Ben D

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About Ben D

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  1. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    Chien-chih Seng-ts'an
  2. Meditation and Brain Structure

    Physio_Kundalini_Syndrome_by_Swami_Satyananda_Saraswati.pdf Hi Raman25, I was age 36 at the time of the kundalini awakening and had a family, a home, investments, etc., and I had been diligently working and saving and investing with the view to retire at age 45 with sufficient income to support my family and fulfil my hearts desire, to get into religious practice full time. The irony is that as it worked out, by the time I was age 45, I was divorced, no assets, and just enough savings left to last a few more years without work, but I was experiencing the cosmos full time in a real way that could not have been experienced as a mere theoretical religious scholar. So when my money was about to run out when I was age 50, I went to social security and received unemployment benefits for a few years before I gave up on the idea of ever being worldly prosperous again. At that time I applied to social security for a pension and with the support of the doctor who originally diagnosed the bi-polar condition, got it without any problems. So by 52 I was retired. By age 56 I developed the left foot big toe symptoms of the physio-kundalini-sydrome diagnosed by doctors as reflex-sympathetic dystrophy and here I am at age 66 confined to my rented unit. My journey no doubt has been like so many others,.. the wheels of life turn slowly, but they turn surely, and they indeed grind exceedingly fine! Gone are all the glorious expectations that filled my ego mind about the spiritual journey's end, but is been replaced by some true clarity and understanding. Still, one wouldn't wish my physical, emotional, and mental trials on another, so all the best in the quest to find out what and who you really are. On Edit. Testing to see if I can attach the Physio Kundalini Syndrome pdf files directly to this post. Physio_Kundalini_Syndrome_by_Swami_Satyananda_Saraswati.pdf Kundalini_Psychosis_or_Transcendence.pdfGreyson1993.pdf
  3. Meditation and Brain Structure

    It started in the late 70's with silent detached self observation of my thoughts, about 30 + minutes daily and to the extent that I could maintain self awareness of my thoughts at all times. It come from trying to live my life according to J. Krishnamurti's philosophy. A sudden 'spiritual' awakening occurred in 1980 that threw my life into turmoil (the kundalini arousal) and my meditation practice now took the form of pranayama (breathing) meditation. During this time I was not able to work a lot of the time and so it would have averaged about 2 + hours a day, with the self-awareness concentration of thought process now practically continuous at all times. Then in the late 80's I began dhyana meditation which has the goal of stilling the mind to bring about the cessation of conceptual thinking. By this time I was almost permanently unemployed, and meditation time increased to about 3 + hours a day with the self-awareness thing continuous. Since I have never really worked again since then, the dhyana meditation has continued to incrementally increase in duration to now it would be about 4 + hours a day with the detached observation of any thoughts when they arise being maintained continuously always. Now in reality it is not as clear cut as that I've outlined for there was a lot of experimentation and so yes, there were periods where I did the deep abdominal breathing,..its hard to delineate sometimes between where some yogic practice ends and meditation begins or even where self observation practice ends and where meditation begins. Concerning what causes it, I'm inclined to agree with the reason Yitzak Bentov gives, that of the 7hz resonance set up by the heart/blood standing waves being converted to a mechanical one and transferred through the spine to the axis where it affects that part of the brain that is associated with the left foot big toe. Its all there in the pdf link given above in my first post on this thread. As to whether 15 to 20 minutes a day could ultimately bring it on, I doubt it. The big toe problem started in August 1998 after about 20 years of continuous daily meditation practice that was much longer that. My whole life from dawn to bedtime was in some way generally involving some religious discipline. That my situation was seen as compulsive and obsessive by family and friends is natural for only those who have subjectively experienced the true kundalini awakening truly understand (if they survive it) the bewilderment and awe and terror of it. That is why I post the second pdf link by Dr. Greyson for it is good to see that some professionals are now becoming aware that spiritual discipleship is not a walk in the park and that great trials are involved that are not just theoretical. Thank you Raman25 for your interest and your sympathy, but don't worry,...who knows?... maybe this karmic affliction is a two edged sword, the mortal side may not necessarily enjoy it, but the unseen spiritual purging may be a blessing that endures way beyond the short life of this body.
  4. Meditation and Brain Structure

    Hi Ramon25, initially it was acute and very painful, but slowly evolved into a chronic condition that forever goes through cycles of increased burning pain to just a somewhat bearable tingle on the low side. Unfortunately at the time, I was unaware that my very comprehensive meditation and other religious practices such as hatha yoga that filled my life could have anything to do with it. The medical fraternity likewise ran many tests, scans, etc., and were completely baffled. It was almost 18 months from the onset that medical people found it was a progressive condition of the sympathetic - parasympathetic nervous system which they called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). I was told that if it had been diagnosed within the first 6 months, it can quite easily be resolved, but after that it becomes very difficult if not impossible to treat. Now it was a few years more when I came across Bentov's model of Physio Kundalini Syndrome being associated with long term meditation and the left foot big toe symptom. I was aware since the late nineteen eighties that that I was experiencing symptoms that fitted a Kundalini arousal, and in fact these symptoms began in earnest in 1980. The prognosis for me at this time is to continue to be housebound, can't walk for more than a few steps at a time without initiating a pain cycle. The upside of this is that if meditation practice really is efficacious in progressing towards enlightenment, then there is hope yet for that's about what constitutes my life now.
  5. Meditation and Brain Structure

    Thank you for your input DaoChild, I'm sure the researchers would have considered that as a factor as a part of the methodology. As for my own observation, I haven't been able to sit lotus, half lotus, or even cross-legged for many years and there has been no sign of remission, so IMO that would seem to rule posture out as a major factor.
  6. Reincarnation

    Hi durkhrod chogori, thank you for sharing your present understanding. Do consider however, that there are other understandings, zen buddhist understanding for example teaches non-duality as the way to enlightenment, and enlightenment is Buddhahood. Zen accepts all other vehicles as capable of producing highly virtuous disciples and arahants, but not buddhas, for a buddha is beyond time and space and nothing associated with time and space can enter into it. A buddha wouldn't know what a buddha was, for it is only a concept arising in the minds of mortals. Zen teaches that the dharma is based on concepts, and concepts are a product of the mortal mind and therefore are only used as an expedient to transmit true understanding and then dropped. Like the raft built to take one across the water, when on the other side it is left behind. Here is a perspective from the zen teaching of Bodhidharma concerning mortals and arahants relative to mind and reality,.. though it may seem somewhat abstruse if you are unfamiliar with zen. Mortals keep moving, and arahants stay still. But the highest meditation surpasses both that of mortals and that of arahants. Mortals keep creating the mind, claiming it exists. And arahants keep negating the mind, claiming it doesn't exist. But bodhisattvas and buddhas neither create nor negate the mind. This is what's meant by the mind that neither exists nor doesn't exist. The mind that neither exists nor doesn't exist is called the Middle Way. If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both. Those who don't understand, don't understand understanding. People capable of true vision know that the mind is empty. they transcend both understanding and not understanding. The absence of both understanding and not understanding is true understanding. Seen with true vision, form isn't simply form, because form depends on mind. And mind isn't simply mind, because mind depends on form. Mind and form create and negate each other. That which exists, exists in relation to that which doesn't exist. And that which doesn't exist doesn't exist in relation to that which exists. This is true vision.
  7. Reincarnation

    Well said Josh! Also agree, the inherent dualistic nature of the mortal mind as a self referenced framework based on an 'I' and 'not I', 'here' and 'there', 'now' and 'then', etc., dichotomies, is a product of evolutionary design for functioning in a physical body in a cosmic material realm. The self of matter and the Self of spirit can never meet, one of the two will disappear at the death of the body,...no prizes for guessing which! BTW, it is my understanding that the true meaning of the metaphorical story of the fall in Genesis associated with the eating (pabulum) of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, is the descent of the awareness of the non-dual Tao, to the dualistic self awareness of the adamic (clay) material body. It ties in so well with the first verse of Hsin Hsin Ming, The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love (good) and hate (evil) are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. (Italics mine Ben D) Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
  8. Meditation and Brain Structure

    Some very interesting research into the effects on the brain associated with meditation practice was carried out by Dr Yitzak Bentov. He practiced TM meditation and found a common complaint of fellow long term meditators was pain in the left foot big toe. He went on to come up with a theory to explain how this comes about,..Physio Kundalini Syndrome. FWIW, I have been meditating for over thirty years and developed the left foot big toe symptoms about 10 years ago and it continues to this day. Here is a link to a paper on his work. Physio Kundalini Syndrome (pdf) BTW, for those who are not familiar with Kundalini and its link to, not only physical, but also emotional and mental anomalies, here is a medical research paper by Dr. Greyson on the subject. Physio Kundalini Syndrome - and mental illness. (pdf)
  9. Above, or within....

    Hi Pranaman, it is my understanding that the mortal mind can never transcend the physical. What can happen when the mind is stilled and conceptual thoughts cease, is that the apparent dualistic separation of 'I' and the external 'not I' also ceases and the two are one, i.e. non-duality of unity is all there is. In the same way, when there is a cessation of mind conceptualization, the apparent separation of complementary opposites of past and future ceases and the two merge as one, i.e. non-duality of Now is all there is. Of course, the first samadhi experience such as occurs when the mind is still for the first time doesn't last long, and just as the first drops of rain do not make a storm, the first experiences of out of body bliss do not imply enlightenment. The error of all novice disciples is that when the normal dualistic mind consciousness returns, they claim "I' had a spiritual experience! This is an error, for when the 'experience' was, the 'I' was temporarily absorbed back into the non-duality of the Tao.
  10. Unethical advertisments on the Bums

    Hi markern, yes, can confirm personally that CoS is a mind control, money making cult. And BTW, LRH had some questionable companions when he started into his occult research....His Magickal Career Hi Spirit Ape, agree that in retrospect it was an experience in which a wiser soul would not get involved, but having learnt from it, and hopefully wiser, it would not be compassionate for me to take the attitude you suggest.
  11. NATURE

  12. Music and Dance

    Hi alfa, sound is nothing more than vibration, perhaps it is more appropriate to ask if there is a connection between the vibration existing in our immediate environment and the inherent vibration of our bodies and constitution, that causes us to move? And yes. you are correct, by dancing to the tune, we are naturally tending to stay in harmony with our environment. In my meditation practice, the goal has always been to try and harmonize with the very depths and expanse of the cosmic aum vibration, and therefore find local sounds like music counterproductive as it makes it more difficult for the body to be in a state of stillness and unity with the One.
  13. For anyone interested, here are some Taoist books in pdf format for free download that I've put on Scribd. Hua Hu Ching http://www.scribd.com/doc/14071666/Hua-Hu-...y-Brian-Walker- The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu http://www.scribd.com/doc/17108926/The-Com...y-Burton-Watson Book of LiehTzu http http://www.scribd.com/doc/14940109/Book-of...aoist-Teachings Also some zen/taoist sermons/summaries. The Faith Mind..Hsin Hsin Ming Transmission of Mind http://www.scribd.com/doc/13956477/Transmi...ing-of-Huang-Po Bloodstream-Sermon http://www.scribd.com/doc/13909483/Bloodst...-of-Bodhidharma Wake-Up-Sermon http://www.scribd.com/doc/13956702/Wake-Up...-of-Bodhidharma
  14. Virtue is...

    There is nuance when it comes to virtue, for there is superior virtue and inferior virtue. Superior virtue is a state of virtue that is consciously unaware of acting virtuously, whereas inferior virtue makes it a practice of being seen to be virtuous. This is not a judgement, but rather an observation of the unfolding nature of virtue. One who is of the superior virtue nature, began by practicing inferior virtue.