25 September, 2012

38 Days of Brain Surgery in 2012

"Consciousness is really just the
by-product of a piece of meat."
Tim Freke
Well, I finally got selected for a trial to help correct my strokes defect via brain surgery. It may sound a bit strange, but the doctors have been exploring how best to reconnect the brain following brain damage for the past 15-20 years. The easier the brain can rewire broken connections, the easier and shorter the recovery time. So what they do in a brief layman's explanation is drill into the brain near the dead tissue and carefully extract it, then when that is done... they add some of your own stem cells. They are located up near the bridge of your nose that they can by needle tap into and access some. Then taking a small amount inject in the cavity from which they removed old brain cells to hasten the reconnection across opposite sides. Information does not travel well in dead tissue. My areas are bi-lateral and about a 50 cent piece size in diameter. After they add a small spray of your stem cells, they then close up the hole, just after they gently and I mean gently, suction out any air left in. This makes the pliable brain nearly join where the areas where removed. Later while I’m recovering, the doctors examine the dead tissue to see, much like a tree ring in reverse, just how the brain died during lack of oxygen. And being only a small hole in head on both sides heals naturally pretty fast, as opposed to opening in a large area.

Now, they have figured that the brain will connect way faster, so that in about two years I will be able to speak better as tones and word finding will all interweave again. Great, I’m using my suffering for science, finally. And if you believe all this, then I have swamp land in Florida to sell you before most of it is victim of global warming, but really it is not far from the electrical rewiring they are trying to do now to connect dead areas and get people back to walking faster.  Actually, the 38 days of the brain surgery was in 7 months this year of silent meditation in 3 ten-day increments, and one eight-day course. All of these are 10.5 – 11 hours of meditation per day, with noble silence. No other work besides watching sensations and managing mental and physical pain which comes from sitting not moving in one hour increments, three separate hours per day. Seven and half of those hours were spent in cells providing a faster download of the self-created misery of how one spins. Now that is where the real brain surgery begins to get back out of the hole one digs for oneself. 
The beginning of this year I would never have thought to do this but as I completed my second Vipassana 10-day course in Feburary, I could begin to see the unraveling of the misery I formally based on exterior circumstances that I have encountered in life. Often supplemented by downloading in vivid dreams. This past 10-days in Thailand, I got a real taste of my own self-defeating wizardry with the bodily pain created when I was short a pillow to lift me higher in meditation. Usually a simple fix, but the pillows were all taken early on by the others, mostly Thai’s. I would not ask them to give any up, as that would be unheard of. My problems were not apparent in the first 6 days. The first two days I was just kind of tired, but that balanced out fast, and with the luck of the nearly constant rain that kept the heat down. I was moving into subtle sensations, both in the hall and in my cell, when day 7 in the hall, I could feel pain in my right knee and hamstring as my single foam pillow they use that would sink down with time under my weight. This was during the 1 hour when you can’t move, which you do three times a day. I knew it was because of the lack of a bit more height to elevate my hips above my knees that it started the pain.  I could avoid this in the cell by sitting on the edge of the large pillow and puttting my folded legs on the chilled terrazo floor. Very few Thai’s would use the cells with their fear of ghosts, and the bats that cleaned the halls of bugs.

Dhamma Kamala
On day 8, this spurred on a interlinking of self-defeating spirals on why even bother with life anymore, my strokes had taken the best out of me, blah, blah, etc. That gave me a real taste of how I drive myself crazy that was probably learned in childhood with the alcoholism I was surrounded with. Now to break this pattern of thought, I had to first see what it does to me, then take the seeming reality apart from my physical pain and examine it. I first decided that the exhaustion has got to end because I do like meditation and to laugh at it. I wasn’t disabled by the pain if I did not let it disable me, just had some swelling that I could massage away later before bed. Combined with taking the small pillow in my cell and just bumping my hall pillow enough to relax my knees. But all this was like brain surgery to dissect self-created mental pain with awareness. And now If I can refer to it when regular old existence pulls the same trick, because I have not fully dropped it. Next, I will try to undo my keen visual sense I developed to unable me to not hit things on my left when I lost my proprioception. This does not let me calm down my nervous system when I look for clues in others and am visually aware as to where I am located in space. It is like being in “flight mode” an unable to relax in public when moving. Ahh, it makes meditation so much more “my activity” as my partner puts it. He likes the beach better ...lucky him.

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