How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Roland » Fri May 02, 2014 8:57 pm

I'm not sure what you are saying...

I don't experience any resentment and very rarely experience anger.
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby odysseus » Sat May 03, 2014 7:15 am

An open heart in hell is not very advisable, it will hurt.
Only love can stop hate, apply it smartly.
And no compassion with evil, pacify it with your wisdom and then smack daddy (Mara).

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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Roland » Sat May 03, 2014 4:27 pm

No hate felt here :)

My theory is that the purpose of keeping the heart open in situations of intense suffering, preventing it from closing off, is a good idea because sometimes when the heart closes it can be very difficult to open it back up. Of course it will be painful, but there is pain anyways. If I can keep the heart open and continue to feel love, but at the same time still experience the suffering fully without suppressing or pushing it away, I will perhaps not be overwhelmed by the fear and anxiety at the moment of violent suffering. Love can be a cushion or sponge for the fear and practice can continue even in those very difficult times. In this way there can be a balance - I can continue to feel love but also not push away the experience of fear and simultaneously not be overwhelmed by it - or, at the very least, not be caught in a chain of self perpetuating reactions to the fear, making it worse and longer lasting. Or! Perhaps love will simply eat the fear :twothumbsup:

You make good points :D
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby odysseus » Sat May 03, 2014 7:09 pm

Roland wrote:No hate felt here :)
Great love! :smile:

Roland wrote: Or! Perhaps love will simply eat the fear :twothumbsup:



Yes, well my understanding is that it´s transcendent wisdom that gives power, that kills all fear. In my experience, me having or receiving love doesn´t remove it completely, but it quells a bit of pain.

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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby LionelTeo » Wed May 21, 2014 3:47 pm

Pardon me Roland for revisiting such a old topic.

I hope your health is better now and these problem no longer plagues you.

In regards to touching the topic on death, and suffering, hope you do not mind me sharing my inferior knowledge here.

You probably had understand some of these are predestined, and when its time to embrace to a new world, you are required to move on no matter what.

From constant daily practice, we can experience and understand that the mind and body are two separate entity. The body, is only a physical shell, to experience the world, transiting between different phases of life, known as dukkha. The mind on the other hand watches the world like viewing a gigantic movie through the eyes, there is a lot of things you would not be able to do in these gigantic movie, such would be changing the life or fate or the neighbour next door suffering from cancer. When the time comes, the physical shell would end, and therefore the movies would end, that is why Buddha mention about "you" and "I" in Buddhism, when we look at the people around us in their shoes (you), we would understand their pain, their endless sorrow in the not able to break out of their cycle in chasing after their thoughts, and thus we, who had spent time in finding the Buddha (compassion) within our heart would be able to extend our compassion to them and relive their pain in whichever ways we could. From these, hopefully you would be able to find the answer to understand more about your physical shell from the mind perspective, and use your physical shell to aid and relief others from their pain.
We are born with compassion, it is just that we had lost it.
Understand no matter what happens, you already had shelter and food, these are enough for you to find happiness.
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Roland » Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:24 am

I think this sort of eludes to the root issue: I know I'm not my body, but when the body is in a state of total chaos, dysregulated, immense pain, malfunctioning, etc, it almost doesn't matter that I think I know I'm not my body. Does that make any sense? Either I am playing a mental trick on myself thinking I know I'm not my body, or the fact that I think I know I'm not my body is still only an intellectual knowing (the most shallow kind of knowing) and hasn't sunk deeper to an emotional or experiential knowing.

With most issues with the body I can handle the situation well. I notice something out of order in my body according to some symptom and I apply the antidote. What I'm talking about above is solely when I experience the very most extreme collapses.

Anyways, I've learned a lot on many levels through my experiences and my health is fine now. Thank you for sharing!
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby dude » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:57 am

Happy to hear that, Roland.
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Nemo » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:36 pm

I don't know if it is good news but just because you have unbearable pain that makes life not worth living does not mean you will die. You can have pain like that for years, but once the karma is exhausted it will end. When suffering is that extreme one of the best things you can do is not think about it when you do get little breaks. There is pain so intense it is like a meditative absorption and at that level it is easier than the pain where you can still think and torture yourself. Reminiscing about the life the illness has taken from you is a terrible habit.

As for medicine if you have an uncommon problem(less than 1 in 2000) you are screwed. The key in medicine and Buddhism is to understand the cause of your condition and not treat the individual symptoms. My conditions sounded incurable, but that was not the case. I had comorbid conditions that confused diagnosis and one was quite rare. Most doctors don't have time for wild goose chases.

Allergies and chronic inflammation are very interesting. The mental affliction that often accompanies them may not be mere poor mental hygiene. The correlation of inflammation and mental disorders may have massive and paradigm changing implications.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
From the American Society for Clinical Psychopharmacology annual meeting 2014
;
INFLAMMATION AND INSULIN RESISTANCE: IMPLICATIONS FOR PATHOPHYSIOLOGY AND TREATMENT
David Kemp

UT Southwestern
Recent research has identified a link between cardio metabolic illnesses and mood symptoms. Insulin resistance and other cardio metabolic risk factors predict increased risk of depression and decreased response to antidepressant and mood stabilizer treatments. This panel symposium will present new findings implicating inflammation, adipocytokines, and oxidative stress to the pathophysiology of mood states and discuss the role of anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizingagents as potential treatments for mood disorders. Results will be presented from an open-label proof-of-concept study evaluating the effects of pioglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activatedreceptor-gammaagonist with insulin sensitizing properties, on bipolar depression symptomseverity. This study found significant improvement to occur in depression severity with pioglitazone treatment. Moreover, a positive correlation was identified between reduction in depression severity and decreases in levels of interleukin 6 and adiponectin. Data on the relationship between cytokines and damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) by mood state will also be presented from two separate samples of patients and controls. These immunogenic markers were identified to become silent during interepisode periods and represent proxies of peripheral toxicity and illness activity. Specifically, higher levels of ccf DNA (nuclear(n)DNA (p < 0.0001) and mitochondrial (mt)DNA ( p= 0.032), as well as HSP70 (p = 0.02) were found in drug free bipolar patients compared to healthy controls . After pharmacological treatment, ccf nDNA (p = 0.013) and HSPs levels (p = 0.025) decreased in those patients that achieved clinical remission. Inaddition to bipolar disorder, recent findings relating inflammation to brain structure and function will be presented from a population with major depressive disorder (MDD). It was recently discovered that the ratios of kynurenic acid (KA) to 3-hydroxykynurenine (3HK)and KA/quinolinic acid (QA), putative neuroprotective indices, were lower in an unmedicated MDD group relative to a healthy control group, and that within the MDD group, the ratio of KA/QA was inversely correlated with the concentration of IL1RA, a proxy measure of IL1ß. Further, in the MDD group, the KA/QA ratio was positively correlated with total hippocampal volume and total amygdala volume. These results raise the possibility that immune dysregulation predisposes to mood disorders via its effect on glutamatergic signaling such that abnormal NMDA receptor signaling may be the unifying mechanism underlying the glutamate and inflammation hypotheses of depression.

In summary, the panel will focus on inflammatory cytokines and indicators of cell death or apoptosis that may represent useful biomarkers for assessing burden of disease in patients with mood disorders as well as targets for novel antidepressant treatments.
Learning Objectives:

To appreciate the role of inflammation and insulin resistance in the pathophysiology of mood disorders.

To understand the implications of inflammatory and cardiometabolic biomarkers on illness activity in bipolar disorder and recognize potential novel neurobiological targets for treating depression

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

INDIVIDUAL ABSTRACT:
ASSOCIATION BETWEEN KYNURENINE PATHWAY METABOLITES AND GRAY MATTER VOLUMES OF THE HIPPOCAMPUS AND AMYGDALA IN PATIENTS WITH MOOD DISORDERS
Jonathan Savitz
Laureate Institute for Brain Research
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) has been associated with reductions in hippocampal and amygdalar volume that are thought to reflect dendritic atrophy and/or decreases in neurogenesis.Some patients with mood disorders display elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL1ß and TNF which increase the formation of kynurenine (KYN) pathway metabolites, including kynurenic acid (KA), a potentially neuroprotective antagonist of NMDA receptors, 3-hydroxykynurenine (3HK), a free radical generator, and quinolinic acid (QA), an NMDA agonist and potential neurotoxin. Whereas an association between molecular markers of inflammation and brain structu re and/or function has been found in animal models of depression, the relationship between the peripheral concentrations of kynurenine-pathway metabolites and morphometric MRI abnormalities in mood disorders remains unclear. Here I will present data showing that the ratios of KA/3HK and KA/QA, putative neuroprotective indices, were lower in an unmedicated MDD group relative to a healthy control group, and that within the MDD group, KA/QA was inversely correlated with the concentration of IL1RA, a proxy measure of IL1ß. Further, in the MDD group, the KA/QA ratio was positively correlated with total hippocampal volume and total amygdala volume. Secondly, I will present data from an independent sample of unmedicated subjects with MDD, medicated subjects with MDD, and healthy controls both to replicate the original finding and to examine the effects of medication on the relationship between neuromorphometric abnormalities and peripheral immune markers. Since both KA and QA affect glutamate release, our results raise the possibility that immune dysregulation predisposes to mood disorders via its effect on glutamatergic signaling such that abnormal NMDA receptor signaling may be the unifying mechanism underlying the glutamate and inflammation hypotheses of depression.
Learning Objectives:
The kynurenine theory of depression.
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Roland » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:54 pm

The period I had of very intense almost unbearable pain was a separate incident than the recent allergic reactions. The pain incident was more of a sort of hoping I would die because that probably would have been easier to handle. The allergic reaction incident I'm pretty sure I was very close to death. But due to training in breathing and controlling asthma for my entire life, I was able to have some control and not completely suffocate. I think a few times when I couldn't really move I was probably pushing against death. I'm not really concerned about what the illnesses may or may not have been perceived to have taken from me, but sort of just having a conversation and sharing ideas on how others have handled similar situations.

But you do make good points indeed.

I do get those uncommon conditions that the medical community fails to know how to deal with. So I'm forced to take things into my owns hands and treat the whole body instead of only symptoms, especially because the conditions are indeed whole body and mind problems. This is a good thing. I learn deeply about my own human condition and what my physical form needs to operate correctly. I'm not a doctor, but I do know how to search the scientific literature.

The implications of those abstracts you posted here totally make sense.
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby rachmiel » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:45 pm

I get major depressions from time to time. When I'm in one, formal practice is pretty much impossible. Instead, I work hard at staying with the actuality of the painful feelings as they arise, not repressing them, not hiding from them. And, very importantly, not wallowing in them or identifying them with my self. It's hard work.
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Roland » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:49 pm

That is hard work. Do you think that there is the risk of increasing the amplitude of the painful feelings of depression by letting them arise, if you direct your attention towards them? With physical pain, I struggled with focusing too much on the physical pain and I believe that actually made it worse. If I were skilled in sending my mind out into space, perhaps that would have helped me at the time. I wonder if sending your mind into space helps people with depression as well? Or would you just be sending your mind and depression into space, then experiencing depression in space?!
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby rachmiel » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Yes it runs the risk of amplifying the painful feelings. That's part of the hard work of it, to discern between being consciously with the feelings (not escaping) and wallowing in them (amplifying). It's easy to slip into the latter; wallowing is one of the hallmarks of depression.
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Roland » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:46 pm

Aha! Yes yes I know precisely what you mean now. Its an equanimous approach, a sort of balancing act. I find it more difficult to manage with physical pain. Perhaps I am just less experienced in the realm of physical pain and I think it is more real/concrete. More difficult to see as illusory and just let it pass... because I really think "I" am in pain. :crazy:
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby odysseus » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:02 pm

I don´t think you can reduce the so-called Hell into a mental illness. :twisted:
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Re: How do I keep the heart open in hell?

Postby Roland » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:59 pm

Different flavors of hell manifesting in infinite forms.
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