a continuum into everyday life (two hours a day of vipassana) and a ritual event that is basically a singularity. And maybe this has implications for the experience of the Dark Night.  Perhaps the ritual frame is functional in that it mostly protects the individual against spill-over into life, relationships, work.
In the continued spirit of bumping three year old threads, I find this idea to be very interesting and useful.

I think that one of the biggest advantages of following a system such as discussed in MCTB and mastering the ability to shift states at will, cycle up and down, is that you can use bits and pieces as tools for creating that singular experience you mention, but until that mastery is achieved it seems like a lot of effort and perhaps figuring out how the bumps impact everything else in your daily life. This seems to be a big advantage for people with drug based practice, (which Grof was doing until LSD, which he was researching, became illegal, and he needed to find a new way to conjur up these states) as they cede those states to the substance, and if done right, the opening created by the experience closes up, and their remaining work is integration. I suppose the same could be done with retreats or even by turning what many people idealize as a daily practice into a periodic practice, which I find myself doing naturally.

RE: Febrile Illness totally wipes me out
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2/14/19 4:58 PM as a reply to magpie.
This was an interesting thread... Daniel writes about being totally wiped out by a flue, and someone starts complaining about having done their practice in vain because his expectations of awakening were challenged. I’m glad there were also people who wished Daniel well. Compassion is a good thing.

I was thinking three things:
1) Uh, that seems horrible. I wish he didn’t have to go through that. How fortunate that this has passed away!
2) Even arhats have setbacks in their practice due to circumstances beyond their control. That brings perspective. I’ll have compassion with myself at times of setbacks. They will also pass.
3) Oh, does the alarm go off if one breaths slower than three breaths per minute? That would be problematic for me. I’m a slow breather when I relax.