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  • Ashwaghanda can benefit many people, especially those with anxiety. It is an Ayurvedic herb with numerous health benefits, a so-called "adaptogen." Its most compelling property is that it substantially lowers cortisol, the body's stress hormone. …
  • I find the whole idea of a new year to be bizarre and nonsensical. There is no such thing as a new year; it’s an imaginary construct. But if we are to track the time that it takes the earth the revolve around the sun, then every day, no, every momen…
  • It depends. We don't yet know what lab-grown meat will meat will look like in terms of its composition, but if it resembles the real thing in every detail (and in theory, there's no reason why it wouldn't) then I wouldn't be against it. There are so…
  • Wisdom by its very nature is not flashy. It is not obvious. It does not call attention to itself. A person who is wise and is in the position of giving advice to another does so in a method best suited to get past that person's ego defenses, misconc…
  • ETA: I don't know how I managed to type all that as a coherent paragraph. Something must have rubbed off... You are one of us now. There's no going back.
  • I know exactly what you mean, @karasti. When I lived with my parents long ago, my stepfather would turn on the TV and then walk out of the room. It was always on. Just droning. I could never get the noise out of my head. I couldn't think. Than…
  • Just my 0.02, not that anyone will really give a shit, but you did ask OP. In retrospect, I think my post was actually about noticing changes in taste and interests and processing those changes. Nevertheless, I am genuinely curious as to how…
  • But really, can't you apply the same "what is the point?" logic to a lot of things we do? I do this far too much, actually. If I don't pay attention to my thoughts, I end up in a miniature existential crisis where I start thinking in timespa…
  • Are Buddhists human? Simple answer? No. Every Buddhist I've scanned with my tricorder has turned out to be an aardvark wearing an elaborate disguise.
  • Perhaps it is a sign of my precarious mental health, but when I do my best to conceive of nonexistence, I feel a sense of relief.
  • Paraphrasing something I read as an adolescent that resonated with me: The difference in cognition between men and animals is one of degree and not of kind.
  • I think most people are going to come at this from a mental and spiritual perspective (which is important), but since that part is going to be covered better than anything I can say, I'll chime in with something completely different. Let's talk n…
  • Looking at Buddhism from a historical perspective, it is easy to find commonalities between Buddhism and other religions. Are there elements of faith present in many Buddhist sects? Unquestionably yes. Just as the Christian saints are often polythei…
  • You ARE observing what your mind is doing, and that IS the practice. This is helpful feedback. You're right. Through meditation, I have become more familiar with the machinery of my own mind, and more intimately familiar with the realization…
  • I don't have any particular labels for what I practice. My journey into Buddhism is only in its infancy. I can say without hesitation that Buddhist thinking resonates strongly with my intuition and the understanding of the mind that I have been work…
  • Hi all, All of this feedback has been immensely helpful, and I am grateful for all the comments. What I have taken away most from this discussion is a renewed sense of patience, of less forceful effort, and of less resistance. I am seeing thou…
  • Are you certain that your ultimatum was not simply the result of very understandable frustration? Because for that ultimatum to be effective your wife would have to have a greater insight than she probably does. She is not choosing her addictive beh…
  • I figure, either there is a point/meaning behind life, or there isn't. I can't know the answer but I can live a loving and compassionate life. It makes a difference now, is what I know. If there is a later, then it can't hurt to have done what I cou…
  • Thank you both for the feedback. The method I use is to sit and breathe, but when a thought arises and I noticed I have followed it, I say "thinking" and go back to my breath. I was introduced to this technique in guided meditation, an…
  • I struggle mightily with the thought that human life is without any intrinsic meaning and that if our entire planet blew up tomorrow, it wouldn't matter. My thoughts lead me inescapably to the conclusion that any sense of meaning a human being de…
  • If in the post immediately subsequent to mine you were responding primarily to me and not to the thread as a whole, then you have indeed missed the point I was making. If so, then this is most likely because I failed to articulate it properly and no…
  • There is a crucial difference, and you miss the point. You sought out and were open to these "corrections" even if you were initially resistant to them; you identified these practitioners as teachers. To try to "correct" others who do not seek your …
  • @karasti said: I think it takes more than a lifetime to explore everything Buddhism has to offer. I don't like when Christians (or anyone else ) tell me I'm doing my life wrong and have to do it their way to get the full benefit out of it. So I t…
  • Often from folk tales. Where do those come from? It's turtles all the way down.
  • it wouldn't have been terrible writing labor to say "in my experience many mentally ill are not empathic". You didn't do anything wrong or say anything wrong I just posted to share my thoughts and experience. Fair enough. Judging by your res…
  • You were doing good till you hit that last sentence. I make no such assumption. In fact, I think the moral code in most societies rests on the religion of those societies, even for those in the society who do not act as a member of that religion. …
  • I will just say mental illness and empathy are not mutually exclusive. And I've spent time in a psych ward as a patient. I have also spent time in a psych ward. I was not indicating that mental illness and empathy are mutually exclusive. Kee…
  • I challenge anyone, anywhere to cough up sound statistical data indicating measurably higher rates of crime in atheists while controlling for confounding factors such as socioeconomic status, educational attainment, and mental illness. For we are…
  • Viktor Frankl, a World War II era psychiatrist, developed a form of therapy based precisely on this premise, namely, that a person's subjective experience is determined by the meaning (or lack thereof) ascribed to that experience. It's called logoth…
  • I would look at the sleeping pills as a short term solution allowing you to jump start your way into a long term, sustainable solution. You don't go into much detail about what's keeping you up at night, so I'll dump some general advice. For starter…
  • We actually do in San Francisco still have quite a few places where smoking is allowed, though they are rapidly diminishing in number. I have thought about it from that perspective before you brought it up, though, and I do have sympathy, which is w…
  • Unfortunately I do. It's highly sedating (which normally counteracts the ravenous hunter side effect since I just fall asleep).
  • It's almost certainly illusory sensation and not real hunger, though sometimes I'm unintentionally at a caloric deficit and in that case allow myself to eat something with protein and fat. I walk at least five miles a day and go to the gym for cardi…
  • There are two things that annoy me currently. The most onerous of these is when people smoke cigarettes on public sidewalks in certain neighborhoods of San Francisco. I can't walk for more than a hundred feet in any direction without having to hold …
  • Agreed -- especially with respect to mental consumption. I've stopped reading comments on news articles, and my mental health has definitely improved.
  • I would agree with the assessment that to summarily lump all drugs, as defined as any substance affecting an alteration in brain chemistry, under a single category so broad as "intoxicant." If indeed we were to do such a thing, then we would have to…
  • @Kerome You took that waaaaaayyy too seriously. It's pretty evident that emojis aren't a symbolic language all on their lonesome; they lack all the requisite features of any self-contained writing system. The comparison to cueiniform is merel…
  • I got a really weird look at dinner the other day when I pointed out how history inevitably moves in cycles, and here we are introducing cuneiform again...
  • I would like to echo @lobster's recommendation for physical exertion. I've been working against chronic depression and anxiety for years, and I've spent thousands of hours researching the mechanisms by which it occurs and perpetuates itself. Aero…
  • Thank you all for your kind responses. I am a bit overwhelmed. To be honest, I worried that I was being boring or self-centered. I very much appreciate the feedback, advice, and encouragement.
  • Honestly, I'd grab hold of the hand of whoever's sitting next to me and talk with them for as long as possible. I used to have extremely bad flight anxiety, where I got to think about this exact situation many, many times over, and this is precisely…
  • @karasti Agreed. I got into an argument the other day with a person who believes in the validity of TCM's underlying philosophy of qi and meridians, which to me is no different than the Greek idea of humors or early Western vitalism concepts. The…