My medical problem and new insight

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About a month ago, almost two weeks I started my Zen/Nichiren practice, I had bad case of muscle spasms on my left shoulder. The pain was so debilitating that I had to go to the emergency room and later took a week off of work.

For a long while, I couldn’t do anything without feeling pain. In fact, if I got up from bed or from a chair, I would have to endure a lot of agony as everything I did effected my shoulder. That’s the main reason why I couldn’t blog.

I’m doing much better now and the pain is almost gone. However, this muscle spasm is still preventing me from exercising which means no Zen practice for me. The only practice I’ve been focusing on is the Nichiren one.

Due to my SGI programming, this whole situation has three possible causes:

  1. The muscle spasm is because I decided to mix the “lesser” practice of Zen with the “greater” practice of Nichiren.
  2. The muscle spasm is the result of all of my bad karma kicking me in the gonads.
  3. The Buddhist deities themselves want me to concentrate on my Nichiren practice only, so they help caused the muscle spasm to see to it that I don’t continue with Zen.

In case you’re wondering I recognized these thoughts as mere programming, so I dismissed all of those “conclusions”.

The main reason why I was taught to think this way is the same reason why people started thinking and preaching that school shootings in the US are false flag operations and that people attract their abusive spouse due to their negative thinking.

That is to say: it gives us a sense of “control” over the things we really can’t control. It’s a way of coping with the inherent chaos of life.

The fact that there are aspects in life that we can’t control is a scary thought. Exercising, eating right, and abstaining from drinking or smoking won’t guarantee that we won’t get cancer. Treating others well and acting with dignity and self-respect won’t guarantee that one dude won’t be an (anus) to us. We can always do our best, but the best laid plans of mice and men always go awry.

Not that I’m advocating to act without reason, just be prepared that things can go south.

Therefore, for example, “knowing” that we attracted an abusive spouse through our negative thoughts or bad karma can give us a frame of mind that we can do something about it so that we won’t attract these abusive people ever again.

However, and I’ve seen this happen too many times, there are those who teach this way of thinking as a way to guilt others and shame them so that said teacher can control them. I knew a guy who preached the Law of Attraction and he loved making me feel like crap when bad things do happen to me. Even some in the SGI use that as an excuse to compel their members to spend more time chanting or doing activities for the organization.

How do I feel about bad things happening to others, especially myself?

They’re not due to bad karma or negative thoughts. It just happens. That’s it.

It’s doesn’t mean I shouldn’t watch my words or conduct or allow myself to think negatively. While acting with integrity and compassion and thinking positively won’t prevent bad things from happening to you, they sure as hell will help in overcoming them and making the best of it.

Therein lies my attitude about dealing with bad circumstances: I allow my time to grieve or vent, but I don’t feel sorry for myself or guilty about whatever imagined mistake I might have made in this lifetime or the previous one. I look to these problems as challenges to overcome and opportunities for learning and growth.

I focus on solving the problem and learning from it rather pontificating whether or not I deserve such problems in the first place.

While I’m not too happy that I can’t do any intense physical activities for the moment, I have been drinking 2 liters of water a day, started doing some qigong exercises while at work, and soon enough will start doing some yoga for 5 minutes a day until my left shoulder fully heals.

Yours truly,

Captain Idiotic

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