Meditation Seminar

I recently went to a 10 day meditation seminar. It is called Vipassana. One of the hardest things I ever did. I arrived on a Wednesday. The whole thing started that night and we entered what is called Noble Silence for the next nine days. Noble Silence means no talking or communicating in any way with other students. You could speak with the teacher or course manager if one needed to handle a material matter. In addittion there is no writing, reading or contact with the outside world. I quickly realized that I was on a journey that would take me within. Little did I know how much turbulence I would encounter on this trip. The next day started at 4am. That is when we woke up by a “gong”. There was another “gong” at 4:20am. That was because at 4:01am we had pretty much all hit the snooze button. Now we had 10 minutes before the first meditation session. From 4:30 am until 6:30 am I had a choice between meditating in the Meditation Hall or in my room. We had received instructions the night before as we would for the next 10 days on what to meditate on. Day 1 we were to observe our breathing and the area around inside the nose. We were to notice any sensations in this area. Breakfast was served at 6:30am. I really looked forward to meals. I had from 6:30am until 8am to eat, rest, walk around a bit and get ready for the day. From 8am until 9am everyone was required to be in the Meditation Hall and Goenke(the head teacher who taught via DVD) guided us into and out of a meditation session. From 9am until 11am I had the choice to continue meditation in the Hall or In my room. 11am lunch was served. This was the “big meal” of the day. It was very good. The entire diet was vegetaraion. I had until 1pm to eat, walk, rest, get cleaned up and do whatever else I could think of. From 1pm until 2:30pm I had the choice of meditating in the Hall or in my room. From 2:30pm until 3:30pm everyone was required to be in the Meditation Hall for a guided meditation. From 3:30 until 5pm I could continue working in the Hall or in my room. 5pm was the tea break. Tea and Fruit was available. From 6pm to 7pm everyone was required to be in the Hall for a guided meditaiton. From 7pm until 8:30pm we watched a DVD presentation from Goenke called the Day’s Discourse. These Discourses were very good and we were given instructions on how to meditate for the next day. From 8:30pm until 9pm we meditated using the “new” technique. 9pm to 10pm we retired to our rooms. 10pm Lights out. Each day followed this schedule. More on my experience later.

Fulfillment and Desire

Desire and Fullfillment. The Kabbalists say that “Fullfillment is the seed of Desire.” This implies that, in the context of time, Fullfillment precedes Desire. On a deeper, spiritual, metaphysical level it means that Fullfillment is the creator or originator of Desire. The Kabbalists describe Fullfillment as “The Light” and Desire as a kind of vessel or container. I reference Kabbalah because in all of the models used by religion, metaphysics, science and philosophy the Kabbalists offer an extremely profound and workable picture of existence; The mechanisms, rules and laws of our universe. Further significance is added to their model because cutting edge science in Quantum Physics and String Theory seem to run parallel to Kabbalistic “Technology.” I have added a link to a Kabbalah website that I have found useful. They offer many books and other resources if you wish to investigate their positions. The challenge in referencing Kabbalah is that it is associated with organized religion. Anything remotely associated with organized religion has become a non starter for a very large portion of our population and for those who are already associated with a religion it is an absolute non starter because it is not of their religion. Atheists, agnostics, and those that just despise organized religion have a firm belief that anything that involves the belief in God or a creator is pure poppy cock (if you have read this far you may not be one of them…lol). Continue reading Fulfillment and Desire

Polarity; An important perspective in understanding balance

As we have talked before, the objective in the game of conquering diabetes is to achieve blood sugar readings in a pre-determined desired range. It is a balancing act. Let’s step back for just a minute and look at the world around us. Anything that exists in our universe is seeking balance. Anything “out of balance” is considered, at best, not meeting potential or dysfunctional and, at worst, broken or dead. If one looks deeper at these “things” one starts to see that the way our universe(nature) achieves balance as by having two opposing(polar) forces at play. The atom itself has an electron and a proton. Two opposing forces that make the atom an atom. In electricity there is the positive pole and the negative pole. A circuit is created when these opposing forces interact in a balancing act that creates light in a light bulb via the resistor. There is good and bad, white and black, dark and light, male and female, republicans and democrats(lol) …..Yin and Yang…..
There are two polar forces working in the balancng of Type 1 diabetes. They are Insulin dosage and Carb/Fat gram ingestion. There are other influencing factors but these are the two main ones because of the absence of normally secreted insulin in the Type 1 diabetic. Greater certainty in achieving success in getting bg readings in the desired range is accomplished by reducing insulin dosage to the most minimum number through healthy eating, checking blood sugars atleast 10x per day, excercise, stress reduction and increasing overall health condition.

Yoga and Diabetes

I have been “doing” yoga for the past 6 years. It is one of the most effective tools I have in achieving good blood sugar control. It helps for three reasons. First, it is a form of excercise and therefore burns glucose resulting in a reduction of insulin required. Second, it reduces stress especially because of the breathing excercises. And Third, it is an excellent metaphor for the task of balancing blood sugars. Yoga is all about balance and equanimity. So, as one participates in yoga one learns lessons that can be applied to balancing blood sugars.

Walking the High Wire

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 14 everything changed. At the time, I had no idea what diabetes was or what I needed to do in order to move forward and live with the disease. It is an auto immune deficiency disease. In other words, for whatever reason, my immune system decided to attack the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. In fact, all of the cells that produce insulin were killed. As a result, my body was unable to produce insulin and the first thing I needed to do was to inject insulin. The body is always seeking balance. With respect to the function of insulin….it is a hormone that is secreted, as needed, to facilitate the metabolism of carboyhdrates and fat in the food we eat.
So, now instead of not even being conscious of that function in my body I had to become acutely aware of it.  A person with Type 1 diabetes has to be aware of this process at all times. It is a balancing act. It is a difficult balancing act. We must balance what we eat with how much insulin we take with how much physical activity we engage in. It is like balancing on a high wire. A fall to one side and blood sugars are high. A fall to the other side and blood sugars drop low. High blood sugars are a concern because it takes a toll on the body. It can cause artery problems, problems with the eyes, problems with the kidneys, problems with the heart. Also one does not feel well when blood sugars are high. Low blood sugars are a more immediate concern. The body needs glucose in order to function. Going too low results in impaired thinking, sweating, unconsciousness, coma and sometimes death.
The four primary concerns for the person with diabetes are 1.) insulin dosages 2.) Carbohydrate and Fat gram intake 3.) Physical Activity and 4.) General Overall Health.
1.) Insulin: There are three important numbers one must establish whaen taking insulin. One must know basal rate, insulin sensitivity and insulin to carb ratio.
2.) Carb and Fat gram intake: We have talked about carb grams. Fat grams are a little more involved. Fat grams are coverted into glucose over a longer period of time than carb grams. To avoid having to deal with fat as an issue you should minimize fat in your diet. However, you must take fat into consideration if you are ingesting more than your carb to insulin ratio. Typically I try to keep all meals under 30 grams of carbs and fat combined. Anything above this number creates more uncertainty.
3.) Physical Activity: This is the secret weapon in the balancing act. I recommend that anyone with Type 1 diabetes make excercise a priority. It burns glucose and increases your overall metabolism rate. Walking, jogging or yoga have been my methods of excercise. I excercise everyday and I push myself.
4.) General Overall Health: If you are overweight lose weight. You need to make your priority to be in the best shape you can possibly be. This will make your body resistant to disease and will result in better and healthier decisions.
More later…………….