In These Times of High Anxiety
The only meditation that works for me is that of a Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, or Thay, as he was known endearingly. He taught me to breathe and this is the only natural way I know to calm down. He has changed my life in my short time with him. I found him on the day he died. And now I breathe with him every day, sometimes more.
Here is his story if you are interested.
Take 15 minutes and listen and let him guide you in taking a breath and calming down. You WILL find peace.
as the crow flies
From my friend, Tiramit, over at Dhamma Footsteps… pure poetry…
POSTCARD #211: Delhi/Bangkok flight: I arrived at the place and couldn’t remember how exactly I came to be there except for the journey returning to me in flashes; scanned by X-ray machines, identified, processed, held in aircraft cabin pressure for 4 hours… then look out the window and see small green rice fields with water everywhere; 1800 miles southeast on the Asia map as the crow flies.
Placed on the ground and I have to get my things quickly, put together the parts of who I think I am in this new context of a day I missed the beginning of, and things out there are just happening anyway. Extraordinary, even so – catching up on the rebound, the momentum of the journey, the sense of something recharged, action endowed with purpose because I’ve arrived in what remains of a day that belongs to other people, those who have…
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The Benefits of a Nervous Breakdown
Below is an excerpt from my book, “Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things.” In this section of my book I am describing to my therapist a theory I had researched in grad school before my psychotic break with reality at age 28, long before I was to start my life over from scratch as a conceptually-challenged yet more feeling person. Breakdowns can destroy cognitive functioning. It did for me. While I was never ever good at conceptual thinking, the breakdown has made it virtually impossible to understand even the most basic concepts. Despite being on medications for Bipolar Disorder, my mind simply does not work as it once did. This is often humiliating and frustrating though I am mostly okay with it.
Yet, in the past few months, I found Mooji and am following his path– something I thought I would never do because Buddhism was so “beyond” me. And I find myself following many Buddhist blogs. Many times reading such posts and poetry sail way above my comprehension. But this, too, is good. It is humbling and it deprives the ego of its food supply, which according to Mooji, is good. A “chop” at the ego-self is needed over and over again in order to be in the Presence. But the mind still yearns to understand.
For what it is worth here is the excerpt from a therapy session in which I describe my “theory” to my therapist. What is synchronicitous is that the theory sounds somewhat Buddhist in nature. It opens with me talking to my therapist, or rather, reading from my notebook, because I found it difficult to talk at times.
“Alpha = life in utero. Birth = the end of life in utero— death of a sort, a seeming death. Birth is entering the world of light— Reality.
“Reality is too much. People need to escape— to regress. Therefore, the mind goes into altered states of consciousness.” I look up and stop reading and explain. “I studied this when I was in graduate school. I hit upon the literature of altered states of consciousness while I was in a Psych class doing a research paper on creativity and I became obsessed with the topic. I nearly had a breakdown then because I wasn’t eating or sleeping or going to classes. All I was doing was this research and writing. A friend in the dorm used to make sure I ate something. But all that time I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall. The material was difficult and I was afraid I was really going off the deep end and writing far out stuff. But in the end the professor gave me an A+ on the paper…”
“Anyhow,” I say as I start to read from my notebook again, “many altered states of consciousness have been found to coincide with the production of alpha brain wave patterns.” I stop reading again and say, “I know this first hand because I did biofeedback once and the feeling you get when you’re producing alpha waves is the same as the one you get in mystical experiences and meditation. Altered states of consciousness typically occur under conditions of sensory deprivation or sensory overload because overloading the system shuts it down, so in effect it becomes a condition of sensory deprivation. The first experience of sensory deprivation occurs in the womb. The ultimate form of sensory deprivation is death. Death is a return to the womb. The womb of the earth. Therefore, Alpha = Omega.”
So there it is in a nutshell. The book is mainly an emotional chronicle of relationships, and finding love, despite being very handicapped by Bipolar Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome and OCD. If you would like to purchase it for $2.95 please click on the link below:
seeing you in others…
Look at Little Black and Little White, How strong is their brotherhood! May you give unconditional love to all living beings!
Do you spend time to chat with your parent?
If you are working and stay with your parent, most probably you might see them in the morning and evening.
If you are working and not to stay with your parent, most probably you can see your parent during weekend or long holiday.
Imagine, how lonely they are.
Every night, I’ll do my best to spend time to talk to my parent.
We are glad to have our 2 little Bodhisattva cats at home to accompany our parent while we are working.
Little black, the little kitten brought back by Little White, he is with us since young, we train him to be indoor cat.
Everyday, when we are home, mum will definitely share with us on what is happening…
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September sunlight dances on drying leaves, sparkling like diamonds against a flowing stream, an azure sky. The plants of summer are dying. Flowers that have given such joy all summer long are now spurned by us as they shrivel into the paradoxical beauty of old age. The sun burns lightly on summer-drenched skin as clouds intrude intermittently into the almost- Autumn interlude– a gentle foretaste of the cold to come. The last butterflies of summer flit among the blossoming Goldenrod and browning Joe Pie Weed.
The beauty of Fall is the beauty of a dying season. It is the season of death– an alternative to the dew-like bloom of youth in Spring.
When I was very young, I felt death in nature. I could feel what it must feel like to be a tree or a flower—to just “be”—the Buddhist dictum which I cannot now master. In my late twenties, my mind broke into smithereens like shattered glass, and I had a choice to make between going on psych meds or going to hospital. I chose the former and have lived some 40 years more with that choice. I will not say it was a happy choice, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, because I have become driven into a fury of manic activity and self-seeking in stark contrast to the just “being” of my early youth. The psych meds have dispelled my “egolessness” which, in turn, makes me more able to “function”– at a price. For I no longer feel the waves of peace lapping at the shores of my mind and my religious feelings have, comparatively speaking, shriveled up like the summer flowers in the Fall. “It’s always a trade-off” I am told over and over again. My doc told me once that I am one of the lucky ones because for some people the meds don’t work at all. That shut me up and those words periodically pump gratitude into my system. I have remained med-compliant mainly because the meds have kept me out of hospital, DO allow me to function, and, most importantly, I have discovered that being able to function means allowing me to love.
And although more self-seeking, paradoxically this med-induced functionality allows me to give back to the world. My gift is to describe the “just- being” in nature that was imprinted indelibly on my mind when I was young. Death seemed beautiful to me then, a state of simply being at one with the soul of nature. Now I confess to a fear of dying, rather than a fear of death, but most of all, a fear of loss of the love of my life. For we are in the September of our lives and all is intensified now that we are more aware of our finiteness. Truth be told this was always potentially the case, but we lived, like most youth, in the inevitable delusion of immortality.
So I function now at the cost of loss of my revered altered states of consciousness. Perhaps I am in September mind, channeling words and images of the beauty of nature that flooded me long ago are a mere trickle now, as my time to “just be,” once more for this time round, approaches.
Jack Kornfield reads a poem on the finiteness of life while talking about meditation practice (3:26 min.)
“Living with Fear”
For whatever reason these days are days of high anxiety for me, nervousness to the point of tears. Meditations are “noisy” with all thoughts and negative ones in particular. To deal with this I share with you a helpful 9:06 minute webcast on fear and love with Jack Kornfield and Catherine Ingram.