Les, I know you're in here! I'm waiting for my answer. I can tell you're looking at this thread... I hope I get a big reply.
If you can perfect tennis or playing the piano in a day, you don't need my advice!Jameson said:Question - What about meditation takes practice? I know one can't perfect it in a day like most things: tennis, piano, etc
There is a great deal more you can learn. Even though I claim some sort of right to speak authoritatively here, I still consider myself a student in comparison to what some people have achieved. In fact, so far I can’t see an end to the learning process, so I’ve just given up on ever “arriving” at ultimate knowledge about the inner journey.Jameson said:... but what specifically do you focus on improving when you meditate? The only technique I know of pertaining to meditation is breathing in and out slowly, trying to focus on nothing else besides that. I find it very relaxing. Do you have any other good ones?
Agreed. Also your assessment of Zen in the US as being half-baked, so to speak, and largely peopled by propagators of ideas rather than experience is on the mark as far as I have seen. (It seems to have started to be corrupted here, almost from the get go. The main reason that was possible, I think, is because in Japan it is integrated with traditional Japanese societal beliefs that don't exist here.)Les Sleeth said:Just slapping a label on yourself as High Zen Guy, being able to piously Falwell-like, repeat Zen koans and parables, being silent, acting humble . . . none of that means anything actually realized has occurred inside.
OK, then, we're talking about the same thing.Les Sleeth said:Yes, that is how I understand the out of body experience.
OK. My reaction is, that the whole notion the brain might be holding a separable consciousness within the physical system probably only came about in the first place as a very natural misunderstanding of the proprioceptive disturbance from times before it was known to be a neurological event.No, I was thinking more that if the brain holds consciousness within the physical system (which was the alternative I offered to your theory), then a seizure might somehow trigger a partial release from the physical system.
A better question would be why am I not lead to consider "release from physical restraints" by the evidence. The new understandings of the role of the brain overturn what used to be the most logical conclusion, that this experience was exactly what it seems to be, and present a powerfully persuasive case for it being a sensory distortion.Well, you say it is due to the distortion of proprioception, and I suggested it might be that consciousness really is somewhat released from its physical constraints. How do you know that isn't the case?
That came out wrong. I meant just like tennis or piano, I know it cannot be perfected in a day. I sounded dumb.Les Sleeth said:If you can perfect tennis or playing the piano in a day, you don't need my advice!
Not so. It is very commonly reported by meditators. In fact, there are reports, and I know of one case personally, where someone sat down to purposely leave the body, did so, and never returned. The person I know of was old, had meditated daily for (I believe) fifty years, and was considered enlightened by those who he taught to meditate. He was found in the meditational “lotus” position with a serene look on his face, and had left a note saying goodbye and expressing love to his family and students.zoobyshoe said:OK. My reaction is, that the whole notion the brain might be holding a separable consciousness within the physical system probably only came about in the first place as a very natural misunderstanding of the proprioceptive disturbance from times before it was known to be a neurological event.
It might be sensory distortion. I am fully open to that possibility. Not being in on or up on the details of the research I have no opinion one way or another.zoobyshoe said:A better question would be why am I not led to consider "release from physical restraints" by the evidence. The new understandings of the role of the brain overturn what used to be the most logical conclusion, that this experience was exactly what it seems to be, and present a powerfully persuasive case for it being a sensory distortion.
Why would I suggest that? The introduction of the “gods” into the interpretation has nothing to do with evaluating the afflicted person’s first-hand report that he had an OBE.zoobyshoe said:You might well suggest that a grand mal seizure is, in fact, the authentic experience of being "seized" by a god, as the Greeks thought, and that the electrical activity we can pick up on the EEG is not the cause at all, but the result of being seized by a god. OK, I'll consider it if you can prove to me that gods exist. Ok, you say, we know gods exist because we can see what happens to a person when he's seized by a god. Round and round.
Yes, but no one is claiming electrical stimulation or chemicals cannot cause a seizure; my guess is that they can cause it. We were talking about what results from a seizure, not what causes it.zoobyshoe said:We don't need gods to give someone a seizure, nor do we need to remove their consciousness from their body to do it. We can cause seizures with electrical stimulation or with chemicals.
I know, I was just kidding you.Jameson said:That came out wrong. I meant just like tennis or piano, I know it cannot be perfected in a day. I sounded dumb.
Yes, but remember “Zen” is something the Japanese took from the Chinese, and the original Chinese teaching came from an itinerate Indian monk teaching meditation (one theory I have for the uniqueness of Ch'an is that Bodhidarma's first students might have been Taoists, and he fit his teaching to their strong inclination toward naturalness).zoobyshoe said:Agreed. Also your assessment of Zen in the US as being half-baked, so to speak, and largely peopled by propagators of ideas rather than experience is on the mark as far as I have seen. (It seems to have started to be corrupted here, almost from the get go. The main reason that was possible, I think, is because in Japan it is integrated with traditional Japanese societal beliefs that don't exist here.)
Not just the Buddha, but also Jesus, Nanak, Kabir, Moses (I’d include Muhammad, but it would probably cause a big fight here) . . .zoobyshoe said:So, the picture I get, is that your focus is always back to the original teachings of Buddha.
Wow. Those references are very useful to me, Les. And learning about them at present is synchronous with a few other similar events. Thanks!Les Sleeth said:There is a book by Helen Waddell called The Desert Fathers <snip> In it she describes the numerous solitary monks living in caves and cells in the vast desert wildernesses of eastern Palestine, Sinai, and particularly northern Africa .
Waddell takes some of her information from a much older historical work by Roseweyde called Vitae Patrum (Antwerp, 1628).
In private I’d be willing to recommend where you can look, but I’ve sworn to see myself as a student until my death, and therefore never to teach actual exercises. What I am interested in doing though is helping people understand more about what union mediation is, its history, and what might achieved through it.Jameson said:Thanks, I'd appreciate that. I want to get into meditating more. I'd love for some good exercises.
OK. This is all I'm asking for. Just open mindedness about the science explanation, rather than jumping in out of nowhere and asking why I'm posting "speculative nonsence" as you put in your first post to me.Les Sleeth said:It might be sensory distortion. I am fully open to that possibility. Not being in on or up on the details of the research I have no opinion one way or another.
All very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to write that out for me.Les Sleeth said:Not just the Buddha...
...and some sort of greater consciousness existing all around us.
LOL. Of course! I have no reason to doubt that a brain malfunction can cause the OBE experience. I was only challenging your apparent assumption that the OBE report must be an illusion, when the seizure really might be causing a genuine OBE. Personally, I wouldn't want my brain doing that to me, I figure I'll be dead soon enough so I'd rather stay fully part of this life while I can.zoobyshoe said:The OBEs are seizures, but if they're not bothering you, and are, in fact, what you want, then you're fine. I just hope if someone posts here complaining of unwanted, unwilled, intrusive OBE experiences you will stand back and let me suggest a neurologist to them.
Yes thats the end of it. She reported the NDE, which matched reality.zoobyshoe said:No, I haven't ever heard of this. What's the end of the story? She came out of it somehow and reported an NDE?
Several theories have been proposed to explain NDE. We did not show that psychological, neurophysiological, or physiological factors caused these experiences after cardiac arrest. Sabom22 mentions a young American woman who had complications during brain surgery for a cerebral aneurysm. The EEG of her cortex and brainstem had become totally flat. After the operation, which was eventually successful, this patient proved to have had a very deep NDE, including an out-of-body experience, with subsequently verified observations during the period of the flat EEG.
Earlier you said:PIT2 said:She had an aneurism and to remove it, doctors had to cool her body temperature, stop her heart and stop her brain. The operation lasted 6 hours or so, but im not sure how long of that she was actually dead.
Are you sure you read that the bloodflow was stopped to her brain for several hours? It doesn't seem at all possible to me that they would be able to revive her.PIT2 said:Also, she did not have any blood flowing to and in her brain for several hours. One can wonder if some part of the brain remain active without any bloodflow for so long.