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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:10 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
skittish wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
I think you are just making excuses for your attitude and using Aspergers to justify it. That's what I can gather from your posts thus far.


That is the common perception.
It's not a common perception. I am not getting this feeling from what AngelicFruitcake and undefinable are saying at all.


I meant that this appears to be the common interpretation of my advice, that it is based upon my holding AS to be ultimately real, which I have not stated.

gregkavarnos wrote:
skittish wrote:
People might say the same about color blindness, astigmatism, etc. ToM deficit, or mind-blindess, is similar in that it won't cease being a deficit simply via repeated social interaction.
Nobody here said anything of the sort. This is called a straw man.


The approach being recommended here then is not one of denying the apparent reality of AS? Please bear with me, and forgive me if I'm not hearing you properly, but aren't you telling me that my recognition of the apparent reality of AS is in fact false?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:27 pm 
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skittish wrote:
The approach being recommended here then is not one of denying the apparent reality of AS? Please bear with me, and forgive me if I'm not hearing you properly, but aren't you telling me that my recognition of the apparent reality of AS is in fact false?
Nope. I am saying that your clinging to and identification with your apparent reality of AS is not constructive or helpful. Hence the closing statement in my previous post that you purposefully overlooked in order to continue to throw up straw men.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Here's where things tend to get disingenuous. While recognizing the apparent reality of AS is endorsed when pressed, in practice folks reject this, and actually prefer that one treat AS as the hallucinations of schizophrenia, as even apparently false. If one truly wishes to uncling from AS, one must uncling also from the false denial of its apparent reality. But most view this as just simple clinging, so despite any genuine intent to completely uncling, one will be constantly accused of simple clinging - of attempting to cement the label "AS".

The task however is not to naively uncling from "apparent AS" by simply dropping the label, but to truly uncling by dropping it completely. Tolerating any false denial at all opens a gate to the worst of contrivances, potentially impenetrable later on. More importantly though, no true understanding results from clinging to a false denial of AS, and isn't that the point? Anyway, if a practitioner works with the perceived deficits or tendencies of AS, they are by definition engaged in unclinging to the label "AS", despite the fact that they might temporarily (or for a lifetime) maintain the label as apparently real. The focus on the label is exceedingly superficial, nit-picky, and ignores the essence of the task in favor of an orthodoxy.

Finally, it's perfectly consistent with complete unclinging to AS to hold that some apparently real aspect of AS, some apparent difference, remain over the life of the practitioner, as there may be some created karma that causes those experiencing AS (whatever one wishes to term the experiences of AS) to be in the state they're in just as that causing big feet. (this is not to say that it is at all necessary that AS persist over the life of the practitioner like astigmatism for aspects of AS to remain apparently real, and thus not a straw man).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Since you completely disregard anything I actually say and merely set up straw men and then proceed to cut them down, pretending that they are my arguments, I will leave you to continue arguing with yourself since I play no real role whatsoever in this discussion.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:35 am 
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Generally, there is no need for any denial there is no need for any focus.
Not easy to solve our problems by protecting or defending them, this is for all of us. I wish appropiate guidance as far as possible.

No tree is the same, isn't?

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:48 pm 
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No fear, no doubt, no obstacle but laughter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCkgtWOImzw

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:51 pm 
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muni wrote:
No fear, no doubt, no obstacle but laughter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCkgtWOImzw


:jumping:

skittish wrote:
That there is increasing intolerance toward consideration of individual circumstances such as AS, ToM deficit, whatever, is the point. I have witnessed some severe reactions too from spouses of those with AS, who find it unbearable to see their practitioner-others corralled by cookie-cutter social/behavioral expectations.


Erm, political correctness anyone?! _ _ _

OK, so methinks the lady/Law doth protest too much, but if people were more mindful their instinctive tendency -just as easily observed (though in different contexts) in autistics/aspies as in 'normals'- to develop rigid expectations of situations, things would be a lot looser.

When you wrote 'their practitioner others' in the quote above, were you referring to 'normal' partners (mainly wives?) of Buddhist (or otherwise meditating) people with AS objecting to other people expecting 'aspies' to act in an 'aspie' way? I would be interested to read more online around this topic if possible.

skittish wrote:
In my experience exclusion of the irrelevant is precisely what an asperger is likely to default to over time anyway, and hence, it's best to begin this way to avoid both negativity and the tendency to overestimate our capacities and push ourselves into boats we ought not have bought. I understand this is not received by most as an approach that is conducive to growth, but then the common perception is that ToM deficit will dissolve via practice, which is largely folly, and very unkind advice for those about to begin.


Your position is unusual - You're trying to 'defend' autistics, but at the same time, you seem to downplay their/our abilities to a point that many people, myself included, can't meet you at. Yes, 'aspies' will encounter obstacles in dharma practice; the only problem with this is that they're likely to include different obstacles to what others encounter. An obvious makeshift solution is for any would-be teacher to be open-minded and willing to learn, but if the whole of samsara really stretches infinitely into the past and -potentially- the future of our mindstreams, then we have nothing to lose by seeking and (on gaining confidence in its validity) pursuing an alternative. I couldn't find the context for your earlier quote of Dagpo Rinpoche online, but remember that 'Rinpoches' teach the highest (tantric) stages developed on the Buddhist path, which have traditionally been restricted to those of 'extraordinary capacity'. Note that the Eighth Freedom of a Precious Human Birth excludes only those whose autism/Learning Disability etc. is severe enough to prevent the possibility of understanding any Buddhdharma:

http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Eight_freedoms

A particular argument that I (along with many from both sides of the autistic/'normal' fence) would have with your position is with the 'Theory of Mind' theory - I don't believe human foetuses are aware of the existence of others; even if some memory of this fact is carried over from previous births, I can't see a foetus pondering the issue. The difference is that, in 'normal' people, a 'gut' instinctive reaction to other apes (in which the sensory clues as to their states of mind are unconsciously assembled into a simulation) kicks in after birth, first of all when the newborn sees its mother and others making the face it makes itself when it's happy. An autist, lacking this instinct, simply relies on intellectual inference to conclude that the moving objects around it are mostly other sentient beings that resemble itself to some degree. In other words, I feel that it's theoretically possible to become as aware of the minds of others via the autistic route as via the 'normal' route, since there's no fundamental difference and as the end result is the same - The 'normal' mind just gets an extra helping hand from our evolutionary heritage, and so is less likely to jump to the premature conclusions typical in severe cases of autism, i.e. 'the minds of others are identical to my own in real time' or 'the minds of others are incomprehensible to me as they share nothing in common with mine'.

skittish wrote:
undefineable wrote:
I don't see the relevance of "other-emptiness" by the way-?
Not highly relevant unless one is interested in the philosophical underpinnings of the tendency to produce cookie-cutter models, nihilism, or the like.


I don't see the connections here between conformism, nihilism, and the Jonang school doctrine I quoted you on. Like mine( :applause: ), your written words don't always explain your position -or your understanding of others' positions- very clearly, hence (I suspect) the misunderstandings above.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:37 am 
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Hello,

Yesterday the young student psychology with the spectrum problems, sitting in the middle of research works said: but...in fact all is created ideas which we take for true, how that can be on itself?

Before she told her own problems get bigger when she focussed on them as mine.

Thumbs up! Angelic, Skittish.......!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5yPh8tr ... creen&NR=1 :twothumbsup:

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:23 pm 
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Finally I got over my procrastination and after searching found a Vajrayana Buddhist Center belonging to the Drikung Kagyu school that is less than 7 miles from me. I am excited about this development, because I don't like traveling far at all.

Is it considered rude or improper to just pop in? I emailed them yesterday, but have not had a response, and who knows maybe they barely or don't check email. I could call, but to me using phone is more rude, since someone has to drop whatever they were doing. I don't know really know the etiquette or protocol around this subject.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Yes...if this is a retreat center also... just dropping in may not be preferred.

So I would call...if they do not want to be bothered they will have it on call forwarding or answering machine.
This is less obtrusive then just dropping in.

Then ask them when may I drop by.

Emails...yes they may not check them daily or even weekly to my personal experience. Some may some may not.

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:47 am 
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Thrasymachus wrote:
Finally I got over my procrastination and after searching found a Vajrayana Buddhist Center belonging to the Drikung Kagyu school that is less than 7 miles from me. I am excited about this development, because I don't like traveling far at all.

Is it considered rude or improper to just pop in? I emailed them yesterday, but have not had a response, and who knows maybe they barely or don't check email. I could call, but to me using phone is more rude, since someone has to drop whatever they were doing. I don't know really know the etiquette or protocol around this subject.
If it is a centre maybe they have a weekly program pinned up somewhere either electronically or at the centre. 7 miles is a short and easy bike ride for a strapping young lad like yourself! Why not just take a ride over to the centre? If it is a public center and not a retreat center then I am sure they will not have a problem. Why don't you just phone them? If they have a publicly listed phone number that is because they (obviously) don't mind people contacting them by phone. Right?

Drikung, eh? Now that is some good karma!
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Mundane life and wordly responsibilities in combination with a personal crisis have meant I haven't mustered up the energy required to seek a teacher out. So far my strongest connection is to the words of Thich Nhat Hanh. There is a small sangha in his Plum Village tradition here which I have been meaning to seek out, perhaps in the company of a friend who shares both my problems and the wish to deepen his insight.

I define myself as autistic when my autistic features become so apparent that I feel I need context for them. I use my diagnoses to get the appropriate practical and psychological help I need to manage myself and my life.

The problem for me is I feel almost invaded by other people. Have you ever felt crowded by someone sitting or standing too close to you, smelling bad or talking too loud or asking intrusive questions? That's what most interaction feels like for me, like I'm being pushed into a corner. I expect and hope for a certain amount of acceptance at any dharma center, so I'm not too worried about them finding me odd, but meeting strangers really takes a toll on me and I'm barely scraping by as it is. (I think I might have mentioned that in the OP: single mom, autistic son, working, studying + anxiety problems)

Anyway, I'm using life itself as a teacher right now. I realize that may sound flaky, but it is natural to me. I learn every day how to be more patient, let go of myself and my ideas and remain calm in the middle of the storm. That being said, I have a long road ahead of me, but at least I'm moving forward. Next week the children are at their father's and I might go to a meditation meeting at the sangha I mentioned, provided they're open that week.

Thank you for all your responses! :namaste:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
The problem for me is I feel almost invaded by other people. Have you ever felt crowded by someone sitting or standing too close to you, smelling bad or talking too loud or asking intrusive questions? That's what most interaction feels like for me, like I'm being pushed into a corner.


I remember this feeling very well - The very concept of 'social skills' betrays the fact that communication begins by putting others at arm's length, 'opening up channels' (via intuited systems of shared reference) rather than remaining square-on, jaw-jaw. I can't say I dislike interaction though - it's everything else that strikes me as too straightforward and un-stimulating to be really ineresting _

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
I learn every day how to _ _ let go of myself and my ideas


I'm with you there! _ _

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
_ _ and remain calm in the middle of the storm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVIYN9GuFvs - the music from 23:23 to 27:32 especially (I'd like to hope this qualifies as Mantras - it's certainly 'All Sounds'!!), although I'm unsure about hearing the end of the vid without being ritually cleansed and purified, so to speak, by listening to all 5 movements/sections 1st :soapbox: :lol:

Like you, I've 'got by' for many years as a Buddhist without much teaching, having just a 'Refuge ceremony' besides (a lot of) reading and thinking to my name :thinking: :roll: . Without having practiced much, I've made some rudimentary progress, accompanied by an "it's all coming back" feeling, but this suggests to me a) that I won't get much further without a sangha, and b) that I've a tendency to get lost spiritually, particularly in the light of my condition and its potential karmic triggers. I feel encouraged by your interest in joining a Buddhist centre, though :smile: , and sense a deep grounding that comes from acknowledging one's lost-ness.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:58 am 
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Quote:
The problem for me is I feel almost invaded by other people. Have you ever felt crowded by someone sitting or standing too close to you, smelling bad or talking too loud or asking intrusive questions? That's what most interaction feels like for me, like I'm being pushed into a corner. I expect and hope for a certain amount of acceptance at any dharma center, so I'm not too worried about them finding me odd, but meeting strangers really takes a toll on me and I'm barely scraping by as it is. (I think I might have mentioned that in the OP: single mom, autistic son, working, studying + anxiety problems).


I have had the same problems. I have found Sangha to be scary and I understand the "invasion" thing. I found a much gentler Sangha but this has now ceased to be. I have always felt invaded by other people. There are Webcasts and Online courses around but "Beware." Check out authenticity.

I do not believe this is a unique problem and I feel there are people on this board who can help, if they choose to do so.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Simon wrote:
I do not believe this is a unique problem and I feel there are people on this board who can help, if they choose to do so.


Not sure if you're including me in that, but I'll give it a go - By applying more mindfulness to daily life I was able to discover exactly why I was feeling 'cornered' in social situations, by picking out what was going on in my head that led to that feeling and to emotions (such as shame) that went with it. Ofcourse, the results will be subtly different for every autistic -let alone human- meditator, and I also recall that I had to 'emotion-recollect in tranquility' (i.e. reflect on the experience after the event had passed and I'd moved on) to begin with. I'd strongly suggest, though, that aversion to others -or even to interaction- as such is not the issue, so much as one's conditioned ways of dealing with other people and their communications is.

Being mildly autistic -though similar processes might apply with other conditions such as schizophrenia- a lot of thoughts and intuitions flood through my mind without enough mental energy being left over from simply dealing with whatever I'm doing in order for me to process them. The results of these diversions of conscious thought into basic sensory processing centre around an overloaded micro-term memory - Whilst in (what I take to be) one series of 'dharmas' (the~0.06-second duration of a conscious mental action - see 'Abhidharma' references/commentaries) I might just about gain the impression that 'so-and-so means such-and-such', in the next dharma I'm back to following what's going on in a far more conscious, personally-involved way than 'normal' people have to, because the 'social' brain that normally processes all this as if it were just a dimension of sensation is -for whatever reason- functioning below normal levels - The 'flavour' of complex social interactions is hard to retain in a way that allows the social instincts to flow freely and integrate with one's sense of self.

Anyhow, later in the interaction, I still subconsciously remember that I've 'missed' something, and respond with a vague sense of angst or else something like guilt (depending on how clear an idea I had of what I've overlooked), but I still don't manage to grasp the situation sufficiently to piece together a full picture of what what's going on in the minds of those around me, let alone as to generate a meaningful response. What I do know -and in cases of 'full-on' autism one's social intuition may be too impaired to allow this- is that I cannot act as I ideally would without superhuman effort, and that others will often notice there's a problem.

Different people may respond differently to a similar internal situation along those lines - For me, I acknowledge now that my 'grip on the outside world' being too weak to allow me to 'play social games' (leading to others becoming keen to exploit me through perceiving that) is what has kept me, via my understanding (of how things stand!), stubbornly avoiding the real engagement with society that makes such things necessary, despite my constantly 'beating myself up' with reminders (for 20 years) that such avoidance leads to both pain and negative karma for me and those around me in this world and in whatever reality may follow or enfold it. {Unlike many autistics, I find 'social game-playing' entertaining and even worthwhile, despite the fact that the intention and result is often the destruction of human beings.}

However, from a Buddhist point of view I realise that, fortunately, there are atleast three problems with this rather overwrought picture:

1) The extreme self-honesty of the whole enterprise means that in a successful sangha it is social game-playing, rather than the people who can't or won't join in, that ends up looking silly and being laughed at, in a way that it has no reason to be in any other broad-based gathering of people. In other words, someone who does 'pass judgement' on what is really our 'innate' functioning in a Buddhist centre is a bit like an obese person struggling at the gym - They're both where they are partly in order to overcome what we notice about them, and so deserve our encouragement rather than our trepidation.
2) The 'anatman' principle in Buddhism means that we have no business defending a nonexistent self from potential
destruction if we have more to lose by avoiding the situation at hand; this reminds us that being defensive is always
an 'own goal' in situations that involve other people, and furthermore alerts us that the kind of negative feelings that lay
others low when they 'lose the game' socially need not affect us.
3) Buddhism offers a kind of active (well, alert) form of inaction -its versions of meditation- that (we trust) removes the need for both dissipating inactivity (note for starters that Milarepa is said to have lost the need for sleep) and self-centred activity, with an unimpeded flow of mind-activity eventually taking the place of one's mind-body complex(?!). To begin with, though, meditation gives us a kind of 'power sleep', so that whatever our worries about sangha, we are likely to be better able to handle these better than worries about other organisations when we do 'take the plunge', and then continue (especially if properly guided) to worry less about issues in general. {For some perspective, let's remember that the 3% or so of the population diagnosable with Antisocial Personality Disorder are said to be incapable of experiencing any form of anxiety, besides any emotional appreciation of people or things outside of oneself.}

Besides this is ofcourse the millions of people with autism and other mind-brain conditions who simply haven't given two hoots about their 'issues' and have therefore got on and succeeded in their endeavours.

EDIT: I realise I'm not very good at giving advice, since I really do give advice rather than just acknowledging the other person's issue, as the 'correct' formula has it. However, I only do this because I realise that even for an autistic person I have some odd angles on life which others may not have thought up despite their being to their potential benefit.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:15 am 
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As an 'aside', I wonder if the kind of issues faced by recent post-ers on this thread indicate a physical problem with the rlungs (inner winds) - I'm by no means being 'new-agey', just noticing how easily mental processes get 'blown' off course for many people, and noticing, perhaps, a sensation of wind or rapid inner 'slipping' when I'm not feeling so good. I can't imagine the more-profound, 'spiritual' explanations for mental conditions, such as 'theory of mind' (viz. autism) holding water for many of us, so won't mind being called 'literal-minded' or whatever.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:05 am 
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Simon wrote:
I found a much gentler Sangha but this has now ceased to be.


I was under the impression that 'gentle'-ness was the rule in Buddhism, not the exception, though this may not apply for vajrayana students (who should in any case have no need for such things) - I actually prefer the 'cutting' style of a Chogyam Trungpa to the apparent flakiness of a Sogyal Rinpoche, but I'm in the fortunate position to be unable to meet my heroes :P

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:59 am 
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undefineable wrote:
As an 'aside', I wonder if the kind of issues faced by recent post-ers on this thread indicate a physical problem with the rlungs (inner winds) - I'm by no means being 'new-agey', just noticing how easily mental processes get 'blown' off course for many people, and noticing, perhaps, a sensation of wind or rapid inner 'slipping' when I'm not feeling so good. I can't imagine the more-profound, 'spiritual' explanations for mental conditions, such as 'theory of mind' (viz. autism) holding water for many of us, so won't mind being called 'literal-minded' or whatever.


Are you reading my mind? I have believed - for decades - that the rlungs are disturbed. I used to spend hours as a teenager (40 years ago) practicing Yoga and pranayama without proper instruction. When I was young there were so few texts/teachers around that I just "went for it." The result was a rather long spell on a Psych Ward.In the decades since this episode I have read books on Tibetan medicine, but do not have sufficient merit to have met a Practitioner.

I was very upset when the gentle Sangha disbanded. There seemed to have been some internal schism which led to an inner and outer circle forming. I had lived elsewhere for a year or so. When I came back, what had been a thriving compassionate Sangha had effectively disintegrated or dissolved.

I am now left with a different, but Scary, Sangha (different location and leadership) or nothing. Due to mental fragility I have reluctantly chosen nothing at this time.

Am I wrong?
:group:


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