Sensations masking bodily illness?

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Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby SamKR » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:03 pm

Hi,

This is a question from my friend who is a serious meditator (practising for not so long) in U Ba Khin tradition. He experiences sensations all over his body, and so cannot distinguish which sensations are normal and which are related to disease. He fears that if he gets any disease, then he will not be able to know that he has that disease because he is used to observe all sensations (how painful they are), and that will cause delay in seeking medical care. How to deal with this? I hope Ben and other meditators can share their ideas.
Thanks.
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:12 pm

Greetings SamKR,

Just because he observes various physical sensations and remains mentally equanimous about them, doesn't mean that he ought to ignore them if they point towards some kind of physical illness.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby pink_trike » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:55 pm

There is sometimes a point in practice where this can be confusing. As we become more aware of sensations we tune into the flow of energy within our body. Sometimes this energy gets jammed up at certain places in the flow and can cause discomfort. Usually the jam eventually moves on it's own so noting it and doing nothing about it is fine. Sometimes the jam stays and increases and can become a symptom of something that needs more attention. Over time we become more skilled at telling the difference. Not everyone feels these jams so they are often dismissed by those who don't have this particular sensitivity...just ignore these folks. It is useful to become aware of these energy channels. Here is an example of a couple of meridians that are giving some people some trouble at this particular time of the year:

Lung: http://www.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncture ... an_graphic

Large Intestine: http://www.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncture ... an_graphic

In a couple of weeks to a month, these meridians may become more noticeable:

Kidney: http://www.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncture ... an_graphic

Bladder: http://www.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncture ... an_graphic

---

Pairs of meridians are associated with seasons:

Fall: Lung/Large Intestines
Winter: Kidney'Bladder
Spring: Liver/Gall Bladder
Summer: Heart, Small Intestines
Late Summer: Spleen/ Stomach

Each set are particularly active during the associated season. Knowing this we can sometimes observe/understand odd sensations/pains as just being the meridians clanging a bit at the transition period between seasons and at the peak of seasons.
Last edited by pink_trike on Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:37 am, edited 4 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:01 am

Greetings pink_trike,

Those jams are part of the reason I no longer practice with that particular method. Mine is/was in the so called "3rd eye" region... it sometimes feels like someone's shoved jumping jacks under the skin! I've had scans, but they showed nothing.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby pink_trike » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:30 am

Here in California many Buddhists are also doing yoga in order to minimize energy jams.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:57 am

Greetings,

Oh no... that would run directly counter to my deep set aversion towards physical exertion!

:tongue:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby catmoon » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Oh no... that would run directly counter to my deep set aversion towards physical exertion!

:tongue:

Metta,
Retro. :)


hmm. did somebody say ngondro? :jumping:
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:34 am

Hi Sam
Thanks for the opportunity to respond to the issue your friend is facing.
Its somewhat similar to what a co-practitioner was going through some years ago. I heard about on the grapevine that he felt that he should 'just observe' the sensations that were manifesting due to a chronic ailment. And it was getting to the point where it was debilitating. When the area teacher found out, he was instructed to seek medical treatment.
The particular practice that we are mainly involved in, vedananupassana: (observation of sensation) is to develop moment-to-moment awareness of the anicca characteristic of sensation while remaining equanimous to sensation. i contend that one cannot have sati if one is not equanimous - but that's another subject for another day. The sort of thing that my co-practitioner was gettng involved in was a subtle aversion towards his body which was manifesting as a desire to just observe the disease state no matter what it cost him physically or mentally.
U Ba Khin had a great saying in the discourse he gave in 1968 called the Essentials of Buddhadhamma where he was talking about how one should practice in daily life. He said that it wasn't necessary for one to maintain awareness of anicca all the time. He said 'one should work when you work and play while you play', meaning - reserve times of observing anicca to the set periods of meditation and the rest of one's time one should just get on and do all the things one needs to do in day-to-day life.
My personal opinion is that one should never ignore possible symptoms of illness or disease. Certainly, there maybe ample time to observe their anicca characteristic, but one should also ensure that one listens to one's body and acts accordingly - ensuring our health and longevity - which in turn ensures an ongoing opportunity to practice Dhamma.
Also remember,only some vedana are produced by sankhara.
metta

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby pink_trike » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:39 am

catmoon wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Oh no... that would run directly counter to my deep set aversion towards physical exertion!

:tongue:

Metta,
Retro. :)


hmm. did somebody say ngondro? :jumping:

Ngondro is great for clearing/opening the channels.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:41 am

Greetings,

"Ngöndro is everything – the whole Vajrayana path!" - www.ngondro.net/home.html

Sounds ominous.... :?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby pink_trike » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

"Ngöndro is everything – the whole Vajrayana path!" - http://www.ngondro.net/home.html

Meaning that when ngondro is clearly understood all meta functional aspects of the Vajrayana path are present and accounted for. Ngondro isn't only an introductory practice, it also contains the whole path.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby SamKR » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:47 am

Thanks everybody!
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby SamKR » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:52 am

Thanks everybody.

retrofuturist wrote:Just because he observes various physical sensations and remains mentally equanimous about them, doesn't mean that he ought to ignore them if they point towards some kind of physical illness.
Retro. :)

Ben wrote:Hi Sam
My personal opinion is that one should never ignore possible symptoms of illness or disease. Certainly, there maybe ample time to observe their anicca characteristic, but one should also ensure that one listens to one's body and acts accordingly - ensuring our health and longevity - which in turn ensures an ongoing opportunity to practice Dhamma.
Ben


But he never ignores possible symptoms. He fears that he may not be able to know which sensations are normal and which are related to diseases, possibly causing delay in seeking medical care.
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:02 am

Hi Sam

There's a great saying that was imortalised by a television advertisement for a pain killer:
If pain persists, see a doctor!
kind regards

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Sensations masking bodily illness?

Postby SamKR » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:25 am

Ben wrote:If pain persists, see a doctor!

Ben


Yes, got it. Thanks.
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