Cause And Effect.


No, I don’t intend to bore my readers with Newton’s third law or the butterfly effect. I simply want to share a few stories.

I smoked cigarettes and cigars from when I was about thirteen years old till just a few years ago. I quit too late. I am now saddled with COPD. The last time I saw a pulmonologist was an event marked by humour for him and shock for me. He said that nothing can be done to reverse the damage done and that I had to learn to live with it. He said that it was a classic instance of the theory of karma manifesting itself. Smoking the cause and COPD the effect. He further added that I must have had a lot of good karma in my ledger because I escaped getting cancer of the lung. Thank God for mercies!

It is no big deal. I have accepted my condition and the limitations it puts on my life. I enjoy myself to the extent possible within the limits imposed on me by the condition.

And that brings me to the cause for that ability of being equanimous.

I started to meditate with TM when I was 35 years old. I graduated to a more rigourous technique called Vipassana when I was 41 years old and have continued to practice regularly since then. I have attended many retreats and have read widely on the benefits of meditation and can vouch for its efficacy in my personal life. Cause – Meditation, Effect – Equanimity and joyful living.

One more story and I will conclude this weekly Friday LBC post.

I met with an accident that damaged both my hip joints. That was the cause. Effect, replaced hip joints, causing wear and tear to the prostheses, resulting in revisions and so on. Another effect, I have been using a cane / walking stick since 1981.  It has its advantages as younger folk seeing me with my cane defer to me in queues and even offer seats!

I have suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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19 Responses to Cause And Effect.

  1. shackman says:

    Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. Karma is a bitch. Life’s a bitch and then you die. I do believe that even at this late stage of life – the circling the drain stage – I need to explore meditation for a number of reasons, chiefly beginning with the fact that I cannot remember the last time I was actually really happy. It is up to me to fix this. Stay tuned.
    shackman recently posted..Cause and Effect LBC 09/15/2017 cause

  2. “The quality of our lives depends on how we focus our energy and our attention.” (One of my mantras that I have mentioned before.) Life is a lot more fulfilling when we make wise choices.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Well, Yeah, Mom!

  3. tammy j says:

    I had no idea that you smoked so long rummy! perhaps you have mentioned it before and I just don’t remember. and that it resulted in COPD.
    when you are surrounded by smokers and you second-hand smoke for 53 years (only the last years since 2005 have I been free of it really because of the offices I worked in) … is that considered your own karma? even though YOU yourself never smoked?
    I think I am reaping the ‘benefits’ of all the smokers I grew up with. my parents and my husband and then my co-workers. some co-workers were even chain smokers!
    the marine was only around it for as long as our parents were alive. not long.
    he then married a girl who never smoked. and he worked in a non smoking area and had his own office. so second hand smoke was never a problem.
    I think it has made all the difference in our respective health.
    but. there is no point in my whining about it!
    it just is what it is as they say.
    I think I shall meditate instead!
    😀
    seriously. I have nothing as great as what I could call “a practice.” but I do what I can by just sitting quietly each day and being. and being just grateful mostly. though I need to study real meditation more.
    also I never knew how your hips were involved in such a way. a terrible accident for sure that caused such long endured suffering really. but maybe that is what has helped you to become wise!
    tammy j recently posted..moving on old bean

  4. Mike says:

    I knew about your hip issues but not about the COPD. It’s good that you can enjoy life within the limitations that life has given you.

    I learned recently that I have diastolic congestive heart failure — heart is unable to pump right because it has become stiff and thick from overwork due to high blood pressure that I didn’t know I had. With the heart unable to pump completely, I end up with shortness of breath because not enough oxygen is being transferred to the blood. Without medication, it’s like exertion at high altitude — I have to take everything slow and easy. Fortunately, it’s at least partially reversible through exercise and losing weight. With medication, I’m able to do long and fairly strenuous aerobic exercise and I’m losing weight — just under a pound a week.

    And, as if that’s not enough, I’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and will soon be wearing a mask for breathing at night to improve my sleep. Funny, rumor has it that sometimes apnea can be reduced or reversed through weight loss.

    Getting old isn’t much fun… but it can be interesting. 🙁
    Mike recently posted..Cities of the Dead

    • That is a truism that I have no quarrel whatsoever with – “Getting old isn’t much fun… but it can be interesting.”

      I am however shocked to hear about your problems. From what I have been able to gather from your blog posts, I thought that you were a very active and healthy person. I hope that with the regime that you have planned for yourself, you get over them. My best wishes that you do.

      • Mike says:

        Thanks!

        Generally active and healthy, yes, but gained too much weight (over 20 lbs) in the last couple of years and hadn’t had a full medical checkup since I “retired” in February 2007. The high blood pressure “sneaked up” on me and I never really understood the potential impacts. I was more concerned about the possibility of diabetes. I’m now back to exercising aerobically 1.5 to 2 hours daily, usually 6 days a week, but at a much lower intensity that I used to do, gradually working my way back into it, and have lost about 15 lbs since the beginning of May. I’m still “working,” but only part-time, as often as they need me to operate the simulator for the current license class, but that ends for good at the end of February, if not before.
        Mike recently posted..Cities of the Dead

  5. Wisewebwoman says:

    Yes even tho I quit 30 years ago my body is unforgiving and I have peripheral vascular disease and am still working on acceptance. I admire you Ramana for your equanimity and inspiration.

    XO
    WWW
    Wisewebwoman recently posted..Prequel

  6. kylie says:

    I assumed your hip issues were a product of age but you must have used a cane since you were quite young. COPD is a distressing disease, I hope you are in a very manageable stage of it

  7. wow- life isn’t always great shakes – but if we can get through by whatever means – medical or other – then we just say ‘thankyou’ to whomever, even it is just our self.

  8. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    Cause and effect is real, but most people do not believe in it. They will say “eh, have fun! Life is too short!”…
    I started meditating when I was 16 (Transcendental Meditation), then at 20 I experimented with Brahma Kumaris Meditation, then at 22 I practised Theravada Meditation, and then from 26 till today I do Hitbodedut (Jewish Meditation). And, like you, I now live in equanimity with a twist: since in Jewish Mysticism we believe in duality, I am calm but when needed I am the opposite and so forth; that way balance is kept.

    This is a very interesting topic and I am glad you chose it, Rummy.

    Cheers
    Max Coutinho recently posted..Uranium Concerns: From Namibia to North Korea And Everything in-Between

    • The whole idea of all meditation systems is to get to balanced states, what the Buddhists and Hindus call equanimity. It is a vast and indeed interesting subject and I am delighted that you found it interesting too.

  9. nick says:

    Your meditation techniques must be very beneficial. I’ve tried meditation a few times but I never got the hang of it. I think my mind is too restless to relax sufficiently. Glad to say however that I’ve always taken great care of my health and at the age of 70 have nothing more serious than slightly raised blood pressure. Sorry to hear that your hip problems were the result of an accident. What exactly happened?

    • The trick in meditation is to persist despite the mind’s tendency to wander off. If however you do not find it beneficial, you don’t have to just because it is now the in thing to do.

      I shall write separately by email to you about the hip problem.

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