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Joined: Mar 2012
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"Like" - gosh I've been spending too much time on Facebook!
Love this though, thanks for sharing.


Diagnosed March 2012
First symptoms December 2011
31 years old
Determined to change my poison into medicine!
Runner, stamp collector, cat lover, cheese lover
Joined: Oct 2007
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naj Offline
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Wow, Chris! A lovely response, thank you for sharing it.
Have you read How to be Sick by Toni Bernhard? She is a buddhist writer and her book is about coping with chronic illness, which she has. I love her take on karma, too, and of course seems very much in line with Tsepag's response to you.
Cheers.


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Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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Hi Chris, I wish I had seen that other discussion. It sounds like it was really interesting. And I love that you wrote the Dalai Lama about your concerns on karma. My god, it's so misunderstood in the Western world. What is it about us that makes it so difficult to understand that we are what we think. That karma is a direct result of not only our actions, but our thoughts and words. It's cause and effect and has nothing to do with punishing people.

I have always loved the Buddhist concept of karma, the Buddhist way of life in general. We have control over what happens to us. I'm not saying we could have controlled whether or not our genetics gave us AS (or diabetes, or MS, or any other auto-immune based illness - that's often genetics and we as humans really have not control over that), but how we deal with it is completely under our control. We choose how we deal with our emotional responses. Anger is natural, part of the process of learning to cope. But if you stay angry, if you choose not to move beyond that, then you will have to live with the results of that anger.

Karma works the same way. Acknowledging your negative emotions is healthy, as then you can do something about them. Acknowledging that we, as humans, are not perfect is also healthy, because then we can strive to become more, we can strive to be the best we can. To do otherwise is to wallow. It is to choose to live in a negative way.

We who live with an auto-immune disease learn very quickly that choosing to live in a negative way makes us feel worse. The stress exacerbates our disease effect, makes it so much worse. Learning to relax and make positive emotional decisions helps us. Cause and effect. Karma. In that way, I feel sorry for people who live in 'healthy' bodies. Some of them never learn these things and go through life wondering why they aren't happy or fulfilled, never acknowledging that maybe their decision to hold onto anger or other negative emotions is directly affecting their overall well-being. They blame everyone else, never looking into the mirror of their own soul.

And the soul is what karma is all about, ultimately. Chi, Qi, Soul, Spirit - they're all the same thing, just different words. Karma, knowledge of karma, helps our soul progress until, finally, we no longer need to live in human form.

In my humble opinion, we are all capable of Nirvana/Heaven. The limitation is in the choices we make when life hands us experience. We are all capable of living in a positive way, of making positive, healthy decisions. Choosing to do so is the crux of it. You reap what you sow. Karma.

Thank you for this.

Warm hugs,


Kat

A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
"Strictly Ballroom"

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Hi Inanna,

Quote:
Karma, knowledge of karma, helps our soul progress until, finally, we no longer need to live in human form.

In my humble opinion, we are all capable of Nirvana/Heaven. The limitation is in the choices we make when life hands us experience. We are all capable of living in a positive way, of making positive, healthy decisions. Choosing to do so is the crux of it. You reap what you sow. Karma.


Your wordings indicate your good knowledgde in eastern philosophy. Which philosophy are you familiar / exposed to.

Quote:
helps our soul progress until, finally, we no longer need to live in human form


Gives a very deep knowledge, generally of Indian philosophy.

I liked it.

Regards.

JAY

Last edited by jay_bharat; 10/29/12 09:45 AM.
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Hi Jay, I'm so pleased that you like what I said. It is how I try to live my life.

I have been something of a spiritual explorer for over 20 years now and my exploration has led me down many different paths of learning. I'm not an expert about any one religion or spiritual way of life, but have read enough on many of them to have learned something. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Neo-Paganism (under which umbrella I include Wiccans, Neo-Druids, Reconstructionists, etc. and in the full knowledge that there would be howls of rage from all of them at being lumped under this umbrella - it's just easier, frankly), Taoism, Zorastrianism, B'Hai, Jainism, Confucius, First Nations - all have some form of the Golden Rule. I have learned from all of them.

All teach that one should try to be and do good. Some believe that the soul incarnates only once, then goes somewhere else depending on how they've lived their lives. Others believe that the soul returns repeatedly until it 'gets it right' at which point it moves on to peace. In all cases, there's what Westerners would call 'payback', but might be termed 'karma' isn't there.

I don't know what the actual truth is in all of this. I only know that I have learned from people like His Holiness, and other teachers whose lives I have read about, that what's important is how we live our lives. The choices we make are important. And, I have come to believe that we are, our souls are, a part of something more than life here on our beautiful planet. I can't put it into words, but it abides within me, you and all of us. I do know that it humbles me and, at the same time, fills me with joy. And at those times when I have felt its lack it is because the misery I am then experiencing has caused me to forget for a time that all I have to do is close my eyes, take a deep breath and open myself, and it is still there. Always there.

I remember visiting Nepal and communicating with the women in the hills. Many of them lived in conditions that we in Canada and the Western world would call abject poverty. Some of it was shocking, to say the least. And then visiting Mexico and seeing the same types of conditions there. Yet, there was a difference.

In Nepal, an Eastern country, I had no sense of resentment toward me because of my relative wealth. I was who I was. They were who they were. We all had to live with what we had and choosing to rail against it served nothing more than to make everyone feel badly. In Mexico, a Western country, resentment was thick and I had the feeling at times that if I turned my back at the wrong moment it might be my last because a person's need was so great and my perceived wealth (which really wasn't much at all) might make that person's life easier for a while. The main difference between the two was the belief in Karma. Karma has nothing to do with punishing a soul for being bad, punishing a woman who is trying to feed her children with insufficient food for being poor. It has everything to do with being the best person you can be under any circumstances.

Once I recognized that, I began learning more from any source I could find. Slowly, I developed my own beliefs, my own spiritual philosophy, and it is firmly rooted in the idea that my soul has lived many lifetimes, and may live many more, based in the decisions and choices I make. My first choice will always be 'harm none' (Wicca) or 'do unto others' (Christianity) or 'loving kindness' (Confucius) or not doing to my neighbour 'what is hateful' to myself (Judaism) or not inflicting on others that which is not delightful to me (Buddhism). And when I fail in this, once I've beaten myself up a bit, I try to forgive myself and learn from it, so that I can move on and try to live in a positive way.

So, Jay, there is no easy answer to your question of where I learned this. I learned it from the peoples of our world. I learned it from life. But mostly, I learned it by listening to my soul's wisdom.

Love and hugs,


Kat

A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
"Strictly Ballroom"

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Hi Inanna,
What a nice, long, informative and thought provoking reply. Very nice.
I understand about the enormous amount of efforts put in by you to learn many of the spiritual beliefs in this beautiful planet.

Quote:
Slowly, I developed my own beliefs, my own spiritual philosophy, and it is firmly rooted in the idea that my soul has lived many lifetimes, and may live many more, based in the decisions and choices I make.

Did you ever practiced spirituality, by that I mean meditation sort of things. Probably it would have given more insight?. I have not learnt much like you on various philosophies / beliefs. But I happened to read a spiritual details of our religion and felt practicing meditation will enhance the insight. Practiced the same for about 12 years and had reasonable experiences before stopping because of AS monster.

Regards.
Jay

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