Like therapy, only cheaper

This is a Zen story, though I have Westernised it a little.

The master gets up in the pulpit and announces “The Arhats are like a toilet covered in shit!”

The novices and monks go away and meditate on the meaning of this statement. The time comes for any one of them who has understood it to present his understanding to the master. This is quite an awesome event for the monk because if he displeases the master he may be beaten or even expelled from the temple.

One novice comes forward. The master says “Well? Show me something of Zen.”

The novice kicks away the master’s crutch and overturns a pail of water.

The master thereupon appoints the novice to be his successor.

(This story is about what Watts is saying in the video.)

For many of us, it takes a long time and much pain to understand that the Arhats are covered in shit. But I agree that it is an important step forward.

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Chelated magnesium is best and if so a lower dose will work. It can also reduce or stop some cardiac symptoms, but the only way to find out is to test.
I don’t want to come over as a demented pill swallower - I’m not - but I have to take two medicines probably for the rest of my life which have side effects. It took me a long time to realise that the side effects were caused because they affect my salt balance. I have to watch my magnesium, sodium and calcium intake. I need more of all of them than normal because the stuff I take causes them to be excreted too fast. As I really don’t want a weekly blood test(!) I just have to learn which side effects are associated with which element and adjust accordingly. It’s reasonably successful.


Dark chocolate is also high in magnesium. I’ve only been magnesium deficient a few times but each time I’d almost robotically tear apart the house in hopes of finding chocolate stashed in a drawer somewhere.


I worry I went too far in this direction; started a new job with a slew of custom tools and procedures, and taking classes in both classical painting and martial arts. I spend most of my week feeling incredibly incompetent. So maybe it’s best to also maintain something you’re pretty good at, too.


This has been a great deal of help for me.


Hey, I did say “thing” in the singular. :stuck_out_tongue:

That said, it’s important (though amazingly hard) to remember that this awkwardness is normal at the early stages, and that your brain is literally rewiring. I found it helps to make note of what you could do now (say draw a line or recognise a tool on sight) then in a few weeks look back and see that wow, there is so much more you are capable of, now.

I am finding it also helps just to recognise when you’re feeling frustrated with your inability to “get” something, and to step back and tweak something. Change your grip or sharpen your pencil. Me, I adjust my skates or kneepads, not because the adjustment will make a difference (because I am not good enough that a small tweak will magically fix things), but because it’s something I can do that makes me feel more in control, the kind of sports-placebo people have used successfully for years. Even knowing it’s a placebo, it still works. YMMV.

I think the biggest part for most of us in this thread, if not this entire board is remembering that it’s okay to fuck up when you’re learning, because that’s how you learn (or as my coaches put it, falling down is a good thing, because it means that you’re challenging yourself).


Macaulay, Battle of Lake Regillus:
"With heed he looked unto the girth, with heed unto the rein"
It may not make a difference but it’s often well to check everything is in place.

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I’m admittedly self-diagnosed, but if I don’t have summer SAD then I just coincidentally go through bouts of extreme irritability, discomfort, restlessness, anger, and desire for solitude, cold air and darkness every time the days get long and the humidity and temperature go up. And bright sunlight for more than a few seconds at a time makes me twitchy and nervous. And the entire world can just fuck off and leave me alone for a while, thanks.

I wish there was some sort of “darkness therapy” I could use, but I can’t seem to convince my coworkers that we don’t need six thousand watts of fluorescents beaming down on us at all times.


I’ve become more and more aware of how the artificial environment affects me. My dream for a new home is a space with more natural light, heat, air, and less artificial sounds. I want to try to isolate artificial sounds to specific spaces.


If you live somewhere warm, perhaps you could get friendly with someone in Facilities and point out the air conditioning load due to excessive lighting. Individual desk lighting can result in big power reductions and make employees happier.
With lots of fluorescents, a third of the A/C load can be just removing the heat (acc. to a contact at Motorola back in the day.)
The US love of open plan offices with intense fluorescent lighting load - and hardly any windows - is one of the most bizarre phenomena I’ve ever come across. It’s good that companies like Google are far more enlightened (pun deliberate).


The benefit from lithium as a mood stabiliser is in keeping a therapeutic level in your body. When I was on lithium (for long term depression) I had to have monthly blood tests partly to monitor the levels and partly to keep an eye on my kidneys and thyroid. As the form of lithium you’re taking is a salt of the metal you also need to watch your salt intake as that can affect your levels.

I wonder how much of the benefit you’re feeling is placebo effect. I would think that if you’re not taking enough to require monitoring then the lithium is having a minor effect at best.


I have had to up the dose twice and have found it effective when I increased it so I feel like it’s not placebo. I was really on the edge of mania before increasing it each time.


I don’t think this rules out the placebo effect, brains are funny things. Did you feel an immediate improvement or did it take a week or two?


I would say a couple of days. I agree it doesn’t rule it out. The other thing that I noticed is it is really strong on my kidneys, which kinda indicates there is something going on there. The effect has lessened over time, but it’s still there.

Theory behind the low dosage is that this compound is more bioavailable.

The whole thing is so untested and undocumented that I was really reluctant to rely upon it. The only reason I even tried it was that the Latuda gave me anxiety so bad I had to go to the psych emergency room one night, which was a super shitty experience. I was getting manic and had nothing that worked. My therapist has told me about this a few times and said the Amazon reviews were the best source of information. Well, okay, that’s not generally the best way to evaluate a supplement’s effectiveness. I was super skeptical.

I work with a nutrition doctor who has helped me to reverse my pre-diabetes (now totally reversed!) and he is good with supplements. I asked him to pull up whatever he could about it and he did. We weighed using this against Lamictal, which has one super awful side effect - a deadly rash that you have to monitor for - and otherwise is safe and effective. I was tending toward Lamictal as I wanted something that would actually work. Bu he really felt it was so safe to try the Lithium with the dose so low. I am really happy I did. It’s just the right amount to even me out without being too bad. I think my bipolar is very mild so some of the big tools in the toolbox just aren’t the right thing for me.

Recently I have added in lavender oil supplements (CalmAid) for the depression. That has been very effective for me. My nutrition doctor had seen a presentation on it. I take 3 pills 3 times a day. It’s taken about 2 weeks for it to really kick in but probably for the first time in a year I feel the depression is lifting. It’s like I didn’t even realize how it was affecting me until recently. My daughter noticed that I am laughing more. Some of it is that I worked through some emotional issues, too, but I think that the lavender oil helped me see a solution.


Well, I’m glad you’re getting something from it. Mental illness is less fun than it looks, and it really doesn’t look like fun.

For reference, I was on 600mg/day and at that level I needed monthly blood tests. The dose may have been high because I don’t have a lot of salt in my diet. I also had the bladder thing (in fact it never completely righted itself although I’ve been off it for 5 years now), as well as tremor and loss of appetite (usually a warning sign but didn’t seem to be in my case).

I don’t even know what this means.

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Ah, Naturalnews, home of woo. I would take anything they say with as pinch of (homeopathic) salt.

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I do get blood tests. My nutrition doctor does REALLY extensive blood testing. I get like 10 vials taken every month. That’s how he figures out all my supplements and diet recommendations. We added kidneys into the mix since I started the lithium.


Ok, here is John Gray. He is the one who has been the main advocate for this. Yep, I was super skeptical and nothing he says in this video makes me any less skeptical. Nevertheless, I am fuckin’ loving this versus the Latuda which truly made me mentally ill.

This video is a little better.

Okay so I’m going to break down all the things I do:

I eat a diet that is very high in greens. I eat about a pound a day of greens.
I am working to reduce animal protein to once every other day. Right now I eat it about once a day. Animal protein includes fish and eggs.
I eat almost no wheat, sugar, rice, or potatoes.
No dairy.
Lots of fruit.
Very low fat - Limited nuts and avocado, limited olive oil
Lots of veggies, low on the starchy veggies.

This reduces inflammation - I have to look at my blood tests to tell what the measures are of this as I am not up on the medical lingo.
I have successfully reversed pre-diabetes and am now in normal blood sugar range

I take:

  • B12 (because I test deficient)
  • D3 (because I test deficient)
  • Lavender oil (for depression)
  • Red rice yeast (for high cholesterol)
  • Lithium oratate (mood stabilizer)

So that’s the whole picture of what I do to maintain my health. It’s taken me a year to put this all together.

I’ve now lost about 20 pounds and almost all of that is fat.
My bipolar is controlled.
My pre-diabetes is controlled.


Lavender is awesome if it works for you. Some people find it irritating, but for those of us it’s effective on, it’s fabulous.

Now I want to make lavender lemonade for the weekend :slight_smile:

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