Showing posts with label Mental Illness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mental Illness. Show all posts

Wrote to Mr. P:


I think you are overly judgmental about realised people.


Buddha said only arahats are free from mental illnesses. What did he say? Buddha: "Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of illness. Which two? Bodily illness and mental illness. People are found who can claim to enjoy bodily health for one, two, three, four, and five years; for ten, twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty years; and even for a hundred years and more. But apart from those whose taints have been destroyed, it is hard to find people in the world who can claim to enjoy mental health even for a moment." - Roga Sutta. And as we know, someone without taints is an arahat. The equivalent in Mahayana bhumi system would be the eighth bhumi. Indeed, Acarya Malcolm also said before that bodhisattvas below the eighth bhumi can continue to be quite mentally afflicted. However usually anatta realization (aka stream entry - https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/igored/insight_buddhism_a_reconsideration_of_the_meaning/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf%20) will help people who used to have severe depression overcome them, such as the case of Pam Tan https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2021/03/pam-tans-anatta-realisation-and-purging.html , but there can be outliers and exceptional cases for whatever reasons.


That being said I have never encountered someone I consider to have realised anatta that later developed schizophrenia, although I have known of one case that used to have schizophrenia who later realised anatta (he is not someone who posts often but you can read his story here - https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/search/label/Chad - i am not sure how is his mental conditions now but I presume it should be better)



Also, its interesting though that in the suttas, a sakadagami can still be depressed and die due to starvation from depression (no appetite to eat) from sorrow and loneliness.


https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel334.html#part3


    “Anathapindika had four children, three daughters and a son. Two of the daughters, Little Subhadda and Big Subhadda, were steeped in the Dhamma like their father and had attained stream-entry. And just as they took after their father in spiritual matters, so they did in worldly affairs; they were both happily married.

    But the youngest daughter, Sumana, surpassed even the rest of her family in her deep wisdom. Upon hearing the Buddha, she had quickly attained the second step of purification, becoming a once-returner.

    She did not marry, but not because she had renounced marriage. In fact, when she saw the happiness of her two sisters, she became sad and lonely. Her spiritual strength did not suffice to overcome her depression. To the deep sorrow of her family, she wasted away, eating nothing, starving to death.

    She was reborn in the Tusita heaven, the highest form of existence in the sensual realm, and there she had to purge herself of the residue of dependence on other people, her last desire directed outwardly.”


——



I have not met of realized people that get depressed over loneliness. However, having studied the scriptures over a decade ago, I at least know well enough that even if someone commits suicide due to loneliness and depression, I would not rule out the possibility that they have attained up to sakadagami. I only rule out the possibility that they have attained anagami and up. Why?


The scriptures indicate that sakadagami to anagami is a huge shift, because an anagami will not have any such sorrows and grasping at relationships: 


As someone wrote, “As for lifestyle changes upon abandoning the five fetters, this is what the non-returner Ugga has to say: “I had four young wives. I then went to them and said: ‘Sisters, I have undertaken the training rules with celibacy as the fifth. If you want, you can enjoy wealth right here and do merits, or go back to your own family circle, or inform me if you want me to give you over to another man.’ My eldest wife then said to me: ‘Young sir, give me to such and such a man.’ I sent for that man, and with my left hand I took my wife, with my right hand I took the ceremonial vase, and I gave her to that man. But even while giving away my young wife, I don’t recall that any alteration took place in my mind. This is the third astounding and amazing quality found in me.”



Even so, does that mean arahats no longer commit suicide since they no longer have mental afflictions? I leave open the possibility that they can still commit suicide based on extreme physical pain such as in the story of bhikkhu channa. https://suttacentral.net/sn35.87/en/bodhi?lang=en&reference=none&highlight=false Although arahats no longer create mental suffering, the bodily pain can still remain unbearable, based on what I understand from the above. So if someone commits suicide due to the torture of terminal illness, I know well enough not to discount the possibility that they have attained arahatship, even if real sutta-arahatship is rare these days.


So although I can say “suffering reduced” after realization here, I am not so naive as to claim that all sufferings are eliminated after realization. Unless you are arahat, eighth bhumi or Buddha.



——


Commenting to someone, Soh wrote:


Yeah i dont personally see how i can have that (depression from loneliness) but i dont presume to know the psychological makeup of all beings or realised persons


….


You can have realization and still afflicted in various ways. That is why buddha is wise in categorising the four stages from stream enterer to arahat in terms of ten fetters, there are very specific markers, also the bodhisattva bhumi path is related in terms of gradual elimination of twin obscurations.


But unfortunately there are a lot of poor interpretations in the modern world. Some like daniel ingram dont agree with fetter model and treat arahatship as just anatta. Arahats to him can continue to exhibit behaviours like lust, or anger etc if i understand him right. I dont agree. There are also those who somewhat agree with fetter model but totally misinterpreted them in terms of impersonality to nondual to anatta, making anatta arahatship again whereas in fact it is mere stream entry. We see this issue with kevin shanilec


Also the focus and obsession with eliminating fetters will lead many on the wrong path of merely suppressing without wisdom, that is also possible and common. It is not the path to liberation. Doesnt mean fetters cant be eliminated but without wisdom and very mature level of wisdom, it is the wrong way imo (see: Wisdom Path and Overcoming Inherency - https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2023/03/wisdom-path-and-overcoming-inherency.html)



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Mr. A wrote:

Soh Wei Yu ok but I really don't see how pain could be unbearable when there's no one there to experience it? in consciousness pain is like any other experience



the only way is see it becoming unbearable is if you're attaching a story to it. it's the thoughts that can definitely make it unbearable, the sensation is just what it is

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Soh Wei Yu

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You don't need thoughts or sense of self to be sensitive to pleasure and pain. Have you experienced very painful sensations before? Do sensations just stop being painful if you do not have sense of self?

There are two types of nibbana. The former is when a liberated being is still alive. The latter is post mortem of that liberated being.


Do read this teaching by Buddha:


§ 44. The Nibbana-element {Iti 2.17; Iti 38}


[Alternate translation: Thanissaro]


This was said by the Lord...


"Bhikkhus, there are these two Nibbana-elements. What are the two? The Nibbana-element with residue left and the Nibbana-element with no residue left.


"What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.


"Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant... completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left.


"These, bhikkhus, are the two Nibbana-elements."


These two Nibbana-elements were made known


By the Seeing One, stable and unattached:


One is the element seen here and now

With residue, but with the cord of being destroyed;

The other, having no residue for the future,

Is that wherein all modes of being utterly cease.

Having understood the unconditioned state,

Released in mind with the cord of being destroyed,

They have attained to the Dhamma-essence.

Delighting in the destruction (of craving),

Those stable ones have abandoned all being.

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But it is true that when freed from taints or kleshas, painful feelings stop being a cause of mental afflictions and suffering. But there must be a reason for Buddha to tell an arahant to 'bear with the pain', implying that he is experiencing pain that is hard to bear:


Then Ven. Angulimala, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Angulimala became another one of the arahants.


Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

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On how painful sensations stop being a cause of mental afflictions for arahants:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/.../sn36/sn36.006.nypo.html

SN 36.6 PTS: S iv 207 CDB ii 1263

Sallatha Sutta: The Dart

translated from the Pali by

Nyanaponika Thera

© 1998

Alternate translation: Thanissaro

"An untaught worldling, O monks, experiences pleasant feelings, he experiences painful feelings and he experiences neutral feelings. A well-taught noble disciple likewise experiences pleasant, painful and neutral feelings. Now what is the distinction, the diversity, the difference that exists herein between a well-taught noble disciple and an untaught worldling?

"When an untaught worldling is touched by a painful (bodily) feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught. He thus experiences two kinds of feelings, a bodily and a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart and, following the first piercing, he is hit by a second dart. So that person will experience feelings caused by two darts. It is similar with an untaught worldling: when touched by a painful (bodily) feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught. So he experiences two kinds of feeling: a bodily and a mental feeling.

"Having been touched by that painful feeling, he resists (and resents) it. Then in him who so resists (and resents) that painful feeling, an underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he then proceeds to enjoy sensual happiness. And why does he do so? An untaught worldling, O monks, does not know of any other escape from painful feelings except the enjoyment of sensual happiness. Then in him who enjoys sensual happiness, an underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feelings comes to underlie (his mind). He does not know, according to facts, the arising and ending of these feelings, nor the gratification, the danger and the escape, connected with these feelings. In him who lacks that knowledge, an underlying tendency to ignorance as to neutral feelings comes to underlie (his mind). When he experiences a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling or a neutral feeling, he feels it as one fettered by it. Such a one, O monks, is called an untaught worldling who is fettered by birth, by old age, by death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is fettered by suffering, this I declare.

"But in the case of a well-taught noble disciple, O monks, when he is touched by a painful feeling, he will not worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. It is one kind of feeling he experiences, a bodily one, but not a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart, but was not hit by a second dart following the first one. So this person experiences feelings caused by a single dart only. It is similar with a well-taught noble disciple: when touched by a painful feeling, he will no worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. He experiences one single feeling, a bodily one.

"Having been touched by that painful feeling, he does not resist (and resent) it. Hence, in him no underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness. And why not? As a well-taught noble disciple he knows of an escape from painful feelings other than by enjoying sensual happiness. Then in him who does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness, no underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feelings comes to underlie (his mind). He knows, according to facts, the arising and ending of those feelings, and the gratification, the danger and the escape connected with these feelings. In him who knows thus, no underlying tendency to ignorance as to neutral feelings comes to underlie (his mind). When he experiences a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling or a neutral feeling, he feels it as one who is not fettered by it. Such a one, O monks, is called a well-taught noble disciple who is not fettered by birth, by old age, by death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is not fettered to suffering, this I declare.

"This, O monks, is the distinction, the diversity, the difference that exists between a well-taught noble disciple and an untaught worldling."

Sallatha Sutta: The Dart

ACCESSTOINSIGHT.ORG

Sallatha Sutta: The Dart

Sallatha Sutta: The Dart

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Another person, Mr. P wrote an interesting post (https://www.facebook.com/groups/AwakeningToReality/posts/25168006679480758/?__cft__[0]=AZXOHCzRKV_oRTUbyloOyn6eVcCuGMxR-5od5uG_qC7sgyyS3NIXdj_OjzgsirdjKri2stUZAMmQdHpZOdh5S4TjgY4Kfon8OV9xzu8wnIBLtR0vF26R50p0BEVNY_i9wdpTyGE70cjZT3lB6QTi0-6CTDJ3-zSc1IovDxuA6vqZDyEwCt5cMuMDF1JohdgBrdg&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R]-R):



As someone who has at least an inkling of how mental health works let me say that depression and anxiety are NOT a single uniform phenomena. They are a host of behavioral and emotional experiences which are grouped and clustered into diagnostic labels. These labels are nothing but clusters of similar behavioral and emotional problems. So there is no single cause of depression and anxiety. There are likely many 'subtypes' which are really just different diseases which need different treatment.


So why does this matter? Because some subtypes of depression are likely impossible after atr anatta, but others most definitely are possible. If you have one of the subtypes which is incompatible with anatta, such as a type purely due to distorted self-referential thinking then it will vanish. On the other hand if your depression is due to say an undiagnosed autoimmune disease you will still experience low mood and exhuastion. These are just two more extreme examples of course, there are many 'in between' cases as well. Depression can exist without negative reactivity as well.It can be entirely the 'first arrow' of pain which can be activated without any reactivity even at the mind base (the first arrow can occur at all six sense bases, this is well supported by multiple suttas). Even arahants can meet the criteria for minor depression (seriously take a look: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK36406/table/ch1.t1/). Depression in the modern DSM diagnosis is not necessarily equivalent to an afflictive emotion IMO. I have experienced depression where my mood was peaceful overall, but I still would meet diagnostic criteria due to impairment, fatigue, low motivation etc. Strange place to be in, nothings wrong, but can't do anything since mental energy is just absent due to the illness.

And to just give an idea of the different causes of depression. It can be due to:


1. Environmental Factors such as pollution, noisiness, and pollen

2. Negative Self-Talk

3. Undiagnosed Physical Illness

4. Overall Inflammation in the body

5. Sleep disturbances

6. Lack of physical exercise/sedentary lifestyle

7. Trauma which has worked it's way into the 'energy body' (i.e. the way the mind pervades the bodily experience)

8. Other mental illnesses (bipolar, schizopherenia, borderline etc)

9. Genetic and epigenetic factors

10. and probably a ton of other stuff

It would be seriously naive to think anatta will solve all of those distinct causes for everyone.


...


And to be fair, a lot of depression is really just due negative thoughts and beliefs believe it or not. So ATR anatta can solve the problem often. So can efficient methods such as TEAM-CBT which just target those thoughts and beliefs (and resulting behaviors) directly. This is why David Burns can work with many clients and cure depression in a single 3 hour session just by targeting these things (as well as his deep skill gained from 30+ years of practicing as a therapist).

Unfortunately such high speed approaches don't really work for people with additional diagnoses, and probably also fail in cases of physical illness etc. Probably they fail in the same places atr anatta would fail.

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——


Mr J G said:

I'm blown away by the depth of engagement from this community. Thank you all for your answers. And much gratitude to the moderators for creating such a supportive and engaging environment.

While I have not had the realisation of anatto, nor am I currently suffering from depression or anxiety, I simply thought it to be an interesting philosophical question.

Many years ago, I did suffer from both, but the further along the "path" I find myself, the less I can ever see these psychological afflictions becoming an issue again.

My synthesis of the above comments is that anxiety and depression are terms that cover both an exceptionally broad field of phenomena, and could also have multifarious causes.

It seems that if the psychological ailments relate to habitual patterns of mind, such as negative self-referential thinking, or negative conditioning of mind; the suffering relating to this will not survive in the wake of anatta realisation.

However, I can see how anxiety or depression relating to biological phenomena could still persist past the insight of anatta. Although, it still seems there will be no one to "suffer" this burden. Instead, it'd just be the phenomenological texture of experience, not happening to anyone.

Having said this, the only way to truly find out will be through direct experience. Hopefully time will tell 😊



Soh replied:


Suffering will still arise as long as one is not yet an arahant or eighth bhumi bodhisattva. Although it may be reduced tremendously.

Also by the third bhumi one will be generally free of negative emotions.

As Kyle Dixon/Krodha wrote to someone on reddit:

“I’m not qualified to give any sort of medical advice but sounds like you’d benefit from either continuing with some sort of medication schedule or if you choose to go without meds, at the very least have a therapist you can engage with on a regular basis.

Buddhadharma is great, and in certain degrees of realization does actually eliminate negative emotions so that they aren’t experienced at all. They are “tamed” (damya) so that you form a deep mental and emotional resilience once you reach the level of “patience” (kṣānti). This occurs on what is called the third bhūmi, negative emotions no longer manifest at all. I only say that to share that buddhadharma is in fact a means to an end in terms of conquering emotional turmoil. That said, those are higher realizations, and you shouldn’t bet your mental wellbeing on that type of attainment at this present time. It is better to take measures to find some emotional equanimity and overall peace, even if that means medication and therapy.”

Also as Kyle shared and I can relate:

"...The anatta definitely severed many emotional afflictions, for the most part I don't have negative emotions anymore. And either the anatta or the strict shamatha training has resulted in stable shamatha where thoughts have little effect and are diminished by the force of clarity. I'm also able to control them, stopping them for any amount of desired time etc. But I understand that isn't what is important. Can I fully open to whatever arises I would say yes. I understand that every instance of experience is fully appearing to itself as the radiance of clarity, yet timelessly disjointed and unsubstantiated.." - Kyle Dixon, 2013

“The conditions for this subtle identification are not undone until anatta is realized.

Anatta realization is like a massive release of prolonged tension, this is how John put it once at least. Like a tight fist, that has been tight for lifetimes, is suddenly relaxed. There is a great deal of power in the event. The nature of this realization is not often described in traditional settings, I have seen Traga Rinpoche discuss it. Jñāna is very bright and beautiful. That brightness is traditionally the “force” that “burns” the kleśas.

The reservoir of traces and karmic imprints is suddenly purged by this wonderful, violent brightness. After this occurs negative emotions are subdued and for the most part do not manifest anymore. Although this is contingent upon the length of time one maintains that equipoise.” - Kyle Dixon, 2019

“Prajñā “burns” karma, only when in awakened equipoise. Regular meditation does not.” - Kyle Dixon, 2021


—-

Soh:

Also,


John Tan:

The logic that since there is no agency, hence no choice to be made is no different from "no sufferer, therefore no suffering".

This is not anatta insight.

What is seen through in anatta is the mistaken view that the conventional structure of "subject action object" represents reality when it is not. Action does not require an agent to initiate it. It is language that creates the confusion that nouns are required to set verbs into motion.

Therefore the action of choosing continues albeit no chooser.

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;

The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;

Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;

The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."

…..


“Difference between "neo advaita nihilism" and Anatta
“[3:29 PM, 6/25/2020] John Tan: Thought of how to explain the difference in anatta and advaita nihilism.

[3:40 PM, 6/25/2020] John Tan: When a person in ignorance, why is he so blinded? If there is no I, shouldn't him be already free?

 

Sentient being: if there is no I in ignorance, then you are therefore free.

 

Anatta: There is no I in ignorance, you are precisely THAT ignorance, therefore fully and entirely blinded.

 

What anatta insight is telling us is the "I" and "ignorance" are the same phenomenon. This also tells us that even when in ignorant, there is complete and effortless non-dual experience, anatta is a seal.

 

 

[2:52 PM, 6/27/2020] Soh Wei Yu: The Beauty of Virtue

 “


    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AwakeningToReality/posts/9486243304750348/?__cft__[0]=AZX6L0cXKnQnaQ-WShM-XZqSceKjz1pNCcnbGaziTbCgC4mcUKAxWAYzcFHDoO1efjlPm35JBVylptlubkiqMHEvVKZ0PVvkivI2JsBvgB63YV_sgtRUSloiLgupTdLb4PMEfUatt-bHC23UvwzHRg9jMRU3SvamONe-Pr_8xE0pNOv0T8b4PaoqPM_3IxBzZz4&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R


    From time to time people with mental health issues join the AtR group. So I'll share some of my thoughts on this matter. First of all, these people should not practice alone without guidance. They should not try to do the inquiry and meditations on AtR blog especially without direct guidance of a qualified teacher. This is because these meditations or inquiries can be destabilizing on an already unstable mind if done incorrectly. Depending on conditions, light shamatha or mindfulness practice may be more beneficial than inquiry heavy forms of practices. But is spirituality of no value to these persons? No, in fact it can be quite important, especially guidance and help from a qualified master. Unfortunately I will not be able to offer any help on these matters. Afflicted persons should find an experienced master in their vicinity.
    I hold the same view as Yin Ling's (who is a Western medical doctor) and Acarya Malcolm Smith's (besides being a Dzogchen teacher, is also a trained and qualified Tibetan medicine practitioner) views, mental health issues like schizophrenia are often, or can be, spirit induced disorders. They are not just 'hallucinations' of the brain, these people may be accessing spirits of other realms. By all means, psychiatric help or medications are still necessary. But working with a qualified and experienced dharma teacher is also important.

    This reddit reply by VulcanVisions advices well:

    https://www.reddit.com/.../could_people_with_mental.../
    1 day agor/Buddhism•Posted byu/curemydepression

    Could people with mental health issues become enlightened?

    📷
    Hi, I was wondering whether people with mental health issues such as sociopathy and psychopathy could become enlightened. I think it isnt possible, since to become enlightened the person must experience feelings and suffering to overcome this in the first place. Would like to know your opinions.
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    Tibetan BuddhistVulcanVisions· 1 day ago
    I am Tibetan and Buddhist, I also work in mental health in the West, I will give you my thoughts on this:
    We are born into physical, mortal bodies, which are mechanical in a sense and as a result of samsaric existence, anything can go wrong with these bodies
    From a neurochemical perspective, psychopathy is just one more thing that can go wrong with these bodies. It represents another suffering of samsara, another obstacle on the path to liberation, making awakening more difficult.
    Such things are determined by our karma, carried over from our endless rebirths - whilst beyond our comprehension, there is a reason we are where we are in this moment.
    Having psychopathy or schizophrenia makes the path more difficult, as does any illness such as cancer or diabetes, but it does not make it impossible.
    Several of the clients I work with have various forms of schizophrenia, and several of them are practicing Buddhist - there is nothing to stop them practicing.
    Now, as a religious Buddhist of the Nyingma school, I must say that I do not agree with the Western notions of mental illness. Whereas Western medicine holds that "patients" are ill and that doctors are "above" them in a sense in terms of being "healthy", I do not agree.
    Western philosophy as a whole has an air of superiority, and anything that does not pass its tests - such as firm atheism, scientism, and rationality - are immediately rejected as primitive or stupid.
    Whilst my clients hallucinating emaciated ghosts is interpreted in the medical model as a neurochemical brain imbalance, I personally believe that the client may be experiencing an attack by a preta, which in the Buddhist world can harass and feed from human emotions.
    Either way, the treatment is the same - we accept our situation, learn about dukkha, and practice the dharma.
    I myself had what in the West was called "hallucinations" of spirits, and Western medicine and therapy did nothing to treat this - when I reconnected with my Rinpoche and fully committed to the dharma, daily meditation practice made the "hallucinations" go away. I believe because I began to purify my bad karma.
    Apologies if this was a bit long, but hopefully made sense to you 🙏
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    Yin Ling shared before her encounters in her medical practices with schizophrenia people without Buddhist religious background but described classic Buddhist description of pretas behavior in their visions, such as "a small head and big stomach, and likes to inhale smell from her food", and many other various interesting and resembling descriptions.
    Also related reading, something I shared before, although this is not the Buddhist way of dealing with these issues but it's still an interesting read: https://uplift.love/the-shamanic-view-of-mental-illness/
    The Shamanic View of Mental Illness | UPLIFT
    The Shamanic View of Mental Illness | UPLIFTUPLIFT.LOVEThe Shamanic View of Mental Illness | UPLIFT

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  • Soh Wei Yu
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    +1
    Yin Ling shared before her encounters in her medical practices with schizophrenia people without Buddhist religious background but described classic Buddhist description of pretas behavior in their visions, such as "a small head and big stomach, and likes to inhale smell from her food", and many other various interesting and resembling descriptions.
    Also related reading, something I shared before, although this is not the Buddhist way of dealing with these issues but it's still an interesting read: https://uplift.love/the-shamanic-view-of-mental-illness/
    The Shamanic View of Mental Illness | UPLIFT
    UPLIFT.LOVE
    The Shamanic View of Mental Illness | UPLIFT
    The Shamanic View of Mental Illness | UPLIFT
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  • Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
    I went through a six realm course few months ago, l think from Bön tradition.
    When one gets insanely fixated on some pattern of behavior, one would call it kind of possession. In few cases this is actually what happens, that a spirit finds you and takes over.
    The ancient greeks would say just having ones conduct overruled by emotionsl patterns is enough to call it a kind of possession, so less heavy in a sense (no actual spirit) yet includes loads more of people on the planet, considering how many of us who are ruled by emotional patterns and habits.
    When l was living in a monastery in Nepal, they would do these kinds of exorsisms, it was pretty heartbreaking to see how people can become, and so l actually belive this to be possible for this to happen.
    Interesting thing l was told, is that christianity probably helped europe clean out a lot of these spirits (like if you read the Bible, Jesus did loads of exorsism), and l think its worse on other continents, as asian countries is only place l have seen this so clearly. (Meaning no offense hwre, just an observatiy).
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  • Soh Wei Yu
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    Oskar Melkeraaen Aas Yes. Possessions are real. I know of a few people who had these experiences.
    A friend of mine, a very smart lawyer who is now starting his own law firm, and his whole family was Catholic including himself once. One day, he went to his friend's bar, and when he got out and went home, he became possessed at home. His whole family saw it. And it's not just his behaviours, the whole environment changed, like the wind and air around him when he was possessed, papers actually flew around him and his family could see there was a spirit 'entity' that was there, possessing him, and it's not just some sort of psychosis or something.
    Luckily, one of his friends introduced a Tibetan rinpoche, and this rinpoche completely eliminated his problems. And the rinpoche said this spirit actually followed him from outside. That was when he realised it could be from the bar, but he still wasn't sure. In any case, because of this incident, he converted to Buddhism and so did his whole family converted to Buddhism, and has been chanting Tara and Padmasambhava almost everyday since.
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    • Kaio Shimanski
      Soh Wei Yu And how can we read this story on a ultimate view?
      Are demons codependent on the quality of our own mind?
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      • Soh Wei Yu
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        Kaio Shimanski In these cases, they are not just 'internal demons' but mindstreams of sentient beings stuck in the preta realm.
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      • Soh Wei Yu
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        Kaio Shimanski Of course, all beings, yourself and pretas are all empty of self.. but it does not deny conventionally speaking, preta beings, human beings, animals, your pet dog, etc
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      • Christoffer Sørensen
        Kaio Shimanski usually entities attach because of internal issues. Like feeling powerless, then entities can attach due to the emotional weakness.
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    He became sure it was the bar because like a year later, when he visited that same bar again, he got possessed again. But this time it wasn't serious I think. He's just sensitive to spirits, like that. Anyway I introduced him to a Tibetan dharma center (his other rinpoche does not speak english and I think is not residing here) when Zurmang Rinpoche visited Singapore earlier this year, and he formally took refuge and so on.
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    Forgot to mention: not only him, but his whole family converted from Catholicism to Buddhism due to that incident.
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    • Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
      Soh Wei Yu thats hilarious the full converting 😆 maybe it was a buddhist deity in ninja missonary attack! But whatever works, it would be interesting to see the skills of yoga and dharma be used in todays psychiatric institutions. I think a lot of the medication is just doing the opposite 🙁
      Just yesterday l heard about a nurse at a Norwegian place who got hospilized in the hospitz she had used to work. I think ill will, and few other things finally made her a proper "host" for a spirit to get her.
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  • Yin Ling
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    Oskar Melkeraaen Aas in Asian countries, psychotic behaviours will be known as possession.
    In western countries , they go and see the western doctors. If their behaviours become “threatening to public”, doctors have a right to “section” and admit them to a psychiatry institute, used to be call asylum. unless they are very fit to be integrated to society, they will be under close supervision, not even allow leave from the country, I’m speaking for UK.
    In Asian country we don’t do it so much. It’s very cultural.
    Perhaps why you see a difference in presentation. But I am aware I might be speaking from an echo chamber as well, being exposed to secondary/tertiary mental health and working in general practice. Mental health in uk is @.@ I don’t even know how to describe the magnitude.
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    • Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
      Yin Ling yeah, but l have not met personally people in the west who showed the sort of spirit behavior l saw in Asia. I am sure there are people here though who does are equally possed (like in the message to Soh), certainly..
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    I also know of someone, a friend of a friend (but is someone I have met a few times also and he also related these to me in person), who once owned a kumanthong (a small Thai statue that was spell-bound to a child spirit from aborted foetuses to bring good luck to owners, quite common practice in Thailand and south east asia). His friend who didn't know he got kumanthong got possessed and behaved like a child spirit when that friend visited him at his place. He gave up the kumanthong afterwards, passed it on to someone else.
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    "clean out a lot of these spirits" But as long as there are dead people, there are spirits. Even if exorcisms are done, they are still around, just maybe not in that house anymore.
    Excerpts:
    Author: krodha
    Date: Sat May 19, 2012 12:56 am
    Title: Haunted Areas and Localized Entities, Ghosts, Energy
    Content:
    I've always had a natural proclivity for sensing presences (seen or unseen) ever since I was young and
    it's always intrigued me. There's been times in the past (prior to my relationship with the dharma)
    when it's really plagued my peace of mind. When I was old enough to live away from home it started
    to become increasingly apparent because it would always be conditional on where I was living at the
    time. The first two places I lived were ok, but the third a house in alameda I could not be there alone
    at night. The fourth place was fine I could be there alone at anytime no problem. The fifth was an
    apartment in southern California which was horrendous, one of the most heavy and evil presences
    I've ever felt, I could not sleep there at night and would have to stay awake until the morning when I
    could finally sleep. The janitor at that apartment even said he hated to go in there to clean and
    would do it as fast possible. The next place back in san francisco was absolutely fine and that was the
    time I discovered the dharma.
    Presently where I live is fine, my sensitivity has increased with meditation and I'll have entities come
    into my room at night but they don't bother me I just know they're there. Same anytime a person
    comes into my room, if I'm sleeping I'll immediately awake.
    I do go running at night probably 4 or 5 nights a week and there is an entity which lives in the creek
    near my place. It's incredibly intense and powerful, seems very territorial. If I run directly on the
    sidewalk next to it, it will essentially blast me with intense energy which arises as profound fear I can
    feel throughout my body. There's been times when I've skipped running for awhile and after
    returning to it the first night back I'll be running and not be paying attention to the creek where upon
    getting too close, with no expectation I will literally be almost knocked off my feet. So it isn't a
    consciously induced manifestation created through an accumulation of fear towards that area. And I
    feel that now that it knows that I know it's there it messes with me even more. Needless to say after
    months of this I just run in the middle of the street when I get to that spot. The same creek connects
    to the road a quarter mile down the road and this thing will manifest again there and engage me.
    Whatever it is it's extremely powerful.
    Now getting to the point, I understand the emptiness of phenomena in relation to my pseudo
    subjective being. I usually am able to rationalize the emptiness of fear except for cases like this creek
    entity. I know that in chod it's said that these perceived negative entities are attached to our own
    continuum due to karmic debts etc... But what I don't understand is how are these projections
    confined to certain perceived areas? Why can't that energy in the creek leave the creek? Why is it so
    hostile? And what can be done to deal with energy/entities of that nature? If as I understand, it's an
    empty projection of mind, why is it localized to this certain area? I know that facing the fear and
    breaking down the projections like in chod is the correct route. Seeing the emptiness of the entity in
    relation to the fear. Emptiness of the fear in relation to deluded perception mistaken as "me". I've
    gotten to the point where integration has corrected most of these erroneous projections except for
    instances of direct hostile engagement like this creek thing. I rationalize that it's only a sensation
    interpreted as "fear" which is utterly empty, but that's easy to do when it's not breathing down my
    neck.
    I'm sure others here must have instances/occurrences like this? Any advice? Suggestions? Personal
    stories?
    Author: krodha
    Date: Sun May 20, 2012 4:12 am
    Title: Re: Haunted Areas and Localized Entities, Ghosts, Energy
    Content:
    There's no secondary effects, just the confrontation itself.
    Author: krodha
    Date: Sun May 20, 2012 5:19 am
    Title: Re: Haunted Areas and Localized Entities, Ghosts, Energy
    Content:
    Right that's what my inquiry was centered around; since it's a projection, why is it confined to that
    projected location? Why is it there sometimes (and very prevalent) and not present at all other times?
    Some nights it's not there at all. Sometimes I expect it and it's there. Sometimes I expect it and it's
    nowhere to be found. Sometimes don't expect it and it's there. There's been a couple times I've been
    able to jack my own energy up to such an extreme level that when it engages me I outshine it. So
    how are these projections able to manifest that way? It does manifest as fear yet the animalistic and
    territorial anger behind it is undeniable. It uses the energy like a bubble to push with. So I'm curious
    since it can't be other than a projection how such behavior is exhibited. It's actually not a problem
    really, it's fully confined to that area, if it was something in my experience all the time and causing
    lots of issues that'd be one thing. But since the projection is only associated with that area it's more
    intriguing than anything.
    I get that it's only fear. It's just the behaviorial and circumstantial characteristics that are interesting.
    Author: krodha
    Date: Sun May 20, 2012 8:35 am
    Title: Re: Haunted Areas and Localized Entities, Ghosts, Energy
    Content:
    I'm well aware of the emptiness of duration and location, emptiness of self and other (beyond the
    pale of intellectual constructs). I get that the expression is being imputed as a sensation which is
    further conceived to be fear and then posited to be "my" fear in an erroneous chain of ignorance, yet
    it doesn't fail to be intriguing. Cutting through is not so much a contrived act of severing
    identification with certain aspects of ignorance (such as duration/location), but involves setting up
    correct view (and abiding in that) so that it sets itself right. Afterall how could I cut through ignorance?
    Author: krodha
    Date: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
    Title: Re: Haunted Areas and Localized Entities, Ghosts, Energy
    Content:
    That was meant to be rhetorical but yes you're right, the contradictory conundrum being that the
    very I which seeks to cut (through ignorance) is the cornerstone of ignorance itself.
    Author: krodha
    Date: Sun May 20, 2012 5:36 pm
    Title: Re: Haunted Areas and Localized Entities, Ghosts, Energy
    Content:
    Anattā is the catalyst and cause of stream entry (I'm sure you know), which is more of an
    instantaneous occurrence. I'm not sure if stream entry can happen gradually... the gradual aspect
    would seem to be the cultivation of right view. The cultivation allows the seed to grow which may
    lead to the dawning of anattā. Right view involves skillful means though, because again, giving up the
    idea of personality is the idea of personality attempting to give itself up. I suppose the fetters can be
    weakened with right view, but they certainly are instantly obliterated in anattā.
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    • Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
      Soh Wei Yu yeah, is not chöd a way to be buddies with these spirits. That way you might help them, and they do not feel like posseing you
      • Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
        I also think almost all wrathful deities was at one point demons/ghosts etc.. that where converted.
      • Soh Wei Yu
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        Oskar Melkeraaen Aas I once invited all spirits in the area to me and I try to help them. In my own ways.. don't want to discuss how cos I don't want to misguide people lol
        I felt they were helped, but next day I felt some other spirits came to me like for help. I "turned them away" and told them to visit a monastery.
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