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Continue suffering Empty Continue suffering

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:34 pm
There is a question I wanted to pose to Rimpoche: what to do when we have a very strong and continue phyisical suffering?  I say continue, because the continue suffering herods any will and awarness.

Any comment is very welcome
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Continue suffering Empty Re: Continue suffering

Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:05 pm
Dear Fabio,

If I understand you correctly, you are speaking of a very strong and continuous feeling of physical pain in your body, one that lowers your will and your awareness. If so, I am sorry to hear this and I hope things improve soon. I don't know the details, and I don't have any specific advice, but here is what comes to mind for me.

In Awakening the Sacred Body Rinpoche writes:
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The lung that disturbs the humors of the body leads to sickness and disease. Perhaps you have
some kind of sickness or pain in your body, or you fear that some illness is there. To explore this
further, begin by connecting with stillness, silence, and spaciousness. From that open place, look
directly at your experience of pain or illness. Let your mind travel through your body to a
particular area. Sometimes you may clearly know that your sickness has to do with your anger,
attachment, or ignorance. According to Tibetan medicine, every disease is connected with these
three root poisons. But how can you precisely know this? At the very least you can have some
sense of that association, which is sufficient to work within meditation.

As you bring your attention to the sense of pain or disease, connect with the experience directly
and do the Nine Breathings. If you have the time, breathe nine times for each of the three
channels for a total of twenty-seven breaths. Each time you breathe out, make a conscious bridge
from those areas of illness in the body to the channels as you release the tensions in that area of
the body, and direct the breath through the channels as you exhale.

Once you have done the actual physical part of the breathing exercise, go back into the same
place, bringing a feeling of openness. With openness, look at that area of the body; journey into
the body again. Take a moment to think about someone who you feel is your best friend. What
are the qualities of that best friend that make you feel relaxed, make you feel you can be who you
are, make you feel you can say stupid or silly things? You don’t need to pretend to be anybody
with this person; you just relax. So because that friend has some real sense of openness toward
you and doesn’t judge you, how do you feel? You feel great. In the same way, think that after the
exercise, you are your own best friend. You are the best friend of the one who is sick. You are
the best friend of the one who is going through pain. At that moment, look with open attention,
even if only for five minutes. Looking in that area in this way is the healing.

It is important to continue and repeat this practice until you become very, very familiar with that
place of open awareness. Normally we do not do that. Instead we engage in negative self-talk:
“What’s wrong with me?” When you look at that part of your body, you say: “I am sick. This is
the area of my sickness. This is the area of my pain. This is the area of my problem. This is the
one who is going to take me over.” There is somebody who is giving all those fearful messages
to that area of the body. But now, the one who is looking is no longer that judging person. It’s a
totally different person. It’s a friend. As I said, have the image of a best friend to support the
principle of open awareness. Of course, in order to have some degree of openness, we do the
Nine Breathings. We may need to do more than three breaths for each channel in order to clear
our tendencies to push our experience away, grasp or fill in the moment, or disconnect entirely in
order to come to this place of feeling enough openness to simply be with our experience.

So we are saying that breathing out the three poisons of aversion/anger, attachment/greed, and
ignorance has everything to do with your sickness. There is a wind that causes disease. And that
wind has a characteristic of the three poisons. Poison makes you sick. So you are associating
your experience of the three poisons with your disease. As a result of breathing out, you feel
some degree of openness and especially openness in relation to your tensions, pains, and
sickness, relaxing the sense of being sick and releasing your identity as one who is sick. You are
allowing the better individual to emerge—the authentic person in yourself. You allow that person
to look. That person brings totally different information and energy to the place of sickness. And
then it is a matter of ten or fifteen minutes, to half an hour, to one hour, as you establish a regular
pattern of five times a day to ten times a day until it becomes a pattern that pervades your life. If
that becomes a pattern in your life, there is a much greater chance to heal your sickness.

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In Tibetan Yogas of Body, Speech, and Mind Rinpoche mentions the "The White Liquid Practice to Heal Disease":
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In ancient times yogis and practitioners used methods of energetic and pranic healing to overcome obstacles to meditation and improve their health. This is one such practice from “The Pith Instruction of Tsa Lung (Channels and Winds),” a chapter from the Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyü.

Healing of the body is more complete when it occurs on many levels. Consider that any time you have a disease or injury, you suffer from more than just the negative physical sensations. You may also carry around within you some kind of mental image or mental or energetic block associated with the pain, discomfort, fear, or events surrounding the illness or injury. This image or block is as much a part of your sense of your body as the actual pain or discomfort is. It can linger in you for days, months, or even years.

For example, after a traumatic experience with cancer, some people may live the rest of their lives identifying with an image of diseased tissue or of chemotherapy treatments even if their cancer was completely eradicated. Harboring mental images such as these can slow your recovery, limit the freedom to enjoy life, and be an obstacle to the open awareness of meditation.

I recommend the White Liquid Practice to Heal Disease for any physical illness or injury. The practice can have profound physical benefits as it opens the chakras (energetic centers of your body) and purifies obscurations and obstacles to your practice. If you do the practice consistently and correctly, in time your mental images of any disease or injury will become associated more with bliss and spaciousness than with pain, discomfort, or mental or energetic blocks.

This practice is best done with guidance from an experienced, knowledgeable master. To do it effectively, you must maintain the correct position of the body as described below, visualize the five seed syllables in their correct positions,10 and follow the directions for breathing and visualization.

The practice is done in the following way:

Connect with higher wisdom (through the practice of guru yoga). Pray to the enlightened beings, asking them to “Please purify me and bless me so I may have success in this healing practice.”

Squat on the floor with arms crossed, hands on knees, spine as straight as possible, head tilted slightly down, and the big toe of your left foot pressing on the big toe of your right foot (see figure 4.2). This position creates the physical pressure necessary for generating heat and promoting upward-moving energy. If the position is too uncomfortable, you can add support, while still maintaining pressure, by placing a cushion under your heels or buttocks.
 
Now, imagine an energetic channel running through the center of your body from the area of the sexual organs through your heart to above the crown of your head. Imagine that in this central channel and on the soles of the feet there are five seed syllables, as shown in figure 4.3. Visualize a seed syllable at each of five locations:

  A green YAM on the sole of each foot, representing the air element

  A red RAM at the secret chakra in the area of the sexual organs, representing the fire element

  A red OM at the heart chakra

  A white A at the throat chakra

  A white, upside-down HAM above the top of the crown.

Each syllable faces out, as shown in the illustration. If you cannot maintain a mental image of a syllable at least try to visualize its color and feel the quality it represents.
 
As you maintain the posture and visualize the seed syllables, breathe in deeply and exhale the stale breath. Repeat three times. Then, to activate the prana, take in a deep breath of pure air, inhaling it into the secret chakra, and hold. Normally air is experienced as entering the lungs, but for this practice imagine and feel that the air is being inhaled deeply into the secret chakra. While holding, feel that the breath and your diaphragm are pressing downward, and at the same time contract lightly upward with the muscles of the perineum and anus so that the upward pressure meets the downward pressure. Hold the breath in this way for as long as you can.
 
While continuing to hold the breath, visualize generating healing flames: Clearly see and feel the air quality of the green YAM at the soles of the feet. Imagine and feel that the upward pressure from contracting the muscles at the base of the pelvis causes the air energy to move gradually upward. As soon as the air touches the red fire of RAM in the secret chakra, the fire blazes. The flames move straight up through the central channel where they first touch the red OM in the heart and then the white A in the throat. Like rocket boosters, the OM and the A each additionally fuel the flames.

The blazing hot fire moves up through the brain and into the crown chakra. As soon as it touches the white, upside-down HAM, the HAM melts into a divine liquid—a blissful, creamy white nectar that drops down through all the nerves and channels of the body, especially into areas where there is pain or disease. See and feel the warm nectar flow into diseased lungs, torn ligaments, injured disks or inflamed skin, any areas where you experience pain, numbness, or general malaise.

With the nectar’s flow, feel the removal of disease and pain. This liquid of the melted HAM is felt both as a warm physical sensation and as a deep quality of bliss. Sense the bliss on three levels:

  on the mind level as a flow of subtle consciousness

  on the pranic level as a flow of healing energy

  on the physical level as a flow of creamy nectar

Visualize and feel the blissful nectar dropping down not only into areas of your physical body but also into any mental images you associate with pain, injury, or disease. For example, allow the nectar to flow into the image of receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer, the image of a car accident where whiplash occurred, the image of teeming microbes, or the image of a caustic, dark cloud where a breast used to be.

When the healing nectar enters each of the physical areas and images, see and feel it merging with them and transforming them completely, clearing away all disease, pain, and injury and creating clear space in their place. More and more, feel the opening of that space that is the absence of disease and pain and feel the increasing presence of light and bliss within the space.

Abide in the experience. When it diminishes, repeat the practice. When you finish the practice, dedicate its merit to the benefit of all sentient beings.

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Other of Rinpoche's books and videos on youtube and facebook also share other exercises.

There's also a talk by Shunryu Suzuki
that comes to mind that mentions the practice of unshu.
from: https://suzukiroshi.sfzc.org/dharma-talks/june-27th-1970/
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I think most of us has suffering, as you have pain in your legs when you sit. In everyday life, you have suffering. Bishop Yamada[9]—do you know him? Perhaps some of you may know him. His— He put emphasis on unshu, which Hakuin-zenji practiced for a long time.[10] He was weak. He suffered consumption when he was young, and he conquered the illness by zazen practice. His zazen is called, you know, unshu. Unshu means to—when you take breathing, you do groar—what [how] do you say—“m-m-m-mmm”?
...
Moan—no. More strength—like a tiger in pain.
...
He always said when you—your breathing should be like breathing you when you suffer. ... Instead of saying “m-m-m-mmm, m-m-m-mmm,” [laughs, laughter] he said you should put more strength here [pointing to hara (lower abdomen)]* and take long exhaling like [demonstrates exhale], without saying “m-m-m-mmm,“ you know. You know, when you say “m-m-m-mmm, m-m-m-mmm”—when you say “mmm” it is not unshu. But when you don’t say like the last alphabet [letter] of Sanskrit, “mmm,” you know, “m-m-m-mmm.” So he is— Hakuin called it unshu. When you repeat this unshu like you suffer from something, physically or mentally, and you—your practice is directed just to suffer[ing] you have, then that is—can be a good practice. It does [is] not different from shikantaza.
...
When you, you know, you suffer just from—by here [pointing to his chest and panting]*—this is, you know, agony, you know. When you suffer completely, you should suffer from “m-m-m-mmm.” You feel good, you know, when you do that [laughs, laughter]. It is much better than to say nothing or just to lie down.
...
Bishop Yamada, you know, had from his—he has had always difficulties until quite recently. He became—he, you know, is, maybe, over the cloud,[11] you know [laughs]. So maybe when he was in America, he suffered a lot in Los Angeles [laughs, laughter]. He suffered. But I have—at that time, I have not much suffer, you know—suffer from, so I couldn’t understand—I couldn’t agree with his practice of unshu, like, you know, a sick person [might]. “M-m-m-mmm.” [Laughs, laughter.] “What is that practice?” I thought. [Laughs, laughter.] “M-m-m-mmm, m-m-m-mmm.” But I found out, you know, why he practiced that kind of practice. And I found out that that practice helps us a lot. Of course, he understood, you know, what is suffering. No one likes suffering, but our destiny is to have suffering. That is human destiny. And how we suffer is the point. No one enjoys suffering, but we should not be completely caught by suffering. We should know how to suffer our human suffering. That may be Bishop Yamada’s practice.

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I would personally add 2 seemingly opposite thoughts that I must for myself keep in mind in some situations. When we dislike some experience of pain, and pour energy into escaping it, and judge it, it magnifies. So we need nakedly look at it and be with it, it is there. At the same time, we must not clamp down our focus narrowly onto it, or we may forget about everything else that could give us joy, peace and support.

I apologize I could not be more helpful. I wish you the best.
-Bob
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Continue suffering Empty Re: Continue suffering

Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:09 pm
Bob, at the moment I have a neuralgia that I manage with meditation. Without meditation could be much more bad. This is a very long story, I have this pain since I was 5 years old. So is 53 years. I wanted to know what to do in case a person have very strong pain! Thank you for your informations! You have spent time to copy all those informations. Thank you very much.
Now I read them very carefully. And I reply to you.
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Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:42 pm
I have red carefully. Very interesting, I must go deeper on this. Expecially the White Liquid Practice to Heal Disease.

Again, thank you very much
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Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:53 am
Dear Fabio,

OK. I don't know if this will be helpful, but I remembered one last practice I've read from Rinpoche, from The True Source of Healing:

//=-=-=-=-=-==-==--=-=-=-=-==-=-=-
Formal Practice
For  best  results  in  healing  physical  pain,  physical  blocks,  or  disease,
devote  at  least  30  minutes  a  day  to  the  practice  of  giving  a  spacious,
luminous, warm hug to your pain. In this practice, you will be focusing on
the  specific  area  of  your  body  that  is  affected.  If  your  discomfort  is  not
confined to a specific location, focus more globally on the body system or
disorder  affecting  you.  Continue  to  practice  with  this  focus  until  your
experience of pain has eased or you feel that your relationship to the pain
has  been  transformed  in  a  beneficial  way.  Move  on  to  another  physical
issue only after you have experienced lasting positive results with the first.

Sit comfortably with your legs crossed, spine straight, and chest open. If
your physical condition does not permit such a posture, choose any upright
position that is comfortable.

Allow your body to relax. Draw your attention inward.

Preparation

First refuge: Feel the stillness in your body. Connect with that stillness
and rest in it. Gradually feel and be aware of inner stillness, the stillness of
being.  Through  that  inner  stillness,  be  aware  of  unbounded  sacred  space,
the first inner refuge. In Bön, this dimension of being is referred to as the
dharmakaya, the body of emptiness.
Second refuge: Listen and hear the silence within. Feel and connect with
the inner silence. Allow yourself to rest deeply in it. As you rest, connect
with  the  presence  of  awareness—the  second  inner  refuge.  In  Bön,  this
dimension of infinite awareness is the sambhogakaya, the body of light.
Third refuge: Bring your attention to the space within and around your
heart.  Connect  with  the  spaciousness  and  become  like  the  open  sky.  Be
aware of the warmth that is naturally present. Allow this warmth to emerge
fully. This is the warmth of the union of openness and awareness—the third
inner refuge. In Bön, this dynamic energy is the nirmanakaya, the body of
great manifestation.

Healing the Physical Body

Now  gradually  draw  your  attention  to  the  specific  area  of  your  body
where  you  experience  any  blockage,  discomfort,  pain,  or  sickness.  Bring
your  attention  to  that  location  with  loving-kindness  and  care,  as  a  healer
would attend to a patient, or a loving mother would comfort her child.

Your  physical  pain  or  illness  needs  the  warmth  of  loving-kindness  and
care.  Through  your  attention,  you  bring  the  healing  power  of  openness,
connectedness, and warmth to your body where it is needed. Allow time to
feel this.

Now shift your focus to the center of your affliction.
First refuge: As you rest in stillness, be aware of the unbounded sacred
space that begins to come alive in the physical location of your affliction.
This  sense  of  opening  can  not  only  unblock  and  clear  the  pain  but  also
dissolve the producer of the pain, the pain identity that has been avoiding,
clinging  to,  or  disconnecting  from  the  pain  on  a  very  subtle  level.  Allow
this powerful opening.
Second  refuge: Now,  within  the  deep  silence  the  light  of  awareness
arises. Your pain, blockage, or sickness is alive with awareness. Experience
the  pure  light  of  awareness  radiating  throughout  this  space.  The  light
contains five colors—yellow, blue, red, green, and white—representing the
pure energies of the five wisdoms and the five elemental essences. Feel the
healing energies of the inner lights. Feel your darkness, pain, and sickness
clearing.
Third  refuge:  As  you  connect  deeply  with  the  warmth  of  the  union  of
openness and awareness, bring this warmth to the space within and around
your  pain,  discomfort,  or  blockage.  Just  as  when  the  sun  shines,  and  its
warmth  begins  to  melt  the  frost  on  a  window,  when  you  rest  in  open
awareness the genuine warmth of connection begins to restructure pain and
sickness.  Your  awareness  of  the  warmth  activates  the  process  of  physical
healing.

Allow this energetic healing response. Rest in the healing warmth for as
long as it remains.

Dedicate your practice to the welfare of others, particularly those who are
experiencing  pain,  with  the  thought:  In  liberating  my  own  being,  may  I
benefit others.
//=-=-=-=-=-==-==--=-=-=-=-==-=-=-

//=-=-=-=-=-==-==--=-=-=-=-==-=-=-
Informal Practice

Throughout your day, as soon as you become aware that your pain mind
is drawing negative attention to your physical pain, blockage, or sickness,
take  the  three  precious  pills.  Connect  with  stillness,  silence,  and
spaciousness. Instead of pushing away your pain, be open to it and host it in
the  spaciousness  that  becomes  available  as  you  connect  with  stillness.
Instead of complaining about the pain, be aware of it and host it in the light
of  awareness  that  becomes  available  as  you  connect  with  inner  silence.
Instead  of  spinning  a  story  about  your  pain,  accept  the  pain  and  host  it  in
the  inner  warmth  that  becomes  available  as  you  connect  with  the
spaciousness of mind.

Gradually  allow  both  your  pain  identity  and  your  physical  pain  to
dissolve in the spaciousness, light, and warmth of the inner refuge.

You  can  do  this  informal  practice  at  any  time.  You  could  devote  30
seconds  or  more  to  the  practice  during  a  short  break  between  activities  at
work or at home. If you have a little more time—while sitting in the park or
in a doctor’s office, for example—spend a few minutes on the practice.

Unconsciously,  you  might  be  drawing  negative  attention  to  your  pain
hundreds of times a day. Therefore, commit to doing this informal exercise
at least five times over the course of the day. As you become more familiar
with  the practice and feel its  benefits,  you will be inspired to increase the
number of times per day that you do it.
//=-=-=-=-=-==-==--=-=-=-=-==-=-=-

I 'think' with any of these practices there's a core idea or principle that's important, and we should strike a balance between following them accurately in the traditional way and adapting them to suit our needs. Somewhere Rinpoche wrote something like the practices exist for us, not the other way around.
-Bob
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Mon Dec 20, 2021 9:34 am
I thank you so much! The general idea is: when we become aware that the vacuity and awarness are union, the bliss emerge. And the more we abite this state of being, the more the bliss manifest its quaities of heling, wisdom, awrness from the center to the outskirts. From the mind to the body and to the world around us. The manifesting of this energy is unconditioned, that means that doas'nt depends from couses. Is naturally radiant. And create the world like a film projected on a screen. To be identify with the film, the projection, the vision, is the origin of the suffering as it is impermanent. That is called "ignorance", one of the poison.
While the desire, the ignorance and the pride push us to identify with the film, the suffering pushes us to change the prospective and to identify with the clearlight. So the bliss can expand her qualities in the manifest world: heling, wisdom, awrness. The will is the faculty to move our gaze from the vision to the clerlight.

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