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1 hour ago, ilumairen said:

And, as an aside, would somebody please explain why my cheeks are pretty much on fire as I'm reading and responding here? 

 

:looking around:

 

It's because we were talking about the tardigrades. I think we got their attention.

 

Little buggers!

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9 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

 

It's because we were talking about the tardigrades. I think we got their attention.

 

Little buggers!

Did you know that we can travel across universes on a intergalactic fungal network which only tardigrades can navigate? 

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14 minutes ago, dwai said:

Did you know that we can travel across universes on a intergalactic fungal network which only tardigrades can navigate? 

 

I believe it.  They say there's over 1,000 different SPECIES of them! 

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30 minutes ago, dwai said:

Did you know that we can travel across universes on a intergalactic fungal network which only tardigrades can navigate? 

 

And that our travels degrade and destroy this network..

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22 hours ago, Jonesboy said:

Buddhism is really good at explaining the 3 aspects of the Primordial State. Void, Energy and Clarity.

Please do expound on these more, particularly of interest, clarity.

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3 minutes ago, Pilgrim said:

Please do expound on these more, particularly of interest, clarity.

 

As you wish... It is a little long but very, very good.

 

Spoiler

DZOGCHEN

THE SELF-PERFECTED STATE

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

 

In the Dzogchen teachings the primordial state of the base

is not defined only as being void, but is explained as having

three aspects or characteristics, called the "three primordial

wisdoms": essence, nature, and energy.

 

The essence is the void, the real condition of the individual

and of all phenomena. This base is the condition of all individuals,

whether they are aware of it or not, whether they

are enlightened or in transmigration. It is said to be "pure

from the beginning" (ka dag), because, like space, it is free of

all impediments, and is the basis of all the manifestations in

existence.

 

The manifestation of the primordial state in all its aspects,

its "clarity," on the other hand, is called the nature. It is said

to be "self-perfected" (lhun grub), because it exists spontaneously

from the beginning, like the sun which shines in

space. Clarity is the pure quality of all thought and of all

perceived phenomena, uncontaminated by mental judgment.

For example, when we see a flower, we first perceive

its image without the mind entering into judgment, even if

this phase of perception only lasts for a fraction of a second.

Then, in a second phase, mental judgment enters into the

situation and one categorizes the perception, thinking,

"That's a flower, it's red, it has a specific scent, and so on."

Developing from this, attachment and aversion, acceptance

and rejection all arise, with the consequent creation of karma and transmigration. Clarity is the phase in which perception

is vivid and present, but the mind has not yet entered

into action. It is the spontaneous manifestation of the

individual's state. The same is true for thoughts: if we don't

follow them, and don't become caught up in mental judgment,

they too are part of our natural clarity.

 

The third of the three primordial wisdoms is energy. Its

characteristic is that it manifests without interruption.4 The

explanation of energy in Dzogchen is fundamental to understanding

the base. All dimensions, whether pure or impure,

material or subtle, are manifestations of one aspect or

another of energy. To explain how both transmigration and

enlightenment originate, three ways in which energy manifests

are described. These three modes of energy are called

"tsel" (rtsal), "rolba" (rol ba) , and "dang" (gdangs), names

that cannot be translated into Western languages.

 

To understand the manifestation of energy as tsel, we can

take the example of what happens when a crystal ball is

placed near a window. The crystal is pure and transparent,

but when rays of light strike it, they refract into coloured

lights all around the room. These lights are not inherent to

the crystal itself, but manifest when the appropriate secondary

cause is present, in this case the sun's rays. The crystal

ball symbolizes the primordial state of the individual, which

consists of essence, nature, and energy. The coloured rays

which spread in the room are an example of the natural

manifestation of energy, appearing in relation to the individual

as an object. In the moment of the manifestation of

the energy of the primordial state, if one recognizes it as a

projection of one's own original qualities, one realizes oneself

in the dimension of pure vision. If the opposite happens

and one perceives the rays and colours as being external

to oneself, one manifests impure vision. Thus the cause

of both visions, samsara and nirvana, is the same: the manifestation

of the light of the primordial state.

 

As an example of rolba, we should imagine that instead

of the colours reflecting externally to the crystal, this time

they reflect inside it, not appearing outside the crystal but

within its own surfaces. In the same way, the energy of the

primordial state can manifest within its own dimension

"subjectively" in relation to the individual. This happens,

for example, in the bardo, the intermediate state between

death and rebirth, when the hundred peaceful and wrathful

divinities appear. They are not external to the individual,

but are the manifestations of his or her natural, self-perfected

qualities. The appearance of these divinities, however, only

arises for those who have, in their lifetime, received transmission

from a master, and applied the method of transformation

specific to the peaceful and wrathful divinities. For

an ordinary being there arises only the manifestation of

"sounds, rays, and lights," which may last only for an instant,

and most often are a cause of alarm.5 For this reason,

great importance is given in tantrism to knowledge of the

mode of energy of rolba, which is the basis of all the various

methods of transformation.

To understand dang we should think of the crystal itself,

and of its pure and transparent form. If we put a crystal ball

at the centre of a coloured mandala and walk around it, the

crystal will by turns appear to assume the colours of the

cardinal points of the mandala at which we successively

arrive, while at the same time remaining, in itself, pure and

transparent. This is an example of the inherent condition of

energy itself as it really is, in any kind of manifestation whatsoever.

Sometimes instead of dang the term "gyen" (rgyan)

is used, meaning "ornament," because in the state of contemplation

all manifestations of energy are "perceived" as

ornaments of the primordial state.

 

When the introduction has been given by the master, the

essence, nature, and energy are called the "three bodies of

the base." They correspond, in the path, to three aspects or characteristic conditions of the nature of the mind: the calm

state (gnas pa), movement ('gyu ba) and presence (rig pa) .

The calm state i s the condition o f the mind i n which no

thoughts arise. An example of this is the space that exists

between the disappearing of one thought and the arising of

another, a space that is usually imperceptible. The movement

is the manifestation of thoughts, without interruption.

An example is given in which the state without thoughts is

said to be like a calm lake, and the arising of thoughts to be

like the movement of fish in the lake. These two factors are

common to all beings. Presence,6 on the other hand, is as if

asleep in us, and it takes a master to awaken it through transmission.

Presence is the pure recognition without judgment,

of either the calm state or the movement. These three are

called the "three bodies of the path."

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, joeblast said:

there was a certain heart-linking, harmonization, whaddyacallit....and a couple forms of...the second one is after the breath is ongoing silent, another relates to that pre-cognitive stirring...

 

I really like the use of "whaddyacallit", as to me it indicates direct experience that hasn't been overly intellectualized after the fact, and molded to fit into some(one else's) ideal or paradigm.

 

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This might be a good thread to pose a question. 

 

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

Doing, or not doing?

 

Most likely it will end up being a person to person basis, but I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has had. 

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8 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

This might be a good thread to pose a question. 

 

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

Doing, or not doing?

 

Most likely it will end up being a person to person basis, but I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has had. 

 

For real busy minds mantra meditation might be a good place to start. I believe TM is mantra based and has shown some real good results clinically with depression.

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12 minutes ago, Jonesboy said:

 

For real busy minds mantra meditation might be a good place to start. I believe TM is mantra based and has shown some real good results clinically with depression.

 

Not a bad idea. Maybe put on some Krishna das and we can focus on that. Thanks. 

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@Fa Xin .. That's a wonderful thing to be able to help people with.  Having had experience with mental illness within myself, maybe of some help: Allowing things to be as they are. Observing the abdomen area with the kinesthetic sense for any sensations (with or without feeling with the hand, better with). Wether when that is high highs or low lows or a lot of fear or any state of mind is not that important, this simple practice is what can make a big difference in a short amount of time. If they are stable enough to hear you and follow instruction, this may be a good practice. At least this is what I have been taught and had good experience with.

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36 minutes ago, thursday said:

@Fa Xin .. That's a wonderful thing to be able to help people with.  Having had experience with mental illness within myself, maybe of some help: Allowing things to be as they are. Observing the abdomen area with the kinesthetic sense for any sensations (with or without feeling with the hand, better with). Wether when that is high highs or low lows or a lot of fear or any state of mind is not that important, this simple practice is what can make a big difference in a short amount of time. If they are stable enough to hear you and follow instruction, this may be a good practice. At least this is what I have been taught and had good experience with.

 

Thank you. Makes a lot of sense and I was thinking of this technique too. 

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1 hour ago, Fa Xin said:

This might be a good thread to pose a question. 

 

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

Doing, or not doing?

 

Most likely it will end up being a person to person basis, but I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has had. 

I’d say something like taijiquan or some form of moving qigong. 

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Fa Xin, I'm sure that your help there will be appreciated. Simple techniques are good in emergency situations and are easy for people to understand. A simple standing meditation (or qi gong) that is not too long may be a good thing too. I would keep it short and simple, but maybe the people you're going to teach could choose their preference from a short list of things you are knowledgeable about and then you can see what works best in a particular group? Just some thoughts.

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2 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

This might be a good thread to pose a question. 

 

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

Doing, or not doing?

 

Most likely it will end up being a person to person basis, but I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has had. 

I do not think you should do this at all. It is very kind of you to desire to help others but in this case you may very well do harm and be getting into something you have no idea how to deal with unless you are a Mental Health Professional. These people can already be very open and advanced in certain ways and are not able to deal with what is already happening.

 

Especially avoid anything having to do with TM.  TM Mantras are specifically chosen based upon individual criteria. Others have robbed this school selling I AM as a mantra that has caused others many issues. 

 

Mantras have shapes to them and travel energetically in certain directions and impart mental vibrations into the mind and energetic body while OM a very Circular Mantra  or even more complex OM NA MO BA GA BA TE VA SU DE VA YA  may be comforting to you it might be terrifying to another especially if they start hearing it IE : The real thing not mental uttering,  automatically or a mantra becomes like a song stuck in somebodies head or it takes up root and vibrates internally. 

 

You have no idea what you are getting into with people like this and just how sensitive to practices they already are. There is a very high likelihood you will encounter people who are extremely sensitive and cause them further problems.

 

You may ask why I say this and I will tell you it is from years of being around a friend who was in and out of mental wards who attempted meditation practices as well as family members with mental issues.  

 

Then there are the years being on other sites where practices led to what they call overload. There was a dramatically large percentage of people having difficulties.

 

Now if there is anything you might teach it would be basic Zen Walking without the breath control and just be mindful of their steps and the feel of the balance of their body while in motion slowly circling the room.

 

No Counting.

 

No Breath work. 

 

Honestly I think this is a very bad idea.

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17 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

 

It's because we were talking about the tardigrades. I think we got their attention.

 

Little buggers!

Ow one just bit my durn toe! :o

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2 hours ago, Fa Xin said:

This might be a good thread to pose a question. 

 

In a few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to be able to teach meditation to people with mental health issues (schizophrenia, depression, psychosis). 

 

Ive been pondering the last few days what the best technique might be. Breath counting? Quiet sitting? Some sort of mellow observation? Or more proactive, like qigong? I’m assuming their attention span will be low and possibly have trouble with long periods of silence. 

 

Doing, or not doing?

 

Most likely it will end up being a person to person basis, but I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has had. 

 

For this you need chi kung and meditation with a downward focus.  Hands should be generally palm down whether moving or sitting, hands should not go above the neck level for moving.  Sitting with palms on knees or folded over belly.  Use a lot of downward movements, like the finishing movement that is almost always used at the end of tai chi and chi kung forms.  That can be done many times.

 

Bruce Frantzis has this kind of downward focus, I think it's called some kind of water style.  Either it's because all his students are wackos or because he feels the need for some serious calming down.

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Yes, I’m leaning towards more relaxation based techniques and stretching sort of stuff. 

 

The walking meditation sounds like a great idea actually. 

 

Thank you all for your input.  My new job will be full time counselor in a group home setting, so I’m sure I’ll get a feel for what works best. The program director told me they already do some relaxation and meditation stuff... so that got me thinking. But I appreciate the words of caution. Will definitely heed them. 😊

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

Yes, I’m leaning towards more relaxation based techniques and stretching sort of stuff. 

 

The walking meditation sounds like a great idea actually. 

 

You could try to get them to walk with their palms facing downward as is done in one of the Bagua methods.  You could have them do breathing like the first move in Yang tai chi.  Breathing in hands go up (palm down) to shoulder level and then breathing out hands push downward to belly level.

 

Don't let them meditate with palms facing upwards as in Zen style, that is for communicating with UFOs.

Edited by Starjumper
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4 minutes ago, Starjumper said:

 

You could try to get them to walk with their palms facing downward as is done in one of the Bagua methods.  You could have them do breathing like the first move in Yang tai chi.  Breathing in hands go up (palm down) to shoulder level and then breathing out hands push downward to belly level.

 

Don't let them meditate with palms facing upwards as in Zen style, that is for communicating with UFOs.

I told a friend I was going to practice my Baguazhang there, she replied “Make sure to keep your badge on so they know who’s who” 😃

 

Good tip about the hands.

 

Communicating with UFOs you say..... I’ll have to try that 😁 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

Yes, I’m leaning towards more relaxation based techniques and stretching sort of stuff. 

 

 

I agree with Pilgrim´s cautions.  Any kind of meditation or breathwork could do more harm than good.  What could be good is simple movement.  I´m thinking of warmups I used to do in tai chi class.  Rotating all the joints in circles -- feet, knees, wrists, arms, etc.  Bending down and stretching up.  Light shaking.  Self-massage of face, ears, etc.  Keep things simple and easy, without asking anybody to focus on their internal experience.  People with depression may not want or be able to move but this would be the best thing, imo.

Edited by liminal_luke
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25 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

Yes, I’m leaning towards more relaxation based techniques and stretching sort of stuff. 

 

The walking meditation sounds like a great idea actually. 

 

Thank you all for your input.  My new job will be full time counselor in a group home setting, so I’m sure I’ll get a feel for what works best. The program director told me they already do some relaxation and meditation stuff... so that got me thinking. But I appreciate the words of caution. Will definitely heed them. 😊

You'll be a wonderful counsellor my friend! :) 

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21 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

Yes, I’m leaning towards more relaxation based techniques and stretching sort of stuff. 

 

The walking meditation sounds like a great idea actually. 

 

Thank you all for your input.  My new job will be full time counselor in a group home setting, so I’m sure I’ll get a feel for what works best. The program director told me they already do some relaxation and meditation stuff... so that got me thinking. But I appreciate the words of caution. Will definitely heed them. 😊

Congratulations on your new job, this is very good to hear that you will be developing a relationship with these people rather than just a workshop.  It takes a very special loving kind person to take on such a job. 

 

I think you should start a Personal Practice Discussion covering your experiences in this role as pertains to spiritual practices this may be helpful to you and by extension your wards as well. I want you to know I really respect what you are doing.

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1 minute ago, dwai said:

You'll be a wonderful counsellor my friend! :) 

Here! Here! Agreed!

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Thanks guys! I really appreciate the kind words. A practice journal is actually a great idea!!! Maybe I’ll do that. 

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