A hypothesis

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michaeljc
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A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:46 am

A person very dear to me started to have strange boughts of sudden mood and behaviour change about 4 years ago. Doctors diagnosed PTSD. I was not satisfied and embarked on a long journey of research that is still progressing.

From the beginning I was asking “Should she not be checked physically?”. I only met resistance. 2 years later I had personally put the chances of her having “partial epileptic seizures” at 80%.

I came to the seizure conclusion through researching brain tumors. They are highly corelated. There was then a chance that my dear one had a lesion (tumors are a type of lesion). We paid for a private neurology consultation. I was putting the odds of a lesion at 30%. Two weeks later the MRI showed a lesion on the cerebellum. One month ago EEG confirmed seizures.

But, my enhanced knowledge on seizures got me thinking:

A: We can all have them some time in life

B: They can impose a myriad of physical and phycological impressions on the affected

C: They can be induced by extreme conditions or practices

I am not going to elaborate tonight but think for a moment about what we put ourselves through on the cushion, particularly during sesshin. Also consider the classic Zen posture. I am one that considers that spine posture is very important – the legs not so much. Why is it important?

I am going to discuss examples at a later date

You now know what I am coming at, right?

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05- ... 20epilepsy.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 131158.htm

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:55 pm

Some abnormal medical or psychiatric conditions need not have purely negative effects, and may have positive effects in someone's life. I am thinking, for example, of someone who "hears voices" or "feels a presence" such as due to schizophrenia. In some cases, you may end up with a homeless individual unable to function. However, you might also end up more with someone such as Joan of Ark, whose case might also be due to epilepsy.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/history ... psy-020929

A dissociative identity disorder can leave someone non-functioning or, in other cases, result in someone who is highly functioning and interprets the state as some kind of "witnessing" or "out of body" experience.

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALe ... CA0&uact=5

Some religious figures, such a Nichiren, may have been inspired by a kind of mania or narcissism which led them to amazing achievements.

So, it is quite possible that aspects of spiritual experience derive from Zen and other Buddhist practice stimulating epilepsy and other such conditions.

I am not a doctor, however, so I merely speculate. Books such as "Zen and the Brain" have a lot of material on this however.

Gassho, J

STLah

p22
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by p22 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:35 pm

Michael, I don't understand why the brain isn't the first place the medical community looks for such disruptions/disorders but they just don't-

I do know it's very kind of you to have taken such an interest in her wellbeing-

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bod ... _the_Score

https://books.google.com/books/about/Th ... ead_button

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:08 am

I should have added all Metta and hopes for recovery for your loved one.

avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:24 am

michaeljc wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:46 am
A person very dear to me started to have strange boughts of sudden mood and behaviour change about 4 years ago. Doctors diagnosed PTSD. I was not satisfied and embarked on a long journey of research that is still progressing.
I am sorry for your troubles
And wish your loved one gets better

My father had a stroke
It paralyzed his right side and reduced cognitive ability
He doesn't show signs of dementia
But, he is not the same person.
Months of rehab restored a little functioning on his right side.
He does not have the ability to take care of himself
Insurance for rehab and nursing care ended
And my younger brother took him home.
It will be a struggle.

What one does while just sitting, is no where near the same as a stroke or lesion on the brain.
But, does not mean what stress we put our bodies through won't have its effects.
Life means change. And sometimes it means for the worse.
I don't wish it upon anyone. But, we live and try to adjust the life we are given.
Please enjoy your life.

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:13 am

There is always a study ...

Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients
Twice-a-day Transcendental Meditation helped African Americans with heart disease reduce risk of death, heart attack and stroke. Meditation helped patients lower their blood pressure, stress and anger compared with patients who attended a health education class. Regular Transcendental Meditation may improve long-term heart health.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 161504.htm


Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction
A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association

Studies of meditation to date suggest a possible, though not definitively established, benefit of meditation on cardiovascular risk reduction. A 2008 review of >400 trials of meditation and health care rated the methodological quality of clinical trials as poor, but noted that the quality of these trials had significantly improved over time.... However, considering the generally low costs and risks associated with meditation, meditation may be considered as a reasonable adjunct to guideline‐directed cardiovascular risk reduction by those so interested in this lifestyle modification, with the understanding that the benefits of such intervention remain to be better established.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721815/

Gassho, J

Turtle Clan
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by Turtle Clan » Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:46 pm

michaeljc wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:46 am
You now know what I am coming at, right?
Shikantaza is not a religious experience.
Or, is it?

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Crystal
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by Crystal » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:12 pm

So sorry to hear about your friend, michaeljc.

Sending metta for you both,

Crystal. _/|\_

.

michaeljc
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:43 am

Turtle Clan wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:46 pm
michaeljc wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:46 am
You now know what I am coming at, right?
Shikantaza is not a religious experience.
Or, is it?
Hi Turtle
That is exactly what I will discuss shortly
Cheers
M

michaeljc
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:25 pm

People, get ready to rumble

I have no time right now but in due course I will be provocative. The theme will be that you's all are just activating neurological functions through your practice. Your "ground breaking" experiences are nothing but personal perceptions and cannot be held up as universal. transferable examples of your "progress" according to the Zen literature.

The practice is only about posture and time on the cushion which has markedly different effects on different persons.

Cheers

M

avisitor
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by avisitor » Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:45 am

michaeljc wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:25 pm
The practice is only about posture and time on the cushion which has markedly different effects on different persons.
The effects are the same. Change.
However, like two persons looking through eyes,
They may see the same things but notice different things
It is a matter of perception.

Turtle Clan
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by Turtle Clan » Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:00 pm

michaeljc wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:25 pm
The theme will be that you's all are just activating neurological functions through your practice.
The depth and scope of sentient neurological functions has barely been touched upon. We humans largely remain in the dark concerning the nature of dreams for example.
michaeljc wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:25 pm
Your "ground breaking" experiences are nothing but personal perceptions and cannot be held up as universal. transferable examples of your "progress" according to the Zen literature.
Every moment of being is a ground breaking experience and so progress is not an issue. Yes this is a personal perception and I have no problem with that. Whether or not personal perceptions of a particular kind can be held up as universal (we all have them) or not is not relevant to what I call practice (perhaps it should be). It seems logical to me that they could be universal. We are all working from the same neurological rule book.

Transferable? Not sure what you mean. As in teachings?
michaeljc wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:25 pm
The practice is only about posture and time on the cushion which has markedly different effects on different persons.
Don’t we all go through more or less the same trajectory?

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Crystal
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by Crystal » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:32 am

michaeljc wrote:Your "ground breaking" experiences are nothing but personal perceptions and cannot be held up as universal. transferable examples of your "progress" according to the Zen literature.
Does expounding theories of this and that, or trying to fit in with standards from literature even matter if one's practice helps to expand one's awareness and improve one's quality of life?

.

Turtle Clan
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by Turtle Clan » Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:58 pm

Crystal wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:32 am

Does expounding theories of this and that, or trying to fit in with standards from literature even matter if one's practice helps to expand one's awareness and improve one's quality of life?

.
Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
One (expounding and trying to fit) need not preclude the other (expanding and improving).
How one approaches and arrives at understanding and right view is personal and unique, I think.

p22
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by p22 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:10 pm

Or .. The ground break is temporary, having no inherent quality, therefore, in no condition to be equally distributed- But if clung to possibly begin to stink?

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Crystal
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by Crystal » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:31 pm

p22 wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:10 pm
But if clung to possibly begin to stink?
Following along from the above comment I came across this video "The Stink of Zen".


[youtube]DZdsX0AcEv8&ab_channel=JasonGregory[/youtube]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZdsX0A ... sonGregory


[youtube]DZdsX0AcEv8&ab[/youtube]

So sorry, I've forgotten how to post videos here. :103:

Byeee....



.

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jundocohen
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by jundocohen » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:59 am

michaeljc wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:25 pm
People, get ready to rumble

I have no time right now but in due course I will be provocative. The theme will be that you's all are just activating neurological functions through your practice. Your "ground breaking" experiences are nothing but personal perceptions and cannot be held up as universal. transferable examples of your "progress" according to the Zen literature.

The practice is only about posture and time on the cushion which has markedly different effects on different persons.

Cheers

M
I look forward to hearing Michael's hypothesis. For now, I do not find as surprising at all the first statement (that, even in "ground breaking" experiences such as Kensho dropping away of the "self/other" barriers, mystical experiences and such, that it is " just activating neurological functions through ... practice.") That is pretty easy to accept for many of us, namely, that any experience ... even an experience where small "self" seems to drop away, is just a change in the brain's modeling of how we experience reality, it's usual border drawing between the subject and objects, etc. We are always just experiencing a model of reality between the ears.

On the other hand, we can still assert that it is a "universal" experience, in the sense that it is a "real" experience (we are really personally experiencing the experience felt in that moment), the experience may bear some real insight into how the universe actually functions (e.g., the dropping of the self/other divide tells us something true about how this universe actually works, much as the experience of gravity's tug ... equally an experience between the ears ... seems to tell us something about how the world actually works), and the momentary experience might be posited to hold the whole universe (like the old image of the sailor who, tasting a single drop of brine on his fingertip might be said to taste the whole ocean).

But I wander too far afield before hearing what is Michael's actual hypothesis.

As I recently wrote, I think we give too much weight to posture as some magic mechanism, rather than merely a balanced, stable and comfortable way to sit which allows Zazen to happen. Michael may mean that posture activates some neurological effects which lead to such experiences, and I tend to reject that apart from noting that nice and comfortable posture is a helpful factor to fruitful sitting.

Zen as Embodiment (1) - Posture Misunderstood
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=826

Gassho, J

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desertwoodworker
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Re: A hypothesis

Post by desertwoodworker » Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:15 am

Michael, legs are important.

Maybe no one but bona fide Zen practitioners (and there are lots of different kinds!) can have come to discover this. Best to them!

Yours very truly,

--Joe
michaeljc wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:46 am
A person very dear to me started to have strange boughts of sudden mood and behaviour change about 4 years ago. Doctors diagnosed PTSD. I was not satisfied and embarked on a long journey of research that is still progressing.

From the beginning I was asking “Should she not be checked physically?”. I only met resistance. 2 years later I had personally put the chances of her having “partial epileptic seizures” at 80%.

I came to the seizure conclusion through researching brain tumors. They are highly corelated. There was then a chance that my dear one had a lesion (tumors are a type of lesion). We paid for a private neurology consultation. I was putting the odds of a lesion at 30%. Two weeks later the MRI showed a lesion on the cerebellum. One month ago EEG confirmed seizures.

But, my enhanced knowledge on seizures got me thinking:

A: We can all have them some time in life

B: They can impose a myriad of physical and phycological impressions on the affected

C: They can be induced by extreme conditions or practices

I am not going to elaborate tonight but think for a moment about what we put ourselves through on the cushion, particularly during sesshin. Also consider the classic Zen posture. I am one that considers that spine posture is very important – the legs not so much. Why is it important?

I am going to discuss examples at a later date

You now know what I am coming at, right?

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05- ... 20epilepsy.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 131158.htm

michaeljc
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:33 am

Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:46 am

I will be presenting case studies, starting with Hakuin. If you are not familiar with Wild Ivy, please read again

None of you will be spared :D

Get ready to rumble. Already, dogmatic defenses has arisen

Your minds are playing tricks. That's the hypothesis

Cheers

M

michaeljc
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:33 am

Re: A hypothesis

Post by michaeljc » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:35 am

A generalised observation:

Many women 'get it' (understand)

Many men don't

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