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Mark Foote

Member Since 23 Sep 2009
Offline Last Active Jul 23 2014 01:39 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: The Importance of Hair and Muscle structure and tone in Spirituality, for sen...

23 July 2014 - 07:28 AM

"... the practice of T'ai-chi ch'uan is the method of storing ch'i.  With this method of circulating the ch'i, it overflows into the sinews, reaches the bone marrow, fills the diaphragm, and manifests in the skin and hair.  This is truly concentrating the ch'i and developing softness."   ("Master Cheng's Thirteen Chapters on T'ai-chi Ch'uan", translated by Douglas Wile, pg 17)


Through the pores, yes, like they was doors.  


A monk asked Chao Chou, "The myriad things return to one.  Where does the one return to?"

Chou said, "When I was in Ch'ing Chou I made a cloth shirt.  It weighed seven pounds."


(Blue Cliff Record, trans. T. & J.C. Cleary, case 45)

In Topic: What exactly is the mind and where is it located ?

21 July 2014 - 01:06 PM

many say the mind is in the brain but when I leave my body , my thoughts go with me outside of the body and brain. So I can rule out the brain as a source of the mind. The brain seems like its just a hub of sorts that the nervous system is plunged into . A place for life to attach to in some way and control the body like humans control a car. 


That the senses are involved in the experience of self is the conclusion of scientists Olaf Blanke and Christine Mohr. In their research, they have found that the tactil-proprioceptive-kinesthetic, visual, and vestibular senses are crucial: these senses appear to give rise not just to sensations connected with the physical body, but to an actual feeling of the existence of a self. Blanke and Moore made their conclusion through the study of a particular kind of out-of-body experience called heautoscopy (or HAS):

"It might thus be argued that, HAS is not only an experience characterized by the reduplification of one's body, but also by a reduplification of one's self. As strikingly reported by Brugger et al. the high risk of suicide during this terrifying experience cannot be overstated as some of these HAS-patients try by all means to reestablish their unitary self."

(Out-of-body experience, heautoscopy, and autoscopic hallucination of neurological origin: Implications for neurocognitive mechanisms of corporeal awareness and self consciousness, Brain Research Reviews 5 (2 5) 184-199)

The tactil-proprioceptive-kinesthetic and vestibular senses are closely involved with the perception of a person's physical location in space; the visual sense is tightly connected to both of these senses, and can reset the perception of location. 


Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of the literature of Taoism and martial arts makes reference to a "heart-mind" (interesting, Daeluin!).  There's talk of keeping the mind with the chi (at least Cheng Man-Ching mentions this as a worth-while thing).  


Here's part of a conversation I had in the comment thread of Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen blog:


"mf (that's me):

mb, try something for me, please. If you are seated, after you read this close your eyes, and see if you can register where your awareness is in your body.

Ok, now see if you can add a sense of motion forward and backward at the location of awareness. What happened to the location of awareness?

For me this is effective, but I have a lot of training in connection with the induction of trance through relaxation in conjunction with inhalation and exhalation, so I don't know if you will experience what I experience.


Hmm... I tried your suggestion and it had some kind of tangible imaginative effect that's hard to describe. But now I get the sense you are applying these terms more to subtle (energy) body orientation than to physical?


mb, thanks for giving it a shot. I'm always interested to hear.

Right away you will probably come to a relationship between motion at the sacrum, regularly initiated by the psoas rocking the pelvis as it slides over the front corners, and the location of awareness. The action of the obturators to hammock the hips from the pelvis and allow a turning motion in the action of the sartorius, the gluts, the tensors, and the piriformis may cross your mind, the weight of the body "with no part left out" may focus from the lower front of the abdomen across the PC's to the tailbone (and up the spine to the head bones), the surface of the skin may come forward. 

Or not.

On some level it's just where I am, and a distinction of the senses that comes of its own accord.


Well, it all seems a bit esoteric, even though I do recognize the muscle names you cite from having looked at several yoga anatomy books and I know their general locations within the body. ...As to "adding motion" to the "location of awareness", my experience yesterday in that little exercise was that the "location of awareness" kind of expanded in its internally-perceived "size". Beyond that, I'm not sure what you're onto-- I know it has much more meaning and specificity to you. I was just trying to get you to explain what the "pitch, roll and yaw" apply to since we aren't airplanes or boats. And you seem to be referring to those motions in relation to the muscles that come into play around the sacrum and how that affects the "location of awareness". All right, enough for now.


I can see that. What happens if you allow for movement in the sense of location?


Maybe that "sense of location" can be perceived as bobbing around those 3 axes of movement in a kind of quasi-physical sense, just as an airplane moves through air or a boat through water. That's my vague sense of it. I really don't know what your definition of "allow for movement" is. And I don't want to tie my mind in knots trying to come up with some kind of discombobulated intellectual understanding either, so I'll just let it percolate.


What you are describing is what I experience, as well.

Here is something from my notes of December, 2012 that I hope will make sense to you on the basis of your experience; this is "humbleone" from "The Tao Bums", talking about using the exercise to get back to sleep:

"I woke up at 4:30 AM, after a quick drink of water. returned to bed and tried your practice.

I hope I did it correctly, I was somewhat surprised that my mind moved around quite a bit. not fast, but in slow motion the awareness would shift, from left cheek to right side of torso etc. The end result was a light sleep state, but I was glued to the bed and then woke up exactly at 6AM, feeling refreshed like I had a complete 8 hours of sleep."

Clearly the context in that case was falling asleep, humbleone was having difficulty waking up and being unable to get back to sleep. He was actually able to get back to sleep consistently with this practice (allowing movement in the sense of location). I asked him to try it in the daytime (with his eyes open), and he discovered what he described as a sense of peace when he did.

What's the significance in zazen? The sense of location and the three motions there help me to discover the stretch I'm in at the moment, so I can relax particular activity. That helps. When I'm relaxed, I fall awake the way humbleone fell asleep, everything enters in with nothing left out and the place where I am sits.'


(from here)


So that's about the location of "Mind", as they say in the Zen literature, which is the sense of self that is associated with proprioception and equalibrioception (the vestibular organ) per Blanke and Moore and also involves the sense of gravity (my two cents, but the otoliths are intimate with the vestibular organs).


Another bit, just to make clear about "Mind":


"... the passage the Sixth Patriarch heard that day in the marketplace was from the Diamond Sutra (hearing which, the Sixth Patriarch was enlightened):

'Mind, having no fixed abode, should flow forth.'  (Bassui)

Here's what I can say about that: if I lose pitch, yaw, and roll where my mind is, my toss misses the garbage can, my food ends up in my lap, and I clank the pots and pans as I wash them.

I can look for pitch, yaw, and roll where my mind is, but if I restrain where my mind is, I lose the pitch, yaw, and roll. So I have to allow where my mind is (location) to flow forth. Ah but it's really just being open to my mind flowing forth, for the most part, that keeps the dishes from clanking.

I remember Reb Anderson admonishing folks in the zendo not to clank their utensils and dishes as they cleaned them and put them away. He called for everyone to bring their presence of mind to the task at hand, but he left it for everyone to discover on their own how "mind, having no fixed abode, should flow forth" with regard to the dishes."


(and that's from here)

In Topic: Bums Average Age

18 July 2014 - 09:27 PM

The common cold, that would be mostly an immune reaction (as far as the symptoms).  And why do the Zicam tablets work so well for me-- they don't cure me, but they sure help with the symptoms and lessen the duration for me.  That's if I start in on them when all I feel is a little soreness in the throat, and continue almost chain-sucking them until I can't stand the taste anymore, usually about day three.


Some form of zinc, and only a homeopathic remedy as far as medical science knows but apparently there is evidence that it does the things I'm describing for the majority of people.

In Topic: Bums Average Age

15 July 2014 - 04:56 PM

MtoF trans people are prescribed progesterone. It develops their bosom. We sometimes had patients undertaking the change back when I was nursing. I'd be careful about following Mark's advised regimen.

That would be estrogen.

In Topic: Bums Average Age

14 July 2014 - 08:33 PM

Arthritis.  This and the common cold, I've tried to triangulate and try to figure out 'Why' we manifest such things.  Looking to the metaphysical, not the physical reasons.


What is our body trying to say with arthritis?  That we are frozen in place, that we need to be more flexible in some area?  My husband has horrible arthritis, but I must say that his default mindset is judgmental and negative.  That's not his mindset today, he's transcended it for the most part.  But the darn arthritis lives on - and maybe I'm just too close to him to see the real dynamic in place.


And the common cold is such a mystery.  Is the body merely telling us to slow down?  Or is there more involved, like some weird metaphor for 'brain melt' or something.  Or maybe failure to 'breathe' and accept life on life's terms?  I haven't a clue.  But from time to time I do spend a little time trying to figure this out.


So much easier with other body parts, so much more obvious.  e.g. joint problems meaning a flexibility issue.  Cancer seems to be 'something eating at us', for a long period of time.  Breast cancer...motherhood stuff.


I've been playing at the same mysteries, manitou.  


Last six months I've been using sublingual D3 at 5000 IU in an attempt to find a way to avoid colds.  I don't recommend that particular delivery and dosage, as I've been experiencing tinnitus for a week or so and I now discover that's a symptom of a vitamin D overdose.  I was persuaded to look it up because a friend who was also experimenting with D3 told me he had come down with headaches, which ceased when he stopped taking D3.  That's another overdose symptom.  


Nevertheless, I will probably go back to a lower dose, and maybe not sublingual, after awhile (no colds in six months, but it's been unusually dry in California).  I can see that the NIH is saying it may be effective in avoiding respiratory illness, so I will probably try it again this fall.  And there's this:



On the arthritis front, I've been using progesterone skin cream since 1995.  I heard Dr. John Lee speak to a gymnasium full of mostly women about it, he was advising them that HRT with progestins and estrogen can lead to cancer and he was right, although it was very popular with most medicos at the time.   One of the things Dr. Lee had been exploring was why his patients who were using creams with progesterone reported a reduction in arthritis symptoms.  He said he believed it might be because the Schwann cells that create the myelin sheath require progesterone to do that.  


I was experiencing some hip joint stiffness in the cold & foggy Mendocino mornings (hurts just to hear that, don't it!), so I tried Progest out (think it's called Emerita now).  Seemed to help and to give me a slight energy.  Dr. Lee also spoke of progesterone as the hormone that says to cells "mature", while estrogen's chemical message is "multiply".  That, he said, was why an estrogen dominance in women after menopause could make them prone to cancer.  So I figured it might be prophylactic with regard to cancer.


But I didn't know for sure what Dr. Lee thought about men and progesterone until last night.  This weekend a friend of mine mentioned he had started using progesterone, as a possible cancer prevention strategy.  So I went online and found Dr. Lee's words on the "official Dr.John Lee" website (a production of his wife after his death), saying that men at 55 have more estrogen than women, which is usually balanced by testosterone.  Except that, possibly due to damage done to their reproductive organs in the third week of the pregnancy by chemicals resembling estrogen in pesticides and other prevalent industrials, most men these days are deficient in testosterone by middle age.  So in a review of a pamphlet Dr. Lee wrote about hormones and men (on the women's international pharmacy site), I found this:


"Dr. Lee writes that progesterone is a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor and thus helps manage the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Progesterone has anabolic or energy raising qualities and like testosterone promotes the p53 gene which allows for normal cell death. This is important for cancer prevention. He recommends that men use 5 to 8 mg per day."


My ears particular prick up at the words "allows for cell death.  This is important for cancer prevention."  Sort of like cannibanoids, I guess, that cell death part. 


So I think these are my drugs of choice for approaching old age, although the jury is still out for me on D3.  Let you know after the rains and the cold return to California!


Nungali, I recommended progesterone cream to a friend of mine who's a rock musician.  Some time after that she broke a wrist mountain biking.  Some time after that, she broke the other wrist, mountain biking.  I guess she amazed her physician with the speed at which her bones healed, because she told me she now swears by the progesterone creams in conversation about the wrists.  Last I heard her, she's still as amazing as ever (but I wish she'd lay off the mountain biking!).


As always, don't know how this will work for anybody else, but beware:  a lot of doctors out there confuse progestins, which are molecularly altered to be patentable, with "natural" progeserone ("natural" progesterone is synthesized but molecularly identical to the human progesterone).  The progestins have pages of side-effects in the physicians desk reference; natural progesterone I believe has none.  The Emerita cream has a warning on it that it contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, progesterone;  actually the chemicals known to cause cancer are the progestins, but the State of California and most of the AMA doesn't seem to understand that there is a difference.  So you may not get the straight skivy from your doctor.  In the U.S.A., the definition of malpractice is not bad medical science; it's not doing what all the other doctors are doing, regardless of the science.


Since you asked!