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 WuMing » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:56 pm

actually I am not in a position to give you any advice, but I would like to share something to consider: What happens why you open up to other sensations and experiences around the pain when it occurs instead of giving the pain, at whatever level and intensity, too much room? Is this possible for you, at all? If it is possible it might change something. Your daily practice (since when do you practice and what are "long periods" in your definition?) should provide the capacity and skill to be able to face any experience, even hell experience, with greater equanimity.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
User avatar
WuMing
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:13 pm

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

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:04 pm

I can identify Roland.

I have a weird spinal condition that is very rare, and causes all sorts of things that doctors can't typically help a whole lot with.
Half my life on and off I had that kind of crippling "I want to die"intestinal pain. Weirdly enough for me it turned out to be lack of exercise, combined with a certain dietary combination, it still happens on occasion though. In the last few years I've twice burst an eardrum, so now I have severe Tinnitus, which took some getting used to, can make you crazy at first - definitely a problem for which no medical solution exists. After that I got some weird neurological problem with my shoulder that made my arm difficult to move, twitchy, and in pain constantly..they never figured out what it was, tincture of time and an elimination diet for a number of months and it finally got better. Most recently, I've spent the last year recovering from an H. Pylori stomach infection..which was easy enough to clear up with antibiotics..but the symptoms lasted a year anyway, despite the GI doctors claim that I should be normal again after the meds.

Due to being in and out of hospitals as a kid, I also have severe medical anxiety..as well as getting that "i'm dying" sort of doom-attack feeling/panic, and obsessive thoughts, i've actually posted on here about it. So you may feel like no one can understand what you are going through, but I think some of us might have an inkling.

Another thing that has helped me weirdly enough, is just noticing that this fear reaction has gotten more predictable now, I know it will come when I experience something like this, and it actually has little to nothing to do with the experience itself, seeing the kind of "automatic" come and go nature of the fear has made it a bit easier to deal with.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2713
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

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

Postby Simon E. » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:19 pm

A scan for something else revealed a tumour on one of my kidneys.
The surgeon was able to remove the tumour ( thanks to recent huge strides in surgical techniques and robotics ) while retaining most of the kidney.
A biopsy showed that the tumour was malignant.
However I was left with a 'flank bulge' in my side which is a common condition following open kidney surgery..it is permanent and has the effect of skewing my pelvis which has to be realigned fairly frequently .
I am in some pain most days..some days more than others.
But...I am in remission from cancer.

Given the choice I would rather be without the pain..but its workable with.

However six months or so after the surgery I went into Post Traumatic Shock...also very common after surgery. Just how common is only now being realised. That was tougher than the pain.
So yes, I have some inkling..

:anjali:
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

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

Postby Roland » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:13 pm

I'm not saying that others don't know. For sure, there are many others who have it worse than I do. I try not to fall into the "woe is me" mentality... that is not useful.

My recent dilemma was toxic mold exposure and toxin overload in my system. The US government is not convinced that it can cause a seemingly unending list of symptoms, they think it only causes asthma symptoms. They are slow learners. But 24% of the worldwide population have a particular gene that causes them to be susceptible to mold illness, which is basically when the body doesn't recognize mycotoxins as toxins so it doesn't release the proper antibodies to neutralize them and they continue to cycle throughout the body wrecking everything. One girl I know was having seizures for 3-6 hours a day. There are those that have it way worse - I've seen some horrendous pictures and heard some horrible tales of extreme suffering. My exposure was basically sending me into anaphylactic shock 3+ times per day for months among a long list of symptoms. It reawakened my anxiety that I suffered from most of my life which had lay dormant for many years. Then, when those who are sensitive to mold are re-exposed, the reaction is worse than the last time and the body crashes for days, weeks, months, or even years. When I moved out of the toxic environment, everything cleared up in 24 hours and I felt better than I had in years for about a month, until I found mold in the back of a toilet, cleaned it up and my body crashed for 2 weeks with the re-exposure. 50% or more of all buildings have water damage (mold). Some people never fully recover. Anyways, I could talk endlessly about this...

So now I'm hyper paranoid when I walk into a building that has water damage thinking "ITS IN THE WALLS, MAN!!". I make myself laugh at myself though.

So my situation is not so much chronic health condition that causes constant pain, it more of like a chronic series of attacks that are so incredibly overwhelming, then they vanish suddenly one day and I'm left dumbfounded. Its like a hydrogen bomb going off... pretty sure I'm suffering from some mild form of post traumatic stress.

@Gwenn Dana How?

@WuMing When I try to open to other things its usually impossible when I'm going through some severe allergic response. I used to do formal practice for many hours per day but I couldn't do it as much these days. Funny that these things usually occur when I'm not practicing as deeply... correlation does not mean causation? Or does it?
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby Gwenn Dana » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:41 pm

Just do it.
Gwenn Dana
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:03 pm

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

Postby Roland » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:52 pm

Nike totally stole the saying "Just Do It" from the Shambhala community model
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby WuMing » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:26 pm

Roland wrote:... My exposure was basically sending me into anaphylactic shock 3+ times per day for months among a long list of symptoms. ...

you're writing in past tense here. Do you still have it or is it gone? Or is it now what you describe as being
hyper paranoid

If you still have it, then I don't know what you could do, except consulting a really good physician again and seeking advice from him/her, as anaphylactic shock sets the system on auto pilot as far as I know, and there is nothing you can do about it in the moment of experiencing it.
Roland wrote: @WuMing When I try to open to other things its usually impossible when I'm going through some severe allergic response. ...

Is this the anaphylactic shock you wrote about you still experience from time to time?
Roland wrote:... I used to do formal practice for many hours per day but I couldn't do it as much these days. Funny that these things usually occur when I'm not practicing as deeply...

Did you ever look deeper into that?
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
User avatar
WuMing
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:13 pm

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

Postby dude » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:11 am

Roland wrote:Nike totally stole the saying "Just Do It" from the Shambhala community model



You show a lot of courage confronting such an overwhelming difficulty.
I'm glad we're talking about it and learning from each other how to strengthen practice.

Practice is indeed difficult when things are overwhelming. It is for me, though of course my suffering and yours are different.
All I can say is, in those times, do your best and keep trying, and be mindful of how the obstacles arise.
dude
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

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

Postby zsc » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:39 am

I don't presume to know exactly how you feel, but I did write a post just now that is related to practicing through suffering. I'll just copy and paste it:

I'm reading the book "Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of A Buddha" by Dr. Tara Brach right now, and so far I'm in agreement with the author when she says that we defeat ourselves when we see our stress and imperfections as a sign that something is deeply wrong with us. As long as we are not being abusive, she seems to be advocating an integration of even negative feelings and habits, and ultimately when we accept all the parts of ourselves, we can then change.

I think it's because if we try to change our bad habits thinking that something is wrong with us, it's like we are taking ourselves hostage at gun point. Self-hatred can be a good motivator for only so long. When it gets tough, or we regress along the way, we are way more likely to beat ourselves up with this sort of attitude. If we accept our imperfections as not evidence of some deep character flaw, we really see how much freedom we have in life.

Also, I do like the beliefs that are essential in the philosophy of "learned optimism", which is failure is not personal ("that could have happened to anyone in my situation"), not permanent ("this is just a minor setback"), and not pervasive (failure is only confined to its original environment - "being challenged at work doesn't make me a bad parent"). Again, this doesn't excuse nor condone abusive and reprehensible behavior.

I'm also reading "Living in Amida's Universal Vow", a comprehensive collection of essays about Shin Buddhist/Pureland teaching. Shin Buddhism is about self-acceptance, acknowledging the good and the bad, and ultimately acknowledging our interdependence with all living beings (including buddhas, as well as maras) and our environment. When we come to accept ourselves, warts and all, we can entrust ourselves to Amida Buddha's infinite compassion and wisdom. In fact, I do think Dr. Brach has experienced and is expounding upon the exact same teaching.

One essay is called "My Faith" by Kiyozawa Manshi, which was published shortly before he died. Near the end of it, he points out while our obligations to others are inevitable, we eventually come to the "grief of 'impossibility'" when we realize that we cannot meet all of our obligations and standards perfectly. He continues:

"My Faith", Kiyozawa Manshi, pg 10 of Living in Amida's Universal Vow wrote:I have experienced a great deal of suffering, confronted with this impossibility. If I had had to suffer endlessly on its account, I might have committed suicide long ago. Thanks to religion, however, I was able to escape this suffering, and now I no longer feel the need to commit suicide. That is, by placing faith in the Tathagata of infinite compassion I remain today in peace and tranquility.


Let me repeat: he wrote this shortly before he died, while he was sick with consumption at the young age of 41. And he still talked of peace and tranquility.

Lastly, I like to keep my mind on a piece of advice doctors give to people with OCD when they ritualize to prevent bad things from happening. "You can never ritualize enough." There's always going to be the possibility of some challenge or unfortunate incident in our lives no matter what we do, so what we really should focus on is coming to terms with our fear of the unknown.

All of these concepts have given me the healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with self-defeat and challenges. Well, that and my mom. She's an incorrigible optimist :)


Just to be clear I don't mean "self-defeat" in a way that says you are to blame for your suffering. I'm trying to say quite the opposite actually. I hope that comes across well. I'm well acquainted more with mental issues, seeing doctors, meds, therapy, all of that, and these concepts do help me.
yolo (but not really).
╮ (. ❛ ᴗ ❛.) ╭
성불하세요.
zsc
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:03 am

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

Postby Roland » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:57 am

It has been some months since I had the anaphylactic and massive allergy symptoms. Now I just have some minor glitches hither and thither. Once my severe brain fog and the neurological effects dissipated (mold affects the brain in a variety of ways), I started to wonder how I could have handled it better and here I am. The majority of the paranoia about my health has also diminished. I think mind was conditioned to that paranoia because it had been so traumatic over such a period of time... I've spent my time since then deconditioning that aspect. I'm still much more aware of my body, but that's not a bad thing now.

Today, I was remembering months ago,when I was in the middle of an episode, not knowing what was happening because it was unlike anything I've experienced before, while it was peaking within a few minutes and my body was severely malfunctioning, I thought "Well, this is it. This is where I die. That's not so bad. It has to be better than what ever dysregulation this is in my broken body." I remember my life "flashing before my eyes" as it is said.... I've had such experiences many times before when I was about to die or thought I was about to die. This happened many times when the attacks were at the worst... but then I didn't die and I was left worrying about the next attack because I couldn't figure out the reason, therefore didn't know how to prevent it, etc.

Part of me accepted that my body was failing and it was fine. At the same time, I was eyehole deep in intense fear like I never remember experiencing before. I was totally drowning in it. Completely caught.
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby dude » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:56 am

Just about anyone would feel at least some fear.
dude
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

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

Postby Roland » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:45 pm

Is it possible to experience extreme fear but not become completely overtaken by it and at the same time, experience it fully without pushing away or suppressing any of it? It is very difficult.
Last edited by Roland on Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby Roland » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:55 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote: In the last few years I've twice burst an eardrum, so now I have severe Tinnitus,


I have a bit of tinnitus from an injury more than a decade ago (I'm assuming). I only really noticed it once I started meditating and everything really quieted down. Now I usually forget about it, so it doesn't seem as severe as yours. But it can extremely loud when I find a really quiet place. So, I was looking into the program at the Cleveland Clinic. Have you checked this out? http://my.clevelandclinic.org/head-neck ... linic.aspx

I realized that this is part of the reason that I have a constant stream of sound playing in the background which is usually binaural beats or some sort of equivalent ambient tonal sound wave/music.
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby Roland » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:03 pm

zsc wrote:I'm well acquainted more with mental issues, seeing doctors, meds, therapy, all of that, and these concepts do help me.


Thank you for sharing this. I can relate to this last line... extreme mental suffering that I grew up with is what led me to discover Buddhism when I was a teenager. That's my karma. I was able to overcome all of that cognitive dysfunction with a lot of contemplation and rewiring. I always tell people that meditation had an extremely profound effect on the way I experience reality in a way that I cannot express in words. I think it is because of starting out at such a level of confusion and very quickly after meditating daily all of that dissolved.
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby dude » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:06 am

Roland wrote:Is it possible to experience extreme fear but not become completely overtaken by it and at the same time, experience it fully without pushing away or suppressing any of it? It is very difficult.


It was the Buddha's last obstacle before enlightenment. I suppose nothing is more difficult.
dude
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

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

Postby garudha » Thu May 01, 2014 12:30 am

Roland, did you ever see a Doctor trained in Ayurvedic medicine & especially Ayurvedic diet ?
:alien: :buddha2: :buddha1: :yinyang: :zzz: :yinyang: :buddha1: :buddha2: :alien:
User avatar
garudha
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:33 am
Location: UK

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

Postby Roland » Thu May 01, 2014 3:18 pm

I did not but would have liked to... I've heard of some people having success with Ayurvedic practices
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby garudha » Thu May 01, 2014 7:21 pm

Hmmm, what's stopping you from going to one ?

Would you be prepared to use this thread as a food diary, keep a record of everything you eat & drink ?

--Someone might take interest and offer some help.

Do you take (m)any pharmaceutical products ?

--keep a record on those too.

edit: I will keep a diary in this thread http://dharmawheel.net//viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16361 would you also like to use that thread as a diary, Roland ?
:alien: :buddha2: :buddha1: :yinyang: :zzz: :yinyang: :buddha1: :buddha2: :alien:
User avatar
garudha
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:33 am
Location: UK

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

Postby Roland » Fri May 02, 2014 4:51 am

My health is fine now. I was keeping a very detailed food/symptom/etc including timing journal when I was in the middle of the mess which helped me out greatly to figure out what I theorize was the root cause. Thank you for the suggestions :)
"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb
User avatar
Roland
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

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

Postby hop.pala » Fri May 02, 2014 6:31 pm

You muss try the resentment and anger to convert and bypass.( but now until you live in the body).And then the hell will no more appear so terrible.
hop.pala
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 3:48 am

PreviousNext

Return to Personal Experience

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

>