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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Metta and The Body

I got falling down drunk the other night. As shissed as a fraggit.
Yesterday I woke to a Hell Realm.
Getting falling down drunk was an act of violence against my body. It was a clear absence of Metta. I felt so shitful because I had poisoned my body on Friday night. I had intoxicated my body. Because I had intoxicated myself, the body responded to the poison by hurting, by telling me I had committed an act of violence upon it. In intoxicating myself I was getting things wrong.
 This morning as I practised Metta I took the time to examine where else I have been going wrong.
I tend to binge on things. There is the binging on alcohol with the associated pain. I also binge on fats and sugars. The other day I binged on Tim Tams...and then found that in this new 3 Bean flavoured Tim Tam there was a flavouring or colouring that my body didn't like...and then spent the next 2 hours feeling completely shitful. My binging behavior attracted an unforeseen price.
 This morning I was able to identify that I undermine and self harm when it comes to achieving my own goals. There seems to be an unwillingness to accept that I am entitled to looking as fabulous as Mr Reynolds looks. The result is I periodically binge. It's a nasty feedback loop: I'm not achieving what I want to, I binge. Because I binge, I don't achieve what I want to.  It is also the complete absence of wisdom and Metta.
Having Metta for my body means I don't binge. It means that I recognize poisons when I see them and refuse to have them in my body. The simple fact of the matter is that highly processed "food" isn't food at all. As I write in Metta doesn't require a degree in Chemistry, food has an identifiable origin. If you look at a packet of Tim Tams, they aren't food. They have a very long list of ingredients. Raw fruit and vegetables, a steak are food. Hydrologised carbohydrate isn't.
Having identified where I have been self harming for years, this morning I turned my mind to my brother Mark. Yep, the one who suicided by lifestyle.
I asked myself: Is my behavior all that different from his? We both consume things we know are not good for us and in doing this do we not both self harm?
I had to answer: No, my behavior isn't that different from Marks. I do consciously consume poisons and engage in self harming behavior.
In common with my brother and everyone else on the planet my biological clock has an unknown countdown in action. We never know when we will die.
I thought was there a meditation that could be used to recognize and combat the mental habits that have denied me my goals for so long. Here is my attempt at formulating a meditation. A combination of Metta and Maranasati.

I accept full responsibility for how my body is. Our bodies are incredibly and undeniably fragile. Death is normal and natural. My own Death is certain. There is no possible way for me to escape, bribe or out run my Death. My lifetime has an absolute limit and every breath brings me closer to the ending of my life. Every moment brings me closer to my Death. Death can and does come without warning. Death often arrives unannounced. I will die on a perfectly ordinary day, a day just like today.  My body requires Metta in order to function at its best and to postpone death. This body requires balance in nutrition and exercise to function at its highest.

I can be alive one moment and planning my days and the next moment I can be dead. Eating the wrong foods can and will bring this about sooner than I am prepared to accept and before my goals are achieved. The world is utterly unpredictable and random. Accidents can and do happen all the time. Also people can and do simply drop dead. And I am not excluded from the fact that this can happen to me. This body requires constant maintenance in the form of regular exercise, fresh fruit, vegetables and protein in order to be healthy. I can eat my fill of fresh fruit and vegetables. These foods heal and nourish the body. 
Binging on alcohol, refined carbohydrates, fats and sugars is harming this body, for these things are poisons. Alcohol and refined products will kill this body if consumed in large amounts on a regular basis.It is only the practice of Dhamma that will help me deal with and accept my Death. The clutter of possessions, relationships, careers will not help me when I am dying. Often these things make it harder to die with many things left undone and unsaid. I must have my lifetime in such a place that should I die today, that nothing truly meaningful to me will be left unsaid or undone, especially acts and words of love towards my body. I must be ready to leave this lifetime immediately.

I must live with great gentleness and kindness, for how I live will determine in a very large degree the state of my mind when I die. I can choose now to live and die without great mental suffering in both myself and those I love. My friends and relatives cannot do my dying for me.I can however lessen their pain at my Death by living and dying well.

 I know that I engage in self harming behavior that if left uncontrolled will result in my death. I know that I can resist the urge to binge on poisons. I know that I can take control of my health away from my behaviours and I will succeed in having a beautiful body.  As surely as I came into this lifetime naked and bereft of possessions, I will have to leave it the same way. This body if not treated with proper care will  be the cause of death.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

He would have been 61

Today would have been my brother Marks 61st birthday. 61 is hardly old these days. If anything it is considered Middle Aged.
Mark has been dead now for almost 7 months. He died as much from despair as he did from smoking. Mark gave up. He let the opinions of others define him. He let his fears limit him. Mark was afraid of a lot of things.
Mark was afraid of not being liked or accepted. He was afraid that he wouldn't have the approval of his father. He was afraid of risks and challenges.
You may get the impression that I didn't much like my brother. Quite the contrary is true. I adored him and miss him deeply. I, however have no illusions as to his character and the lifetime he lived. Loving Mark does not mean living in denial. Honouring him and growing from his death means that the truth of him needs to be known.
Mark needed to be liked. He didn't much like himself. He had no Metta for himself. When we have Metta for ourselves we are self contained. When we are the sort of people we want to be, the acceptance of other people is nice, but it isn't essential to our happiness. Having Metta for ourselves means that we actively exclude toxic people from our lives. We see the agenda of the toxic and their subtle, insidious undermining of our potential and then because we know that their opinions are baseless, we exclude them. Mark never did this.
Mark never pursued Metta towards his body by reading and then using the literature that told him point blank that his diet and addictions would kill him. The result was Mark suicided in the rather novel way using diet. A diet that ignores every nutritional guideline is one that is a weapon. Mark when he died had returned to eating only refined carbohydrates, sugars and red meat. Having had 3 heart attacks in the space of 6 months, Mark knew that this behaviour would kill him. He knew the opposite behaviour would keep him alive. He had seen me recover from Salmonella using a clean, green diet.
Mark let death limit him. He was afraid of it. This meant that he was a risk free zone. He dared rarely and achieved little.
Death can either limit or liberate us. Had Mark embraced death he would have cleansed his life of the toxic people in it and been liberated from their influence. Had Mark embraced death he would have cultivated Metta towards himself and engaged in healthy practices.


Instead Mark feared death and whilst he suicided, he found his mortality worthless. It taught and gave him nothing. And this is the lesson I take from my brothers death. Death gives me things. Because of the way Mark lived and died I am increasingly determined to go out with a bang rather than the whimper Mark died with.
Because of Mark's death I am pushing the boundaries of my intellect, the need to become Doctor Russell Dunne has grown almost into an obsession. I am being the father and husband that my wife and children need me to be. I am pursuing the healthiest, most active lifestyle that I can. The body beautiful is very much on the way.
Because of Mark's death, when it comes my turn to become bones in the ground like he is now, and because we never know if today will be that day. I am seizing every challenge and living in a way that means my death will be regret free...both for myself and those I leave behind.