Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby conebeckham » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:33 pm

Quite frankly, my teacher has advised some students against some Vajrayana practices, due to mental health issues. He has recommended some practices for some people, as well.

Sweeping generalizations, positive or negative, about the value of "Vajrayana Practice" for folks with mental health issues, are not worth much.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Chaz » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:54 pm

conebeckham wrote:Quite frankly, my teacher has advised some students against some Vajrayana practices, due to mental health issues. He has recommended some practices for some people, as well.

Sweeping generalizations, positive or negative, about the value of "Vajrayana Practice" for folks with mental health issues, are not worth much.


And not particularly skillfull, I might add.

Few, if any of us here have sufficient qualifications to make such an assessment.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:55 pm

conebeckham wrote:Sweeping generalizations, positive or negative, about the value of "Vajrayana Practice" for folks with mental health issues, are not worth much.


respectfully i disagree here cone. I think if buddhism is to be inclusive yet expound the notion that it is non-exclusive, but for all, then some debate over why the system is not of value to some is worthy of a discussion.

Old Tibetan masters could help, so why not now?
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:59 pm

Chaz wrote:And not particularly skillfull, I might add.

Few, if any of us here have sufficient qualifications to make such an assessment.



this type of dismissal is disapointing.

a standard soundbite retort, without reasoning.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby conebeckham » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:05 pm

Heruka wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Sweeping generalizations, positive or negative, about the value of "Vajrayana Practice" for folks with mental health issues, are not worth much.


respectfully i disagree here cone. I think if buddhism is to be inclusive yet expound the notion that it is non-exclusive, but for all, then some debate over why the system is not of value to some is worthy of a discussion.

Old Tibetan masters could help, so why not now?


"Vajrayana" was never meant to be all-inclusive. Certainly, there are other "Buddhist" practices that can be recommended...there are the proverbial 84,000 methods.......not all of these are "Vajrayana" practices.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:07 pm

conebeckham wrote:"Vajrayana" was never meant to be all-inclusive. Certainly, there are other "Buddhist" practices that can be recommended...there are the proverbial 84,000 methods.......not all of these are "Vajrayana" practices.


can you be more specific, i dont wish to plod. Vajrayana covers everything, sutra, prajnaparamita, mahamudra and so on. which specific practices could hurt and not help?

thanks cone btw for the discussion.

respectfully

:anjali:
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:14 pm

Can holistic Tibetan medicine also help here, it seems the body/mind are not divorced from each other, mineral deficent diets, enviromental conditions and seasonal, monthly and even daily, hourly considerations on the body/mind could also be investigated.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby conebeckham » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:18 pm

Again, you have to deal with the specific issues an individual person has.....the following somewhat general statements shouldn't be construed as advice for individuals, you know?

But, for example, a person with OCD may not benefit from ShiNay practice. I have heard that Tonglen is a great practice for non-severe clinical depression. People who suffer from shizophrenia probably should refrain from serious yidam practice....these are just my own observations.

And, just to clarify your statement...."Vajrayana" practices can be said to include and incorporate the so-called "lower vehicle" methods. But those methods, on their own, are not Vajrayana practices, though they are taught and practiced in all the Tibetan lineages.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:21 pm

What is OCD?
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:24 pm

Heruka wrote:What is OCD?


nevermind, i looked it up.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby conebeckham » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:26 pm

Obssessive Compulsive Disorder.

Another example....people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I think, probably want to refrain from some TsaLung methods...

Again, just guesses on my part, to be used as "examples" regarding situations and solutions.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:31 pm

great, i think we can see a pattern emerge here, one of modern western mental health "culture" attitudes taking a more dominant role over tradition ways of thinking.

yidam cannot compete with serotonin reuptake inhibitors

:shrug:
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby conebeckham » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:40 pm

I think I see them as "complementary," actually.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:54 pm

thanks cone-la,

hope that brings benefit to the original posters question.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby pemachophel » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:03 pm

I believe saying "Vajrayana" is inappropriate for people with mental-emotional disorders is simply uninformed and wrong. While it is true that doing Vajrayana practices wrong can cause mental-emotional problems, that is not a problem with the system but a problem with a particular individual doing a particular practice wrong. Such wrong practice may be do to not having a personal Teacher to choose the appropriate practice and/or to explain how to do the practice correctly. It may also be due to disregarding one's Teacher's instructions. As has been stressed on this forum many times before, there is no "real" (i.e., safe and effective) Vajrayana practice without a Teacher. A bona fide Teacher should be able to assess a given student/patient's condition and then recommend the appropriate practices to remedy that/those conditions. In point of fact, there are plenty of Vajrayana practices specifically capable of remedying psychiatric disorders. As an example of this, take Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's Uncle Togden. In his biography, it clearly states that Uncle Togden was very definitely psychiatrically disturbed at the time he went to Adzom Drukpa and that Adzom Drukpa gave him specific practices to do for his condition. Not only did these practices "cure" his psychiatric condition but Uncle Togden eventually achieved the Rainbow Body.

It seems to me that the key here is not the system as such but the ability of the Teacher to chose the right practices for the right student and give adequate instruction in those practices. That makes finding the right Teacher all the more important for a student with a serious mental-emotional disorder. This includes the Teacher's ability to assess the student as well His or Her ability to appropriately monitor the student's condition, making changes and suggestions in a timely manner as needed. In other words, one needs a very wise, experienced, and available Teacher.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby conebeckham » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:56 pm

Agree with this ^
With the proviso that certain "practices" that one's Guru may recommend may not be "properly" Vajrayana practices at all.....
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Chaz » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:57 pm

Heruka wrote:
Chaz wrote:And not particularly skillfull, I might add.

Few, if any of us here have sufficient qualifications to make such an assessment.



this type of dismissal is disapointing.

a standard soundbite retort, without reasoning.


Well how much reasoning need there be?

Who here has the proper training and credentials to counsel anyone in matters of mental health? Hands please?

This is something I wouldn't touch with your hands, Heruka, and I don't think anyone who doesn't have adequate credentials should, either.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:22 pm

Yantra Yoga would be an excellent "vajrayana" practice also.
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Anders » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:23 pm

Inge,

Best wishes for your endeavours and well being. :namaste:
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Vajrayana practice and psychological disorders

Postby Heruka » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:25 pm

pemachophel wrote:It seems to me that the key here is not the system as such but the ability of the Teacher to chose the right practices for the right student and give adequate instruction in those practices.


Thank you Pema-la
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