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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nothing more than a mass.... Quote

‎"DGR: Nichts weiter als eine Menge... Zitat

Der Mensch ist nichts weiter als eine Menge von Wahrnehmungen.
Wahrnehmung ist Bewusstsein, Bewusstsein ist Geist.
Die feinen inneren Geistesebenen entwickelter Wesen unterhalten verschiedene Beziehungen zur Wirklichkeit ohne verwirrt zu sein."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Chemistry of Change part three

Meditators have a unique opportunity to observe themselves change from a subjective viewpoint. Interesting feelings are happening in the body and mind while the brain becomes rewired for new ways of receiving inner data both during and after minor and major changes. During the experience of transmutation, hormonal activity could be either newly stimulated or brain hormonal activity that was there could become suppressed. This does not mean it always happens this way, but there is a very strong possibility that there is new hormonal activity associated with that processing center, the brain … I am not talking about the mind folks... This is about the processing center that is built for the mind to direct activity that results in causing you to, for example, move an arm or have an idea. This is not the mind. The mind stimulates activity in the brain and part of that process is the hormonal system that activates cascades of chemicals.

Now, within the cells of the body, the cellular processes need to become accustomed to a stable system, even though that stable system might be harmful to the life of person. Cells are not like wild cowboys and Indians running around with a special motivation to hurt us. This is an automatic process. They seek a stable process, even though that might be something that causes disease. Cancer is a stable system, for example. Cancer is not something that comes down like a bolt of lightning on you to deliberately hurt you. It is the reaction of your body in a flux of manifestation of emanation in a certain progression seeking stabilization and it readjusts into a form such as cancer. In that way, it might potentially adapt or hijack hormonal activity already stimulated by mental activity such as anger or stress by recreating intake sites as well as reducing other beneficial receptor sites. So, your cells adapt to higher levels of hormone or different cocktail mixtures of hormones by literally changing its configuration in order to be able to remain alive.

This is not the brain under the beneficial changes we are talking about as a meditator. This is something that could be happening gradually in ordinary life - changing the hormonal receptors at the cellular level and becoming further sensitized and needy, continue to change how the system processes nutrients and produces chemical compounds for use in physiological organization. Eventually its stable system might become one that we do not want.

During times of change, such as strong meditation activity that changes your perceptions, you might experience hormonal surges or absence. This is what is happening in your brain due to reconfiguration of neural pathways. Due to hormonal stimulation, it is common among meditators that they forget how to sleep for a while. I know this has happened to many of you, somehow sleep just does not come. On the other hand, there could be not only hormonal surges, but also hormonal absences. Which one would account for sleeplessness is not important here. However, some people during times of change and due to the complexity and vigor of inner activities, find that they are very sleepy indeed. There are even some meditators, during times of strong meditations and change, find that one day they are very awake and the next day they cannot stay awake. They are like this and like that – alert and then suddenly….

Hormonal surges can also be related to bursts of mental activity in receptivity to inner learning, like this - brrrrooomm - like a speedboat. On the other hand, sometimes you cannot think at all. Changes are going on in your brain as if it was being rewired to carry more energy. This is due to your own energetic perceptual wishes in the form of prayer to become purified and capable. You are requesting to transform into another kind of being, an enlightened being. These are not unusual. There might also be times when you feel great rushes of energy coming from the top of your head to your heart…or from the feet to the navel, or…. You feel like a fountain of energy, so much that it could be difficult to tolerate sometimes. These changes are most often noted in students of higher lamas that receive blessings that activate change.

Many meditators - this also has to do with hormonal activity, we would describe it in other ways in the Tibetan system, but I am happy to do it this way here - describe experiences of euphoria. Certainly, the euphoria is happening in your mind and coming from inside somewhere that is not a physical location, but it is also happening in your brain and your body and your memory of the experiences. This euphoria is hormonal or chemical stimulation from the mind to the body and gross mind that directs the brain activity. Some might have experiences of strange feelings that they might only be able to describe as funny, strange, or odd. They might also describe it as calm. This is what is experienced in consciousness because the brain is receiving hormones caused by transformation in meditation or by a natural awakening for some, even without meditation.

As the brain-processing center and glandular system stabilize into a new form, hormonal swings become less. Your body is then beginning to stabilize into a steady flow of the new chemical mixture of hormones. For experienced meditators, as soon as that system stabilizes, another one begins because there is just not enough time to do all of the inner changes that need to be done! Otherwise, you are going to reach the end of your life before the changes are made! However, not every meditator experiences this.

I share this with you with cautions because if you lack reliance on authentic Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the three jewels, and struggle against the natural changes in development it may harm your future progress. We make strong effort to never apply negative perceptions to change such as “I feel so weird. This is so bad and weird” when actually it is not! It is not bad or weird, but a normal part of the preparation for transformation. If we apply negative perceptions to our experiences that are occurring and fight them we will stop the needed changed we prayed so hard to happen. To be continued…

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chemistry of Change (part two)

There are many sensations occurring in the body and mind of meditators that are unexplainable by medical or psychological science. When these are happening to a new meditator already confused about whether they are doing it correctly, every sensation seems to indicate that there is something wrong. Many meditators become excessively concerned and actually create physical or mental issues where none exist by the inadvertent misuse of the power of sacred energies awakening in meditation. That is why it is very important to maintain a happy and auspicious outlook as old habits are being dismantled in meditation practice and those energies that have been stuck in poor dynamics are being freed. I hope that what is discussed here will help you understand that these are fairly normal indications of changes.

Meditators might have feelings and changes of physical flexibility. We may feel that there is a lot of energy causing stiffness in the shoulders and neck. Perhaps before, the head turned easily and now it feels like the bodily energy is denser there and even to the point where turning the head quickly causes dizziness. These are actually rather usual signs during times of inner change and will eventually stabilize and not cause that sensation.

If these sensations and those described in the previous column seem unusual then what about meditators who have been able to fly in their physical bodies. This is definitely a change in their physical. In Tibet, it happened. Some meditators were able to walk through walls in their ordinary body. There are of course, meditational experiences and lucid dreams of flying or moving through seemingly solid barriers that are good signs of inner flexibility and lack of constraint. I present this so you understand that all the way from a feeling as if you want to rock back and forth during meditation or mantra recitation, to the ability to fly in a physical body, are part of a spectrum of physical manifestations of inner changes and realignment.

The physical body is part of the spectrum of the mind – oh, excuse me, part of the spectrum of the vibrational location of the mind in manifestation. This means that you are here in the human realm with a human consciousness. This human consciousness has a location connected to the physical body of your present manifestation. If I make it too simple, then you are not going to notice carefully. If I make it too complicated, you will not understand. So I hope I hit it right in the middle there. The body is within the spectrum location not just of the mind, but also of inner subtle minds. In the location called the physical body, interesting effects can occur when transformations of the emanation process are readjusting to new parameters in preparation for further change.

Now, this is very interesting, the next level of inquiry – what happens to your brain, the processing center before change? Before change, there is preparation activity that is much like ordinary stress. This is where many beginning meditators become discouraged with meditation and feeling unpeaceful, give up.

Because the actual changes to the enlightened state are so distant from ordinary mind, the resistance to change is reduced gradually with steady daily meditation. Practice is also done with increasing motivation to benefit all sentient beings in order to stop looking at yourself so you do not increase energies that need to be subdued or calmed in order for the correct dynamics to arise. Excessive concern with body and mind increase this “
looking at oneself” and can cause problems. The loong or lung (wind disorder) is associated with this and is a common mental disorder of improper meditation that causes confusion, spinning in the mind and other disorders to arise. Inner activity is stimulated by initiation and blessings of authentic guide who knows the correct configurations by having returned to show the way and is moving energies into alignment with that higher reality.

Ordinary mind continues to grasp poor strategies and without altruistic motivation and reliance on the higher valuation, the Buddha, dharma, and sangha, there is stress and struggle to maintain the dysfunctional state. The preparation for rewiring feels like stress of your usual kind. That means some will feel angry, others jumpy and so forth. This is why relaxation, mantra, and practice will steady the mind in combination with a close and trusting relationship with a mentor or close spiritual friends. To be continued…

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chemistry of Change (part one)

We would not be pursuing spiritual subjects or meditation practice unless we wanted to change. Today we begin the topic of what it feels in the body and mind when we are changing inside. This is not just signs of inner spiritual development, as though we were becoming holier every day. The physical and mental changes produce practical and important influence on other areas of life. How we are changing our perceptions by meditation and living by Buddhist principles, changing our minds about what is truth, and seeking reality bears on what kind of career we choose and what kind of relationships we desire to have with others.

Spiritual inner change has effects in the physical body, brain, and mental functions that are energetic, chemical, and emotional. In Tibet, we did not discuss change in this way because we have a medical system that explains disease or mental difficulties as imbalances of the three humors and how that affects the mind and body. It also describes how meditation can affect the humors and how to correct them in a number of organic natural methods including herbal medicines, prayer, and even traveling to a different environment to stabilize and balance a return to health. However, in the West the educational system is different with many areas of valuable knowledge unknown in Tibet. The dynamics of physiological systems often require surgical or chemical intervention to stabilize and so the vocabulary of illness and wellness is understood in a different way in the West.

Therefore, with those differences in mind, I was curious to think about and explain what happens in the physical body during times of strong inner change. Isn’t that an interesting topic? The physical body is not very much emphasized in meditation process or covered in Tibetan Buddhist scriptures or commentaries. Yet, for anyone beginning meditation, in the orient or in the west, it seems like it is the most important issue of what is happening in meditation.

Meditators will definitely experience physical sensations. Now, this does not mean that you have to have them at all to be a real meditator. So let’s not try to induce them mechanically as a spiritual sign when they are not there because of a craving for spiritual sensations.

These are manifestations of the inner yogas. These are the inner processes and they will produce certain effects in your physical body – often as a feeling of movement, especially receiving blessing, initiation, or even being in the presence of an accomplished lama.

One of the most common experiences Tibetan meditators have is a sensation that it feels good to rock. In a way, it feels that you are doing the rocking motion but in a way, you are not doing because of the rhythm of prayer. A certain feeling begins and you might feel that rocking is more comfortable than sitting straight. To not move would be uncomfortable. It gives a very rhythmic movement, especially during mantra recitation that has a stabilizing and calming effect on body and mind. However, you also might have feelings of movement happening any place in your body, and feel energy moving. This is not bad, it is not good, and it simply is what it is as the inner nervous system becoming more active or activated.

Some meditators will have tingling sensations in the hands and feet or feeling that a part of the body such as hands, feet or legs are asleep. You might lose your appetite and not feel hungry, especially after meditation. Very often, during times of inner change, meditators do not feel hungry at all and need to make sure to eat properly and at the correct times and other meditators might feel very unusually hungry.

Other changes noted during strong meditation retreats or periods of strong inner activity are a change in food choices. In the ancient literature, it is said that during times of inner change, the serious meditator becomes aware or hyper alert in the senses which I have personally noticed as well. Perhaps you eat dill pickles often but you bite into a dill pickle and it tastes awful! A usual change in food choices might be to avoid or eliminate sour or bitter foods.

You might have the experience of feeling very heavy in your body either during or just after meditation. Perhaps you feel shorter or taller than usual, but this is due to changes in inner perception and not a cause for alarm or a visit to the doctor. The physical body might feel unusually grounded and solid or you could have a sensation of being very light. Often people feel light with an accompanying sense of well-being and freedom, but it could be either one and you are OK. Anyway, your body feels different. Okay, we do not need be concerned at this point to figure out what is wrong with us when there is transformation and inner change manifesting in the body on the outside. “I feel very light. I had better go to the doctor and have them run tests on me. I am no longer attracted to dill pickles and previously I ate them daily. I think I need to be checked out.” In Tibet, we did not have such an easy access to medical care so this was a non-issue for meditators. To be continued…