Sunday, December 23, 2018

The other mothers of invention

Necessity is the mother of invention

(excerpt from wikipedia)
"Necessity is the mother of invention" is an English-language proverb. It means, roughly, that the primary driving force for most new inventions is a need.[1]
The need to communicate led to the creation of different communication devices – this is a prime example of the expression: Necessity is the mother of invention.
In the Oxford Dictionary, the proverb has been defined as;
    "When the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it."[2]
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, this is "an expression that means that if you really need to do something, you will think of a way of doing it."[3]
Longman dictionary has defined the proverb as: "if someone really needs to do something, they will find a way of doing it."[4]

The Other Mothers of invention

We've all heard about necessity, but what about some of the other mothers?

How about injustice?

After going through what he did, and surviving, he spent the rest of his life dedicated to helping others, including helping with the underground railroad that led many slaves to freedom.

Injustice can be quite the motivator.

7🐘: right sati: the Elephant never forgets

excerpt from:

Fact or Fiction?: Elephants Never Forget

Do elephants really have steel-trap memories?

    By James Ritchie on January 12, 2009

Fact or Fiction?: Elephants Never Forget
Credit: © Charles Foley

Elephants do not have the greatest eyesight in the animal kingdom, but they never forget a face. Carol Buckley at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., for instance, reports that in 1999 resident elephant Jenny became anxious and could hardly be contained when introduced to newcomer Shirley, an Asian elephant.

As the animals checked one another out with their trunks, Shirley, too, became animated and the two seemingly old friends had what appeared to be an emotional reunion. "There was this euphoria,"  sanctuary founder Buckley says. "Shirley started bellowing, and then Jenny did, too. Both trunks were checking out each other's scars. I've never experienced anything that intense without it being aggression."

Turns out the two elephants had briefly crossed paths years earlier. Buckley knew that Jenny had performed with the traveling Carson & Barnes Circus, before coming to the sanctuary in 1999, but she knew little about Shirley's background. She did a little digging, only to discover that Shirley had been in the circus with Jenny for a few months—23 years earlier.

♦ “katamañ-ca, bhikkhave, sat-indriyaṃ?
"{And}-what, monks, (is) rememberness-faculty?
idha, bhikkhave, ariya-sāvako
Here, monks, (a) disciple-of-the-noble-ones,
satimā hoti
{is} rememberful,
paramena sati-nepakkena samannāgato
supreme rememberness-(and)-prudence (he) possesses,
cira-katampi cira-bhāsitampi
(what was) {done}-long-ago, {spoken}-long-ago,
saritā anussaritā —
(he) remembers (and) recollects -
idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sat-indriyaṃ.
this (is) called, *********, rememberness-faculty.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

three chinese medicine doctor brothers

A long time ago, in China.
Ernest was a promising young student hoping to apprentice with a TCM Chinese doctor. Instead of looking for a local expert, he thought, "why not find the best doctor in all the land? The worst that can happen is they say no."

So Ernest set out to find Dr. Chen, who was celebrated for his skills and knowledge of medicine and his ability to heal even the most fatal disease. He cured the emperor’s son who was believed dead, in a miraculous exhibition of his skills. Because his fame spread far and wide, his medical practice was nonstop, and he accumulated vast fame and  wealth. He lived in a palace with whatever luxury and pleasure you could imagine.

After meeting and interviewing with Dr. Chen, the doctor said: "You are a fine and promising young student, and you'd make a fine apprentice. But before you decide, you really should talk to my older brother, who is is also a TCM doctor. Dr. Yang, is far more skilled and wise than I am.

Ernest, humble but ambitious, thanked Dr. Chen, and promised  to consider his options carefully before making a decision. So he set off to find Dr. Yang.

After trekking across the country to Dr. Yang's house, he was rather surprised at how pedestrian Dr. Yang's dwelling stood, in comparison to Dr. Chen's palace with all its fine material wealth and luxury. Now Dr. Yang's house was no ordinary house. It was a mansion, and stood out in his affluent neighborhood and province, but it was no palace.

He introduced himself to Dr. Yang, and again the interview went well, and Dr. Yang agreed he would make a fine apprentice. Ernest, who was polite and humble, but could not resist asking, "Dr. Yang, why do you seem to have fewer patients, less fame, and much less wealth then your younger brother Dr. Chen, who says your skill and wisdom far exceed his?"

Dr. Yang explained:
I deal with illnesses while they are chronic or minor, preventing sickness from getting worse and returning the body to health. I care for my patients through acupuncture and herbs to rebalance them back to good health when they become ill. I prevent minor illnesses from becoming fatal catastrophes, so it's not as dramatic and impressive when I succeed in my job. The fame and wealth reflect that.

Dr. Yang further suggested:
Ernest, You are a fine and promising young student, and you'd make a fine apprentice. But before you decide, you really should talk to my older brother, who is is also a TCM doctor. Dr. Hu, is far more skilled and wise than I am. Among the three brothers, he is by far the best.

Ernest, humble but ambitious, thanked Dr. Yang, and promised  to consider his options carefully before making a decision. So he set off to find Dr. Hu.

After trekking across the country to Dr. Hu's house, he was rather surprised at how pedestrian Dr. Hu's dwelling stood, in comparison to Dr. Chen's palace with all its fine material wealth and luxury, and Dr Yang's mansion in the swanky neighborhood. Shockingly, Dr. Hu's dwelling was so modest it did not even stand out in his neighborhood, which was lower middle class and nothing impressive to begin with.

Ernest introduced himself to Dr. Hu, and again the interview went well, and Dr. Hu agreed he would make a fine apprentice. Ernest, who was polite and humble, but could not resist asking, "Dr. Hu, why do you seem to have fewer patients, less fame, and much less wealth then your younger brother Dr. Yang, who says your skill and wisdom far exceed his? And to say nothing of your youngest brother Dr. Chen, who lives in a palace with  every kind of luxury imaginable.

Dr. Hu explained:
I heal sickness before it even develops, before people even realize they're sick, and they have no idea how castastrophic the sickness can become. My  methods and skills are only seen and truly appreciated by the wise. I give advice on meditation, qigong, yoga, exercise, food,  and lifestyle to keep my patients well and not becoming sick in the first place.
When I succeed at my job, it's not  dramatic and impressive as my younger brothers. My fame and wealth reflect that.

So which of the three brothers should Ernest apprentice under?
Dr. Chen, Dr. Yang, or Dr. Hu?
Who is the smart choice?
Who would you choose?

Dr. Hu further suggested:
Ernest, You are a fine and promising young student, and you'd make a fine apprentice. But before you decide, you really should talk to my teacher, a disciple of the Buddha. To cure illness is noble, to prevent illness is better. But to discover and realize the root of illness, the root of existence, is beyond compare. To go forth under such a being, there is nothing better or more worthwhile than that.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

even if you meditate correctly, part 3

Now we look at an interesting case of a yogi who can do jhana,  keeps brahmacariya well over a long period, more than a year, but develops some of the problems described in that article, such as anxiety, disturbing and distressing states in meditation, panic attacks, physical health problems, etc.

the yogi keeping brahmacariya

 I'm going to start off with more of a rough sketch / outline, and fill in with more details and editing over time. I just want to get the information and the solution out quickly, and refine the descriptions later as needed.

So even though I eat super healthy, do at least 8 hours a day of some combination of sitting meditation, walking meditation, taiji, yoga, hiking, I developed what I could feel was an energy blockage somewhere near my lower and middle spine area. Even consulting some taiji masters, meditation masters, I got useful advice and tips on how to deal with the mental part of the equation, but nothing that really helped diagnose what was going on in my particular case, what was the root cause and how to fix it. I had to figure that out on my own, trial and error.

physical and mental problems resulting from that spinal blockage

* trouble sleeping,
* panic attacks,
* body feels hot like a fever, but also could get shivering cold, could feel hot and shivering cold  at the same time!
* mental outlook, normally extremely resistant to negative or states of depression, but I can see day by day that if I didn't figure out the problem soon anxiety, depression, maybe thoughts of suicide would be possible.

the solution (these things healed the spinal blockage)

(this whole routine takes about 60-90 min to do)
I was able to fix the problem, by making these adjustments to my exercise routine.
Make sure I follow mayo clinic guidelines for daily exercise, incorporated into my routine, such as:
* at least one session of  30 min continuous cardio, where I have elevated heart rate, deep breathing using full range of breath (in sedentary mode, me maybe only use 30% of our range of breathing).
* for weight resistance training, I do at least this much every day, 18 pull ups, 18 pushups, 18 knee lifts hanging on the pull up bar with some spinal twisting
* lotus kicks, at least 81 repetitions, left leg, right leg, standing, lying down. This works not just your abs, but the whole core, the whole body, and also helps loosen hip area tissue that are tight and a bottle neck for yogis who do lots of sitting meditation
* after the cardio portion, with body loose and warmed up, this is the best time to get in at least 15-30min of yoga, because the stretching will really take and make forward net progress of more flexibility over time. Whereas if you try to do yoga and the body is cold, of course it still has much positive effect, but it would increase your elastic range over time.

diet adjustment

* added more salt to my diet, because I chronically under eat salt in meals I cook, to avoid getting too much salt, for health reasons since most people eat too much salt,  but also as an austerity to make sure I don't become attached to tasty food. But what I realized that over a long period of time, I probably had some salt deficiency accumulated. So I added more salt so that my food cooked "tastes good", but it's still much lower salt than you would find in a restaurant. The lesson here is when food "tastes good", it's your body giving you feedback that you need that nutrient. The mistake I made is overcorrecting for a problem I don't even have. Americans tend to way overconsume salt, and they eat out at restaurants frequently. I eat at restaurants maybe a few times a year, I could count on one hand. I always cook my own meals, so there was never any danger of me having too much salt.

* take a multivitamin everyday, especially one that has all the B vitamins with good assimilation bioavailability. I've been using Oxylent daily, it's a highly rated multivitamin that comes in powder form you mix with water, which absorbs much more efficiently than a pill.

Previously, before I had these health problems, I would take a multivitamin pill maybe once at most twice a week.

the important insights

since I already ate very healthy, and already got 8 hours  daily of meditation, taiji, yoga, everyday, people were shocked I developed those health problems at all. I was shocked.  These problems lasted for about 2 months before I hit the combination of things in the solution above, then I could see the problem start to go away gradually, and after 3 months I felt completely healed.

The weak link in the chain takes down the whole chain

 your body is a network of interconnected loops of energy. Not just the physical stuff like blood, lymph, etc, but non physical energy circulating that's invisible to the naked eye.  If you can meditate correctly, noble silence of second jhana, or even first jhana, you'll feel these currents and loops of energy, kinaesthetically, as heat, electricity, force, visible light. At various stages when your battery is not fully charged, you'll feel bliss or comfort, that can range anywhere from something like getting a high quality massage when your body is sore, to feeling like your whole body, every cell in your body is experiencing an orgasm. This can last hours, if you keep 8 precepts and brahmacariya well.But blissful side effects only happen when your batter is not fully charged, just like food only tastes good when you're really hungry. Pleasure chemicals in your brain are doled out to induce you to follow biological imperatives. Once your battery is charged, it ceases to dish out the pleasure chemical inducements, or can even issue signals of pain, for example if you overeat.

So the weak link in the chain, especially if it happens in a critical part of the body, like the spine, and wreak all kinds of havoc. I would say for my case, 80% of the solution is due to the additional daily exercise I incorporated into my daily routine that I didn't previously do (daily), and 20% due to chemical multivitamins.

why am I telling you this?

i'd be the last person anyone would expect to have those kinds of weird problems, with the way i eat, exercise, meditate. But it still happened because my vegetarian diet, for a long period mostly vegan, led to nutritional deficiencies (over decades), with my normal body temperature being on the cold side. Hands, feet, ears, get cold easily.

If you do a lot of sitting meditation, and you get cold easily, then the kind of spinal blockage I describe can happen to you too.

By following the solution above, my normal body temperature is starting to gradually rise, and my yoga/stretching is starting to increase my elasticity and range of motion over time. I'd always been puzzled why I plateaud and wasn't improving in the flexibility dept. despite my doing taiji and yoga correctly, ever day. The reason turned out to be simple. Not enough body heat, not a high enough normal sedentary body temperature. And the solution is actually very simple. Follow mayo clinic guidelines on cardio and resistive weight training.

what caused me to make my error?

I thought cardio was just an inefficient wasteful use of valuable energy that would tire me out and cause me to be able to meditate less and need more sleep. That all the taiji and yoga I was doing was more than enough daily exercise.

What I discovered through daily practice (with the fix) is that if done properly, 30min of cardio done with a taiji mentality of complete relaxation, this is not tiring at all, but gives me more energy than when I don't do it.

See the slow jogging, and chi jogging video for some ideas.
if you watch how the kenyans jog, that's how good, efficient, relaxed form should look.
I do a type of slow jogging, that I call, qigor gorilla jogging, that's basically a slow version of the olympic kenyan runners. Doesn't even go much faster than walking, and can even be slower than a walking speed, but the full body pushing off the ground fires all the leg muscles, the buttocks, enages the core, elevates the heart rate, works up a light mist of sweat. So relaxed and easy I can do it for hours if I needed to, after 30min every day for a few months, it feels as easy as walking.

better than caffeine

getting enough cardio is much better than caffeine.
(more on this another time)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Even if you meditate correctly, part 2

why is PIE so easy to lose?

Here's an analogy. Say a regular person, who doesn't meditate much, has a credit card with a 500$ limit. So no matter how reckless they are, at most, in one session, they can only lose 500$ of PIE.

The more you meditate, the more PIE you bake, the stronger the energy gets, the channels getting more open leads in exponential growth of PIE. So now that credit card, instead of a 500$ limit, now  has a much higher credit limit, and has the potential to lose 10,000$, 50k$, even 100k$ of PIE quickly in a few days or even in one session.

So take a normal person, who doesn't meditate, works 40 hours a week, 30 years old, has sex twice a week. After he has sex, he needs more sleep and more food than usual, but since his norm is maybe sleeping 8 hours a day, he doesn't really notice the effect of sex.

Now let's take one of the cases of the meditators living the normal lifestyle as above, but starts meditating seriously, 1-2 hours a day minimum, correctly, and feels great improvement in health, mental clarity, etc. For a while. But later, they start getting various health problems as described in the linked article. Migraines, anxiety attacks, depression, panic attacks, etc. There are other potential  causes, but odds are their increased meditative power is destroying much more PIE than they were able to sustain formerly, on a twice a week sex schedule.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Even if you meditate correctly, things can go terribly wrong

I've had personal experience with panic attacks, bad episodes in the past. It's a huge topic, and I'm not going to try to address everything, but here are some things that are extremely helpful, from personal experience.

PIE = precious internal energy. 

In taoism, they talk about jing, qi, shen. PIE is my way of describing that internal alchemy.

If you meditate correctly, full pacification/relaxation of body and mind, mind free of thinking,  what you're doing is baking PIE.
The more you meditate, the better the PIE tastes, the more massive and powerful the energy running through the network of interconnected loops in the body.

PIE energy running through the energy channel loops in the body is not imaginary. It's a tangible force that throbs through every cell in your body. At different stages, depending on how coarse the energy is, it can feel like flashes of heat, electricity, a feeling like you're sitting in a jacuzzi and the powerful jets of water are going up your spine, around your head, down your chest and back to the tailbone.At times, your belly feels and sounds like a bee hive throbbing with magnetic gooey energy.  It can feel like you're a water balloon that's expanding. At a higher stage, it feels like just an air balloon expanding. At a higher stage, then the PIE manisfests as an abundance of visible light, that grows in size and intensity/brightness the longer and more nurturing you bake the PIE with. The body starts to feel empty.

When you're working with circulating  massive amounts of PIE in the body/mind, it requires a definite commitment and lifestyle change. Besides all the common sense good advice, such as eat healthy, take vitamins regularly as a hedge and insurance, get enough sleep, exercise at least 60-120min a day with at least 30min of decent cardio with elevated heart and full/deep breathing, there is one thing of special importance that most people don't believe, don't want to believe, but is of crucial importance.

Zero tolerance for any thought of lust

Brahmacariya. Celibacy. This doesn't just mean abstinence from sexual intercourse and masturbation. This means the mind 24/7 must be vigilant guarding and wiping out any thoughts of lust immediately. Once you become skilled in meditation, you'll understand why. Even just a split second of strong lust in the mind, you can feel a massive amount of PIE energy churning and humming in the body. This PIE can not be recycled, contrary to what Taoist and Tantric charlatans claim have bringing up the energy up the spine and recycling it. This is wishful thinking, and has led many people to a premature death and massive health problems.

 For people who aren't celibate, what practitioners who do taiji (Tai Chi) quan seriously, the grandmasters have given advice such as this these:
* If you plan to have sex, for 3 days before, and 2 days after, don't do any qigong or meditation.
* If you plan to have sex, no meditation/qigong 24 hours before or after
* If you plan to have sex, no meditation/qigong for an hour before, or an hour after

 The more advanced your meditation is, the more realize brahmacariya/celibacy is the only way to go. The type of advice given above, you'll find out very quickly why that's there. And even if you do follow it, someone who is an advanced meditator will feel like they're having a terrible hangover or worse, for 12-24 hours or longer. Eventually the wise realize if you're going to go down this path that leads to the deathless, the immortal PIE, brahmacariya/celibacy is not an option.

Back to the article

So now you can understand from the linked article, why some people who meditated correctly, and initially got great results, but later had anxiety, depression, panic attacks, physical health problems, migraine headaches,  etc. Odds are most of them are sexually active in some way, whether through sex with a partner or masturbation. There is probably no faster and dangerous way to destroy PIE as sexual activity.

But what about people who are celibate and still have those problems?

and in general, how to prevent this problem from happening?

Doing a combination of correct jhāna meditation, maintaining prolonged celibacy, and exercises that will repair your jhāna battery with its damaged infrastructure. 

Details of recommended exercises here: ☯🦍  

So what happen if we only think lustful thoughts but don't act out on it?

It's not only physical sexual activity,  lustful thoughts deplete massive amounts of vital energy.

Just as people with really intense anger, intense grief, do damage to their internal organs, and can even cause instant death. Many cases in history of people dying of 'broken heart' related to bad breakups, unrequited love, or people so angry they die from a burst artery.

In 2022, I read an article it's common now that young men, teens through thirties, have much higher rates of impotence and erectile dysfunction. That's from watching pornography, so easily available in modern times. The article didn't say, but even if they don't masturbate physically, just watching porn and inciting strong lustful thoughts, are going deplete vital nervous system energy, just as everyone has probably had the experience of being intensely angry, and feeling the body feels weak, messed up and depleted, even without physically acting out the anger with energetic activity. Strong thoughts can have that strong effect. 

People with strong lustful thoughts, daydreaming, fantasizing, can have an orgasm and ejaculation without any physical contact from themself or others. Strong thoughts can have that strong effect.