Sitting when sick

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • threethirty
    Member
    • Dec 2011
    • 170

    Sitting when sick

    I have this thing where my sinuses back up into my ears which throws my balance off. I never noticed this before I started doing Zazen, and really only notice it when I do Zazen. It feels like I'm on a boat that is anchored. I try to sit with it as much as I can but end up stopping well before my previously set time due to motion sickness.

    Anyone else get this? Anyone have tips for sitting with it?

    Gassho
    _/_
    --Washu
    和 Harmony
    秀 Excellence

    "Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body" George Carlin Roshi
  • Seimyo
    Member
    • Jan 2012
    • 861

    #2
    Re: Sitting when sick

    I managed to get a sinus infection at the first of the year and I know when it was at it's peak and my eustation tubes were plugged, I would get dizzy during Zazen. Dizzyness could be explained because you are pivoting while on your zafu, looking for balance and since your equilibrium is off, it's making you uneasy. Have you tried using a neti pot to clear your sinuses?

    Gassho,
    Chris

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39459

      #3
      Re: Sitting when sick

      Originally posted by threethirty
      I have this thing where my sinuses back up into my ears which throws my balance off. I never noticed this before I started doing Zazen, and really only notice it when I do Zazen. It feels like I'm on a boat that is anchored. I try to sit with it as much as I can but end up stopping well before my previously set time due to motion sickness.

      Anyone else get this? Anyone have tips for sitting with it?

      Gassho
      _/_
      Hi,

      First, see a doctor and get yourself checked, see if there is some medical treatment.

      Next, see if you are holding your head too rigidly, or too far back or forward. Do not have tension in your neck, and keep your head nicely balanced on your neck. Keep you eyes half open too.

      Next, have a listen to these, on sitting with illness and chronic conditions ... If truly necessary, stand, walk or recline even if mid-sitting ...

      viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2909&p=41789&hilit=sick+pain# p41789

      viewtopic.php?p=64281#p64281

      Pretty much the message is the same in each of those.

      When sick, just be sick. When dizzy, just be dizzy ... even as we try not to be sick and dizzy. Find the Stillness at the center both in being still and spinning!

      My family and I all had the flu this week (we are all nearly back to health). When you cough, just cough. Cough as the only cough in that moment, a perfect cough ... cough cough cough. Vomit vomit vomit. It is the whole universe vomiting in that instant.

      If you cannot get up out of bed, then just sit in bed. If you cannot sit in the Lotus Posture because your head is swimming and feverish, then just curl up like a ball under the sheets. If you fade in and out of sleep ... snore snore snore. Moan moan moan.

      It is all Zazen, all perfectly what it is.

      Just Sit ... (or when sick, recline) ... dropping all demands, likes and dislikes, resistance, judgments (all the demands of the "self" on the world). Just Sit ... putting the "self" out of a job for a time.

      That is our Practice.

      Gassho, J

      PS - That being said, perhaps some other folks will have some practical tips. My mother had an inner ear syndrome, and suffered with vertigo for many years.
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39459

        #4
        Re: Sitting when sick

        By the way, I am about to add a good book to our suggested book list ...

        viewtopic.php?f=1&t=889

        TURNING SUFFERING INSIDE OUT, a Zen Approach to Living with Physical and Emotional Pain by Darlene Cohen

        http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/i ... -817-7.cfm

        Darlene Cohen discovered the secret to finding happiness in the midst of debilitating pain. She shares her knowledge in her popular workshops and now in this book. Cohen, who has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for eighteen years, was hobbling painfully to her local Zen center one day, when she made a discovery that changed her life: if she focused on the foot that was in the air rather than the one that was hitting the pavement, her stamina increased enormously. It was the beginning of a completely different approach to the crippling pain that had beset her for so long. As she demonstrates here, this approach can be expanded to all types of pain: physical, psychological, and spiritual.

        Cohen—a certified massage and movement therapist and Zen teacher—proposes a radically liberating alternative to the usual desperate search for pain relief: paradoxically, she says, release from suffering lies in paying closer attention to it. When we keep pain at bay, we keep pleasure at bay, too. The two are interdependent, and our ability to experience each is totally dependent on our understanding of the other.

        "Enrich your life exponentially," Cohen advises. If your pain is one of the ten things you are aware of, then it constitutes a tenth of your total awareness. Expand your awareness to a hundred things, however, and your pain is only a hundredth of your awareness. With stories, strategies, exercises, and an awareness born of long Zen practice, Cohen shows us how to tap into that enrichment—and how we can lead a satisfying and even joyful life in the very midst of pain.

        This book was published in hardcover under the title Finding a Joyful Life in the Heart of Pain.
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • Ryumon
          Member
          • Apr 2007
          • 1706

          #5
          Re: Sitting when sick

          I have dizziness because of a neurological problem. There are days that I simply can't sit, not because things are spinning, but simply because my mind is unable to function. Interestingly, when I got up this morning, I wanted to sit a bit, but I've been too dizzy today to do so yet (I've been up for an hour or so).

          As for the book, I'll check that out. Any relation Jundo? Or is Cohen the Smith of Jewish names? :-)

          Note: there's also this book:

          How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers

          http://www.amazon.com/How-Sick-Buddhist ... 0861716264

          I haven't read it...
          ---
          Ryūmon (Kirk)
          流文

          SAT/LAH

          I know nothing.

          Comment

          • Kyonin
            Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
            • Oct 2010
            • 6742

            #6
            Re: Sitting when sick

            Originally posted by Jundo
            By the way, I am about to add a good book to our suggested book list ...
            Thanks, Jundo. I looks really interesting. Just added to my list.
            Hondō Kyōnin
            奔道 協忍

            Comment

            • Jinyo
              Member
              • Jan 2012
              • 1957

              #7
              Re: Sitting when sick

              Hi there all dizzy treeleafers.

              I also have a neurological condition that affects my balance. I've mentioned in a few posts that I sit Zazen mainly lying down.

              The book by Toni Bernard 'How to be Sick' is really helpful. I have the same condition as Bernard and after reading her book all
              worries about how to 'sit' just dropped away.


              Gassho


              Willow

              Comment

              • Ryumon
                Member
                • Apr 2007
                • 1706

                #8
                Re: Sitting when sick

                Maybe we should create a dizzy meditators group. :-)
                ---
                Ryūmon (Kirk)
                流文

                SAT/LAH

                I know nothing.

                Comment

                • Jinyo
                  Member
                  • Jan 2012
                  • 1957

                  #9
                  Re: Sitting when sick

                  Kirkmc - now there's a thought. (Smilie - still can't get my smilies to work!)

                  Justin - was thinking, might be an idea to keep eyes fully open - if you have an inner ear problem the brain relies on the signals from the eyes to
                  help you orientate spatially -find your balance - because the ears can't manage on their own as signals faulty.

                  Hope this helps,


                  Willow

                  Comment

                  • threethirty
                    Member
                    • Dec 2011
                    • 170

                    #10
                    Re: Sitting when sick

                    thanks for all the advice, and books to add to my list
                    --Washu
                    和 Harmony
                    秀 Excellence

                    "Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body" George Carlin Roshi

                    Comment

                    • AlanLa
                      Member
                      • Mar 2008
                      • 1405

                      #11
                      Re: Sitting when sick

                      Cohen advises. If your pain is one of the ten things you are aware of, then it constitutes a tenth of your total awareness. Expand your awareness to a hundred things, however, and your pain is only a hundredth of your awareness
                      I have found this to be true, but I was not smart enough to write a book about it, and now I am sick about that!

                      Seriously, I have "sat" zazen while sick buried under the covers on occasion. Also, when sick and able to sit up and do zazen I generally either shorten the length of the sit to something I can manage or I do it untimed for as long as I can before going back to bed or the couch or wherever I am reclining.

                      Get well soon.
                      AL (Jigen) in:
                      Faith/Trust
                      Courage/Love
                      Awareness/Action!

                      I sat today

                      Comment

                      • Jinyo
                        Member
                        • Jan 2012
                        • 1957

                        #12
                        Re: Sitting when sick

                        I also agree with Cohen's strategy.

                        Not long ago - at a pain clinic - I refused offers of morphine based pain relief.

                        The doctor asked me how I was going to get through the rest of my life in such a high level of constant pain.

                        I tried to explain that a clear mind was more important to me than pain relief - that has lots of side affects - including
                        dulling my mind.

                        I'm not suggesting that pain relief is bad - and at times it is surely essential - but for long-term chronic pain I try to think of the
                        pain as a 'volume dial' and turn the dial down to 'backgroud noise'. This releases energy to focus my mind on more rewarding goals
                        - no matter how small - like painting, sewing, planning my garden and enjoying the lovely smiles on my grandchildren's faces.

                        And of course - zazen!

                        Gassho

                        Willow

                        Comment

                        • Kaishin
                          Member
                          • Dec 2010
                          • 2322

                          #13
                          Re: Sitting when sick

                          Originally posted by willow
                          I also agree with Cohen's strategy.

                          Not long ago - at a pain clinic - I refused offers of morphine based pain relief.

                          The doctor asked me how I was going to get through the rest of my life in such a high level of constant pain.

                          I tried to explain that a clear mind was more important to me than pain relief - that has lots of side affects - including
                          dulling my mind.

                          I'm not suggesting that pain relief is bad - and at times it is surely essential - but for long-term chronic pain I try to think of the
                          pain as a 'volume dial' and turn the dial down to 'backgroud noise'. This releases energy to focus my mind on more rewarding goals
                          - no matter how small - like painting, sewing, planning my garden and enjoying the lovely smiles on my grandchildren's faces.

                          And of course - zazen!

                          Gassho

                          Willow
                          You are a stronger person than I!!! I really admire your commitment to practice. I've been following your posts and you've given me a lot to think about. Thank you.

                          _/_
                          Thanks,
                          Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
                          Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

                          Comment

                          • Jinyo
                            Member
                            • Jan 2012
                            • 1957

                            #14
                            Re: Sitting when sick

                            thankyou Matt - but if you scroll thru my earlier posts today you will see I am well confused just
                            now - and would welcome some support. Unfortunately I can't find the volume control on my overthinking mind
                            which is turned up way too high just now!

                            Gassho

                            Willow

                            Comment

                            • Kaishin
                              Member
                              • Dec 2010
                              • 2322

                              #15
                              Re: Sitting when sick

                              Originally posted by willow
                              thankyou Matt - but if you scroll thru my earlier posts today you will see I am well confused just
                              now - and would welcome some support. Unfortunately I can't find the volume control on my overthinking mind
                              which is turned up way too high just now!

                              Gassho

                              Willow
                              Confused, maybe--but persistent nonetheless! I wish I had more advice to offer.
                              Thanks,
                              Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
                              Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

                              Comment

                              Working...