Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tommy M 12/12/11 5:53 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/12/11 6:24 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tommy M 12/13/11 3:21 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/13/11 3:36 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice End in Sight 12/12/11 6:31 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tommy M 12/13/11 4:16 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice End in Sight 12/13/11 4:41 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice End in Sight 12/14/11 7:18 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/13/11 10:24 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice This Good Self 12/14/11 2:04 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/14/11 6:55 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Bruno Loff 12/14/11 7:45 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Steph . 12/14/11 12:07 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/16/11 7:13 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/15/11 5:40 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/15/11 1:54 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/17/11 6:49 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Bruno Loff 12/18/11 8:17 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice bill of the wandering mind 12/18/11 11:01 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/20/11 10:28 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/19/11 4:04 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/22/11 1:03 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Steph . 12/22/11 1:27 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/22/11 5:56 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Steph . 12/22/11 7:39 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/4/12 7:46 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/28/12 9:33 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice This Good Self 12/14/11 6:11 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tom Tom 12/14/11 8:36 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Nikolai . 12/14/11 8:41 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tom Tom 12/14/11 10:25 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Nikolai . 12/16/11 5:10 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice This Good Self 12/14/11 8:52 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tom Tom 12/14/11 9:22 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice This Good Self 12/15/11 1:39 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tommy M 12/15/11 4:06 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice This Good Self 12/15/11 6:50 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Nikolai . 12/15/11 7:10 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice josh r s 12/15/11 7:19 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice This Good Self 12/15/11 7:54 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice josh r s 12/15/11 8:22 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice James Yen 12/22/11 6:06 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Jane Laurel Carrington 12/12/11 8:00 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Nikolai . 12/12/11 8:50 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice End in Sight 12/12/11 10:39 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tommy M 12/13/11 4:20 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/12/11 10:39 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Bailey . 12/12/11 11:07 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Nikolai . 12/13/11 3:32 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Bailey . 12/16/11 10:33 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tom Tom 12/13/11 4:37 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice James Yen 12/19/11 2:11 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tom Tom 12/19/11 5:44 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice James Yen 12/20/11 6:50 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tarver  12/23/11 7:59 AM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tom Tom 12/23/11 4:06 PM
RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice Tarver  12/26/11 1:03 PM
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 5:53 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 5:53 PM

Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I've made no secret of my issues with clinical depression. I stopped taking fluoxetine around three or four weeks ago thinking that I had enough understanding of the mental processes involved to be able to deal with anything that came up. I tapered my dosage over six weeks or so and stopped them completely, the withdrawal effects experienced being minimal and easily dealt with through mindfulness and regular practice...at least until last week. The physical and mental side-effects of SSRI withdrawal have gradually hit me hard and led to me finally taking 40mg of fluoxetine today and being left wondering what the fuck is going on.

I have no doubt whatsoever that 90% of the way I feel right now is related to this, the other 10% is down to work-related and financial stress, and a total dissatisfaction with everything in my life right now, but I'm confused. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change any of the previous things I've achieved through meditation practice and it'd be ridiculous of me to claim that the levels of suffering experienced haven't dropped far beyond what I could ever have expected, but this last few days have given me cause to examine and question everything I thought about how depression could, or would be affected by enlightenment. Has anyone else experienced this, or know anything more about the subject?

For me, there's a few obvious differences in the experience of depression between MCTB 4th, even as early as 1st, and pre-Paths:

The most visible positives to come from it are that the feelings don't hang around for more than a few minutes, with a few exceptions which might stick about for a big longer. However it's a bit confusing to have bursts of irritability followed by a wave of bliss a few moments later!

Suicidal thoughts, a common symptom of depression in my experience, are immediately seen for what they are and can't cause an action to occur. What puzzles me is why such a thought would even occur? I've given consideration to it in the past, it's not something I would act upon although at one point, a few years ago, I experimented with painting using my own blood as a way to deal with those sorts of thoughts and objectify them. Meditation is much less messy... emoticon

I had written something on a thread at KFD a while back when I went cold turkey from SSRI's, the experience was like a more physical Re-Observation and the way things feel right now is similar, albeit not quite as heavy going. I won't even bother to try mapping this in these terms but the physical sensations that present themselves are similar, although the sense field is panoramic and far easier to just observe them arising and passing in.

I started writing this not quite knowing where it was going, my head is scrambled and full of these bizarre time-lapsing shocks, but I wanted to get something down about this subject and hopefully open it up for honest discussion.

I think what I'm trying to get at is how these practices can be beneficial for mental health, while at the same time questioning whether or not "full enlightenment" may be a genuine way to put an end to clinical depression. This was something I believed would be possible, but having not attained "AF" yet and having not heard a lot from any other practitioners who deal with mental health issues, I'm now questioning this. For me, it would be freedom in the most literal sense as my life has been blighted by this for so long that I can no longer live this way, yet I don't want to have to take medication for the rest of my life.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 6:24 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 6:22 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
What was your experience with the meds and depression during your 5-day stint in what you thought was AF?

I'm not familiar with this particular medication but would it take 3-4 weeks for withdrawal to start occurring, and have it gradually get worse+worse? I thought it was usually sharp withdrawal right away that gradually gets better+better?
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 6:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 6:31 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
I think what I'm trying to get at is how these practices can be beneficial for mental health, while at the same time questioning whether or not "full enlightenment" may be a genuine way to put an end to clinical depression. This was something I believed would be possible, but having not attained "AF" yet and having not heard a lot from any other practitioners who deal with mental health issues, I'm now questioning this.


I don't know whether there would be a residual effect on behavior from clinical depression, for one who is fully enlightened, but I genuinely can't see how it would be possible to feel unhappy when the faculty that creates such feelings is destroyed.

As for me, I have mentioned a few times that I used to be a moody person...now, I am not a moody person, but rather, a happy person. However, I do notice some residual effect of this previous feature of my emotional landscape in terms of the way the attention wave behaves. On the other hand, as attention wave-related experiences are quite subdued for me nowadays, I am currently finding it hard to describe what this residual effect even is...so, I have no doubt that mood-related aspects of mental health disorders are things which can be vanquished.

Apart from me...ever had a PCE and been depressed, or noticed some residual effect of depression during the PCE?

For me, it would be freedom in the most literal sense as my life has been blighted by this for so long that I can no longer live this way, yet I don't want to have to take medication for the rest of my life.


What's wrong with taking medication until the day that you don't have to (whenever that may be)? In particular, I'm wondering about your reasoning here...

I stopped taking fluoxetine around three or four weeks ago thinking that I had enough understanding of the mental processes involved to be able to deal with anything that came up.


Even if you had enough understanding of the mental processes involved to be able to deal with anything that came up, how is that (being able to deal with whatever came up) a replacement for being happy and having those things not come up?
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 8:00 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 8:00 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
Tommy, I've been tapering my own cocktail of medications for almost a year now. I began because it seemed I wasn't really doing all that well on the stuff I'd been taking, and I was suspicious that my problems were a product of Dark Night rather than actual depression. I had a hard time getting off the anti-depressant (in my case, Cymbalta); I had to pour out incremental amounts of the little beads from the capsules until I was ready to leave off altogether. But by the time I was off of it, I was relatively fine. So it seems to me that if you're getting symptoms after 6 weeks of a relatively easy withdrawal, it may not be side effects from withdrawal so much as the original depression recurring.

I'm now struggling to get off of Neurontin, which is an anti-seizure medication used for anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain in small doses. It's a nightmare getting rid of it, far more difficult than the Cymbalta. Still, I find that at less than half the dose I used to take I'm about the same as I was at the full dose, which again suggests that it wasn't providing any real relief. This entire experience has been clarifying for me. In your case, it may be clarifying as well, but not necessarily in ways that you'd prefer. Still, clarity can ultimately help you as you try to figure out how to provide yourself what you need.

People have told me that brain chemistry can persist in certain patterns even with this practice; I've heard of individuals needing to continue with meds even at advanced levels. This doesn't necessarily mean that you will always have to, but maybe your brain continues to need this medication now in order to function well, even with your present attainments. I don't know how actualism practice affects these things; I've only heard about vipassana, which as marvelous as it is is not necessarily a cure-all.

My advice, then, for what it's worth, is the same that I've been getting from other people: work with all the tools you have available, including medicine, to take the best care of yourself that you can. All the best to you, Tommy.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 8:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 8:35 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
After MCTB 4th, I wasn't always happy. I wanted to leave chile, go back to Australia. I would have many bouts of sticky free periods of depression-like symptoms which would not last long but sucked balls still. I made my and my wife's life very unpleasant at times.

Then the next shift left the idea of sticky free affect a non event. Stopped hating my situation period. Life has improved more than I ever thought possible. My wife and I are now cultivating a very stable and delightful relationship. The tendency for uneasy truces is now not there for me to maintain. My wife may still feel that, but since I dont, she wins out everytime and I'm ok with it. No more mood swings at all. There is a serious lack of someone to be depressed even though 'I' manifested as a shadow residual thingie, hard to describe. Still it sucked balls but in a much sublter way to the warped arse attention bounce thingie that a full blown being was like.

Now after something else, something even sublter sucks balls. Yet it just sucks in a even sublter way. I dont think experience is going to not suck balls till all craving and clinging is uprooted subtle and gross. Deal with craving and clinging and you deal directly with the causes of that which makes one suffer. Don't deal with/investigate/look on dispassionately, interrupt, cease craving and clinging and the causes for what makes one suffer remain. Dealing with craving and clinging continuously and appropriately will diminish this process and diminish that which makes one suffer mentally. I have no doubt you yourself Tommy can deal with these causes and reduce their capacity to make life suck balls.

How to interrupt and cease this process of craving and clinging? You have a plethora of techniques at your disposal that have so far proved very useful. My current combo is sutta jhana (thank you End) and actualising jhana. Led to another shift quite quickly when taken on board with right effort.


Nick
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 10:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 10:39 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Tommy,

First, thank you for sharing your work. You pioneer in this area and share your experience and experiments.

Second, I add here cautiously in not having ever taken mental medications for symptoms and ideation you report; my route was to go with sustained, rigorous exercise over a period 4-6 weeks or months if a depressive state was taking on. I still refer to rigorous exercise (and/or fasting) as a part of basic maintenance of a healthy system. Here is a layman's introduction to the exercise bit, the idea being "depression-as-brain-cell-atrophy" and that exercise (in generating brain-derived neurotrophic factors) renews brain cells similar to what fluox is doing (and counteracts cell atrophy), but without the side effects. This is probably very familiar info for you. I am just looking into it now to see if there is some way to contribute to your effort. Can you try a progressing, over-the-counter fitness program like body for life or p90x or something daily (no skipping) like these for 6 weeks as you taper off? As the drugs taper, your fitness will be increasing, the natural trophic factors may come up as the drug induced ones come down.

Lastly, does the pharmacist provide you a list of CYP450 inhibitors and inducers? Things like caffeine can clear a drug faster by inducing CYP450 (making the drug's clearance from the body occur more quickly), or slow down the drug's clearance from the body (giving the impression of a longer half-life) by inhibiting CYP450 (grapefruit is most famous for this, but citruses tend to cause some CYP450 inhibition). In view of the cyp450 component I would steer clear of fitness beverages, caffeines (e.g., no more than one a.m. cup if you savor that cuppa coffee like I do), and eat basic wholesome, balanced foods - including all manner of fats (and especially eating within 60 minutes after a workout; do a workout every other day first thing in the morning before consuming any carbs whatsoever - this is useful in many ways, one of which there is less aggressive push and this makes for a softer workout and reduces possible injury from amped up ego-drive, but it also works the body in a mildly fasted state which is very very good for the brain and usually counters depression) and water. Again, I have only glanced at this; you likely have a good understanding of this.

Best wishes.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 10:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 10:39 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I'll expand on what Nick wrote and say that the difference that MCTB 4th path made to my suffering (compared to pre-path) was just a little blip compared to the way things have changed for the better since then.

The most distinctive thing for me about reaching this state of shadow stuff only was the ENORMOUS full-body release of tension (tension being how all the dualistic self-conception stuff is sustained)...and it's only gotten better since then.

Of course, when you cross the threshold, things won't suddenly be perfect; for me there originally was a meaningful amount of tension remaining (which is how all the shadow stuff is sustained), but even that goes away...

Anyhow, I see no reason to think that your depression wouldn't go away along with all the "regular" misery.
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Bailey , modified 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 11:07 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/12/11 11:07 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 267 Join Date: 7/14/11 Recent Posts
Don't be ashamed to be enlightened and take meds! I thought dhamma alone could cure all but have now seen the effectiveness of meds.

Hypothetically dhamma will heal all, however, it may take time. Depression is an integration problem. Meaning that your dhamma may not work on it a ton if it is busy using its bandwith on other things like traveling down the path. Traveling the path is very wearing and can bring up lots of mental problems, don't be afraid to take meds! it is not wussing out!

ps. I am anagami+ on anti-pyschotics
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 3:32 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 3:32 AM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Dan red r:
Don't be ashamed to be enlightened and take meds! I thought dhamma alone could cure all but have now seen the effectiveness of meds.

Hypothetically dhamma will heal all, however, it may take time. Depression is an integration problem. Meaning that your dhamma may not work on it a ton if it is busy using its bandwith on other things like traveling down the path. Traveling the path is very wearing and can bring up lots of mental problems, don't be afraid to take meds! it is not wussing out!

ps. I am anagami+ on anti-pyschotics


Hi Dan,

Just to be clear you mean MCTB 3rd path or fetter model anagami?

Nick
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 3:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 3:21 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
What was your experience with the meds and depression during your 5-day stint in what you thought was AF?

I'm not familiar with this particular medication but would it take 3-4 weeks for withdrawal to start occurring, and have it gradually get worse+worse? I thought it was usually sharp withdrawal right away that gradually gets better+better?

During "Faux-AF Week", I continued to take them once every three days and did experience mild physiological withdrawal symptoms but in a completely different way until the last day or so of it fading out. There was no possibility of being depressed or remotely unhappy while in that state though, even the symptoms I did experience were just seen as unusual sensations.

Fluoxetine is an SSRI, basically it's Prozac without a brand, and you're right about the 3-4 week thing. That's how it generally goes for me, unless I go cold turkey and then it hits within about five or six days. I've been taking this drug since before getting any Paths, but there have been periods of years in between where I didn't take it at all so I've come off of them before, and with only minimal withdrawals tapering out over a week or two.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 3:36 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 3:36 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
There was no possibility of being depressed or remotely unhappy while in that state though, even the symptoms I did experience were just seen as unusual sensations.


Guess that answers your question then? =)
Tom Tom, modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:37 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:13 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Yes, I am also somewhere post-path and take lithium and anti-psychotic - seroquel. Though I take a miniscule amount of seroquel unless in the midst of "psychotic" symptoms (an amount usually prescribed just to sleep). Probably don't need it at all most of the time. Lithium, I take on the lowest dose in the range. Could probably go lower and be fine. Supposedly I take these for manic-depression (bipolar disorder), but I no longer identify with that illness nor do I feel symptoms that fit that diagnosis anymore, though they used to, to a fair enough extent. "Diagnosed" by psychiatrist and taking various medications since age 19, 26 now (27 in a month), started meditating at end of 22.

The suffering/drama caused by "it" in the 4 years before I discovered dharma was very intense/extreme. I wouldn't consider myself to have fit the label of "depressed/depression" since I started meditating about 4 years ago. Though I have acted "manic" since then during certain extreme A&Ps (usually pervaded by heavy delusions/psychosis which overtake any otherwise normal looking "manic" actions or behaviors). I have actually not seen a psychiatrist in a couple years. I usually get the prescriptions from normal doctors. Since starting practice, I have been hospitalized on three occasions for (not mild) "psychosis" (only after meditating heavily), though bounce back quickly. See some of my posts.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:16 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:16 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I'd been investigating this more over the last few days and come to the conclusion that, rather than being depressed, the problems I'm seeing are more to do with anxiety, the stress caused by that is what leads to sliding into depression. I agree though that it seems impossible to experience anything resembling unhappiness when affect is gone.

Apart from me...ever had a PCE and been depressed, or noticed some residual effect of depression during the PCE?

One thing I did notice during a PCE was a tension around the eyes when something which usually causes anxiety to arise happened, but with no mental tension to it whatsoever. Something I notice when feeling that way is that attention tries to grip around thoughts and feelings more, or at least more obviously in the way that it moves.

What's wrong with taking medication until the day that you don't have to (whenever that may be)? In particular, I'm wondering about your reasoning here...

Until recently, I was convinced that getting enlightened would be the way to put an end to depression and anxiety once and for all. I thought that getting to MCTB 4th path would be the end of it but was sorely disappointed when, although much easier to deal with, it didn't stop. I'm used to dealing with it, it's not that I don't think I'd be able to live the rest of my life with it, but it's frustrating when the same mental patterns show up when you know that there's no self to be found in them, that they're impermanent and cause tension, and even though you know through direct experience that there is only the arising and passing of phenomena in this field of sensation, they still suck. The closest I've gotten to seeing a chance to end it was in a PCE, that's what made it so painfully hard to deal with when it came to an end and I came back to consensus reality.

The reason I'd rather not have to take medication is that it doesn't get rid of what causes these things to arise, it treats the symptoms and makes life easier to deal with, but that's something I've gotten through meditation too and I'm confident that this is the way to end it completely. I figured that by stopping taking the medication, I'd be closer to the "prima materia", so to speak, and be able to investigate deeper into my own internal landscapes. There's a deeper fear about this too though, I come from a line of severely depressed people, mental illness in various forms is rampant in my family and I worry that there's a hereditary aspect to it. I see the effects depression can have and it's an underlying fear that I'll end up like that too, I won't go into too much detail here but suffice to say I know this first hand and ended up with a lot of problems which took a lot of raw, painful vipassana to resolve. I don't want that for my daughter, my partner or anyone else. I've brought enough pain and suffering to them already, it's time to bring it to an end but somehow I lost my way over the last few weeks.

Even if you had enough understanding of the mental processes involved to be able to deal with anything that came up, how is that (being able to deal with whatever came up) a replacement for being happy and having those things not come up?

You're right, it's not, and I know that but I think I let a lot of external things, which I know full well I have no control over anyway, to influence my experience and then put a load of stress on myself at the same time through a lot of other stuff. What you're saying is exactly what I need to bear in mind, thanks.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:20 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Laurel! Great to see you over here!

I just got a phone call to go out so I'll need to go for the moment, excuse my brief reply here but I'll reply to you and Katy later.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:41 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 4:40 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Tommy M:

Apart from me...ever had a PCE and been depressed, or noticed some residual effect of depression during the PCE?

One thing I did notice during a PCE was a tension around the eyes when something which usually causes anxiety to arise happened, but with no mental tension to it whatsoever. Something I notice when feeling that way is that attention tries to grip around thoughts and feelings more, or at least more obviously in the way that it moves.


Maybe even that will disappear in the end...

Until recently, I was convinced that getting enlightened would be the way to put an end to depression and anxiety once and for all. I thought that getting to MCTB 4th path would be the end of it but was sorely disappointed when, although much easier to deal with, it didn't stop. I'm used to dealing with it, it's not that I don't think I'd be able to live the rest of my life with it, but it's frustrating when the same mental patterns show up when you know that there's no self to be found in them, that they're impermanent and cause tension, and even though you know through direct experience that there is only the arising and passing of phenomena in this field of sensation, they still suck.


Why is it frustrating? Do you still think that these things have any direct relationship at all with the majority of types of suffering that people experience? (Your experience seems to be yet another piece of evidence that they do not.)

The reason I'd rather not have to take medication is that it doesn't get rid of what causes these things to arise, it treats the symptoms and makes life easier to deal with, but that's something I've gotten through meditation too and I'm confident that this is the way to end it completely. I figured that by stopping taking the medication, I'd be closer to the "prima materia", so to speak, and be able to investigate deeper into my own internal landscapes.


Do you think something causes them to arise that is ultimately other than craving? Because you can see craving just fine, no matter how you feel...
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 10:24 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/13/11 10:10 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
I'd been investigating this more over the last few days and come to the conclusion that, rather than being depressed, the problems I'm seeing are more to do with anxiety, the stress caused by that is what leads to sliding into depression.
This bodes even better for supporting your dharma practice with willing, purely intended exercise.

Depression is associated with dysregulation (hyperactivity) in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (Alzheimer's is also evidenced with such HPA hyperactivity, whereas PTSD shows hypoactivity in the HPA axis). Exercise re-regulates the HPA axis in less than three weeks. So, a mere 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of eccentric and concentric muscle work (i.e., push ups, sit-ups with a slooooow return backwards) and 2-minute-long stretches per muscle and the whole thing is done in 50 minutes - a piece of cake compared to developing jhana .

If you were a caretaker for caged animals and wanted for their well-being (knew them to be anxious and depressed, both of which maladies are well-documented in mammal studies) and knew exercise would cause their well-being, would you provide them with fun exercise and encourage them happily? A four-week willing experiment may be useful for you in regards to your own animal. First thing in the morning on an empty stomach or a little protein (and cup of coffee in my case) is especially useful. Those first 6-10 minutes of sleepy "I don't want to do this" thoughts are great meditation practice, in my opinion.

[edit:
How do you feel after an exhaustive but happily-engaged cardio workout (e.g., play music that makes you happy/unstressed, or exercise in the 1-4 jhanas) followed by stretching the muscles around the joints involved in the exercise for 2-minutes (thereby preventing joint compression and grinding cartilage over time after exercise)?
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 2:04 AM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Tommy M:
I'd been investigating this more over the last few days and come to the conclusion that, rather than being depressed, the problems I'm seeing are more to do with anxiety


What are you scared of tommy?

katy an animal kept in a cage is cured of depression by letting it out of the cage, not by offering it some exercise to do. I wonder if the egg-heads studied what happened to the HPA-hoo-haa if the door to the cage was left open. I doubt it - they were too busy thinking of overly complicated questions that they could address in an overly complicated way.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 6:55 AM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Hi C C C - I see your point about overly complicated replies (and about the caged animals - here, consider some people have this as their work and they hope to create improved, even joyous, conditions in conditions they cannot otherwise improve). As for your over-complication point, from my view, having some understanding of the "whys" of some things has helped my practice. It has been my nature that to apply effort, answering to some degree "why apply this particular effort?" is needed. For example, to remedy a chronic illness, I learned something about the CYP450 enzymes. To remedy depression (with attributes of what Tommy M describes), I've learned something about the brain and exercise. To remedy or prevent injury, I've learned something about stretching (and muscle relaxation and the golgi tendon response after about 2 minutes). I agree, though, it is not an effective style for everyone, rather another offering.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 7:18 AM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Thomas A V:
Why is it frustrating? Do you still think that these things have any direct relationship at all with the majority of types of suffering that people experience? (Your experience seems to be yet another piece of evidence that they do not.)


I disagree. My experience has been different. I spent about seven years struggling with chronic depression, and about 4 years of sheer hell with additional mental health problems (mania/psychosis). I have been hospitalized 7+ times. Name most common psychiatric meds and I was on one of them at one point or another. I have risked my life on several occasions for the sake of this, and I do not regret doing this in any way as words cannot describe the gratitude I have. I have not been what I would call depressed in years, but I have experienced intermittent days/weeks of terror, sadness, despair, and sheer and utter misery in the past few years. I just don't see it that way anymore. It doesn't make sense to get clinically depressed when so intimate and present with phenomena.


I'm glad to hear that things have improved for you in this way (and I have followed your situation, as you've posted about it here, so I have a sense of the issues you've dealt with).

Could you say something about how insights into no-self, impermanence, etc. have improved your mood?

My working theory is that attainments up to MCTB 4th path can stop the feedback looks in which unpleasant mental states feed on themselves and produce more unpleasant mental states...but, the unpleasant mental states can and do continue to pop up with regularity. Is this your experience, or would you say it's other than this?
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 7:45 AM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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katy I am interested in your approach.

To be clear, you are stating that you have successfully prevented reoccurrence of dark night symptoms through diligent application of exercise, which consists in a mix of 20m cardio, 20m muscular workout, and 10m stretches, made daily.

Is that correct?

Since you have repeatedly mentioned stretches are an important part of this routine, could you please describe in detail, or point to such descriptions, what muscular workout you recommend (I assume running outside is OK for cardio), and what stretches should be performed?

Following on your post, with which I wholeheartedly agree, could you take the time to provide due references (in magazine articles, or expert websites, say)? (i.e., the "why apply this effort" part)

I would seriously consider this as a possibility for my own life, heck I can find no objections to becoming a bit healthier, and I'd definitely go to the trouble if it makes me a bit happier, too emoticon
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 12:07 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Katy brings up important points for maintaining a healthy quality of life. Whatever mental exercises we are doing are excellent, but so is caring for our basic biological necessities of eating nutritious foods, regular exercise, and consistent sleep patterns. Mind & body go hand in hand and so both must be cared for equally. The exercise regimen mentioned seems like it could do most people pretty well... but I should say that, having had various shades of an eating disorder in my past, I strongly disagree with the recommendation for fasting in Katy's initial reply. Would rather this not turn into a debate about that, but I can verify from personal experience that deliberate starvation (even with the supposed intent of "cleansing" one's system) is never healthy and really messes with your mind & body.
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 6:11 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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katy, I've also done a lot of study on the hows and whys of depression (even the HPA-axis material) and in the end I came up with a very simple understanding: people have needs. When the needs go unmet, anxiety arises. If the anxiety is prolonged or severe, depression ensues.

While our neurobiology and chemistry is complicated, understanding it all is not. That's because our needs are very few and basic - job, relationship, leisure. Tommy has already said he has financial issues, so presumably that's what his anxiety and subsequent depression is about. No job? Or not enough money from the job? He has a relationship, but is it with the right person, someone he loves and connects with? Leisure - won't be much fun because he doesn't have the money. Exercising will help very slightly, as will medication. If any effort is to be applied it should be in a direction that will have strong and long lasting effects, not mild and temporary. It seems like spirituality has been used as a diversion from real life application. I did that myself for a while. The term 'dark night' is commonly used instead of 'depression' as a way of legitimizing not being able to live successfully in the real world. No one I've ever met has their needs met and is depressed at the same time. Common sense.

That's why I asked tommy what he's scared of. I wanted to know if he knew it was about basic needs going unmet, or whether he thought it was about the attention wave of the arupa jhana in the PCE fruition stage of the 5th door of the 3rd path in the 7th house of the rising sun.
Tom Tom, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 8:36 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Yes, people have needs. They are called food, water, and protection from harsh temperature/weather. Not job, relationship, leisure. If you are depressed from not having a job (or having lost your job), relationship (or having lost a relationship), or leisure (or having lost a source of leisure), that's craving from not being mindful. These are fairly ordinary reasons to get depressed when you are not familiar with the dharma.

It seems like spirituality has been used as a diversion from real life application. I did that myself for a while. The term 'dark night' is commonly used instead of 'depression' as a way of legitimizing not being able to live successfully in the real world. No one I've ever met has their needs met and is depressed at the same time. Common sense.


The dark night is absolutely not the same as depression, though it can be conflated with depression [this usually happens if someone who is suffering from depression and isn't familiar with dharma does a drug (marijuana/mushrooms/lsd/alcohol). The effects usually ending when the drug ends, more or less ]. This is coming from someone with over 7 hospitalizations in 7 years as a direct result of mental illness (10 if you count indirect second-hand hospitalizations from alcohol and mushroom use) and a "very long history of mental illness."

You are incorrect, as rich affluent people commit suicide all the time. People "who have it all." The very story of the iconical buddha is an allegory for this.

Your idea of depression is ordinary depression based in ordinary sadness and concerns. Not screaming mentally ill Vincent Van Gogh-esque depression and psychosis. If you are clinically depressed you will find a way to make your life miserable no matter how hot and amazing your wife/girlfriend/hook-up is, how amazing your job is, and how awesome your hobbies are/used to be. And in your depression you will lose these three things faster than a fart in a windstorm, making your depression worse.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 8:41 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Being the Dharma Overground maybe this might be fitting:


"From what arise contentions and disputes, lamentations and sorrows, along with selfishness and conceit, and arrogance along with slander? From where do these various things arise? Come tell me this."

"From being too endeared (to objects and persons) arise contentions and disputes, lamentations and sorrows along with avarice, selfishness and conceit, arrogance and slander. Contentions and disputes are linked with selfishness, and slander is born of contention."

"What are the sources of becoming endeared in the world? What are the sources of whatever passions prevail in the world, of longings and fulfillments that are man's goal (in life)?"

"Desires are the source of becoming endeared (to objects and persons) in the world, also of whatever passions prevail. These are the sources of longings and fulfillments that are man's goal (in life)."

"Now what is the source of desire in the world? What is the cause of judgments that arise; of anger, untruth, doubts and whatever other (similar) states that have been spoken of by the Recluse (i.e., the Buddha)?"

"It is pleasant, it is unpleasant," so people speak in the world; and based upon that arises desire. Having seen the appearing and disappearing of material things a man makes his judgments in the world. Anger, untruth and doubts, these states arise merely because of the existence of this duality.[4] Let a doubter train himself by way of insight to understand these states as taught by the Recluse."

"What is the source of thinking things as pleasant or unpleasant? When what is absent are these states not present? What is the meaning of appearing and disappearing? Explain the source of it to me."

"The pleasant and the unpleasant have their source in sense-impression. When this sense-impression is absent, these states are not present. The idea of appearing and disappearing is produced from this, I say."

"What is the source of sense-impression? From what arises so much grasping? By the absence of what is there no selfish attachment? By the disappearance of what is sense-impression not experienced?"

"Sense-impression is dependent upon the mental and the material. Grasping has its source in wanting (something). What not being present there is no selfish attachment. By the disappearance of material objects sense-impression is not experienced."

"For whom does materiality disappear? How do pleasure and discomfort cease to be? Tell me how it ceases so that I may be satisfied in my mind that I have understood it."

"His perception is not the ordinary kind, nor is his perception abnormal; he is not without perception nor is his perception (of materiality) suspended. — to such a one immateriality ceases. Perception is indeed the source of the world of multiplicity."http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.4.11.irel.html


The infamous 'attention bounce' which I personally and currently see as part of the craving/grasping and clinging process if perceived and paid attention to can aid one in relaxing it and relinquishing the craving clinging process that leads to sorrow, lamentation and all that misery.

My current take:

1. Contact: Sense impression at a sense door due to sense contact . Mental evaluation of sense impression occurs due to past habit (eg. my job sucks, my life sucks-thoughts of this and that) -->
2. Vedana (eg. unpleasant feeling tone) arises-->
3. Craving/grasping: Vedana (maybe in the chest for example) feels 'twangy' , 'burny', mental tension and a mental wrestling results. Here we have the attention bouncing from the vedana tinged with burny tension in the chest to an area in the middle of the brain back and forth very fast, almost indecipherabley unless good at discerning such subtlety. There is a evaluation of the vedana as bad and aversion towards it results. If not paid attention to, mental proliferation jumps from this aversion. -->
4. Clinging: The mind's attention seems stuck on the shitty vedana, clinging there. More mental proliferation results.-->
5. Bhava: A sense of 'me-ness' arises. 'I' am so depressed.

If one can relax the attention bounce and even cease it, then craving is dealt with. Tension is dealt with. Sorrow and lamentation which result from it is dealt with.

Nick
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 8:52 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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How do you know Buddha was unhappy? I suspect he was fantastically happy. Then he wandered past the gates of his compound and found that he was vulnerable, even with all his good fortune. He wanted to not be vulnerable. He didn't care about the sick and dying, not at first anyway. He cared about "not being one of them" - just another need to meet.

Rich people don't suicide. Rich people with relationship breakups do suicide. Rich people with kids messed up on drugs do suicide. Rich people with low self-esteem do also.

Unhappiness is what occurs when needs go unmet and you have some decent coping strategies and a plan of action go get the needs met once again. Anxiety is what happens when you either have poor coping strategies or no plan to get your needs met, or you can see no possibility of getting your needs met, or you don't even know what your basic needs are in the first place. Depression is the end result when the brain shuts down due to anxiety overload.

I have read a lot of Van Gogh's diaries and letters to his broher Theo, and one thing is very evident: he had horribly low self esteem from a very young age, and it just got worse and worse. He was forever rejected by women. The only woman who ever paid him any attention was an ugly old hooker. Need unmet. His work was also largely rejected by galleries and museums. Need unmet.
Tom Tom, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 9:22 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Unhappiness is what occurs when needs go unmet and you have some decent coping strategies and a plan of action go get the needs met once again. Anxiety is what happens when you either have poor coping strategies or no plan to get your needs met, or you can see no possibility of getting your needs me, or you don't even know what your basic needs are in the first place. Depression is the end result when the brain shuts down due to anxiety overload.


Yes, I agree. Craving is suffering. You can either go after all the infinitely arising and passing objects that will temporarily end your craving, or you can end the craving.

I have read a lot of Van Gogh's diaries and letters to his broher Theo, and one thing is very evident: he had horribly low self esteem from a very young age, and it just got worse and worse. He was forever rejected by women. The only woman who ever paid him any attention was an ugly old hooker. Need unmet. His work was also largely rejected by galleries and museums. Need unmet.


My relative success with women and life is actually very similar to what you're describing about Van Gogh. That does not mean my life has been horrible, by any means. Although I could spin you sob story after sob story that would make it seem so. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that to the dharma-oriented mind the illusory need is no longer a "need," and that makes all the difference. That is all.

How do you know Buddha was unhappy? I suspect he was fantastically happy.


I said the Buddha's story is an allegory for this. I know nor care nothing about the Buddha's actual life (as it is unknowable). I'm talking about the mythos that has been passed down for thousands of years.
Tom Tom, modified 10 Years ago at 12/14/11 10:25 PM
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1. Contact: Sense impression at a sense door due to sense contact . Mental evaluation of sense impression occurs due to past habit (eg. my job sucks, my life sucks-thoughts of this and that) -->
2. Vedana (eg. unpleasant feeling tone) arises-->
3. Craving/grasping: Vedana (maybe in the chest for example) feels 'twangy' , 'burny', mental tension and a mental wrestling results. Here we have the attention bouncing from the vedana tinged with burny tension in the chest to an area in the middle of the brain back and forth very fast, almost indecipherabley unless good at discerning such subtlety. There is a evaluation of the vedana as bad and aversion towards it results. If not paid attention to, mental proliferation jumps from this aversion.


Would you say the stickiness (clinging) generally takes place above the eyes in the head? Is what you call the "attention bounce" the bounce back and forth in the head or the bounce between the unpleasant stimulus and the head? Or would it be that the unpleasant stimulus is already gone, but the attention is bouncing up in the head and then arises clinging? (start of mild obsession).
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 1:39 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 1:34 AM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Thomas A V:
You can either go after all the infinitely arising and passing objects that will temporarily end your craving, or you can end the craving.



While the chain of desirable things is infinite, only those 3 basic ones I mentioned are required for happiness. Once you have them, you can maintain them in a reasonably stable state (not arising and passing away). Any 'extra' objects of desire can be chased after as long as you like (until you own a super yacht and a super model) or until you realise that it's a dead end path - enjoyable, but dead end. You can get good milage out of a partner - at least 50 years if you're lucky. Maybe 40 out of a good job, and you can always upgrade. In that time you're reasonably happy and not causing yourself and everyone around you misery. Then one day when you're sitting alone you decide to allow your mind to stop analysing and interpreting the World. Then it happens...silence.

'Basic needs of a happy life' versus 'addiction to pleasurable objects'.

If you've had difficulty with attrcting women, there are ways to fix that. I used to be shy myself. There are guys on here who know about dating coaches etc., or search the forums.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 5:40 AM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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katy I am interested in your approach.

To be clear, you are stating that you have successfully prevented reoccurrence of dark night symptoms through diligent application of exercise, which consists in a mix of 20m cardio, 20m muscular workout, and 10m stretches, made daily.

Is that correct?
Hi Bruno - yes, dark night stuff is now "knowledge of..." and its utility is there without troublesome symptoms. These are useful knowledges.

I can get back to you with more specific "due references (in magazine articles, or expert websites, say)? (i.e., the "why apply this effort" part)" next week, but here are basic tools I referred to regularly:
- Brain rules (john medina), I read his book a few years ago and he provides basics of brain-excercise data in his website linked here (website has been changing, has more marketing now)

- Ray Long, MD - his yoga illustrations and alignments and cues are very clear. Even where he seems ambiguous (utkatasana knees over ankles) he is still clear. He has about 5 books, but "Key Poses" gets one going (linked), can cover basic interest and solo-learning.

- running: I started ball-of-foot trotting/running after back surgery in the early 1990s; muscles like the gluts, calves, quads and hamstrings get worked in this style of running (versus joints like the knees and back vertebrae in heel-to-toe running); I press-dig back on the ground with landing foot to avoid fighting the ground such as in diving the feet at the ground (or, worse, an opposite spinning treadmill track) - this press-dig-launch in each step makes a jog springy

- stretching: be careful, be aligned (not hyperextended, nor angled more than 90-degrees) - see Ray Long's books if you have old habits, injuries or uncertainty. There's a lot of contradictory information on stretching. I have found (since starting yoga in a physiology class in college) and practicing it now, that the muscle relaxation and new memory does occur around the two-minute mark. (I will find some citation for this, but I assure you that some one else's research contradicts it.) The theory is that (and my experience is thus) - stretching prevents compression: the muscles relax and "learn" new range of motion when stretched at about two minutes, then the tendons have less pull on them, then the ligaments in turn have less pull on them, and finally that means the bursa and sacs around joints are not always compressed (and if they operate in compression (or poor alignment) then the soft cartilage is worn down more quickly (those little frayed fibers of cartilage often cause sharp joint pains, and those are trimmed in surgery); if you can prepare to do other exercise by swimming first, that is good. A lot of athletes train underwater (with O2) to go through the motions with resistance and without compression).

[removed: points are a bit off topic from your reply]

I do almost none of the above with any daily regularity now. I cardio when the body feels sluggish, I change my diet when the body feels sluggish, I do stretch every day at some point...this almost always feels great/useful. I keep some basic musculation and increase when I take interest in a more physical phase.

As for a routine: I never start a work out if muscles are contracted. I do a forward bend (uttanasana) for at least two minutes and whatever other hatha needs to be done before I get started (when I don't stretch out existing contraction before using those muscles, something gets pulled and that is a pain for days/weeks). Yes, 20 minutes cardio (5 minutes walking warm-up, minute 6 - increase to a jog pace wherein you can speak, minute 7 increase to non-speech, minute 8 - increase to semi-thoughtlessness (thoughts are usually "ah, quit!" or "just keep going" here), minute 9 - put some umph in, minute 10 - push to the near puke point, minute 11 - recover at a moderate jog pace (generally gasping here - consider not doing this if you have asthma unless you feel ok about it/experienced this & have inhaler), minute 12-stay at moderate jog (can speak), minute 13 -increase to pace that prevents talking, minute 14 - increase pace to non-thinking, minute 15 - stay at pace of non-thought (the thought will actually be something encouraging or self-defeating, but if scattered thoughts return the pace is too slow), minute 16 - umph, minute 17 - as effortful as you can (may cause some dry heaving), minutes 18 and 19 slow down to fast jog, then slow jog, then walk.) [This cardio 20-minute plan comes from "body for life" guy in the early 2000s]. Muscles (20-minutes): chest press, shoulder press (basically: push-ups or chaturanga - in each case lowering down slowly is more important than the pushing up), stomach (sit-ups with sloooow descent, also do cross-situps for obliques), leg presses (e.g., squats, wall sits - careful with knees and 90-degree angles (keep heels aligned under knees (when in doubt have toes slightly forward of knees), hip-width apart); stretching,10-20 minutes, immediately after workout is very useful - strengthening has occurred with muscle-building activities, now gently get into some two-minutes postures with long slow deep breathing to let those same muscles stretch into relaxation.

Oh yeah: keeping a diverse workout (i.e., doing things like yard cleaning, climbing, whatnot) helps avoid repetitive motion injuries - i.e., treadmill wear of the joints. But getting started with a formal routine can help get a person out into a broad and changing intake of physical hobbies.

I have no certifications in any of the above. Even with sources, it's better to consider/test things for oneself, in my opinion, so that the physical supports the mental and vice versa.. Sources, like the 1980s low fat decade of "that sure didn't work out", can be wrong.

The above is hastily put together in the event you want to get started, though I will try to get you more support/sources next week if you like.

[lots of edits to clean up, reduced to reply (just) to your reply!]
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 1:54 AM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Since you have repeatedly mentioned stretches are an important part of this routine, could you please describe in detail, or point to such descriptions, what muscular workout you recommend (I assume running outside is OK for cardio), and what stretches should be performed?

Following on your post, with which I wholeheartedly agree, could you take the time to provide due references (in magazine articles, or expert websites, say)? (i.e., the "why apply this effort" part)

I would seriously consider this as a possibility for my own life, heck I can find no objections to becoming a bit healthier, and I'd definitely go to the trouble if it makes me a bit happier, too emoticon

It is in my opinion a very worthwhile effort. One tries so many things, studies so many things (you and several others appear to have seriously worked the jhanas and vipassana, for example) - that caring for the body is something worth trying again and again to see what in the body may help the mind/mental faculty.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/16/11 7:13 AM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Hi Steph -

but I can verify from personal experience that deliberate starvation (even with the supposed intent of "cleansing" one's system) is never healthy and really messes with your mind & body.
A word of grammar and who/what forms it: I tend to watch my and other's speech for speaking in first person and switching to second person singular and plural. Speaking for "I", then speaking for some other "you".

When dharma teachers speak in the second person my ears perk up and I tend to wonder: what are they saying about themselves and why are they distancing themselves from their own point by dispersing it on others. For myself, to see when I spoke with "you" or "we" was useful.

Anyway, thank you for your sensitive caution about food.



[edit: yes, from me, I who am often so erroneous with grammar, spelling, punctuation, tradition uses of words... :-)
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 4:06 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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I didn't reply to your "What are you scared of" question as I hadn't gotten the chance to post until tonight. I thought about that question for quite a while but came up empty, there's nothing that I'm "scared of". As I examine these feelings closer I find that the anxiety is all down to "me", as a feeling being, looking for stability in an ever-changing field of phenomena when no such thing is possible.

Your theory about happiness is ballocks though, you're either trolling or you've completely misunderstood the sort of happiness achieved through the practices we discuss on here. Everything you've described is dependent on conditions, conditions that lead to more craving because when one desire is satisfied another will arise. If something happens and one of your criteria for happiness are not met, aversion will arise and you'll want things to be other than they are, and this is just another version of that same craving so you're fucked either way. If you're content with being "reasonably happy" then go for it, whatever works for you.

Personally, I'm not interested in being "reasonably happy", what I'm aiming at is beyond what you can possibly imagine, literally.

Do what works for you, but don't try to palm it off as wisdom when it's just a theory based on what you've read online.
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 6:50 PM
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RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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tommy,

You're not willing to spend any time making yourself reasonably happy by conventional living, but instead turning your back on all that for the 'big E' payoff.

Such a sacrifice would indicate an enormous desire in you to achieve enlightenment. You can fob off the word 'desire' and call it "sincere will" or "intent" or something like that, but in actual fact it's desire.

So you have a deep desire for enlightenment.

So far in life you haven't been able to achieve small desires like financial security, so why would you suddenly be able to achieve a big desire like enlightenment? That's like a guy who turns up for training at the Big Leagues when he can't even kick a football!

Surely you don't believe the Universe will reveal its treasures to the one who works hardest? You've already put in years of hard work and all that the Universe has given you is misery and a few wall plaques with the word "attainment" embroidered on it.

Nothing I've posted on this thread is from stuff I've read online or in a book. Why do you say my posts are palmed off as wisdom? Wisdom is special insight, whereas what I say is plain common sense. You seem to lack it big time! At the very start of Daniel's book he says that this meditation business is not for people who are messed up psychologically. I'm not sure why he and the other mods don't enforce that in these forums.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 7:10 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 7:10 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

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Best not put fuel on the fire. Without the fuel the fire will eventually burn out. This can be taken in many ways by everyone posting in this thread.


And seeing as this still is the Dharma Overground.

" I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi, at Ghosita's Park. Then the Brahman Unnabha went to where Ven. Ananda was staying and on arrival greeted him courteously. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Ananda: What is the aim of this holy life lived under Gotama the contemplative?

Ananda: The holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire.

Unnabha: Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?

Ananda: Yes, there is...

Unnabha: What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?

Ananda: There is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire.

Unnabha: If that's so, then it's an endless path, and not one with an end, for it's impossible that one could abandon desire by means of desire.

Ananda: Well then, Brahman, let me question you on this matter. Answer as you see fit... Didn't you first have desire, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular desire allayed?

Unnabha: Yes, sir.

Ananda: Didn't you first have persistence, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular persistence allayed?

Unnabha: Yes, sir.

Ananda: Didn't you first have the intent, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular intent allayed?

Unnabha: Yes, sir.

Ananda: Didn't you first have [an act of] discrimination, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular act of discrimination allayed?

Unnabha: Yes, sir.

Ananda: So it is with an arahant whose mental effluents are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. Whatever desire he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular desire is allayed. Whatever persistence he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular persistence is allayed. Whatever intent he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular intent is allayed. Whatever discrimination he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular discrimination is allayed. So what do you think, Brahman? Is this an endless path, or one with an end?

Unnabha: You're right, sir. This is a path with an end, and not an endless one... ": SN 51.15
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.015.than.html


"Monks, whoever neglects these four bases of power neglects the noble path going to the right ending of stress. Whoever undertakes these four bases of power undertakes the noble path going to the right ending of stress. Which four?

There is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion.
Whoever neglects these four bases of power neglects the noble path going to the right ending of stress. Whoever undertakes these four bases of power undertakes the noble path going to the right ending of stress." SN 51.2
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josh r s, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 7:19 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 7:19 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 337 Join Date: 9/16/11 Recent Posts
So far in life you haven't been able to achieve small desires like financial security, so why would you suddenly be able to achieve a big desire like enlightenment? That's like a guy who turns up for training at the Big Leagues when he can't even kick a football!


dude, it's really not like that at all. these are two totally different types of endeavors, the only difference between them is NOT how much they are valued.

Surely you don't believe the Universe will reveal its treasures to the one who works hardest? You've already put in years of hard work and all that the Universe has given you is misery and a few wall plaques with the word "attainment" embroidered on it.


tommy has said that this is just not true, and you must have known that he has said this. he has talked about the fruits of his attainments as well.

most people are here are not at all interested in the fleeting pleasures you advertise. and there seems to be a pretty strong case for transcendent permanent happiness rather than the fleeting kind.

C C C, i really don't know why you post here. your posts seemed to be aimed purely at discouraging people from their goals. this is a forum for people who meditate and want to achieve transcendent happiness, you seem to be oriented in quite the opposite direction. also, even if you want to make a point, you seem to go about in inflammatory ways and tend to focus on the person you are debating rather than the issue at hand. this is also something that you MUST KNOW is totally counter-productive.
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 7:54 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 7:45 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
josh I'm here because I really enjoy reading posts by the likes of beo, triple think, daniel (and sometimes florian and Nik!) . I consider beo to be an excellent teacher, even though I get lost when he gets technical.

And I get a bit riled when people encourage meditation when they're not ready for it, thereby worsening their condition.

No more fuel from me, I'm finished on this thread.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/16/11 5:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 8:00 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Thomas A V:


Would you say the stickiness (clinging) generally takes place above the eyes in the head? Is what you call the "attention bounce" the bounce back and forth in the head or the bounce between the unpleasant stimulus and the head? Or would it be that the unpleasant stimulus is already gone, but the attention is bouncing up in the head and then arises clinging? (start of mild obsession).


Hi Thomas,

I'd say the clinging is the way attention seems to continuously land on the 'twangy' vedana while other sense objects hit the other sense doors. For example, you have a thought arise of soemthing that was evaluated as bad for 'you' in the past, someone did something to you you didnt like. This memory arises in the mind as thought, mind consciousness arises, sense impression is evaluated, unpleasant vedana arises, mentle wrestling follows tinging the vedana with a burny twangy tension. This in turn triggers thoughts of that makes 'me' so angry. etc. Mental proliferation results.

You are walking in the park observing beautiful nature, but it doesn't appear so beautiful as the mind's attention keeps being pulled to the twangy vedana in the chest, bouncing from a sense door to twang to brain to twang to eyes, to twang to brain to twang to ears to twang to brain to twang to brain to twang, and so on dulling the pure conscious moments covering up 'apperceptive awareness'. This part would be the clinging and bhava links of DO in my experience.

Disclaimer: my opinion may change at the drop of a hat in future.
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josh r s, modified 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 8:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/15/11 8:22 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 337 Join Date: 9/16/11 Recent Posts
No more fuel from me, I'm finished on this thread.


i suggest that if you want to discuss the issue again, as i would in a different context, one of us can start up a thread dedicated to the issue, not the people who may or may not be misguided. that way there can be a better focus and we can reach some sort of a conclusion.
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Bailey , modified 10 Years ago at 12/16/11 10:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/16/11 10:33 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 267 Join Date: 7/14/11 Recent Posts
I am not up to date on the debate between the two models you describe. There is clearly only one path, and it has been very straight forward. It is the same one written about in all the Buddhist texts and the same one I wrote about here: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/2052274

My feeling is that discrepancies occurred when people mistook the post-anagami development stage for being the arahant path.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/17/11 6:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/17/11 6:49 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Bruno - I am off for a bit. If you don't have enough to go on in the posts above, then PM and I'll reply by email.

For your consideration: balance the head energies with physical energies/practices (I recall you know about chakras). Going through oneself completely is best teaching at some point. Perhaps download Wim's book Becoming the Iceman to get started in whatever moderate physical practices you undertake. There really is everything in each action/undertaking.

Best wishes.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago at 12/18/11 8:17 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/18/11 8:17 AM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Hi Katy,

I've had time to read and I'm already implementing. It will take a while for me to have any results from this experiment.

The exercise seems to have a beneficial effect, but I have been fooled by placebo before --- I get enthusiastic about some new practice but it's all just temporary fluff. Sometimes a new practice seems to work, but the effects fade away, or the practice itself is unsustainable (due to requiring more effort than I can give, for instance, or due to making something else worst). As I got tired of that kind propping up and subsequent let down, I decided to be much more thorough in my experimentations, so I won't provide much feedback for a while.

The plan is to do 20m running + 15 minute joint rotations ("intuflow" style) + 10m stretching every day. I have started with running and joint rotations, but still have to learn about the stretches.

One thing that wasn't clear is which stretches to choose. You linked the yoga poses book in google scholar in a page with forward bends — are these the stretches you suggest I try? (I'm not asking for a "recommendation", as you are not an expert, just a few hints and suggestions)

I am interested in seeing a clear, unambiguous, & sustainable improvement in mood.

Thank you for your input.
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bill of the wandering mind, modified 10 Years ago at 12/18/11 11:01 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/18/11 11:01 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 131 Join Date: 4/14/11 Recent Posts
"katy I am interested in your approach.

To be clear, you are stating that you have successfully prevented reoccurrence of dark night symptoms through diligent application of exercise, which consists in a mix of 20m cardio, 20m muscular workout, and 10m stretches, made daily.

Is that correct?
Hi Bruno - yes, dark night stuff is now "knowledge of..." and its utility is there without troublesome symptoms. These are useful knowledges. "

Worth trying, worst case is better health. Thats about the last thing I would have considered to help. Thanks for the info.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/20/11 10:28 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/19/11 12:29 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
HI Bruno - I looked at intuflow.

So there are movements that he is doing that would harm me in my present condition (at 33-37 seconds, the knees are torquing in a manner that will [increase the likelihood of]crush[ing]* the medial meniscus over time or in a moment of adequate force; a resolution to this may be i) to pivot that foot during elbow strikes, this also fulfills the potential of the strike, or ii) use the waist entirely for rotation, have no motion/force changes transmitting in the legs). Other motions that would harm me in my present condition are the rotator cuff circles at the end. There are tendons that can hang up on the acromion here.

That said, the founder of the program suggests intuition, which I could take to mean "based on one's own personal experience practicing forms, listening to body, and responding healthfully". It is clear that he has changed his life and faced challenges to meet with his conveyed sense of well-being. If the program works for you, that's great. I would encourage doing whatever gets you started, then the process goes and goes and goes. To not balance the mental with the physical is to overvalue the mental states wherein a sense of permanent self takes form and abides and occludes other aspects of living as a changing being in a of a changing place (that can be termed anatta and anicca, if it is useful).

However, if one considers physical exercise to be a false "propping" up (out of recurrent "dark night symptoms"), then I think a sense of defeat will occur and prevent effort (and there is a pleasure that arises in contrast to having to do something by deciding to not do anything; this feeling can convert a sad moment ("I am blue sitting on this couch right now"), to an averse aroused moment ("What?!? The hell if I am going to exercise this body"), to a happy moment ("wow, I am pleased to be sitting on this couch right now and not having to exert myself"). That cycle can happen in seconds. To avoid a sense of laziness, one can replace sitting on the couch with a "noble" or "commendable" exertion, like studying or meditating, while still avoiding the other exertion (this maintains this aversion and creates pleasure and "props" up a circle that will probably wind back to dark night symptoms without some exertion...). I do not know "future" (and any potential future meetings with "dark night symptoms"), but I would say to the concern about continually needing to prop oneself up that, for me, it has been [and is] a process of effort and attention applied over and over again that has resulting awareness and that those efforts have been and continue to be worthwhile.

One part I especially appreciated in your hyperlink to intuflow was the section showing him rotating his hip joint with the foot and knee in flexion. When the foot is in flexion, it is harder to strain the medial collateral ligament (notice that the degree to which the foot can be rotated medially is smaller when it is flexed than when it is extended with pointed toes), which (of four ligaments around the knee) has a high rate of injury, surpassed only by the ACL (which cruciate ligament is often torn from over-bending the knee). He may have other reasons for doing this motion (like protecting the ankle components), but protecting the knee while the hip is circling stood out to me. (The hip rotation, like the neck circles, is not one I would do at present, though I may make these a goal in order to test their effects personally. Thank you for the link).

If I could simplify stretching and training, I would say start with your interests (or find a physical interest that is inspiring or beautiful to you) and cultivate excitement-dedication concentration on that challenge. Consider using meditation to visualize yourself doing this activity well and in detail.

Outside of meditation and concentration, place the mind everywhere present, e.g., taking a pee, the mind is with all locations of sensation. In this way, when you stretch, you may be immediately aware of the body's communications (about the nature of the stretch) because you will be well-trained in attention of actuality via so-called habitual moments (like cooking, eliminating, lying down to sleep, walking, stepping, blinking,etc). The body then stands a chance of informing the mental faculty (as opposed to the mental faculty assuming, bullying or just ignoring the physical signals), I would guess from your posts of actualism/buddhist mindfulness practices that you're probably quite capable of sustaining this quite well. (Although, this mind-with-whatnot (mental faculty on actuality) can be over-done if the change of mental faculty's use is taken too zealously and not increased in little, reasonable bits.)

One learns form of an exercise, though, so that if attention wanders, the body is not placed badly for an injury. So the preceding paragraph has a high standard for attention which can create tension. Thus, I'd read about the form of a stretch (or exercise) carefully, go slowly, and not rely entirely on the tool of expert attention. Even with expert attention and preparedness, surprises occur. Good form in a stretch also allows for an unloaded mind to join the muscles in being comfortably active.

If you use that link to Ray Long (I stick with a source as long as that source is answering my own experiential questions and, thus, obtain a bit of consistent learning from that source), you may read portions of the book for understanding of anatomy and stretching form. With the knee, for example, a twinge experienced now on the inner knee (as known by personal experimentation and well-trained awareness) may point you to the medial collateral ligament. Maybe there will be the learning of something like, "Ah: the knee is misaligning over with the big toe, versus the 2nd or 3rd toe!" (Knee cap should not extend past the heel bone, unless you are really certain that your ligaments can handle this over time. Placing knee beyond heel with force is a great way to tear the ACL).

I learned to apply a stretch and its opposite, and that has worked for me. For example: forward bend, back bend, twist and opposite twist. Therefore, I might start with uttanasana (or seated forward bend in a chair if my hamstrings have a twinge), then do something like setubandha (or salabhasana, pages 38-45 in Long's Volume 3, or here in yogajournal.com ), then bull seat prep for gluteus and latissimus dorsi. If all is well in my body (meaning no twinges and that the stretch is comfortably active, then I breath deeply with the pose for two minutes. If there are any twinges I back off until there is no twinge in the stretch.

I also make sure the agonist muscles in the stretch are generating heat (maybe think of a working muscle as being in "agony") and that the antagonist is experiencing the comfortably active stretch. The muscles that are contracting to become smaller are the agonists and the muscles that are technically contracting by expansion are the antagonists (the antagonist is the one getting the common parlance "stretch" - though the stretch can also be strengthening...getting a little too detailed here, but you will see the effect in toning). I have no affiliation with Ray Long, yet here is another page from his business about this.

All of this increases my range of motion (flexibility), strength and support around the joints, and non-compression in the joints.

If you are doing explosive activities (sprints, jumping) then when you stretch in longer-held postures will vary. However, explosive use of muscles (such as ball-of-the-feet-joyous springy jogging), in my experience, benefits from longer-held, deep breathing postures, but that I do not stretch like this right before I intend to have explosive energy.

If I think of more (with fewer words) I'll let you know. I am interested in learning of your exploration because of your past posts about explorations and attention.

Cheers.

*medial meniscus is often injured by wearing down. So a person may have a great teacher of a sport or form for years. Pay attention to how that teacher may rub the knees or demonstrate postures. They may be heading towards surgery to clip the frayed fibers of soft cartilage. This fellow of intuflow has another video on protecting the elbow joint from common injury, so hopefully his knees and advice are good.

[edited: typos, syntax, possible clarity]
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James Yen, modified 10 Years ago at 12/19/11 2:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/19/11 2:11 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
I thought I'd add some of my personal experiences.

I attained what is called MCTB 4th Path on March 17th of this year. Nothing happened, relatively no changes in mood.

Around June I start taking Prozac and Abilify.

For about 3 months no changes in mood.

Then starting around September, much more outgoing, I have more friends, more extroverted, seem more well adjusted. The catch? I basically stop taking it in September (tapering the dosage), due to forgetting to take it.

End of September, I enter (this is after having been off it for some time, last dosage maybe a week or two ago) what I call a Virtual Freedom, 2 weeks of feeling good, most of the time.

After VF the paranoia and belief of the past comes back, the feeling that I'm declining.

I want the happiness back, it comes back for a few days. Then goes. I want it back again, it comes back for a short time (maybe a few minutes), goes away.

Some time later I start taking the SSRIs again. Nothing much happens. After some time (maybe like 3 weeks? not sure) I start feeling better.

Come under the belief that I was Enlightened the entire time, that there really was no problem.

So did I really fool myself into believing that my "Enlightenment" solved my problems? Am I currently fooling myself into thinking that my "Enlightenment" is solving my problems?

Is it really a sham to think "Oh I was enlightened the entire time, the paranoia was a brief nightmare, there really are no problems", is it really a sham to think "after enlightenment there may be no changes in mood, but there is a long healing process afterwards that may take months for one to feel better"

Who knows? Quite likely.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/19/11 4:04 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/19/11 4:04 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
The exercise seems to have a beneficial effect, but I have been fooled by placebo before...

...

...I am interested in seeing a clear, unambiguous, & sustainable improvement in mood.
In tibetan traditions, the first of a three-part delineation of inner heat destroys afflictive emotions, "conceptual elaborations". This is another way to think of basic exercise - as a pre-cursor to inner heat developed by will, e.g., taking up joyously/with basic childlike curiosity an activity that builds heat and raises heart rate. Be reasonable here, but I have never had a problem with taking aerobic effort up to pre-puke point. I do not do this with a macho attitude, merely to raise the level of effort for a moment and find the boundary, so that I know where to perform (just under that boundary). Good luck, sense and playfulness with your efforts.
Tom Tom, modified 10 Years ago at 12/19/11 5:44 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/19/11 5:44 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Is it really a sham to think "Oh I was enlightened the entire time, the paranoia was a brief nightmare, there really are no problems", is it really a sham to think "after enlightenment there may be no changes in mood, but there is a long healing process afterwards that may take months for one to feel better"


What is a mood?
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James Yen, modified 10 Years ago at 12/20/11 6:50 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/20/11 6:50 AM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Well to me a mood is really how one is feeling at the moment.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 1:03 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 1:03 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
The plan is to do 20m running
I use kapalbhati breathing with running-jogging (ball-of-foot style) and noticed a) low abdomen stomach muscles result, b) that foot cramping and an on-off achy collateral knee ligament (damaged by former chronic infection) cease consistently in response to the breathing, and c) that I feel energized and calm, experiencing new reserves for short sprints and feeling placid during the normal pace and short sprinting lopes. I've added kapalbhati several times to see its effect consistently.

What I emphasize (and what is not expressed in the hyperlink above) is that the force of exhaled air from the low abdomen is like a kick being created and pulled inwards by the muscles of the low abdomen. Inhale is entirely natural, responding without effort.

There are contraindications (e.g., hernia) for this breathing noted on the website of the same person in the above linked video.
Here they are copied from that site:

[indent]Contra-indications
Patients suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, spondylosis, slip disc and hernia should avoid Kapalbhati
Do not practice if there is any serious injury in the respiratory tract especially in the nose (bleeding).
If there is pain in abdomen or chest, fever, headache do not practise Kapalbhati.
Women during menstrual periods and pregnancy should not practice Kapalbhati.
Kapalbhati should not be practised during acute condition of any disease.[/indent]
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 1:27 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 1:27 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
katy

how did you come to know about all these exercises, body movements, etc - and more importantly how have you determined what's healthy and what's not healthy for the body in terms of exercise? have you consulted with... or are you a licensed medical professional, certified personal trainer or something along those lines?
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James Yen, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 6:06 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 5:34 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
C C C:
How do you know Buddha was unhappy? I suspect he was fantastically happy. Then he wandered past the gates of his compound and found that he was vulnerable, even with all his good fortune. He wanted to not be vulnerable. He didn't care about the sick and dying, not at first anyway. He cared about "not being one of them" - just another need to meet.

Rich people don't suicide. Rich people with relationship breakups do suicide. Rich people with kids messed up on drugs do suicide. Rich people with low self-esteem do also.

Unhappiness is what occurs when needs go unmet and you have some decent coping strategies and a plan of action go get the needs met once again. Anxiety is what happens when you either have poor coping strategies or no plan to get your needs met, or you can see no possibility of getting your needs met, or you don't even know what your basic needs are in the first place. Depression is the end result when the brain shuts down due to anxiety overload.

I have read a lot of Van Gogh's diaries and letters to his broher Theo, and one thing is very evident: he had horribly low self esteem from a very young age, and it just got worse and worse. He was forever rejected by women. The only woman who ever paid him any attention was an ugly old hooker. Need unmet. His work was also largely rejected by galleries and museums. Need unmet.


Word.

Edit:

Well I should qualify that I'm actually fantastically happy, despite the fact that many of my needs go unmet.

Girls don't like me, period. I don't do well in school. I'm exceedingly skilled in programming but no one seems to recognize it.

Other than that though a lot of my needs are met, which I suppose is why I'm so happy. I dance like a boss and people hold me in high regard for that, I go to a good college, am relatively popular with many friends, my family is well off, my parents love me etc.

What else could you ask for?

I think the question to ask is whether or not this "Enlightenment" is real. Whether or not this actually causes one to be happy, DESPITE conditions.

If we could torture a man 24/7 and find that he was still happy then maybe we might have something.

I think in the end the E has a little something to do with it. In the end I attribute some of my happiness to SSRIs, as well as my loss of libido (I find it difficult to masturbate).

Nowadays:

I don't experience any chronic anxiety.

I'm relatively happy.

No, or very little libido.

Rarely get angry.


Question is, how much of this is from the circumstance? The Enlightenment? The SSRIs?
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 5:56 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 5:56 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Steph S -

how did you come to know about all these exercises, body movements, etc - and more importantly how have you determined what's healthy and what's not healthy for the body in terms of exercise? have you consulted with... or are you a licensed medical professional, certified personal trainer or something along those lines?

Your questions were addressed 12/15/11 5:40 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 7:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 7:39 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
katy steger:
Hi Steph S -

Your questions were addressed 12/15/11 5:40 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.


and so they were! hehe.. thanks for pointing that out. emoticon
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Tarver , modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 7:59 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 7:59 AM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
Although I don't yet have the experience of enlightenment, I do have considerable experience of psychiatric drugs and practice.

After years of personal experimentation and research, I have come to the conclusion that for me these drugs generally fall into the category of "intoxicants", the abstention from which is a prerequisite for making any progress in my practice and in my life. I would like nothing more than to generalize my experience and assume that what is true for me is true for everybody else, but I can't validly do that because I don't have the credentials or, for example, the statistical means to back up my projections.

Somebody who does the credentials and the means to do so, however, is Peter Breggin. If you take (or are considering taking) psychiatric medication, I implore you to educate yourself about the shadow sides of these substances and the industry which sells them by carefully reviewing Breggin's work.
Tom Tom, modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 4:06 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 4:06 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
I would like nothing more than to generalize my experience and assume that what is true for me is true for everybody else,


Why the need to cling to this belief? To those who have found themselves dependent on such substances, why not a more balanced approach of gradual withdrawal as insights progress? Selling this sort of fear to those who wish to gain insight on psychiatric drugs just conditions the belief of 'I cannot get insight on psychiatric drugs, therefore I have to stop taking them to make progress.'

This belief then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The person then decides to stop taking them before they are ready (often because they are conditioned by other beliefs such as 'when i stop taking these pills i will get depressed' or 'when i stop taking these pills i will get manic' or 'when i stop taking these pills i will hear voices'). The person then becomes depressed, manic, hears voices(or has delusions) - or 2 of these or all 3. They then end up in a hospital and back on the drugs again. They are then in a state of hopelessness, since they cannot progress while on the drugs they will not meditate, since they cannot progress off the drugs (because they will go 'crazy').
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Tarver , modified 10 Years ago at 12/26/11 1:03 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/26/11 1:03 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
Thomas A V:
Why the need to cling to this belief?


I summarized my experience to contextualize my perspective, explicitly stepped back from inappropriately generalizing to others, and offered a resource which deals encyclopedically with exactly the issues that you raise. I refer you once again to that resource, if it is of interest to you. It was very helpful to me.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 1/4/12 7:46 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/4/12 7:45 AM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
In my recent experience, 4-5 minutes of cold shower is a powerful inducer to mood improvement and high energy sustained throughout the day. If depression/low energy is a problem, thenhere's an article from VCU Med on cold water immersion counter effects on depression. I brought in the new year at sunrise with some friends in a 36.8'F river immersion (just a few minutes) and one wife of a immersing friend said her husband (already an energetic person) was more energetic throughout that day.

If you're going to try it, consider starting with a warm shower, then go to cold and do kapalabhati breathing or some breathing concentration to help stay at least 4-5 minutes.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 1/28/12 9:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/28/12 9:33 PM

RE: Anti-Depressants, Enlightenment & Practice

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Bruno,

After some conversations last night and this afternoon I am doubting the near-puke point aspect of cardiovascular exercise. I used that standard at a time of very high stress in my life when I could not sleep, and getting to that place where I could not think (was forced by exertion to just focus on not heaving and still moving) was a great relief from the stress. So I kept that strategy for years when depression came on tenaciously. I got that ramp-up and exertion plan from "body for life" book about 10 years ago.

Today I was thinking about how in yoga and tai chi (even sparring) no one has ever encouraged me to replicate such stressful fight-flight exertion. Both become very cardiovascular for me, but always controlled breathing is part of the practices. I mention this because these two systems are old (older than, say, Body for Life). A long-ago yoga teacher who taught to runners and skiers always said to breathe through the nose and with gentle controlled effort. Today, another yoga teacher and former professional athlete re-iterated the same.

So, it's something with which you might consider and/or personally experiment.

What happens when breathing is controlled with longer breathes is that the parasympathetic nervous systems overrides the normally automatic (sympathetic) respiratory controls, and organs, glands, vessels, tissues relax (this is why pranayama is essential in yoga: it relaxes muscles and vessels while stretching). On the other hand, if one is heaving and panting in cardiovascular exercise, then the sympathetic nervous system is "sympathizing" with fight or flight (responding with stress) and not necessarily relaxing organs glands, and muscles: maybe that stress is not so good for someone who is trying to calm down/de-stress/reduce negative thoughts (I think this may be oversimplified and possibly false though: some ramp up is necessary for the body to become not habituated to the exercise and to start coasting).

So, if I had a lot of negativity now, I would try both styles and see how each effected me: one 30-minute cardiovascular effort that can sustain long inhale/exhale breathes, and another 20-minute effort (on another day) that ramps things up as previously discussed.

I hope that helps.

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