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Re: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not)

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  • Tamara
    I m a bit late on responding to this turn of the conversation, but I suffer from chronic depression and each time I ve tried to shake myself free of the
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 2, 2008
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      I'm a bit late on responding to this turn of the conversation, but I suffer from chronic depression and each time I've tried to shake myself free of the pharmaceuticals, I've had serious problems...ending up in a place so deep and dark that I can't reach myself through meditation.  To me, I either have to take pills and live or don't take them and die.  This may change at some point, but for now I admit I'm too scared to rely on my control of my mind--it is actually a physical problem in my brain.
       
      However, you are correct that in so many cases of mental illness it is indeed possible for us to aid or even cure some illnesses through meditation (understanding our minds).  As things progress and scientists understand our minds more and more, I can indeed see a day where most, if not all mental illnesses are cured or at least lessened by the "mind over matter" that a meditation practice can provide.
       
      It is all so interesting, this mind of ours !


       
      Tamara
       
      "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do,
      this loving of dogs."  --  Jack Voller



       

      --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@...> wrote:

      From: ken <gebser@...>
      Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not)
      To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 5:12 PM







      Steve,

      You may be correct, given the current state of the art of talk therapy
      and other similar therapies along with our current understanding of
      consciousness. Unfortunately though, consciousness isn't understood
      very well yet and talk and other such therapies are really still in
      their infancy. Interesting research and practices are happening with
      the use of music and pets which, though yielding hopeful results, are
      not well understood. And too, counseling has shown success in helping
      people overcome multiple personality disorders, something which only a
      few years ago would have been thought to be inconceivable. And we
      certainly don't understand addictions, mostly, I believe, because much
      more money has been thrown into research on how to cause addiction than
      on how to cure it. If the mind is capable of only half of what
      Buddhists claim, we can fully expect great strides in non-pharmaceutical
      treatments of psychological disorders in the coming years. So we would
      be justified in believing in possibilities and making efforts towards
      them. It sounds like you're already doing some of that.

      On 07/11/2008 08:00 AM Steve Serfass wrote:
      > I think you're right maybe if the person with the problem has a
      > relatively healthy mind, but mental illness, I think the pills are a
      > huge advance in treatment. Try telling a schizophrenic not to believe
      > those voices are real, or an obsessive compulsive disorder victim to
      > just be rational, and don't allow yourself to do what you do, or even
      > an alcoholic or drug addict, when they've shot or drank the first
      > one, just say no.....
      >
      > But with a person with a "mild" case of some type of mental
      > illness...or neurosis.... me for instance.... I've seen huge progress
      > in my daily life just by meditating and practicing mindfullness, to
      > the puny extent I've been able to do it. I even like my job now.
      >
      > Makes me think about that thing where they say to meditate on how
      > fortunate we are to be born human. Steve
      >
      > --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> wrote:
      >
      > From: ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> Subject: [Buddhism_101] existential
      > psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not) To:
      > Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 3:41 AM
      >
      > Perceptive comment. Yeah, along with Erwin Straus, Sartre, Maurice
      > Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, and others, Frankl is an important
      > existential psychologist, the founder of what is called logotherapy,
      > a vastly more humane and human approach to "mental illness" than the
      > rats-and-pills schools of psychology. Some scholars have noted that,
      > within the context of Western cultural history, existentialism
      > indicates a turn to the East and the beginnings of an integration of
      > Western and Eastern thought. So, yes, we should expect to find
      > notions akin to Buddhism in existentialism. Just yesterday,
      > coincidentally, I was reading about tantra and dzogchen and
      > transforming passions into wisdom when it struck me that,
      > essentially, this is what (the Western existentialist concept of)
      > "talk therapy" is based on, i.e., that if a problem bears down on you
      > and makes you crazy, think about it and bring some (not pills, but
      > rather) wisdom to it and you'll find, in doing so, at the same time
      > that the problem is deflated of its control over your emotions...
      > plus, now you understand the problem. Although Buddhism came up with
      > this idea centuries earlier than the West, Westerners figured out a
      > way to bill it out by the hour. :)
      >
      > Wikipedia has a pretty good rundown of existential psychology:
      > <http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Existential_ psychology>.
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, "Tamara" <savepawsfurever@ ...>
      > wrote:
      >> I just finished reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor
      > Frankl.
      >> It was written in the 40s after he was in the concentration camps
      >> during World War II. He was a psychiatrist and believed that man
      >> can overcome any type of suffering if there is meaning to that
      >> man's life.
      >
      >> It never once mentions Buddhism, yet it says so much about
      >> suffering and how it is meant to teach us and guide us.
      >>
      >> It is a beautiful, small book and it is one more way I can learn
      >> about how suffering is to be done, yet we can do it with love and
      >> grace. I highly recommend it for those of us (trying to find) or
      >> going down that middle path.
      >>
      >> Tamara

      --
      When fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag,
      carrying a cross."
      --Sinclair Lewis

















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John Pellecchia
      Tamara, There are times when medication not meditation is essential to one s well-being and practice. I would sincerely hope that anyone who is prescribed
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 3, 2008
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        Tamara,

        There are times when medication not meditation is essential to one's well-being and practice. I would sincerely hope that anyone who is prescribed medication by a doctor would consult with him or her before attempting to go off an Rx. Even then I'm sure the doctor would ween one off the meds while under their care and not suggest stopping immediately. There's no reason that you should be "...too scared to rely on my control of my mind...." The taking of medication in many cases should be in consort with meditation not in lieu of them. I believe any teacher of any lineage would agree with this. BTW CNN's "Larry King Live" had an excellent program about the mind last night. I'm sure they'll rebroadcast it if not today (Sunday) then at some future date.

        Don't forget to light a candle for a free Tibet on 07 August at 9pm your local time. See http://candle4tibet.ning.com/ .

        Also, watch CNN Christiane Amanpour's "Buddha's Warriors" tonight, 8 ET if you missed it yesterday. Interesting juxtaposition of views regarding traditional Buddhist non-violence and recent political events in Tibet and Myanmar (Burma) (see http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/siu/ for additional information).

        May all be at peace.

        John

        Whatever joy there is in this world
        All comes from desiring others to be happy,
        And whatever suffering there is in this world
        All comes from desiring myself to be happy.
        ~SHANTIDEVA




        ----- Original Message ----
        Tamara <savepawsfurever@...> wrote on Saturday, August 2, 2008 Re: existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not)

        I'm a bit late on responding to this turn of the conversation, but I suffer from chronic depression and each time I've tried to shake myself free of the pharmaceuticals, I've had serious problems...ending up in a place so deep and dark that I can't reach myself through meditation. To me, I either have to take pills and live or don't take them and die. This may change at some point, but for now I admit I'm too scared to rely on my control of my mind--it is actually a physical problem in my brain.

        However, you are correct that in so many cases of mental illness it is indeed possible for us to aid or even cure some illnesses through meditation (understanding our minds). As things progress and scientists understand our minds more and more, I can indeed see a day where most, if not all mental illnesses are cured or at least lessened by the "mind over matter" that a meditation practice can provide.

        It is all so interesting, this mind of ours !



        Tamara

        "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do,
        this loving of dogs." -- Jack Voller





        --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@...> wrote:

        From: ken <gebser@...>
        Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not)
        To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 5:12 PM







        Steve,

        You may be correct, given the current state of the art of talk therapy
        and other similar therapies along with our current understanding of
        consciousness. Unfortunately though, consciousness isn't understood
        very well yet and talk and other such therapies are really still in
        their infancy. Interesting research and practices are happening with
        the use of music and pets which, though yielding hopeful results, are
        not well understood. And too, counseling has shown success in helping
        people overcome multiple personality disorders, something which only a
        few years ago would have been thought to be inconceivable. And we
        certainly don't understand addictions, mostly, I believe, because much
        more money has been thrown into research on how to cause addiction than
        on how to cure it. If the mind is capable of only half of what
        Buddhists claim, we can fully expect great strides in non-pharmaceutical
        treatments of psychological disorders in the coming years. So we would
        be justified in believing in possibilities and making efforts towards
        them. It sounds like you're already doing some of that.

        On 07/11/2008 08:00 AM Steve Serfass wrote:
        > I think you're right maybe if the person with the problem has a
        > relatively healthy mind, but mental illness, I think the pills are a
        > huge advance in treatment. Try telling a schizophrenic not to believe
        > those voices are real, or an obsessive compulsive disorder victim to
        > just be rational, and don't allow yourself to do what you do, or even
        > an alcoholic or drug addict, when they've shot or drank the first
        > one, just say no.....
        >
        > But with a person with a "mild" case of some type of mental
        > illness...or neurosis.... me for instance.... I've seen huge progress
        > in my daily life just by meditating and practicing mindfullness, to
        > the puny extent I've been able to do it. I even like my job now.
        >
        > Makes me think about that thing where they say to meditate on how
        > fortunate we are to be born human. Steve
        >
        > --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> wrote:
        >
        > From: ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> Subject: [Buddhism_101] existential
        > psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not) To:
        > Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 3:41 AM
        >
        > Perceptive comment. Yeah, along with Erwin Straus, Sartre, Maurice
        > Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, and others, Frankl is an important
        > existential psychologist, the founder of what is called logotherapy,
        > a vastly more humane and human approach to "mental illness" than the
        > rats-and-pills schools of psychology. Some scholars have noted that,
        > within the context of Western cultural history, existentialism
        > indicates a turn to the East and the beginnings of an integration of
        > Western and Eastern thought. So, yes, we should expect to find
        > notions akin to Buddhism in existentialism. Just yesterday,
        > coincidentally, I was reading about tantra and dzogchen and
        > transforming passions into wisdom when it struck me that,
        > essentially, this is what (the Western existentialist concept of)
        > "talk therapy" is based on, i.e., that if a problem bears down on you
        > and makes you crazy, think about it and bring some (not pills, but
        > rather) wisdom to it and you'll find, in doing so, at the same time
        > that the problem is deflated of its control over your emotions...
        > plus, now you understand the problem. Although Buddhism came up with
        > this idea centuries earlier than the West, Westerners figured out a
        > way to bill it out by the hour. :)
        >
        > Wikipedia has a pretty good rundown of existential psychology:
        > <http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Existential_ psychology>.
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, "Tamara" <savepawsfurever@ ...>
        > wrote:
        >> I just finished reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor
        > Frankl.
        >> It was written in the 40s after he was in the concentration camps
        >> during World War II. He was a psychiatrist and believed that man
        >> can overcome any type of suffering if there is meaning to that
        >> man's life.
        >
        >> It never once mentions Buddhism, yet it says so much about
        >> suffering and how it is meant to teach us and guide us.
        >>
        >> It is a beautiful, small book and it is one more way I can learn
        >> about how suffering is to be done, yet we can do it with love and
        >> grace. I highly recommend it for those of us (trying to find) or
        >> going down that middle path.
        >>
        >> Tamara

        --
        When fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag,
        carrying a cross."
        --Sinclair Lewis

















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


        ------------------------------------

        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • greyhabit
        Hi Tamara, As an ex Paramedic, army and civilian, I have to firmly agree with John on this issue. My understanding of Clinical Depression is that at its worst
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 3, 2008
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          Hi Tamara,

          As an ex Paramedic, army and civilian, I have to firmly agree with
          John on this issue. My understanding of Clinical Depression is that at
          its worst it can be a living Hell for the sufferer. Meds are most
          often the only reliable way, at present, to deal with the chemical and
          electrical imbalances in the brain which cause these bouts. Do not
          under any circumstances come off your meds without careful medical
          supervision, the dangers to you, and others, should not be treated
          with anything other than extreme caution.

          On the plus side, our knowledge base is expanding all the time, and
          who knows what exotic cures could be found over the next few years !

          If you haven't already done so, try drawing up a list of the negatives
          and positives in your life, and through calm and creative
          reflection,and perhaps with the help of a wiling and trusted friend,
          try to find novel ways to ways to shift some of the negative
          influences to the positives side of the list. Your aim is to end up
          with more positives than negatives, eventually. This proess may have
          to be repeated over several weeks or months before you achieve a
          positive balance.

          Please make sure you eat a well balanced diet rich in fruits, and set
          aside regular periods during the day to have some simple fun, like
          feeding the birds or gardening. Try taking up Tai Chi, or Hill
          Walking, or Cycling. All of these help to exercise your brain as well
          as your body, and will contribute toward better sense of well being.

          I wish you lasting inner peace :)

          Br Maximillian EFO


          --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, John Pellecchia <pellejf@...> wrote:
          >
          > Tamara,
          >
          > There are times when medication not meditation is essential to one's
          well-being and practice. I would sincerely hope that anyone who is
          prescribed medication by a doctor would consult with him or her before
          attempting to go off an Rx. Even then I'm sure the doctor would ween
          one off the meds while under their care and not suggest stopping
          immediately. There's no reason that you should be "...too scared to
          rely on my control of my mind...." The taking of medication in many
          cases should be in consort with meditation not in lieu of them. I
          believe any teacher of any lineage would agree with this.
        • Lorna
          I, too, suffer from depressions, I am bipolar, so at least I get the mania-energy sometimes to counteract it. My wonderful Veteran s Administration doctors
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 3, 2008
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            I, too, suffer from depressions, I am bipolar, so at least I get the mania-energy sometimes to counteract it.

            My wonderful Veteran's Administration "doctors" saw my lithium level was high (1.2) and cut my lithium in half. Limits are .06 - 1.3. My level could have occured from slight dehydration or the medication not clearing my system before the blood test.

            3 days later I decended into the worst suicidal, black depression I've had in 10 years. Instead of rushing to the useless hospital, I took on my Buddhist training and practice and read Buddhist books. In about a week the depression was gone and I had no new medications. So, in my opinion, you are right- it works! And I am very grateful for my practice.

            Lorna

                                  "Present day animals may have been one's kin in the past; one's own parents or relatives may be reborn as an animal; there is no logic in exempting some meats; meat is impure, it is contaminated by body wastes; the prospect of being killed spreads terror amoung animals; all meat is nothing but carrion (decaying flesh); eating meat makes the consumer cruel and sensual; man is not a carnivore by nature."Shakyamuni Buddha in the Lankavatara Sutra

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • lorilynkay
            Tamara, In my humble opinion, I wouldn t try to go off of your medications at this time in your life. Right now, if medicine is keeping your mind at an even
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 3, 2008
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              Tamara,

              In my humble opinion, I wouldn't try to go off of your medications at
              this time in your life. Right now, if medicine is keeping your mind at
              an even keel, it is essential that you take it.

              When you become a somewhat seasoned Buddhist, and have learned how to
              overcome the mind and it's emotions by practicing, practicing, and
              practicing over and over again; and are more grounded in the depths of
              Buddhist psychology, not by head knowledge, but by experience, and
              have found your Teacher (if you are of a school that believes in
              having a Teacher for one's self) That might be a time when you might
              try tittering down your medication. Please keep your relationship
              with your doctor, and let him/her help you come of your medications if
              you feel you are ready.

              Please don't come off of you medications on your own. You can still
              be a Buddhist and take medication. You can still practice and take
              medications.

              Don't get stuck on that part of Buddhism, because then it will become
              your focus, and defeat the process of emptiness. So don't worry about
              it now, just focus on your practice and gaining the wisdoms of
              Buddhism. Strengthen yourself through meditations, and mantras.

              Please don't let the thought that you must come off of your meds to be
              Buddhist become an obsession. Don't worry, just be happy. There is a
              time for everything, and everything will happen when the time is right.

              Lorilyn





              --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, Tamara <savepawsfurever@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm a bit late on responding to this turn of the conversation, but I
              suffer from chronic depression and each time I've tried to shake
              myself free of the pharmaceuticals, I've had serious problems...ending
              up in a place so deep and dark that I can't reach myself through
              meditation. To me, I either have to take pills and live or don't take
              them and die. This may change at some point, but for now I admit I'm
              too scared to rely on my control of my mind--it is actually a physical
              problem in my brain.
              >
              > However, you are correct that in so many cases of mental illness it
              is indeed possible for us to aid or even cure some illnesses through
              meditation (understanding our minds). As things progress and
              scientists understand our minds more and more, I can indeed see a day
              where most, if not all mental illnesses are cured or at least lessened
              by the "mind over matter" that a meditation practice can provide.
              >
              > It is all so interesting, this mind of ours !
              >
              >
              >
              > Tamara
              >
              > "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do,
              > this loving of dogs." -- Jack Voller
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@...> wrote:
              >
              > From: ken <gebser@...>
              > Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great
              book--Buddhist, yet not)
              > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 5:12 PM
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Steve,
              >
              > You may be correct, given the current state of the art of talk therapy
              > and other similar therapies along with our current understanding of
              > consciousness. Unfortunately though, consciousness isn't understood
              > very well yet and talk and other such therapies are really still in
              > their infancy. Interesting research and practices are happening with
              > the use of music and pets which, though yielding hopeful results, are
              > not well understood. And too, counseling has shown success in helping
              > people overcome multiple personality disorders, something which only a
              > few years ago would have been thought to be inconceivable. And we
              > certainly don't understand addictions, mostly, I believe, because much
              > more money has been thrown into research on how to cause addiction than
              > on how to cure it. If the mind is capable of only half of what
              > Buddhists claim, we can fully expect great strides in
              non-pharmaceutical
              > treatments of psychological disorders in the coming years. So we would
              > be justified in believing in possibilities and making efforts towards
              > them. It sounds like you're already doing some of that.
              >
              > On 07/11/2008 08:00 AM Steve Serfass wrote:
              > > I think you're right maybe if the person with the problem has a
              > > relatively healthy mind, but mental illness, I think the pills are a
              > > huge advance in treatment. Try telling a schizophrenic not to believe
              > > those voices are real, or an obsessive compulsive disorder victim to
              > > just be rational, and don't allow yourself to do what you do, or even
              > > an alcoholic or drug addict, when they've shot or drank the first
              > > one, just say no.....
              > >
              > > But with a person with a "mild" case of some type of mental
              > > illness...or neurosis.... me for instance.... I've seen huge progress
              > > in my daily life just by meditating and practicing mindfullness, to
              > > the puny extent I've been able to do it. I even like my job now.
              > >
              > > Makes me think about that thing where they say to meditate on how
              > > fortunate we are to be born human. Steve
              > >
              > > --- On Fri, 7/11/08, ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> wrote:
              > >
              > > From: ken <gebser@speakeasy. net> Subject: [Buddhism_101] existential
              > > psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not) To:
              > > Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 3:41 AM
              > >
              > > Perceptive comment. Yeah, along with Erwin Straus, Sartre, Maurice
              > > Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, and others, Frankl is an important
              > > existential psychologist, the founder of what is called logotherapy,
              > > a vastly more humane and human approach to "mental illness" than the
              > > rats-and-pills schools of psychology. Some scholars have noted that,
              > > within the context of Western cultural history, existentialism
              > > indicates a turn to the East and the beginnings of an integration of
              > > Western and Eastern thought. So, yes, we should expect to find
              > > notions akin to Buddhism in existentialism. Just yesterday,
              > > coincidentally, I was reading about tantra and dzogchen and
              > > transforming passions into wisdom when it struck me that,
              > > essentially, this is what (the Western existentialist concept of)
              > > "talk therapy" is based on, i.e., that if a problem bears down on you
              > > and makes you crazy, think about it and bring some (not pills, but
              > > rather) wisdom to it and you'll find, in doing so, at the same time
              > > that the problem is deflated of its control over your emotions...
              > > plus, now you understand the problem. Although Buddhism came up with
              > > this idea centuries earlier than the West, Westerners figured out a
              > > way to bill it out by the hour. :)
              > >
              > > Wikipedia has a pretty good rundown of existential psychology:
              > > <http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Existential_ psychology>.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, "Tamara" <savepawsfurever@ ...>
              > > wrote:
              > >> I just finished reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor
              > > Frankl.
              > >> It was written in the 40s after he was in the concentration camps
              > >> during World War II. He was a psychiatrist and believed that man
              > >> can overcome any type of suffering if there is meaning to that
              > >> man's life.
              > >
              > >> It never once mentions Buddhism, yet it says so much about
              > >> suffering and how it is meant to teach us and guide us.
              > >>
              > >> It is a beautiful, small book and it is one more way I can learn
              > >> about how suffering is to be done, yet we can do it with love and
              > >> grace. I highly recommend it for those of us (trying to find) or
              > >> going down that middle path.
              > >>
              > >> Tamara
              >
              > --
              > When fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag,
              > carrying a cross."
              > --Sinclair Lewis
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Tamara
              Hi all,   I must have sent a wrong impression--I was never suggesting that I (or anyone for that matter) should ever just drop meds.  I was actually
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 3, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi all,
                 
                I must have sent a wrong impression--I was never suggesting that I (or anyone for that matter) should ever just drop meds.  I was actually responding to someone else who'd suggested that meditation practice could help some mental illnesses.  Indeed it might, but not mine or at least not so far.  The only time I've stopped my meds was when I changed jobs and did not have insurance for a while with my new job, and even then I carefully weaned myself off my old meds.  That experience, though not a choice of mine (due to $$$) was negative and scary enough I'll not forget it.
                I was intending my post to not just be a description of my experience with this, but also so others would not read what someone else had posted and just drop their meds thinking that meditation would/could be the answer.  It may be, but one should be very careful and under the care of a doctor while doing so.
                 
                Sorry for the misunderstanding...


                Tamara
                 
                "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do,
                this loving of dogs."  --  Jack Voller



                 

                --- On Sun, 8/3/08, greyhabit <greyhabit@...> wrote:

                From: greyhabit <greyhabit@...>
                Subject: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not)
                To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Sunday, August 3, 2008, 9:03 AM






                Hi Tamara,

                As an ex Paramedic, army and civilian, I have to firmly agree with
                John on this issue. My understanding of Clinical Depression is that at
                its worst it can be a living Hell for the sufferer. Meds are most
                often the only reliable way, at present, to deal with the chemical and
                electrical imbalances in the brain which cause these bouts. Do not
                under any circumstances come off your meds without careful medical
                supervision, the dangers to you, and others, should not be treated
                with anything other than extreme caution.

                On the plus side, our knowledge base is expanding all the time, and
                who knows what exotic cures could be found over the next few years !

                If you haven't already done so, try drawing up a list of the negatives
                and positives in your life, and through calm and creative
                reflection,and perhaps with the help of a wiling and trusted friend,
                try to find novel ways to ways to shift some of the negative
                influences to the positives side of the list. Your aim is to end up
                with more positives than negatives, eventually. This proess may have
                to be repeated over several weeks or months before you achieve a
                positive balance.

                Please make sure you eat a well balanced diet rich in fruits, and set
                aside regular periods during the day to have some simple fun, like
                feeding the birds or gardening. Try taking up Tai Chi, or Hill
                Walking, or Cycling. All of these help to exercise your brain as well
                as your body, and will contribute toward better sense of well being.

                I wish you lasting inner peace :)

                Br Maximillian EFO

                --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, John Pellecchia <pellejf@... > wrote:
                >
                > Tamara,
                >
                > There are times when medication not meditation is essential to one's
                well-being and practice. I would sincerely hope that anyone who is
                prescribed medication by a doctor would consult with him or her before
                attempting to go off an Rx. Even then I'm sure the doctor would ween
                one off the meds while under their care and not suggest stopping
                immediately. There's no reason that you should be "...too scared to
                rely on my control of my mind...." The taking of medication in many
                cases should be in consort with meditation not in lieu of them. I
                believe any teacher of any lineage would agree with this.


















                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • lorilynkay
                Hi Tamara, Well, I did mention medications in my post, but my post wasn t entirely about medication. So, I hope you do go back and read my post skipping the
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 3, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Tamara,

                  Well, I did mention medications in my post, but my post wasn't
                  entirely about medication. So, I hope you do go back and read my post
                  skipping the medicine part of it. Most of the e-mails that I have
                  read in response to you have very sound advice. Try reading all the
                  responses to you again, and you will read things that may have been
                  missed.

                  I'm glad you wrote what you did, because it is a relief to know that
                  you are doing the best thing for you medication wise. I think it
                  would be great to hear what you think about what has been written to
                  you besides the med thing.

                  By Continuing on the path to enlightenment teaches us to overcome
                  feelings of depression, or feelings of pain etc. It's not an easy
                  lesson to learn. Just keep your focus on the path, and be diligent in
                  it then things will happen when the time is ready.

                  Many Blessings,
                  Lorilyn


                  --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, Tamara <savepawsfurever@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi all,
                  >
                  > I must have sent a wrong impression--I was never suggesting that I
                  (or anyone for that matter) should ever just drop meds. I was
                  actually responding to someone else who'd suggested that meditation
                  practice could help some mental illnesses. Indeed it might, but not
                  mine or at least not so far. The only time I've stopped my meds was
                  when I changed jobs and did not have insurance for a while with my new
                  job, and even then I carefully weaned myself off my old meds. That
                  experience, though not a choice of mine (due to $$$) was negative and
                  scary enough I'll not forget it.
                  > I was intending my post to not just be a description of my
                  experience with this, but also so others would not read what someone
                  else had posted and just drop their meds thinking that meditation
                  would/could be the answer. It may be, but one should be very careful
                  and under the care of a doctor while doing so.
                  >
                  > Sorry for the misunderstanding...
                  >
                  >
                  > Tamara
                  >
                  > "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do,
                  > this loving of dogs." -- Jack Voller
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- On Sun, 8/3/08, greyhabit <greyhabit@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > From: greyhabit <greyhabit@...>
                  > Subject: [Buddhism_101] existential psychology (and: Re: Great
                  book--Buddhist, yet not)
                  > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Sunday, August 3, 2008, 9:03 AM
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi Tamara,
                  >
                  > As an ex Paramedic, army and civilian, I have to firmly agree with
                  > John on this issue. My understanding of Clinical Depression is that at
                  > its worst it can be a living Hell for the sufferer. Meds are most
                  > often the only reliable way, at present, to deal with the chemical and
                  > electrical imbalances in the brain which cause these bouts. Do not
                  > under any circumstances come off your meds without careful medical
                  > supervision, the dangers to you, and others, should not be treated
                  > with anything other than extreme caution.
                  >
                  > On the plus side, our knowledge base is expanding all the time, and
                  > who knows what exotic cures could be found over the next few years !
                  >
                  > If you haven't already done so, try drawing up a list of the negatives
                  > and positives in your life, and through calm and creative
                  > reflection,and perhaps with the help of a wiling and trusted friend,
                  > try to find novel ways to ways to shift some of the negative
                  > influences to the positives side of the list. Your aim is to end up
                  > with more positives than negatives, eventually. This proess may have
                  > to be repeated over several weeks or months before you achieve a
                  > positive balance.
                  >
                  > Please make sure you eat a well balanced diet rich in fruits, and set
                  > aside regular periods during the day to have some simple fun, like
                  > feeding the birds or gardening. Try taking up Tai Chi, or Hill
                  > Walking, or Cycling. All of these help to exercise your brain as well
                  > as your body, and will contribute toward better sense of well being.
                  >
                  > I wish you lasting inner peace :)
                  >
                  > Br Maximillian EFO
                  >
                  > --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, John Pellecchia <pellejf@ >
                  wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Tamara,
                  > >
                  > > There are times when medication not meditation is essential to one's
                  > well-being and practice. I would sincerely hope that anyone who is
                  > prescribed medication by a doctor would consult with him or her before
                  > attempting to go off an Rx. Even then I'm sure the doctor would ween
                  > one off the meds while under their care and not suggest stopping
                  > immediately. There's no reason that you should be "...too scared to
                  > rely on my control of my mind...." The taking of medication in many
                  > cases should be in consort with meditation not in lieu of them. I
                  > believe any teacher of any lineage would agree with this.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • ken
                  ... Hash: SHA1 Tamara, It was apparent to me and, I think, everyone here that you weren t making a blanket statement for everyone. Even doctors cannot and
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 4, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
                    Hash: SHA1


                    Tamara,

                    It was apparent to me and, I think, everyone here that you weren't
                    making a blanket statement for everyone. Even doctors cannot and would
                    not prescribe medications or change prescriptions without consulting
                    personally with the individual needing help.

                    In my previous email on this topic (from some time ago... but that's
                    fine... one of the great things about email) I disparaged pills quite
                    strongly. I did so because I see a lot of people taking pills when much
                    less hazardous and more healthy alternatives are available. And it
                    wasn't too long ago that my physician prescribed for me antibiotics for
                    treatment of an influenza virus. I asked him if the antibiotic would
                    have any effect on the virus (I knew that it wouldn't) and he didn't
                    reply at all... but he did cancel the prescription. I worked at a
                    number of children's social service agencies and saw psychotropic drugs
                    prescribed to children who obviously didn't need them. A friend of mine
                    who is a nurse has told me of many cases she knows of where, based on
                    her experience of multiple decades, prescribed medication was
                    unnecessary. Another friend of mine has been taking blood pressure
                    medication for years. Due to a pause in his business, he finally had
                    time to do something he truly enjoyed. He went to work on a car which
                    has been waiting for him in his driveway for more than a year. After
                    just a few days of working on it, his blood pressure went down to almost
                    normal levels. And in the week or so since then he's lost so much
                    weight that he can't wear the same pants he used to. Who knew that his
                    doing something that he enjoyed, that he could and wanted to give his
                    full and undivided attention to, would be more effective in lowering his
                    blood pressure than the medication was able to? His doctor certainly
                    didn't. But then how could he, trained as he is in pharmaceutical
                    solutions so much more than in the healing power of the mind?

                    On the other hand, I had a good friend who, after an extreme psychotic
                    episode, was prescribed lithium. She took this regularly, but after
                    awhile said she wanted to reduce it. Reasoning with her that at times
                    she might not be the best judge of her own condition, I had her promise
                    me that she wouldn't do this unless I agreed. We both agreed that she
                    could reduce from four pills a day to three and see how things went.
                    Instead she reduced the dosage to two. Then, again against my advice,
                    she went off the lithium completely three weeks later. During this time
                    she also refinanced her home against my advice, signing on to an
                    adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) of the kind that has helped topple our
                    economy and which has led to many people losing their homes. Then I
                    stopped hearing from her except for terse replies that she didn't want
                    me to contact her anymore. From this, it's obvious to me that there
                    certainly can be cases where medication is warranted.

                    So I've seen problems coming from both sides: people taking medication
                    when it wasn't necessary and other people not taking it when it was.
                    I'd like to see the day when medication is not necessary for anyone, but
                    that day isn't here yet. With medical care in the US so deeply
                    influenced by commercial concerns, with our predilection for quick and
                    cheap fixes, together with our general misunderstanding and
                    underestimation of consciousness, medication is too often the first and
                    sole solution sought for maladies of all sorts. Still, all we can say
                    at this time is that there is no single, all encompassing recommendation
                    which can be made for each and every person. Rather every situation
                    should be assessed individually, and re-assessed frequently. Friends or
                    family members in whom you can trust and confide can and in some cases
                    should be called upon to help in making assessments and decisions. And
                    while professionals' expertise should be valued, each of us is
                    ultimately responsible for our own well being. Everyone else can only
                    try to help.



                    - --
                    Please note that I will be changing this email address soon. The PGP
                    signature should ensure for everyone that, though the email address
                    will be different, I will be the same person.


                    On 08/03/2008 07:42 PM Tamara wrote:
                    | Hi all,
                    |
                    | I must have sent a wrong impression--I was never suggesting that I
                    | (or anyone for that matter) should ever just drop meds. I was
                    | actually responding to someone else who'd suggested that meditation
                    | practice could help some mental illnesses. Indeed it might, but not
                    | mine or at least not so far. The only time I've stopped my meds was
                    | when I changed jobs and did not have insurance for a while with my
                    | new job, and even then I carefully weaned myself off my old meds.
                    | That experience, though not a choice of mine (due to $$$) was
                    | negative and scary enough I'll not forget it. I was intending my post
                    | to not just be a description of my experience with this, but also so
                    | others would not read what someone else had posted and just drop
                    | their meds thinking that meditation would/could be the answer. It
                    | may be, but one should be very careful and under the care of a doctor
                    | while doing so.
                    |
                    | Sorry for the misunderstanding...
                    |
                    |
                    | Tamara
                    |
                    | "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do, this loving of
                    | dogs." -- Jack Voller
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    | --- On Sun, 8/3/08, greyhabit <greyhabit@...> wrote:
                    |
                    | From: greyhabit <greyhabit@...> Subject: [Buddhism_101]
                    | existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not) To:
                    | Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com Date: Sunday, August 3, 2008, 9:03 AM
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    | Hi Tamara,
                    |
                    | As an ex Paramedic, army and civilian, I have to firmly agree with
                    | John on this issue. My understanding of Clinical Depression is that
                    | at its worst it can be a living Hell for the sufferer. Meds are most
                    | often the only reliable way, at present, to deal with the chemical
                    | and electrical imbalances in the brain which cause these bouts. Do
                    | not under any circumstances come off your meds without careful
                    | medical supervision, the dangers to you, and others, should not be
                    | treated with anything other than extreme caution.
                    |
                    | On the plus side, our knowledge base is expanding all the time, and
                    | who knows what exotic cures could be found over the next few years !
                    |
                    | If you haven't already done so, try drawing up a list of the
                    | negatives and positives in your life, and through calm and creative
                    | reflection,and perhaps with the help of a wiling and trusted friend,
                    | try to find novel ways to ways to shift some of the negative
                    | influences to the positives side of the list. Your aim is to end up
                    | with more positives than negatives, eventually. This proess may have
                    | to be repeated over several weeks or months before you achieve a
                    | positive balance.
                    |
                    | Please make sure you eat a well balanced diet rich in fruits, and set
                    | aside regular periods during the day to have some simple fun, like
                    | feeding the birds or gardening. Try taking up Tai Chi, or Hill
                    | Walking, or Cycling. All of these help to exercise your brain as well
                    | as your body, and will contribute toward better sense of well being.
                    |
                    |
                    | I wish you lasting inner peace :)
                    |
                    | Br Maximillian EFO
                    |
                    | --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, John Pellecchia <pellejf@... >
                    | wrote:
                    |> Tamara,
                    |>
                    |> There are times when medication not meditation is essential to
                    |> one's
                    | well-being and practice. I would sincerely hope that anyone who is
                    | prescribed medication by a doctor would consult with him or her
                    | before attempting to go off an Rx. Even then I'm sure the doctor
                    | would ween one off the meds while under their care and not suggest
                    | stopping immediately. There's no reason that you should be "...too
                    | scared to rely on my control of my mind...." The taking of medication
                    | in many cases should be in consort with meditation not in lieu of
                    | them. I believe any teacher of any lineage would agree with this.
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    |
                    | [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    |
                    |
                    | ------------------------------------
                    |
                    | Yahoo! Groups Links
                    |
                    |
                    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
                    Version: GnuPG v1.4.0 (GNU/Linux)

                    iD8DBQFIl7bC8CeNiFrQkecRAloAAJ9SC1VexIEv8my5JsSXHRTMIbsgAwCghxVC
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                  • lorilynkay
                    Ken, I couldn t agree with you more, I worked in Pharmacies for 20years, my father, brother, and cousin are Pharmacists, and my other brother in a
                    Message 9 of 15 , Aug 4, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Ken,
                      I couldn't agree with you more, I worked in Pharmacies for 20years,
                      my father, brother, and cousin are Pharmacists, and my other brother
                      in a Naturopathic doctor.

                      Some people actually need medication, and some people are over
                      medicated, and some people could be cure with alternative medicine, or
                      no medicine at all.

                      I have a few pet peeves. One of my peeves is that the drug companies
                      make T.V. commercial touting their drug over other drugs in the same
                      category, and doing so to the point where people walking into doctors'
                      offices and demanding the drug that they saw on T.V. Whether the drug
                      is the right drug for them or not. Doctors are handing out Rx's for
                      statin drugs like they were candy, just to name one.

                      Medical drugs are being pushed onto society, and things end up where
                      everyone thinks that there is a pill for everything. There is not a
                      pill for everything. We are in a world of suffering, and these past
                      few generations do not know how to handle suffering even to the
                      slightest level. We are a nation of wimps. We whine and cry over a
                      stuffy nose, and think its the end of the world.....

                      In my opinion, the big drug companies are (and have) set up a scenario
                      to lead our nation into becoming "A Drug Dependant Nation" Be it
                      either Rx's or OTCs.

                      We are a magic pill society



                      --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, ken <gebser@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
                      > Hash: SHA1
                      >
                      >
                      > Tamara,
                      >
                      > It was apparent to me and, I think, everyone here that you weren't
                      > making a blanket statement for everyone. Even doctors cannot and would
                      > not prescribe medications or change prescriptions without consulting
                      > personally with the individual needing help.
                      >
                      > In my previous email on this topic (from some time ago... but that's
                      > fine... one of the great things about email) I disparaged pills quite
                      > strongly. I did so because I see a lot of people taking pills when much
                      > less hazardous and more healthy alternatives are available. And it
                      > wasn't too long ago that my physician prescribed for me antibiotics for
                      > treatment of an influenza virus. I asked him if the antibiotic would
                      > have any effect on the virus (I knew that it wouldn't) and he didn't
                      > reply at all... but he did cancel the prescription. I worked at a
                      > number of children's social service agencies and saw psychotropic drugs
                      > prescribed to children who obviously didn't need them. A friend of mine
                      > who is a nurse has told me of many cases she knows of where, based on
                      > her experience of multiple decades, prescribed medication was
                      > unnecessary. Another friend of mine has been taking blood pressure
                      > medication for years. Due to a pause in his business, he finally had
                      > time to do something he truly enjoyed. He went to work on a car which
                      > has been waiting for him in his driveway for more than a year. After
                      > just a few days of working on it, his blood pressure went down to almost
                      > normal levels. And in the week or so since then he's lost so much
                      > weight that he can't wear the same pants he used to. Who knew that his
                      > doing something that he enjoyed, that he could and wanted to give his
                      > full and undivided attention to, would be more effective in lowering his
                      > blood pressure than the medication was able to? His doctor certainly
                      > didn't. But then how could he, trained as he is in pharmaceutical
                      > solutions so much more than in the healing power of the mind?
                      >
                      > On the other hand, I had a good friend who, after an extreme psychotic
                      > episode, was prescribed lithium. She took this regularly, but after
                      > awhile said she wanted to reduce it. Reasoning with her that at times
                      > she might not be the best judge of her own condition, I had her promise
                      > me that she wouldn't do this unless I agreed. We both agreed that she
                      > could reduce from four pills a day to three and see how things went.
                      > Instead she reduced the dosage to two. Then, again against my advice,
                      > she went off the lithium completely three weeks later. During this time
                      > she also refinanced her home against my advice, signing on to an
                      > adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) of the kind that has helped topple our
                      > economy and which has led to many people losing their homes. Then I
                      > stopped hearing from her except for terse replies that she didn't want
                      > me to contact her anymore. From this, it's obvious to me that there
                      > certainly can be cases where medication is warranted.
                      >
                      > So I've seen problems coming from both sides: people taking medication
                      > when it wasn't necessary and other people not taking it when it was.
                      > I'd like to see the day when medication is not necessary for anyone, but
                      > that day isn't here yet. With medical care in the US so deeply
                      > influenced by commercial concerns, with our predilection for quick and
                      > cheap fixes, together with our general misunderstanding and
                      > underestimation of consciousness, medication is too often the first and
                      > sole solution sought for maladies of all sorts. Still, all we can say
                      > at this time is that there is no single, all encompassing recommendation
                      > which can be made for each and every person. Rather every situation
                      > should be assessed individually, and re-assessed frequently. Friends or
                      > family members in whom you can trust and confide can and in some cases
                      > should be called upon to help in making assessments and decisions. And
                      > while professionals' expertise should be valued, each of us is
                      > ultimately responsible for our own well being. Everyone else can only
                      > try to help.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > - --
                      > Please note that I will be changing this email address soon. The PGP
                      > signature should ensure for everyone that, though the email address
                      > will be different, I will be the same person.
                      >
                      >
                      > On 08/03/2008 07:42 PM Tamara wrote:
                      > | Hi all,
                      > |
                      > | I must have sent a wrong impression--I was never suggesting that I
                      > | (or anyone for that matter) should ever just drop meds. I was
                      > | actually responding to someone else who'd suggested that meditation
                      > | practice could help some mental illnesses. Indeed it might, but not
                      > | mine or at least not so far. The only time I've stopped my meds was
                      > | when I changed jobs and did not have insurance for a while with my
                      > | new job, and even then I carefully weaned myself off my old meds.
                      > | That experience, though not a choice of mine (due to $$$) was
                      > | negative and scary enough I'll not forget it. I was intending my post
                      > | to not just be a description of my experience with this, but also so
                      > | others would not read what someone else had posted and just drop
                      > | their meds thinking that meditation would/could be the answer. It
                      > | may be, but one should be very careful and under the care of a doctor
                      > | while doing so.
                      > |
                      > | Sorry for the misunderstanding...
                      > |
                      > |
                      > | Tamara
                      > |
                      > | "It is a great and potent and dangerous thing we do, this loving of
                      > | dogs." -- Jack Voller
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > | --- On Sun, 8/3/08, greyhabit <greyhabit@...> wrote:
                      > |
                      > | From: greyhabit <greyhabit@...> Subject: [Buddhism_101]
                      > | existential psychology (and: Re: Great book--Buddhist, yet not) To:
                      > | Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com Date: Sunday, August 3, 2008, 9:03 AM
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > | Hi Tamara,
                      > |
                      > | As an ex Paramedic, army and civilian, I have to firmly agree with
                      > | John on this issue. My understanding of Clinical Depression is that
                      > | at its worst it can be a living Hell for the sufferer. Meds are most
                      > | often the only reliable way, at present, to deal with the chemical
                      > | and electrical imbalances in the brain which cause these bouts. Do
                      > | not under any circumstances come off your meds without careful
                      > | medical supervision, the dangers to you, and others, should not be
                      > | treated with anything other than extreme caution.
                      > |
                      > | On the plus side, our knowledge base is expanding all the time, and
                      > | who knows what exotic cures could be found over the next few years !
                      > |
                      > | If you haven't already done so, try drawing up a list of the
                      > | negatives and positives in your life, and through calm and creative
                      > | reflection,and perhaps with the help of a wiling and trusted friend,
                      > | try to find novel ways to ways to shift some of the negative
                      > | influences to the positives side of the list. Your aim is to end up
                      > | with more positives than negatives, eventually. This proess may have
                      > | to be repeated over several weeks or months before you achieve a
                      > | positive balance.
                      > |
                      > | Please make sure you eat a well balanced diet rich in fruits, and set
                      > | aside regular periods during the day to have some simple fun, like
                      > | feeding the birds or gardening. Try taking up Tai Chi, or Hill
                      > | Walking, or Cycling. All of these help to exercise your brain as well
                      > | as your body, and will contribute toward better sense of well being.
                      > |
                      > |
                      > | I wish you lasting inner peace :)
                      > |
                      > | Br Maximillian EFO
                      > |
                      > | --- In Buddhism_101@ yahoogroups. com, John Pellecchia <pellejf@ >
                      > | wrote:
                      > |> Tamara,
                      > |>
                      > |> There are times when medication not meditation is essential to
                      > |> one's
                      > | well-being and practice. I would sincerely hope that anyone who is
                      > | prescribed medication by a doctor would consult with him or her
                      > | before attempting to go off an Rx. Even then I'm sure the doctor
                      > | would ween one off the meds while under their care and not suggest
                      > | stopping immediately. There's no reason that you should be "...too
                      > | scared to rely on my control of my mind...." The taking of medication
                      > | in many cases should be in consort with meditation not in lieu of
                      > | them. I believe any teacher of any lineage would agree with this.
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > |
                      > | [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > |
                      > |
                      > | ------------------------------------
                      > |
                      > | Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > |
                      > |
                      > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
                      > Version: GnuPG v1.4.0 (GNU/Linux)
                      >
                      > iD8DBQFIl7bC8CeNiFrQkecRAloAAJ9SC1VexIEv8my5JsSXHRTMIbsgAwCghxVC
                      > Rn3lf3Sxlcm/8PbovAUVhNE=
                      > =vX74
                      > -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
                      >
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