The Buddha

Questions:  What does inquiring into the Buddha have to with diabetes?  What value could I possibly get from reading about, studying, testing a few of his “techniques.’? Does it have anything to do with Religion because I am out of here if it does?  I believe in science and evolution and have no time for anything that is not grounded in science so I probably won’t read on if that is ok with you?   I’m interested, will you continue?

Me:  Yes.  

I was 14 when I was diagnosed.  As most, if not all of you, know – this is quite the shocking event.  When I look back, one of the “processes” I went through was The Grief Process. If you are not familiar with it, it is a 5 step process human beings seem to go through when experiencing great loss whether that be a death of someone close, losing a pet, sustaining a serious injury, a chronic illness…etc.  It could be the loss of anything that is perceived as valuable or which there has been, is or could be attachment to.  

A diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes is certainly a loss.  In computer network terms (and the physical human body is much like a computer network) it is a point of critical failure.  A critical system of the body has been attacked and damaged to the point of total system failure.  The body cannot continue on.  Until the advent of insulin that is.  

In my opinion, the most profound TRUTH that the Buddha taught was that suffering has a Cause. The Buddha was a prince of a wealthy kingdom before he became the Buddha.  All of his desires were fulfilled immediately and abundantly.  He wanted for nothing.  But one day he escaped outside the walls of the kingdom and he witnessed much suffering.  To make a long story short he sat under a cool looking tree and had one of those Aha moments and discovered the root cause of all suffering.  

The Buddha discovered that all things that arise are bound to pass away.  He saw The Matrix in all its glory..

He saw that Nature was impermanent.  In Sanskrit this is called Annica; The Nature of Impermanence.  If you know anything about Quantum Physics or watched the movie…”What the bleep do we Know,” you know what I am talking about here.  

He discovered that suffering arises because of attachment.  And attachment arises because of craving and aversion.  And craving and aversion arise because of the mind’s momentary reactions of liking and disliking.  The more intense the reaction of liking and disliking, the stronger the ruts (Sankharas) of craving and aversion.  The stronger the craving and aversion the stronger the attachment.  And, the stronger the attachment, the more there is suffering.

It is nearly impossible to live a life without attachment and therefore, without suffering.  We all attach to things we like, want, don’t want, wish for, desire, love.  We become attached to our parents, friends, jobs, identity, ego, children, way of life, worldview……anything you can imagine.  According to the Buddha and great Zen Masters, the enlightened person consciously chooses what he/she will attach to, knowing full well that it will lead to suffering. The awakened one chooses his/her suffering.

Losing the ability to naturally produce insulin is a great loss. Talk about attachment.  The irony is sooo profound.  We are now attached to insulin, pumps, CGM’s, glucose tabs, alcohol swabs…..

The Buddha has nothing to do with Religion.  Yes, a religion has been created in his name.  Exactly like a few other religions.  A matter a fact, all religion is man made.  Sure, it may be Divinely inspired but all of it is man made.  Does that make it bad or invalid? Certainly not.  We live off ingenious man made inventions.  

I could go on…..I have studied many religions and metaphysical “maps of the territory.”  All of them are maps.  And the map is not the territory.  Just like science.  Science is a map.  At best, science is an accurate description.  Science is the “sense” of humanity and the world we live in.  Religion, on the other hand, is the “soul” of humanity and the world we live in.  In my opinion, it is a huge mistake to disregard, ignore or dismiss religion and spiritual inquiry.  It’s like “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

This condition we have is a profoundly emotional, mental and spiritual dis-ease along with it being a physical challenge.  

The Buddha’s discovery was that the root cause of all suffering was IGNORANCE. Specifically, the ignorance of the nature of impermanence.  If we believe that something will never pass away or decay or be lost then we are deluding ourselves.  

As Type 1’s we are rudely awakened to the nature impermanence simply in the fluctuations of our blood glucose levels.  

If Ignorance is the cause then the cure must be awareness of, awakening to, conscious of.

The Buddha’s teaching is a path of Wisdom and Enlightenment through the witnessing of the nature of impermanence while minimizing reactions of liking or disliking (Equanimity).  This is real meditation.  Now that is a yoga pose!!!…

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