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12999Re: Question about severe leg, feet, & hand cramping

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  • Andy
    Jun 26, 2004
      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:

      Bob ~
      you wrote:

      "If you have a clean bill of physical things 'really' not causing
      these symptoms from your physician, I think you have to point to your
      mind as the culprit. And this is a good sign, as it indicates that
      you are on the right track. It's like you have now started sawing
      through the bars to your prison, and they will soon break and never
      again bar your way to freedom. But during the sawing, the sounds of
      steel being weakened can make quite a racket. Persevere!"

      Underneath (or between) the words above, is the unstated assumption
      that meditation is an appropriate activity for anyone who feels
      compelled to try it. Another possible interpretation of the body's
      pain signals is that the person is not, at that time, ready for what
      may be seen during meditation. Sure, it could be the mind's way of
      derailing what it perceives as an "assault." And certainly, there
      are instances when one may find one's self persevering despite the
      pain. But I would approach this cautiously because maybe Pandora's
      Box is opening too quickly for the person, and the physical pain
      signals are a protection and not a distraction.

      The human mind/psyche is quite complex and there are a variety of
      people for whom meditation is contraindicated (dissociative
      personality disorder, e.g.). Just like a nutrient-packed food such
      as broccoli isn't for everyone (George Bush Sr.), I have a sense that
      meditation isn't for everyone. Some people just don't want to look
      inside in that manner, but they feel compelled to do so. And some
      are stubborn enough to keep at it even though they find it boring or
      useless. So, perhaps the mind/brain enlists the body to dissuade the
      organism via pain. Ironically, a strong sense of self, ego, needs to
      be present to see that the self/ego is illusory (at least in one
      sense). I think it was Jack Engler, in "Transformations
      of Consciousness" who wrote, "You have to first have a self before
      you can lose your self." :-) He goes on to elaborate on this,
      pointing out that a stable sense of self is required to handle some
      of what comes up (and is disassembled) during deep, persistent
      meditation. If the psychological infrastructure is weak, the
      evaporating of the illusion may prove too threatening.

      You can probably tell what's coming: imo, pain plays no role in
      meditation. If there is pain, it is a cry from some part of the
      mind, asking that it be attended to (even if the pain isn't of
      physical origin, although apparently both psychological and physical
      pain originate in the same regions of the brain). Physical pain is a
      message of some sort, and not always a distraction because the person
      is getting "too close" to seeing something. I think Deep Seeing can
      occur without the accompaniment of pain. The meditator just needs to
      be respectful of Its schedule. It "opens" at Its own rate (if it
      opens at all, of course).

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