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Eckankar: 07/2006 Letter of Light - Questions for the Master...

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  • prometheus_973
    Klemp s focus seems always on the Negative. He finds fault and blames this chela while ignoring the possible medical aspects of her weight problem. Q: How do
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 26, 2006
      Klemp's focus seems always on the Negative. He finds fault and
      blames this chela while ignoring the possible medical aspects of her
      weight problem.

      Q: "How do I learn to truly love myself and build self-esteem?

      I have struggled with self-esteem, weight issues, and a lack of
      confidence for many years. I have read many ECK books searching for
      the answer, BUT I still don't know.

      Is there a practical tool or spiritual exercise that will help?

      Plus, what is the spiritual significance of such a barrier?"

      S.M., age 25
      Queenland, Australia

      [Me]: For one thing, it looks like the lack of self-esteem and
      confidence might be caused by the weight problem instead of vice-
      versa as Klemp sees it. However, the weight problem could be caused
      by a medical issue. I would recommend seeing an Endocrinologist. It
      could be a Thyroid problem or something else. Just before getting
      online I saw a news item that stated Cushings Disease is often under
      diagnosed and this will cause weight gain.

      On another note, I really feel that 21 years of age should be the
      cut-off age for ECK Youth. If they want to be Youth Leaders or
      mentors when they older than 21 then fine, but 22-25 is just too old
      to be stuck with the kids. Who knows maybe the cut-off should be 18?
      Why doesn't the ESC do a survey of ECK Youth and ask them what the
      cut-off age should be? Oh, I know... it's not up to them to have any
      real input or voice... it's a hierarchy and they're at the bottom!

      HK: "There is a single reason for the three problems you mentioned.
      It is simply fear."

      [Me]: As I said before Klemp is making an assumption. Many people
      have fears (that are expressed in many different ways) and they have
      medical/health issues that result in physical, and mental/emotional
      disabilities. So, is Klemp accurate in saying that this chela's
      problems are due to a over-all fear of life. I doubt it! It's way
      too simplified and general. What is the family situation like? See,
      there are just too many variables missing.

      HK: "We may fear another's rejection. So we, in FACT, line up a
      bunch of EXCUSES for the occasion when someone does reject us. And
      yet, we're thus laying the groundwork for future unhappiness too."
      {my caps]

      [Me]: I really don't think these are 'FACTS' as Klemp claims. This
      is just his own moronic and narrow-minded opinion. As I said, this
      weight issue that led to the self-esteem and self-confidence
      problems might Not be fear related as much as they are medically
      related.

      HK: "We gain weight to be unattractive. BUT in doing so, we also
      shut the door on possible opportunities to meet people who could
      bring us happiness."

      [Me]: Can only skinny people like Klemp be happy and attractive and
      meet others that can bring them even more happiness? And, does this
      same analysis apply to all over-weight ECKists! Is this also some
      Mahanta advice for H.K.'s ex-wife Marge, as well as, others (you
      know who you are... look in a mirror with just your B-day suit on -
      LOL!).

      HK: "Poor self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence are, for the
      most part, the very same problem."

      [Me]: Why then did you make these into 'Three Problems' to start
      with? Oh, I know... it's the "principle of three" thing. Yep, just
      make it fit and make it all up like Twitch did!

      HK: "What's at play here? A fear of rejection!"

      [Me]: I don't know about that Harry and neither do you! Why do any
      of us gain weight? And, do some of us have a lack of self-esteem
      when we do... sure! However, Not everyone puts on weight because
      they 'fear rejection.' The cause and the cure aren't always that
      simple. Klemp needs to show some empathy, but this is impossible for
      him to do so. Instead, Klemp will always unlovingly place blame on
      others and then give a simple generic solution as a cure. Of course
      the Catch-22 rule always applies which means that if the "cure"
      doesn't work it's the chela's fault Not Klemp's.

      HK: "To counter such a possibility, we go halfway to meet any and
      all rejections before they even get a chance to occur. It is an
      upside-down way of living. We go to great lengths to make negative
      expressions of fear come true. It's no wonder we're unhappy, isn't
      it?"

      [Me]: I wonder if Klemp is really happy? He keeps saying 'we.' The
      above statement might be words of Golden-Tongued Wisdom coming from
      the ECK (Spirit) in order to show both ECKists and Klemp the error
      of their ways. ECKists should wonder about the Consciousness of
      their leader when he makes comments like these.

      HK: "The question now is, What to do about it? So fear is your
      assailant. Love is the antidote."

      [Me]: Would that 'antidote' be LOVE POTION #9? : ) So, Klemp is
      saying that fear and a lack of love is why this young chela gained
      weight (effect). Therefore, just eliminate the fear (cause) by
      having more divine love. Therefore, other over-weight ECKists must,
      also, be fearful and lack love!

      HK: "Whenever you become aware of fear trying to throw you back into
      old, negative patterns, know that SUGMAD, the ECK, and the Mahanta
      do love you. In recognition of this divine love, sweetly sing one of
      the holy names. This will gradually let you love yourself and build
      self-esteem."

      [Me]: Will singing this holy name also help her to lose weight? Will
      this help her to become a 'loser' (of weight)? Really, both she and
      Klemp state that her weight is a problem. Will singing some non-
      specific holy name help her to lose weight? Why hasn't this helped
      other ECKists to lose weight? Can an ECKist have good self-esteem,
      Not be Fearful and still be over-weight? Not according to Klemp!
      BTW - Is there some reason why Klemp can't be more specific as to
      which 'holy names' to sing? The 10th Plane word of HU could be used,
      but what else would work, maybe better, for this young ECKist? It's
      plain to see that Klemp isn't much of a spiritual leader much less a
      Master. Klemp's advice, usually, isn't any better than what you can
      get from any minister during a Sunday morning sermon. Often Klemp's
      advice is below the average! HK has no empathy with people and
      little understanding in real world relationships or situations. In
      others words, he's a clueless fraud!

      Prometheus
    • mishmisha9
      Hi, All! I was thinking Klemp should have directed her to an eck master or another eck entity within the eckankar spiritual hierarchy that oversees this
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 27, 2006
        Hi, All!

        I was thinking Klemp should have directed her to an eck master or
        another eck entity within the eckankar spiritual hierarchy that
        oversees this specific problem. He doesn't really offer any solution
        but as pointed out, Klemp just hands it back to the chela, blaming
        her for the fat cells. But then again many people, including
        eckists, have weight problems. Of course many seekers join groups
        like eckankar in search of finding and building their self-esteem
        and confidence after lacking it a good portion of their lives. But
        eckankar actually impedes this development even more, requiring that
        the chela rely on a fake master and spend much time HUing and
        cutting themselves more off from the world. The social circle
        narrows around the very small eck community and the chela finds it
        more difficult to deal with the real world. It becomes almost
        impossible to separate from such an inclusive group, because the
        dependency and loyalty to the group becomes so great. However, an
        individual who develops healthy self-esteem and confidence would not
        need to associate with a controlling group like eckankar. I'm sure
        this chela must feel more unworthy after reading Klemp's response to
        her problems.

        As to the age for eck youth, up to age 25--well, that's rather
        ridiculous. Most people by that age have been married a few years
        and probably have children of their own. Seems to be an enforced
        delay in maturity being pushed by the mahanta, but then look at how
        socially immature he has been most of his life, so I guess age 25
        would still be considered juvenile for him??? Arrested development?
        LOL! Just imagine being of age (25 years old) to run for the U.S.
        House of Representatives and listed on your qualifications
        statement, it reads you are an eckankar youth! I wonder how many
        votes of confidence one would get with that! : )

        Mish

        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "prometheus_973"
        <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
        >
        > Klemp's focus seems always on the Negative. He finds fault and
        > blames this chela while ignoring the possible medical aspects of
        her
        > weight problem.
        >
        > Q: "How do I learn to truly love myself and build self-esteem?
        >
        > I have struggled with self-esteem, weight issues, and a lack of
        > confidence for many years. I have read many ECK books searching
        for
        > the answer, BUT I still don't know.
        >
        > Is there a practical tool or spiritual exercise that will help?
        >
        > Plus, what is the spiritual significance of such a barrier?"
        >
        > S.M., age 25
        > Queenland, Australia
        >
        > [Me]: For one thing, it looks like the lack of self-esteem and
        > confidence might be caused by the weight problem instead of vice-
        > versa as Klemp sees it. However, the weight problem could be
        caused
        > by a medical issue. I would recommend seeing an Endocrinologist.
        It
        > could be a Thyroid problem or something else. Just before getting
        > online I saw a news item that stated Cushings Disease is often
        under
        > diagnosed and this will cause weight gain.
        >
        > On another note, I really feel that 21 years of age should be the
        > cut-off age for ECK Youth. If they want to be Youth Leaders or
        > mentors when they older than 21 then fine, but 22-25 is just too
        old
        > to be stuck with the kids. Who knows maybe the cut-off should be
        18?
        > Why doesn't the ESC do a survey of ECK Youth and ask them what the
        > cut-off age should be? Oh, I know... it's not up to them to have
        any
        > real input or voice... it's a hierarchy and they're at the bottom!
        >
        > HK: "There is a single reason for the three problems you
        mentioned.
        > It is simply fear."
        >
        > [Me]: As I said before Klemp is making an assumption. Many people
        > have fears (that are expressed in many different ways) and they
        have
        > medical/health issues that result in physical, and
        mental/emotional
        > disabilities. So, is Klemp accurate in saying that this chela's
        > problems are due to a over-all fear of life. I doubt it! It's way
        > too simplified and general. What is the family situation like?
        See,
        > there are just too many variables missing.
        >
        > HK: "We may fear another's rejection. So we, in FACT, line up a
        > bunch of EXCUSES for the occasion when someone does reject us. And
        > yet, we're thus laying the groundwork for future unhappiness too."
        > {my caps]
        >
        > [Me]: I really don't think these are 'FACTS' as Klemp claims. This
        > is just his own moronic and narrow-minded opinion. As I said, this
        > weight issue that led to the self-esteem and self-confidence
        > problems might Not be fear related as much as they are medically
        > related.
        >
        > HK: "We gain weight to be unattractive. BUT in doing so, we also
        > shut the door on possible opportunities to meet people who could
        > bring us happiness."
        >
        > [Me]: Can only skinny people like Klemp be happy and attractive
        and
        > meet others that can bring them even more happiness? And, does
        this
        > same analysis apply to all over-weight ECKists! Is this also some
        > Mahanta advice for H.K.'s ex-wife Marge, as well as, others (you
        > know who you are... look in a mirror with just your B-day suit on -

        > LOL!).
        >
        > HK: "Poor self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence are, for the
        > most part, the very same problem."
        >
        > [Me]: Why then did you make these into 'Three Problems' to start
        > with? Oh, I know... it's the "principle of three" thing. Yep, just
        > make it fit and make it all up like Twitch did!
        >
        > HK: "What's at play here? A fear of rejection!"
        >
        > [Me]: I don't know about that Harry and neither do you! Why do any
        > of us gain weight? And, do some of us have a lack of self-esteem
        > when we do... sure! However, Not everyone puts on weight because
        > they 'fear rejection.' The cause and the cure aren't always that
        > simple. Klemp needs to show some empathy, but this is impossible
        for
        > him to do so. Instead, Klemp will always unlovingly place blame on
        > others and then give a simple generic solution as a cure. Of
        course
        > the Catch-22 rule always applies which means that if the "cure"
        > doesn't work it's the chela's fault Not Klemp's.
        >
        > HK: "To counter such a possibility, we go halfway to meet any and
        > all rejections before they even get a chance to occur. It is an
        > upside-down way of living. We go to great lengths to make negative
        > expressions of fear come true. It's no wonder we're unhappy, isn't
        > it?"
        >
        > [Me]: I wonder if Klemp is really happy? He keeps saying 'we.' The
        > above statement might be words of Golden-Tongued Wisdom coming
        from
        > the ECK (Spirit) in order to show both ECKists and Klemp the error
        > of their ways. ECKists should wonder about the Consciousness of
        > their leader when he makes comments like these.
        >
        > HK: "The question now is, What to do about it? So fear is your
        > assailant. Love is the antidote."
        >
        > [Me]: Would that 'antidote' be LOVE POTION #9? : ) So, Klemp is
        > saying that fear and a lack of love is why this young chela gained
        > weight (effect). Therefore, just eliminate the fear (cause) by
        > having more divine love. Therefore, other over-weight ECKists
        must,
        > also, be fearful and lack love!
        >
        > HK: "Whenever you become aware of fear trying to throw you back
        into
        > old, negative patterns, know that SUGMAD, the ECK, and the Mahanta
        > do love you. In recognition of this divine love, sweetly sing one
        of
        > the holy names. This will gradually let you love yourself and
        build
        > self-esteem."
        >
        > [Me]: Will singing this holy name also help her to lose weight?
        Will
        > this help her to become a 'loser' (of weight)? Really, both she
        and
        > Klemp state that her weight is a problem. Will singing some non-
        > specific holy name help her to lose weight? Why hasn't this helped
        > other ECKists to lose weight? Can an ECKist have good self-esteem,
        > Not be Fearful and still be over-weight? Not according to Klemp!
        > BTW - Is there some reason why Klemp can't be more specific as to
        > which 'holy names' to sing? The 10th Plane word of HU could be
        used,
        > but what else would work, maybe better, for this young ECKist?
        It's
        > plain to see that Klemp isn't much of a spiritual leader much less
        a
        > Master. Klemp's advice, usually, isn't any better than what you
        can
        > get from any minister during a Sunday morning sermon. Often
        Klemp's
        > advice is below the average! HK has no empathy with people and
        > little understanding in real world relationships or situations. In
        > others words, he's a clueless fraud!
        >
        > Prometheus
        >
      • prometheus_973
        Hi Mish, You make some very good points on both the weight/fear problem and the age range for Eck Youths. BTW - I recently saw a show on the Discovery Health
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 28, 2006
          Hi Mish,
          You make some very good points on both the weight/fear 'problem' and
          the age range for Eck Youths.

          BTW - I recently saw a show on the Discovery Health channel
          titled "Obese at 16." It seems that this young boy was born with a
          obesity gene that lowers the body's metabolic rate. Now, this may
          have been a karmic result for him and his parents, and as well as
          others. Or not! Anyway, the weight problem was Not created by him
          because of a lack of self-esteem or confidence, although, I'm sure
          that self-esteem and confidence issues resulted from the weight
          problem. Once again, Klemp misses the mark, doesn't get it, can't
          see the specifics or the big picture, and just can't relate to
          others!

          mishmisha wrote:

          Hi, All!

          I was thinking Klemp should have directed her to an eck master or
          another eck entity within the eckankar spiritual hierarchy that
          oversees this specific problem. He doesn't really offer any solution
          but as pointed out, Klemp just hands it back to the chela, blaming
          her for the fat cells. But then again many people, including
          eckists, have weight problems. Of course many seekers join groups
          like eckankar in search of finding and building their self-esteem
          and confidence after lacking it a good portion of their lives. But
          eckankar actually impedes this development even more, requiring that
          the chela rely on a fake master and spend much time HUing and
          cutting themselves more off from the world. The social circle
          narrows around the very small eck community and the chela finds it
          more difficult to deal with the real world. It becomes almost
          impossible to separate from such an inclusive group, because the
          dependency and loyalty to the group becomes so great. However, an
          individual who develops healthy self-esteem and confidence would not
          need to associate with a controlling group like eckankar. I'm sure
          this chela must feel more unworthy after reading Klemp's response to
          her problems.

          As to the age for eck youth, up to age 25--well, that's rather
          ridiculous. Most people by that age have been married a few years
          and probably have children of their own. Seems to be an enforced
          delay in maturity being pushed by the mahanta, but then look at how
          socially immature he has been most of his life, so I guess age 25
          would still be considered juvenile for him??? Arrested development?
          LOL! Just imagine being of age (25 years old) to run for the U.S.
          House of Representatives and listed on your qualifications
          statement, it reads you are an eckankar youth! I wonder how many
          votes of confidence one would get with that! : )

          Mish

          Prometheus wrote:

          Klemp's focus seems always on the Negative. He finds fault and
          blames this chela while ignoring the possible medical aspects of
          her weight problem.

          Q: "How do I learn to truly love myself and build self-esteem?

          I have struggled with self-esteem, weight issues, and a lack of
          confidence for many years. I have read many ECK books searching
          for the answer, but I still don't know. Is there a practical tool or
          spiritual exercise that will help? Plus, what is the spiritual
          significance of such a barrier?"

          S.M., age 25
          Queenland, Australia

          HK: "There is a single reason for the three problems you
          mentioned. It is simply fear.

          We may fear another's rejection.

          So we, in FACT, line up a bunch of EXCUSES for the occasion when
          someone does reject us. And yet, we're thus laying the groundwork
          for future unhappiness too. [my caps] We gain weight to be
          unattractive. BUT in doing so, we also shut the door on possible
          opportunities to meet people who could bring us happiness.

          Poor self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence are, for the most
          part, the very same problem.

          What's at play here? A fear of rejection!

          To counter such a possibility, we go halfway to meet any and all
          rejections before they even get a chance to occur. It is an
          upside-down way of living. We go to great lengths to make negative
          expressions of fear come true. It's no wonder we're unhappy, isn't
          it?

          The question now is, What to do about it?

          So fear is your assailant. Love is the antidote. Whenever you become
          aware of fear trying to throw you back into old, negative patterns,
          know that SUGMAD, the ECK, and the Mahanta do love you. In
          recognition of this divine love, sweetly sing one of the holy names.
          This will gradually let you love yourself and build self-esteem."
        • Elizabeth
          By the time I was 25 I had my first child. I stopped thinking of myself as a YOUTH even before I turned 18. Though legally one is called an infant until they
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 28, 2006
            By the time I was 25 I had my first child. I stopped thinking of
            myself as a YOUTH even before I turned 18. Though "legally" one is
            called an infant until they reach 21.

            If a 25 year old person is still in a catagory of YOUTH, It usually
            is becuase they are learning disabled!

            As to HK's comments about this individual's struggles with self-
            esteem, weight issues and lack of confidence;

            I used to be an ESA (Eck Spiritual Aid), we were instructed NOT to
            diagnose (find the cause) or recommend (suggest, advise) but to
            direct an Eckists to the proper health care provider that handles
            such issues as self-esteem, weight issues and lack of confidence.
            All three of these symptoms sound very much like a health issue!
            Could be depression!

            The bottom line is, Klemp is not an authority in these matters, even
            if he is a Mythical Mahanta! Hell he can't even keep himself
            healthy, let alone claim that this individual's problems all stem
            from fear. If you read "Child In The Wilderness", Klemp's self
            proclaimed experiences in reaching God Realization, one must ask
            themselves if jumping off a bridge is "HEALTHY", or running through
            an airport naked is "HEALTHY"? Did he learn not to FEAR by doing
            these things, or was this a classic example of a person having a
            MANIC episode?!

            Singing (meditating) on the Hu or one of the holy names, will not
            help someone lose weight, gain self-esteem or confidence! This can
            and does cause health problems. See the forwarded article reposted
            from EckankarTruth below.

            As for Klemp and his reasoning for why this YOUTH is over weight; I
            suppose HK's ex wife Marge can tell us why she was (is) fat while
            married to Harold Klemp. My guess would be, because she didn't want
            to have sex with the God Man of the entire universe, and turned to
            food for comfort rather than the mythical mahanta! ;-) <I shudder
            at the revolting thought of being sexual with Klemp!>

            By the way, I just finished reading a book on Bipolar disorder. It
            seems there are new experimentaions being done for those suffering
            from this mental illness... and what do you think they are using as
            part of these experiments? Three of these new experimentations
            include using forms of electrical stimulation. One is called VNS
            (Vagus Nerve Stimulation) using small surgically implanted wires
            attached to a pulse generator in the chest. The second is called
            Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, requires a figure 8 shaped wand
            with two coils of wire being placed near a patient's head. The coils
            generate a strong magnetic field that induces electrical currents in
            the brain cells, which are believed to normalize disturbed levels of
            brain activity. The Third is called Echo-Planer Magnetic Resonance
            Spectroscopic Imaging. These EP-MRSI scanners will someday be small
            enough to fit in a doctors office where the patient can lay inside
            the scanner and take a 20 minute nap during the treatment.

            Why do I mention this? Well since Klemp claims to have EMR illness,
            I'm sure he would be too paranoid to even try any of these new
            treatments for his mental illness.....

            Repost from ET:

            > > Warning: Meditating may be hazardous to your health
            > >
            > > San Francisco Weekly, August 28, 2002
            > > BY SANDY BRUNDAGE
            > >
            > > Bad Vibes
            > > Karen Long (a pseudonym), in her mid-20s, turned to
            > > meditation as a way
            > > to feel connected. "I wanted to experience that
            > > 'oneness with the
            > > universe,'" she says. At a nondenominational San
            > > Francisco temple, she
            > > hooked up with a group of women practicing a
            > > hodgepodge of relaxation
            > > techniques, drawn from books and discussions. Long
            > > spent one to two
            > > hours a day meditating over the next three years.
            > >
            > > "Then I began hearing voices," she says. "I heard
            > > profound messages. The
            > > other people thought it was a sign of enlightenment.
            > > Some people at the
            > > temple told me that I had 'contacted a spiritual
            > > guide.' During my
            > > normal awake hours, I found myself feeling spacey
            > > sometimes."
            > >
            > > Unconvinced that aural hallucinations were a sign
            > > from God, Long quit
            > > meditating. The voices stopped.
            > >
            > > Long's experience isn't unique. Researchers have
            > > known for 30 years that
            > > meditating can have adverse health effects on some
            > > people, inducing
            > > psychological and physical problems ranging from
            > > muscle spasms to
            > > hallucinations. But around the Bay Area, eyes seem
            > > closed to the data.
            > >
            > > "A lot of people do experience negative side
            > > effects," says Dr. Maggie
            > > Phillips, the director of the California Institute
            > > of Clinical Hypnosis
            > > and a licensed psychologist in Oakland who teaches
            > > workshops to
            > > colleagues around the world on the proper
            > > applications of relaxation
            > > therapies. "I've had people that went to these five-
            > > to eight-day-long
            > > retreats, and they were practically basket cases
            > > when they came out the
            > > other end. And they're told, "You just have to be
            > > more patient.' A lot
            > > of spiritual teachers don't know how to look at the
            > > internal dynamics
            > > and how they interact with types of relaxation and
            > > meditation."
            > >
            > > Just as some people are allergic to penicillin, some
            > > people react badly
            > > to meditation. Billed as a "one size fits all"
            > > technique for
            > > self-improvement and even healing, meditation is
            > > packaged in a hundred
            > > different ways. Mantra meditators chant a phrase
            > > with numbing
            > > repetition. Others practice walking meditation, or
            > > empty-mind
            > > meditation, sweeping the mind clean of thought. The
            > > harmful effects
            > > aren't limited to one specific technique or even
            > > long retreats.
            > >
            > > Those effects can include facial tics, insomnia,
            > > spacing out, and even
            > > psychotic breakdowns. Dr. Margaret Singer, clinical
            > > psychologist
            > > emeritus at Berkeley, with research partner Dr.
            > > Janja Lalich, collected
            > > case histories from 70 clients seeking treatment for
            > > problems that began
            > > during meditation practice. Their research presents
            > > several examples of
            > > these symptoms and notes that prior to meditating,
            > > none of the patients
            > > had individual or family histories of mental
            > > disorders:
            > >
            > > * A 36-year-old business executive now lives off
            > > welfare as a
            > > result of the relentless anxiety attacks and
            > > blackouts he suffered after
            > > taking up meditation. "Everything gets in through my
            > > senses," he told
            > > Singer.
            > > * A young woman watched rooms fill with orange fog
            > > when she
            > > "spaced out" at random moments.
            > > * A 26-year-old man was overwhelmed by rage and
            > > sexual urges
            > > whenever he went out in public, driving him to stay
            > > home to avoid these
            > > episodes.
            > >
            > > Singer and Lalich point out that most people never
            > > have problems with
            > > meditation. The danger for those who do is that many
            > > instructors call
            > > the problems a welcome sign of enlightenment, as in
            > > Long's case, or
            > > proof of the student's insincere effort. In either
            > > situation, teachers
            > > encourage the student to meditate longer. One former
            > > mantra meditator,
            > > who did not want his named used, called it "being
            > > strangled by
            > > concepts." After increasingly frequent panic
            > > attacks, he abandoned
            > > mantra meditation in favor of informal, unstructured
            > > contemplation and a
            > > Paxil prescription.
            > >
            > > The tricks played by the meditating mind are based
            > > in physiology. Over
            > > the past year Dr. Andrew Newberg of the University
            > > of Pennsylvania
            > > scanned the brains of eight longtime practitioners
            > > of Buddhist
            > > meditation, snapping images of blood flow within the
            > > brain while they
            > > were meditating and comparing them with images taken
            > > when they were not.
            > > The scans tracked increased blood flow to the
            > > frontal lobe -- used for
            > > concentration and focusing -- during meditation. But
            > > blood flow to the
            > > parietal lobe, which calculates the boundaries of
            > > your body in relation
            > > to its environment -- "You are not the chair, you
            > > are sitting on the
            > > chair, the chair is on the floor" -- decreased.
            > > Other parts of the brain
            > > also activate during meditation -- the limbic
            > > system, which is the heart
            > > of emotion and memory, and core areas that control
            > > heart rate, blood
            > > pressure, and arousal.
            > >
            > > These results support what other researchers have
            > > discovered about the
            > > side effects meditation can cause. Dr. Michael
            > > Persinger, a psychologist
            > > at Laurentian University in Canada, found in 1993
            > > that meditation
            > > induces epilepsylike brain seizures in some people.
            > > His study of 1,081
            > > students showed that the 221 meditators among them
            > > had a higher rate of
            > > hallucinating floating spots of light, hearing
            > > voices, and even feeling
            > > the floor shake. Other studies reported that
            > > meditators complained of
            > > feeling emotionally dead and seeing the environment
            > > as unreal,
            > > two-dimensional, amorphous. Those results aren't
            > > surprising if
            > > meditation reduces blood flow to the parietal lobe.
            > > In longtime
            > > meditators, unreality can strike spontaneously.
            > > Singer describes it as
            > > "involuntary meditation." One of her patients took
            > > anti-seizure
            > > medication for 25 years after quitting meditative
            > > practice to regain
            > > control of his mind.
            > >
            > > Other side effects fall under the paradoxical
            > > umbrella of
            > > "relaxation-induced anxiety," or RIA. Instead of
            > > relaxing during
            > > meditation, RIA sufferers feel distressed.
            > > Psychologists at Virginia
            > > Commonwealth University monitored 30 chronically
            > > anxious people during
            > > guided meditation. Seventeen percent indicated that
            > > their anxiety got
            > > worse. A previous study led by Dr. Frederick Heide
            > > at Pennsylvania State
            > > University reported that the same happened to 54
            > > percent of the
            > > subjects. Symptoms of RIA include panic attacks,
            > > sweating, a pounding
            > > heart, spasms, odd tingling sensations, and bursts
            > > of uncontrollable
            > > laughter or tears. RIA can also aggravate
            > > conditions, such as
            > > schizophrenia, depression, asthma, and bleeding
            > > ulcers, that were
            > > previously stable.
            > >
            > > What physiological changes explain RIA? During
            > > meditation, the brain
            > > releases serotonin. People with mild depression
            > > might enjoy the
            > > increased levels of serotonin because the
            > > neurotransmitter can ease
            > > their mood. Drugs like Prozac mimic this effect.
            > > However, too much
            > > serotonin can cause all of the symptoms of RIA,
            > > according to Dr. Solomon
            > > Snyder, head of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins
            > > University. In some cases
            > > of schizophrenia, an excess of serotonin coupled
            > > with meditation can
            > > drop-kick someone into psychosis.
            > >
            > > "Most people, when you're working with anxiety, the
            > > treatment of choice
            > > is relaxation," says the California Institute of
            > > Clinical Hypnosis'
            > > Phillips. "But if you have people that get easily
            > > overwhelmed and may
            > > not even know what it's about, don't even have words
            > > to go with it, you
            > > have to avoid hypnosis, relaxation, meditation until
            > > you teach them how
            > > to handle what comes up."
            > >
            > > Meditation is a huge industry in San Francisco. We
            > > asked 14 Bay Area
            > > instructors, chosen at random from different fields
            > > of meditation, if
            > > they inform students about the possible side
            > > effects. Only three of the
            > > teachers knew what we were talking about. Of the
            > > remaining 11, Sam Geppi
            > > of S.F. Yoga gave a typical reply:
            > >
            > > "Negative side effects from meditation? There really
            > > are none.
            > > Meditation is just about going within, toward what
            > > is real. There is
            > > nothing 'created' through meditation. We create our
            > > problems and
            > > negative side effects more by escaping into the
            > > world, escaping from
            > > meditation. Meditation is a long-overdue look
            > > within. Sometimes a
            > > student will discuss their initial fear of the inner
            > > void once the space
            > > and depth of being is first encountered, or that
            > > they feel like they are
            > > going crazy. I simply tell them, 'Meditation is not
            > > making you crazy. It
            > > is making you aware that you are already crazy.'"
            > >
            > > Lalich, now a sociologist specializing in
            > > psychological manipulation at
            > > California State University in Chico, says, "The
            > > problem is that
            > > everyone thinks that meditation is great for
            > > everybody, and people are
            > > always surprised to learn that it can cause
            > > problems. Certainly there's
            > > plenty of context where it's completely harmless,
            > > but it's like driving
            > > a car -- people don't think, 'Oh, I'm the one that's
            > > going to have an
            > > accident.'"
            > >
            > > Lalich hopes that 30 years of research will finally
            > > open our eyes. "If
            > > you were going to buy a car you'd look at Consumer
            > > Reports. It's the
            > > same thing -- you're talking about your body and
            > > your mind; you should
            > > be as cautious."
            > >
            > >
            > http://www.sfweekly.com/issues/2002-08-28/bayview.html/1/index.html
            > >


            ****************************************

            > Q: "How do I learn to truly love myself and build self-esteem?
            >
            > I have struggled with self-esteem, weight issues, and a lack of
            > confidence for many years. I have read many ECK books searching
            for
            > the answer, BUT I still don't know.
            >
            > Is there a practical tool or spiritual exercise that will help?
            >
            > Plus, what is the spiritual significance of such a barrier?"
            >
            > S.M., age 25
            > Queenland, Australia

            >> HK: "There is a single reason for the three problems you
            mentioned. It is simply fear."
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