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Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

Posted by Nancy S. on 3/31/00 at 00:00 (018084)

I guess if I knew, John, I wouldn't be floundering about all over the board this week, exposing my own not-in-control mind. BUT I highly recommend Tibetan Buddhist meditation. I once gained some good control that way, when dealing with a very scary melanoma. My husband has done it for many years, and his mind looks good most days. (Don't tell him I didn't say 'every day.')
If meditation doesn't work, you can always try wrestling your mind out of your body and stapling it sturdy to the wall.
I must say, the yeast-killing diet has helped my mind.
In any case, John, remember that many head cases are bright and sensitive people, so try not to be repulsed by yourself if you are one of them.
--Nancy

Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

john h on 3/31/00 at 00:00 (018093)

true story: i spent two years in thailand. i once went on a visit (sort of scary) to a very remote temple on the side of a mountain on the border between thailand and laos. there were a number of caves in this jungle/mountainous area where people including some americans came to live and meditate all by themselves for an entire year. the buddhaist monks brought them food otherwise they spoke to no one. talk about getting in touch with yourself? on my trek up there i was concerned about being abducted by bad guys or bad girls.

Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

alan k on 3/31/00 at 00:00 (018098)

I did all that and was even a monk in Thailand. As you can see, I am like Nancy's husband in that it doesn't work everyday. But it does work most days.

I still feel that pf has been just as good for my mind as all the forest dwelling meditation I did in Thailand all those years.


alan k


Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

Nancy S. on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018107)

Alan -- I can see a few good things that the PF has brought, such as not taking certain things for granted and discovering more empathy for people with chronic conditions. How do you mean that PF has been better for your mind than all that meditation? Do you mean in terms of analysis and discipline and endurance in the face of adversity? Or something else? This is important to me -- I want to be able to look back at it at some point and see enough good that came from it that I don't waste time and energy regretting it and feeling that something was taken from me. I'm interested in what makes you say this now.
--Nancy

Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

alan k on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018113)

Nancy,

In fact there is no way to control the mind. Meditation of any form is just temporarily altering of the focus and this contributes temporary (but not instantaneously vanishing) peace and stability. Meditation alone can't do anything to help you in a real and lasting sense, at least in Buddhism, whether it's Thai or Tibetan. But meditation can help you concentrate on what can help you and that is realizing that everything passes away and is not-self. 'My' feet are not me and are no different than a clump of sand that breaks apart as the snow melts on a hill. But we feel differently about it. We don't want it to be that way. We want things to be different than the way they really are.

That's not a very good recipe for happiness! How can we hope to be happy by wanting things to be different than the way they really are? By definition that is a project that is bound for failure.

Buddhist nuns and monks in the forests and caves of Thailand meditate on their bodies, visualising the inner organs, blood, snot, innards, etc. because we suffer under the illusion that this is not what our bodies really are. By facing up to the facts it turns out not to be as disturbing as it seems when you try to turn your face away. I got a lot of help out of being one of those monks and facing these things, but pf has been just as good for that. We have to learn and practice how to be happy with the way things really are rather than trying to be happy by wanting the world to be different than its nature.

You need something to practice with. It's very difficult just to think about it in the abstract and get anything out of it. Pf is a good tool and it has helped me as much as anything I can remember.

The way to last ing happiness is to let go, and understand what letting go really means. It does not mean giving up-- that's just an escape from problems because you can't stand dealing with them. Letting go means dealing with problems and seeing problems but realizing that the results of your actions are not under your control but will follow the will of nature. Act and watch what happens. Make adjustments and act again. Practice this for the sake of practicing this, not for the sake of wanting to turn life into something it isn't.

This could be applied of course to healing your foot in specific as well as life in general.

alan k


Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

dfeet on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018121)

Alank, Nancy, believe it or not I have a similar take on things(even with a web name of dfeet!)(although I never until now realized the double meaning- how observant)But, seriously, I truly believe the mind can alter many things even if they are simply 'attitude adjustments' to cope. We must not give up. It is not a fight we are in , but I like to think of it as an adventure.

'Softness triumphs ove hardness, feebleness over strength.What is more malleable is always superior over that which is immoveable. This is the principle of controlling things by going along with them, of mastery through adaptation.' Lao- Tzu Thanks for the perspective check.


Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

Nancy S. on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018126)

Alan. So true, everything you wrote. It is a perspective that I lost to depression this winter. I have been trying very hard to come out of it, am beginning to feel I'm getting somewhere, and your little treatise here propels me forward -- to the moment, I should say. I did find when I meditated regularly (for about a year and a half) that the practice helped me in the letting go you write of; it didn't bring me peace so much as the will and ability to let go of thoughts and wishes that would doom me to staying stuck in fear and wishing things would be different.
I think you're right that PF is an excellent practice tool. I will use it, and thanks. --Nancy

Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

john h on 3/31/00 at 00:00 (018093)

true story: i spent two years in thailand. i once went on a visit (sort of scary) to a very remote temple on the side of a mountain on the border between thailand and laos. there were a number of caves in this jungle/mountainous area where people including some americans came to live and meditate all by themselves for an entire year. the buddhaist monks brought them food otherwise they spoke to no one. talk about getting in touch with yourself? on my trek up there i was concerned about being abducted by bad guys or bad girls.

Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

alan k on 3/31/00 at 00:00 (018098)

I did all that and was even a monk in Thailand. As you can see, I am like Nancy's husband in that it doesn't work everyday. But it does work most days.

I still feel that pf has been just as good for my mind as all the forest dwelling meditation I did in Thailand all those years.


alan k


Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

Nancy S. on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018107)

Alan -- I can see a few good things that the PF has brought, such as not taking certain things for granted and discovering more empathy for people with chronic conditions. How do you mean that PF has been better for your mind than all that meditation? Do you mean in terms of analysis and discipline and endurance in the face of adversity? Or something else? This is important to me -- I want to be able to look back at it at some point and see enough good that came from it that I don't waste time and energy regretting it and feeling that something was taken from me. I'm interested in what makes you say this now.
--Nancy

Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

alan k on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018113)

Nancy,

In fact there is no way to control the mind. Meditation of any form is just temporarily altering of the focus and this contributes temporary (but not instantaneously vanishing) peace and stability. Meditation alone can't do anything to help you in a real and lasting sense, at least in Buddhism, whether it's Thai or Tibetan. But meditation can help you concentrate on what can help you and that is realizing that everything passes away and is not-self. 'My' feet are not me and are no different than a clump of sand that breaks apart as the snow melts on a hill. But we feel differently about it. We don't want it to be that way. We want things to be different than the way they really are.

That's not a very good recipe for happiness! How can we hope to be happy by wanting things to be different than the way they really are? By definition that is a project that is bound for failure.

Buddhist nuns and monks in the forests and caves of Thailand meditate on their bodies, visualising the inner organs, blood, snot, innards, etc. because we suffer under the illusion that this is not what our bodies really are. By facing up to the facts it turns out not to be as disturbing as it seems when you try to turn your face away. I got a lot of help out of being one of those monks and facing these things, but pf has been just as good for that. We have to learn and practice how to be happy with the way things really are rather than trying to be happy by wanting the world to be different than its nature.

You need something to practice with. It's very difficult just to think about it in the abstract and get anything out of it. Pf is a good tool and it has helped me as much as anything I can remember.

The way to last ing happiness is to let go, and understand what letting go really means. It does not mean giving up-- that's just an escape from problems because you can't stand dealing with them. Letting go means dealing with problems and seeing problems but realizing that the results of your actions are not under your control but will follow the will of nature. Act and watch what happens. Make adjustments and act again. Practice this for the sake of practicing this, not for the sake of wanting to turn life into something it isn't.

This could be applied of course to healing your foot in specific as well as life in general.

alan k


Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

dfeet on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018121)

Alank, Nancy, believe it or not I have a similar take on things(even with a web name of dfeet!)(although I never until now realized the double meaning- how observant)But, seriously, I truly believe the mind can alter many things even if they are simply 'attitude adjustments' to cope. We must not give up. It is not a fight we are in , but I like to think of it as an adventure.

'Softness triumphs ove hardness, feebleness over strength.What is more malleable is always superior over that which is immoveable. This is the principle of controlling things by going along with them, of mastery through adaptation.' Lao- Tzu Thanks for the perspective check.


Re: why? -- getting control of the mind

Nancy S. on 4/01/00 at 00:00 (018126)

Alan. So true, everything you wrote. It is a perspective that I lost to depression this winter. I have been trying very hard to come out of it, am beginning to feel I'm getting somewhere, and your little treatise here propels me forward -- to the moment, I should say. I did find when I meditated regularly (for about a year and a half) that the practice helped me in the letting go you write of; it didn't bring me peace so much as the will and ability to let go of thoughts and wishes that would doom me to staying stuck in fear and wishing things would be different.
I think you're right that PF is an excellent practice tool. I will use it, and thanks. --Nancy