Physiological Effects of Enlightenment?

Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

Physiological Effects of Enlightenment?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 9/2/09 Recent Posts
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Given that it's difficult to tease apart the mind from the body, it's clear that changing certain physiological parameters can change consciousness - fasting, sleep deprivation, sex, ingestion of entheogens, exhaustion, etc., some of which have been utilized by adepts throughout the ages to enhance meditative practices. Some traditions, the Taoist in particular, have claimed that it's practices have a direct physiological effect as well. Taoists seek "Immortality" which on close inspection seems identical to "Enlightenment" and only in one special case (they consider three different types of immortality) is actual physical immortality obtained - in most cases one's spirit is incorporated into the natural order or "heaven." Nevertheless, they do claim physiologic changes such as longevity - one author who had a famous Tai Chi master for a teacher said he saw radiographic evidence that his 80 something year old teacher had the heart and lungs of a 20 year old and was stronger and had more endurance than he. I also remember that a few years back I was able to get through about half of Adi Da's biography before getting sick of it, and at one point he claimed that powerful Gurus will get a big belly that is "filled with power" and not due to overeating. Convenient, I thought, but still, given the reality of the placebo effect, given that we know that the mind can dramatically affect physiology (otherwise there would be no such field as psychosomatic medicine), given false pregnancys where someone's belief that they are pregant can cause their uterus to expand, stop their periods, and increase their HCG levels - perhaps it's not so far fetched. Adi Da went so far as to claim that Buddha's big belly was a manifestation of this "Guru effect." Anyone have any thoughts on this?
thumbnail
Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Physiological Effects of Enlightenment?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: marinr

"Given that it's difficult to tease apart the mind from the body ... "

Just a quick funny thing.

I don't have a big belly yet and this may sound a bit weird: sometimes it seems that I could track my progress in meditation ability trough the pressure changes in my teeth relating to shifts in speed of perception. It's like having an insight map in my teeth. At first I though the mind is playing games as usual, but I'm now convinced there is some strange connection between the body and the insight progress.
Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Physiological Effects of Enlightenment?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 9/2/09 Recent Posts
Wisdom teeth, eh?

Sorry, couldn't resist that! It seems evident that Bodhi would have effects on the nervous system possibly extending to the autonomic nervous system, which could have direct effects on the endocrine system, and arguably the immune system. Increased abdominal girth could be related to increased cortisol, a hormone known to have effects on mood.

I'm not sure about the teeth thing though - kinesthetic encoding?

Breadcrumb