Saturday, 26 May 2018

ME Association Fundraising: Running for M.E. and for people we care about | 26 May 2018


Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.

While the rest of us will be taking a well-earned break this Bank Holiday weekend, three very special people are going to be fundraising hard for M.E., and for people they care deeply about.

  • Abigail will be racing in the Lee Valley Velo Park Half Marathon,
  • Megan is aiming to scale not one, but THREE, peaks for M.E. in Yorkshire, and,
  • David is running his last of FOUR marathons for M.E. in the space of just 30 days, in Dorchester.

Abi is running the Lee Valley Velo Park Half Marathon.

Abi writes, “I am running for my cousin Jho who had to give up his hugely successful, global career and music management business because of M.E.

“It is so sad because he had succeeded in bringing some of the best, revolutionary music to our playlists, radios and music festivals, so much so that he inspired the path I’ve chosen to take in life!

“On a bad day, he may now struggle to do the littlest things, such as standing up to watch his son play football from the bedroom window or play fairy dress up with his little girl. All things we take for granted.”

Megan is clambering up tough hills in Yorkshire because M.E. forced her husband Tim to give up work 6 years ago.

Megan is running the Three Peaks challenge in Yorkshire.

She’s not a natural mountain goat, and has had to fit in her training around ensuring their household runs smoothly as she is mother of our two children, Tim’s carer and goes out to work.

But Megan is determined to do all she can because, she fervently believes that there is far too little research into M.E. and far too many medics still think it is psychological.

David is now a veteran fundraiser for M.E.  Last year he ran over 1000 miles to fundraise for the ME Association.

For this final race he’ll be dressed in a fetching purple tutu. Running is vital therapy for him because he is his wife Sandra’s carer.

He is particularly worried about this last run because he’s having to stay away for a night and this is leaving him anxious. He’s cooked hard to make sure that his wife has adequate supplies of food and drink with minimal effort to prepare (she can’t stand for long periods).

David’s fourth and final marathon is in Dorchester.

But there’s always the worry that she might experience a “crash” when her energy completely goes. This can happen after a very slight exertion such as getting up to answer the phone. It’s all a bit unpredictable. She copes with all this but it’s far from easy.

He’s not asking you to get the violins out here as he says he thinks they are actually “pretty lucky” because many sufferers are completely bedbound, and Sandra does get occasional “better days”.

David finds it hard to say that he is his wife’s carer. He thinks that he probably isn’t a very good one and hates feeling that although he is doing his best, he may sometimes fall short of the required standards.

Fundraising manager, Helen Hyland, insists however that NONE of these particular fundraisers should feel that they are letting anyone down this weekend – they are all heroes in her eyes.

Between them they have raised well over £3,000 – beating their combined targets by nearly 100%.   And yet they are still keen to do more.

She says “If you know David, Abi or Megan and haven’t yet donated, then please do so now. Help to make the UK a better place for the people with M.E. that they care so much about.”

The ME Association

We help people with M.E. and their families.

If you would like show your support for our vital work then please donate whatever you can afford to our ME Awareness Week Just Giving campaign – Go BLUE for ME.

If you want your donation to go towards research, then please leave a note in the comments and we will ensure it reaches the Ramsay Research Fund.

Help us continue to make the UK a better place for people with M.E.


from ME Association



Friday, 25 May 2018

spiritualseeker77: Stay strong fellow spiritual seekers - you... | Spiritual


Stay strong fellow spiritual seekers - you are all awesome!!!

from Spiritual Seeker 77



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Can you help? We need short video clips for a Sky One series ‘What’s up TV’ that will campaign for M.E. | 25 May 2018


Following a very successful ME Awareness Week, Sky One have been in touch and want to champion M.E. as a campaign for their series ‘What’s Up TV’.

This is another terrific opportunity for you to tell the wider world just how M.E. affects your life and to raise any issues you feel are important.

Robyn Beaumont, a researcher for the programme, explains what is required below.

She has also sent two of their previous campaigns so that you can judge for yourself how well they have approached other  medical topics.

Robyn explains:

“I am a researcher on a Sky One programme called What’s Up TV. We are an arts and culture magazine show with a reach of 100,000 households, and we have a young demographic of 16-25.

“Every series we pick a campaign – this is generally a cause we feel deserves more attention – and this series our campaign is M.E.

“As part of this campaign I am producing an item on M.E. This item will give an introduction about the disease to our viewers – how it affects patients, and the challenges the community currently faces.

“As part of this it would be fantastic to feature the voices of people who live with the condition – this would entail people sending in short videos (no more than 20 seconds) of individuals speaking about the condition and their life to camera.

“This could be how having M.E. has changed their life, the medical treatment and support available to them or the level of awareness they believe M.E. currently has. The videos will be cut together and used as part of the item.

“The videos should be as high quality as possible, but a phone recording would be fine.


“They can be sent to my email address preferably in MP4 form and titled ‘My M.E. Video’.

“I would really appreciate your help in telling the story of the M.E. community.

“Below I have linked a couple of our previous campaigns, so you can get an idea of what we are working towards.

“Thank you.”

Robyn Macrory-Beaumont

Please be sure to send your 20-second video-clips to Robyn Macrory-Beaumont and not to the ME Association on this occasion. Thank you.


from ME Association



2018 CMRC Research Conference: Register Now for ME/CFS Bristol Conference | 25 May 2018


Registration is now open for the 2018 UK CFS/M.E. Research Collaborative conference, which takes place at the Future Inn in Bristol on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September.

CMRC Research Conference in Bristol on 19th and 20th of September at the Future Inn.

The conference aims to increase collaboration between researchers in the M.E. field and with those from other research/illness areas.

It is a fantastic opportunity for researchers and patients to network and learn more about the latest published and unpublished research, meet potential collaborators and contribute to future developments.

Registration fees for people with M.E. and their carers start from £50 for a single day’s conference pass to £250 per person (or £405 per shared room) for a two-day conference pass including drinks reception, delegates dinner and overnight accommodation.

This year the event will be open to everyone for both days (previously the second day of the event was only open to researchers) and the evening dinner on day one is also available to patients and their carers.

As the CMRC does not receive enough income to cover the costs of the conference, it is asking for this contribution, which is heavily subsidised to enable access to the conference for people affected by M.E.

Book your place now via the CMRC Eventbee page

The programme is still being finalised, but confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Derya Unutmaz, National Institutes of Health, USA
  • Prof Alain Moreau, University of Montreal, Canada
  • Mark Jones, UCB Pharma
  • Dr Luis Nacul, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Dr Eliana Lacerda, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Chair, EUROMENE
  • Dr Elisa Oltra, Universidad Católica de Valencia
  • Cara Tomas, Newcastle University
  • Prof Eleanor Riley, University of Edinburgh
  • Prof Frances Williams, Kings College London

Research abstracts

If you are a researcher and would like to submit an abstract for presentation at the conference, the deadline for submissions is Friday, 29 June, 2018. Submitted abstracts will be subject to peer review before acceptance. For more details see the CMRC Eventbee page.


With speakers’ permission, we aim to film each presentation to broadcast live and/or upload as a recording following the conference. Please note that, due to the presentation of unpublished data, some speakers decline to be filmed. Details of livestreaming and/or filming will be made available nearer the time; keep an eye on our social media for announcements.

More information

The ME Association are members of the CMRC Executive along with Action for M.E. who also provide secretariat support. Details about the conference will be made available on our social media or you can find information on the CMRC Eventbee booking page.

May 2018

Interview with Prof Chris Ponting, the new Deputy Chair of the CMRC

Prof Chris Ponting is also Chair of Medical Bioinformatics at University of Edinburgh, and a Principal Investigator at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine.

What inspired you to join the CMRC?

In a word: Simon. I’ve known [blogger and M.E. advocate] Simon McGrath more than a decade longer than the 20 years or so of his M.E. I have seen him on his better days and have been unable to speak with him on his worst. I have seen M.E. steal some of life’s ordinary hope and future. Simon has so much more to give in life than M.E. allows.

Prof. Chris Ponting, Deputy Chair, CMRC.

I started off my career as a physicist but then chose, instead, to try to use biomedical research to make a difference to people. It was a constant frustration that I couldn’t help Simon, and other people with M.E. Now is my chance.

All that I have seen or heard tells me that change is desperately needed and needed fast. Time will soon tell whether the Collaborative can help catalyse change.

A window of opportunity is currently open, and we have to take advantage of it before it slams shut, before the attention of decision-makers and grant-funders naturally turns to other areas.

This opportunity has been gained by the exceptional work of many people, but in my view most specifically [Unrest director] Jennifer Brea, in challenging how society perceives M.E.

Much work behind the scenes is pushing for change, or more precisely for the funds needed to deliver the robust, well-powered biomolecular research that might overturn prejudice and generate new hypotheses.

What is your view on the PACE trial and behavioural treatments for M.E. and/or CFS?

There have been several questions that I thought worth asking of the PACE trial team. So, early in May 2017 I sent through questions focused on the revised recovery criteria, and on the unblinded nature of the trial and its subjective outcome measures. Of course, I am disappointed not to have received any response.

The reanalysis of PACE data by Wilshire et al. shows that effects of CBT and GET are more modest than previously claimed. I agree with them that even these modest effects could be an unintended consequence of the unblinded trial design

What challenges are the CMRC facing right now?

To help to win a step change in M.E. funding; to gather a team of scientists who work with people with M.E. across disciplines to produce world-class science; and to create the “intellectually generous community sharing data, best practice and technologies” (alongside the Collaborative’s other recently announced values).

Our research should be curious, inclusive, questioning and open-minded, and we need to celebrate well-reasoned and evidence-based views. We need to listen. When we don’t know, we say so.

Prof Stephen Holgate is the right person to lead this: he founded the CMRC; he is he go-to person for funders; he is inclusive and generous; he is an internationally renowned clinician scientist.

Yes, we do not agree on everything, which is to be expected among researchers: “Disagreement is something normal,” the Dalai Lama said. It is not Prof Holgate’s fault that UK funders have not (yet!) funded M.E. research adequately.


from ME Association



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from Spiritual Seeker 77



Thursday, 24 May 2018

How Anger and Other Negative Emotions Affect Your Body

Have you ever been so angry that your face turns red, your body starts shaking, or you feel like you just want to hit something?

You can imagine anger like a volcano, building up pressure until the top just blows off. Or, if you’re like me, maybe you remember Bugs Bunny cartoons and watching the characters blow steam out of their ears. Lol!

When we experience the emotions of anger, there’s actually a whole series of biological effects that take place in the body. Here’s a really cool 2 1/2-minute video on the science of anger.

Anger is a natural emotion and it should be acknowledged. It can also be a catalyst for positive changes, like when we see an injustice that should be righted, when we witness another being hurt, or maybe if we’ve been taken advantage of.

But when we hold on to this emotion, or if we are quick to anger all of the time (like someone cutting you off in traffic) it can actually be toxic and degrading to our overall health.

That’s why we need the proper tools to release it, and to bring our bodies back into balance.

If you’d like some help with releasing anger, I encourage you to check out this Tapping Meditation. It’s great to use in the moment, and when used repeatedly, it can train your brain and your body to be less prone to anger.

Until next time,

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

Have you ever used Tapping to calm your anger? I’d love to hear about. Comment below!

The post How Anger and Other Negative Emotions Affect Your Body appeared first on The Tapping Solution.

from The Tapping Solution


#EFT #holistic #healing

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from Spiritual Seeker 77



spiritualseeker77:LMAO!! 😁 | Spiritual


LMAO!! 😁

from Spiritual Seeker 77



How to be free of over thinking

How to overcome obsessive thinking

Hi Everyone

I am sorry for not posting much recently, I have just been super busy with the audio book and updating the main site and this blog, mainly giving both a makeover and also making them both mobile and tablet ready. Every thing changes at a fast rate and so you have to constantly keep up.

I am also in the middle of creating a youtube channel and will let people know when this is complete. I will just keep adding helpful videos as and when I get the time. I will also be adding a lot more new content to the main site in the next few months and hopefully posting here more regular.

Well on to todays post. I am actually not going to copy and paste today, as the information has been created through me completely rewriting a page on my site, so I will just post a link to it. The subject is obsessive/worrying thinking and how to overcome it. This seems a real stumbling block for people, so hopefully the information can help people move forward with this. Just click on on the link below to access.

How to be free of negative thoughts and obsessive, overthinking.

from Anxiety No More Blog


#anxiety #stress

Karlite Diamond Quartz

For the last few years my friend Shawn has been finding this Devic quartz in his land in Ghent, NY. It was not until recently we were told first that it

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Sunstone Helps SAD Disorder & Awakens Cosmic Consciousness


Sunstone helps the depression related to the SAD disorder. Aids stress with its warmth and strength. Has properties that bring mental clarity and strong leadership abilities. Assists lightbody development.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Ayurvedic herbs, oils and diet for postpartum care

A new mother feels exhausted and tired after childbirth. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the choices made during the initial 42 days following childbirth plays a vital role in maintaining the...

from Ayurveda India – Ayurvedic Remedies | Holistic Health


#ayurveda #ayurvedic

Government Inquiry into support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) | 23 May 2018


22 May, 2018.

The Education Committee at the House of Commons is holding an inquiry into the Government’s policy on special educational needs.

This provides an opportunity for parents of children with M.E. to submit evidence relating to how they have managed to find suitable education provision.

For example, we have been hearing from several parents who have found it very difficult obtaining suitable provision for children who are 16-18 years of age, and other parents who have had problems getting suitable home tuition put in place.

While individual concerns will not be addressed by the committee’s inquiry, there are several points in the terms of reference (below) that may apply in the case of a child with M.E.

For example, assessment and support, roles of and cooperation between education, health and social care, and provision for 19-25 year old’s.

You can make a written submission on your own behalf, as an individual parent, or you might want to make a joint submission with other parents as part of a group.

The deadline for submission is Thursday, 14th June, so there is only three weeks remaining to contribute to this inquiry.

The inquiry

“In 2014, the Government introduced wide-reaching changes to the SEND system, with the intention of offering simpler, improved and consistent help for children and young people with SEND. The Government claimed these changes would give families greater choice in decisions.

“The Committee’s new inquiry is intended to review the success of these reforms, how they have been implemented, and what impact they are having in meeting the challenges faced by children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Terms of Reference – Call for written evidence

The Committee is inviting written evidence on the following by 14 June 2018:

  • Assessment of and support for children and young people with SEND
  • The transition from statements of special educational needs and Learning Disability Assessments to Education, Health and Care Plans
  • The level and distribution of funding for SEND provision
  • The roles of and co-operation between education, health and social care sectors
  • Provision for 19-25-year old’s including support for independent living; transition to adult services; and access to education, apprenticeships and work

More information

  1. To make a submission,
  2. Terms of Reference,
  3. Guidance on written submissions.


from ME Association



Carol Monaghan, MP, Parliamentary Questions on ME/CFS and Biomedical Research Funding | 23 May 2018


22 May, 2018.

Carol Monaghan, MP, tabled several questions about M.E. recently in parliament. This one about biomedical research resulted in a rather full response from the minister of state for health and social care.

Written Question 145357

Biomedical research funding

Carol Monaghan MP (Glasgow North West).

“To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding from the public purse he plans to allocate to biomedical research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the current financial year.”

Answered by Caroline Dinenage MP Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care):

“In the period in question, the major National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding for biomedical research was through its Biomedical Research Centres and Units.

“These support research funded by the NIHR itself and also research funded by other public, charity and industry research funders.

“The level of funding for biomedical research into chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) for each financial year can be found in the table below. The funding for this research came from a combination of funders.

Financial Year £
2014-15 280,442
2015-16 295,626
2016-17 130,958

“The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research funded by charities, research funders and life-sciences industry to be undertaken throughout the National Health Service.

“The level of funding for biomedical research into CFS/ME for each financial year can be found in the table below. The funding for this research came from a combination of the NIHR, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and medical research charities.

“Expenditure from the CRN coordinating centre itself is also outlined below:

Financial Year CRN funding for research, £ Coordinating expenditure, £
2014-15 134,769 17,485
2015-16 125,176 17,796
2016-17 82,866 7,821

Continuing priority

“The MRC spend on research directly relating to CFS/ME can be found in the following table. Research into CFS/ME is a continuing priority for the MRC.

Financial Year £
2014-15 652,044
2015-16 287,234
2016-17 286,197

Caroline Dinenage MP Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care).

“The NIHR and the MRC welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including biomedical research into CFS/ME.

“It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

“On this basis, it is not possible to say how much funding is planned in the current financial year.

“The NIHR recognises that CFS/ME is a debilitating condition and is speaking with the United Kingdom CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC) and patient representatives about how best we can support a joined up approach to high quality research into this complex disorder.”

Take Action

Please ask your MP (or MSP) to support the following parliamentary motions about M.E.

Click the relevant link below and you’ll find more information and a template email/letter you can send:

  1. Early Day Motion 1247 from Carol Monaghan, MP, which has now attracted 88 signatures in Westminster.
  2. Scottish Motion S5M-12207 from Gail Ross, MP, which has now attracted 46 signatures in Edinburgh.

The more support we can gain for these motions, then greater the chance the same MPs will support the call for a full debate which is currently being prepared by Carol Monaghan.

You can hear Ms. Monaghan explain the purpose of these motions in the latest episode of The ME Show – now available on our website and iTunes!


from ME Association



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from Spiritual Seeker 77



Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Preseli Bluestone Embody Strong Shamanic Merlin Energy

Preseli Dolerite

Preseli Bluestone is also called Preseli Dolerite. They embody deep mystical and magical earth energy and boost psychic gifts, stimulates courage and willpower. Strong grounding stones that aid discovery of past lives in Celtic Britain or ancient Egypt.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Monday, 21 May 2018

Datolite Enhances Problem Solving, Improves Memory, Boosts Psychic Gifts


Datolite are high vibration stones that heal grief and worry and aid contact with spirit guides. They help problem solving, improve memory and may boost psychic gifts. Comes in many beautiful colors.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

NICE ME/CFS Clinical Guideline: Draft Scoping Report Published Ahead of Stakeholder Meeting on Friday | 21 May 2018


By Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.

Last Thursday, the ME Association as stakeholders in the ME/CFS clinical guideline review received a draft scoping report from NICE.

The draft scoping report sets out the parameters by which NICE will create the content for the new guideline for ME/CFS and it will be discussed at the scoping workshop for stakeholders this coming Friday.

There will then be a short period of consultation, whereby stakeholders can feed back any comments or concerns about the draft scope, before the appointed guideline development group get to work on the main content.

The schedule is as follows (although this may be subject to change):

Scoping workshop 25 May 2018
Committee member recruitment 21 June 2018 – 19 July 2018
Draft scope consultation 21 June 2018 – 19 July 2018
Draft guidance consultation 14 April 2020 – 26 May 2020
Expected publication 14 October 2020

We will update you with more information following Friday’s meeting, including how to apply for the lay member recruitment to the guideline development group.

At this stage, please do not forward any comments about the content of the new guideline, or tell us what you feel is wrong with the current guideline.

We will let you know when we are ready for your feedback, and we are currently considering a survey for this purpose.

In advance of Friday’s meeting we just wanted to let you know what was happening, and show you the draft scoping report. Following the meeting, we will then ask for any feedback you might like to give.


  1. The 2018 Draft Scoping Report for the New NICE ME/CFS clinical guideline
  2. The 2015 Final Scoping Report for the Current NICE CFS/ME clinical guideline





from ME Association



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from Spiritual Seeker 77



Sunday, 20 May 2018

Rhodonite Crystals, Compassion, Forgiveness And Release of Fear

Rhodonite Egg

Rhodonite stimulates acceptance and forgiveness, aids emotional healing of relationship problems. It calms you when you're angry, fearful, panicky or stressed and helps you find hidden talents.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Clairaudience Can You Learn To Develop Your Psychic Hearing?

Herkimer Diamond

Clairaudience is clear hearing or psychic hearing of voices and astral sounds, that you can hear in your head. Learn to develop this gift and see the list of specific meditation crystals to boost this gift.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

spiritualseeker77:For those who’ve asked what book this is, it’s... | Spiritual


For those who’ve asked what book this is, it’s “Meditation: The First and Last Freedom” by Osho :)

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



Saturday, 19 May 2018

Ametrine Quartz Enhances Mental And Spiritual Clarity


Ametrine quartz crystal unites masculine and feminine energy, and connects you with Divine guidance. A lovely mix of yellow Citrine and Purple Amethyst energy, with some interesting qualities.

from Healing Crystals For You


#crystals #crystal #healing

Sutta Study: Yokes

sutta study yokes

Each month in Sutta Study, a new series on Trike Daily led by Insight meditation teacher Peter Doobinin, we’ll explore one of the Buddha’s suttas. The suttas, found in the Pali Canon, comprise the discourses the historical Buddha gave during his 45 years of teaching. Rather than philosophical tracts, the suttas are a map for dharma practice. In this series, we’ll focus on the practical application of the teachings in our day-to-day lives.

The dharma, the Buddha’s path, is described as a path of freedom. But what are we seeking freedom from?

In the sutta Yokes, the Buddha explicates four forms of bondage that dharma students learn to find freedom from: the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, the yoke of views, and the yoke of ignorance.

In the Buddha’s time, a yoke was a wooden beam affixed to the necks of oxen, attached to a cart filled with a heavy load. The word yoke also denotes a form of enslavement. Synonyms include: burden, oppression, subjugation, subjection, servitude.

The yoke of sensuality refers to the burden we carry when we engage in the habitual pursuit of sense pleasure. Our burden is not sense pleasure in and of itself; it’s the chasing after and clinging to sense pleasure. So, for instance, the sense pleasure provided by a smartphone isn’t the problem; it’s the constant looking at the phone—compulsively picking it up, putting it down, then picking it up again. We become yoked to the phone. This is what is sensuality means in the Theravada monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s translation of the sutta: when we engage in an ongoing effort to acquire sense pleasure, we become “obsessed with sensual passion, sensual delight, sensual attraction, sensual infatuation, sensual thirst, sensual fever, sensual fascination, sensual craving,” it says.

The second yoke is the yoke of “becoming,” with which we burden ourselves when we proliferate thinking, stories, and narratives. We may, for example, find ourselves engaging in a long inner narrative about the difficulties we’re having in caring for an aging parent. We may find ourselves going into this story again and again, over the course of days, months, or even years. When we’re involved in a state of becoming, our reality “becomes” something else. Instead of living in the present moment, we live in thought worlds. Most of us, most of the time, live in states of becoming.
Our views are another yoke. Again, our difficulty isn’t found so much in views themselves—the simple movements of the mind—but rather in the way we hold on to them. Of course, views are highly susceptible to holding on; they’re “sticky,” like the tar traps used in ancient India to trap monkeys, which is the simile the Buddha used. Perhaps we’re in the habit of holding on to a negative, critical view about the performance of one of our co-workers. Yoked, we entertain this particular view on a regular basis, day after day, until we can’t see it any other way. Even if the co-worker did a great job, we would only see the flaws. Entangled in our views, we become “obsessed with view-passion, view-delight,” the sutta says.

The fourth yoke is ignorance. When we take up the yoke of ignorance, we exist in a state of “not-knowing”—and not the kind of open-mindedness some Buddhist traditions value. Rather, this not-knowing describes when, we don’t pay attention to our experience. We’re not mindful. We’re not mindful of the way our body feels, of the unpleasant sensations that we experience on a humid summer day. We’re not mindful of the anger that arises when a friend criticizes us. We’re not mindful of our anxiety. Yoked by ignorance, we’re not mindful of our sense experience: the experience of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, bodily sensations, and the sixth sense of the mental qualities, including thinking and emotions. We’re blind, unaware, asleep.

Attached up to these four yokes, like oxen pulling an overloaded cart, we’re “conjoined with evil, unskillful qualities.” We’re riddled with desire, aversion, and delusion, and in a state of “suffering and stress.”

But unlike the yokes used on oxen, we put the yokes of sensuality, becoming, views, and ignorance around our own necks. It’s essential to understand this, because when we realize that we’ve put ourselves in bondage, we can then see that we are able to free ourselves from that bondage.


Freedom, the Buddha tells us, relies on wisdom, which enables us to “let go” of the four yokes.

In the sutta, the Buddha suggests five steps we can take in an effort to cultivate this wisdom, examining the following in regards to each yoke: origination, passing away, allure, drawbacks, and escape.

In seeing origination, we look closely at what occurs in the body and mind as we begin to become attached to the four yokes—we learn to pay attention, for instance, to our experience as we begin to engage in a form of sensuality. We may notice, say, that as we go on the Internet and begin to surf various websites, there’s a specific thought pattern that arises; maybe there’s a line of thinking that triggers a sense of urgency, that suggests that it’s critically important that open our laptops or pick up our phones.  Maybe there’s a corresponding quality of desire in the body, perhaps a jagged thrum in the chest or abdomen. We may notice that the breath shortens; maybe the in-breath is squeezed or constricted.

Similarly, we learn to be heedful of our experience as we enter into a state of becoming. As we begin to engage in a narrative about a difficult conversation with our son or daughter, we may notice that we’re triggered by fearful thoughts. We may notice a feeling of apprehension, a tightness in the chest. We may notice that the breath has become rough, out of alignment.
As we’re mindful of the qualities of body and mind that instigate our taking up of the yoke, we become more able to prevent ourselves from doing it. Once we’ve become obsessed with the yokes, it’s exceedingly difficult to let go of them; but if we are mindful of these four yokes before they become too oppressive, we have a better chance to free ourselves from them.

In being mindful of “passing away,” we pay attention to what it’s like as we unharness ourselves from the yokes. As we disengage from a sense experience like the Internet, we may notice a certain quality in the mind—perhaps a loss of interest or a weariness that comes after staring at a computer screen. Or we can consider what the mind is like as we put aside a view about another person or a political ideology. We may notice that the current of thinking begins to slow or turn in a different direction. We may notice that the emotion we have been feeling begins to dissipate. What’s the body like as we discard these views? What’s the breath like?

As we discern the origination and passing away of sensuality, becoming, views, and ignorance, we gain insight into the impermanent nature of these yokes. We understand that they are not fixed components of our human experience. We understand that their nature is to come and go, and that we’re not required to remain attached to these yokes. We don’t have to burden ourselves.

In seeing the “allure” of the yokes, we look to see what we find attractive about them. What pulls us to them? Each of these yokes holds an attraction for us, and we can learn to recognize this allure. As we begin to take up a sense pleasure like television, we acknowledge that there is a certain amount of pleasure that we derive from watching a particular show. We recognize what that pleasant feeling is like as we experience it in the body. As we propagate a negative view about a political figure, we’re heedful of the pleasure we get from condemning the person. As we enter into a state of ignorance, lacking mindfulness, we notice the enjoyment we receive from checking out. It’s important to recognize that we find a degree of satisfaction in taking up these four yokes. But when we’re aware of their allure, we’re less likely to give in to them.

In developing mindfulness of the four yokes, we recognize that while they are alluring, they also have drawbacks. In other words, we learn to see that if we take up these yokes, we suffer. As we pursue sense pleasures, as we reside in thought worlds, as we propagate our views, as we fade into the ether of not-knowing, we pay attention to the consequences. We pay attention to the body and mind; we recognize our suffering. We feel the pain, dis-ease, and stress.  

It’s important that we see both the short- and long-term drawbacks of the yokes. If I spend the next few hours surfing the Internet, we might ask, how is it going to affect me? If I allow myself to engender this narrative about how I don’t like my job, how is it going to affect me—my mind, my day, my life? How is it going to affect my ability to practice the dharma? How is it going to affect my ability to find true happiness? When we ask these questions and pay attention to the results, we become sensitive to the long-term effects of these yokes.  

Last, the dharma student learns to know the “escape” from the yokes of sensuality, becoming, views, and ignorance. The breath is the first escape that we learn. Chasing after sense pleasures, caught in whirlwinds of thinking, obsessing over our views, drifting in states of not-knowing, we find escape by putting the mind on the breath, and we take refuge in it.  

In finding escape in the breath, we separate from the yokes. We come to learn what it’s like when we put down these burdens. We realize that escape is possible. This is an important facet of discernment. There is a possibility of letting go. There is a possibility of freedom.  

Ultimately our ability to know escape will depend on the degree to which we’re able to cultivate dispassion for the yokes. In seeing origination, passing away, allure, drawbacks, and escape, we cultivate this dispassion, which is the final escape. When there’s dispassion for the yokes, we relinquish them. We don’t harness ourselves to them. We don’t take up the burdens. We are free.

The post Sutta Study: Yokes appeared first on Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

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Friday, 18 May 2018

Inquest Ruling: Young drama student Merryn Crofts killed by M.E. | 18 May 2018


By John Siddle, PR Manager, ME Association.

A devastating disease that some experts insist is all in the mind led to the death of a young drama student, a landmark inquest today ruled.

Merryn Crofts, 21, weighed less than six stone and had spent the last three years of her life totally bed-bound with severe ME – an incurable condition that affects 250,000 people in the UK.

The youngster was unable to take more than two teaspoons of food before suffering immense gut pain and vomiting, a coroner was told.

Merryn, from Rochdale, today became only the second person in the UK to have M.E. – myalgic encephalomyelitis – listed on a death certificate.

Despite being classed as a real neurological disease, many think the condition is not real – even within the medical profession.

Merryn’s mum, Clare Norton, sobbed as she told Rochdale Coroner’s Court how her “beautiful” and “energetic” daughter was left wheelchair-bound and reliant on tube feeding.

She said:  “As a child, she was a bundle of energy. She didn’t walk anywhere – she would hop, skip and jump.

“She was the kind of person that people gravitated towards. They wanted to be her friend.

“She was very social and loved drama. She was a total fashionista, a typical teenager. Her bedroom was a mess of clothes, hairspray and tan.

“But she was also stubborn, and I think that helped her cope with her illness in a lot of ways. She never gave up.”

In August 2011, Merryn, then 15, was diagnosed with hives and swelling shortly after coming back from a family holiday in Mallorca.

Tests in early 2012 revealed that at some point she had contracted glandular fever – a virus which can trigger M.E.

Despite dozens of medical appointments – including mental health checks for panic attacks – Merryn’s condition deteriorated as she suffered breathing problems, exhaustion and excruciating hypersensitivity to touch, light and sound.

She was eventually diagnosed with M.E. in the summer of 2012.

The would-be theatre star, who was forced to wear an eye mask, also suffered from severe migraines, brain fog, slurred speech and persistent infections.

Stomach problems, and problems swallowing, meant that her weight plummeted to just five-and-a-half stone.

Coroner Katherine McKenna was told that Merryn could take on just 100 calories a day because her gut was in so much pain, and that, by 2015, even two teaspoons of nutrients were intolerable.

Merryn was eventually fitted with an intravenous nutrition line but suffered intestinal failure and was given a terminal diagnosis in 2016.

She died on May 23, 2017, just days after her 21st birthday.

Mrs McKenna today concluded her cause of death as starvation caused by a withdrawal of supportive nutrition, caused by M.E. She described Merryn as someone who “bore her suffering with dignity and good grace”.


She said: “Merryn had suffered with M.E. since 2012 which caused severe fatigue, gastrointestinal failure, chronic pain, global hypersensitivity, loss of mobility and function.


“Despite extensive investigations no reason for her gastrointestinal failure which led to her reliance on supportive nutrition was found and it most likely it was caused by her M.E.”

Mum Clare, who attended the inquest with daughter Amy Williams and Merryn’s stepdad Dave Norton, told of her long-standing belief that M.E. contributed to her death.

She said: “With M.E. the key symptom is post-exertional malaise. That means if someone’s energy is pushed beyond what they can tolerate, it will trigger all their symptoms.

“The best advice we were given was for Merryn to do just 50% of what she felt capable of.

“But Merryn didn’t even have 50% to give. She was always crashing, so everything that happened to her kept pushing her further behind.”

Pathologist Daniel DuPlessis said that a post-mortem showed low-grade inflammation of nerve roots. It was suggested that this inflammation could have made her bowel hypersensitive to processing nutrients. 


Dr DuPlessis pointed out that Merryn had inflammation of the ganglia – gatekeepers to sensations in the brain. A post-mortem into the only other UK death attributed to ME, Sophia Mirza, 32, in 2006, also found ganglionitis. 

M.E. expert at Salford Royal hospital, Dr Annice Mukherjee, said she was convinced that the illness was responsible for triggering Merryn’s intestinal failure.

She said: “I haven’t come across a case of M.E. with life-threatening malnutrition before, but I have come across many patients with severe M.E. that are bedbound that have global sensitivity issues and severe gut issues.

“But every single patient with M.E. is different, so I never see the same case twice.”

The ME Association is at the forefront of improving access to care, treatment and research and removing the disease’s stigma.

The charity today called for Merryn’s death not to be in vain.

A spokesman said: “Firstly, the sympathies of the ME Association are with Merryn’s family today. We hope the result of this inquest provides some closure and allows them to cherish their memories of Merryn.

“It is essential that Merryn’s untimely death is not overlooked and the urgent need for proper recognition of, and research into, M.E. is recognised.

“In our present state of knowledge, we don’t know if M.E. can kill directly, but there are various consequences of having the illness that can increase the risk of early death.

“What we do know is this: M.E. is real. It’s devastating. It leaves people, at best, struggling to work. At worst, it leaves them enduring a tortuous existence, a living death, where they are unable to take their place in society.

“One in four are so severely affected that they are housebound, bedbound, and in some cases unable to shower, clothe, or feed themselves.

“People are taking their lives because they cannot bear the torture this illness brings. Others describe themselves as rotting behind closed curtains.

“Despite being recognised as a neurological disease, many doctors still don’t know how to diagnose and manage ME/CFS and lack or research means that we still don’t have any effective forms of treatment.

“This is a completely unacceptable situation for a disease costing the UK economy around £3.5billion in lost taxes, healthcare and benefit costs. There is no cure – and it will take a long time to find one unless research funding dramatically increases.

“How many more people have to suffer before M.E. merits properly funded medical research?”

Merryn, who loved acting, had dreams of attending a performing arts school in Liverpool and adored musical theatre like Billy Elliott and Wicked.

Mental health expert, Dr Ross Overshott, told the inquest that Merryn did not suffer a psychological illness, such as depression or an eating disorder.


He said: “She was hopeful for the future, she could speak in a very involved way about her hobbies and interests, particularly musicals and films.”

Before she died, Merryn revealed that she wanted her brain and spinal column to be donated to ME research. They were donated to the ME Association’s Ramsay Research Fund, which conducts research into the causes of the disease.

Palliative care doctor, Stephanie Lippett, helped to look after Merryn in her final weeks.

She told the inquest: “I’d never met anyone with M.E. before and when Dr Mukhajee referred Merryn over to me it was clear it was exceptional circumstances.

“On my first visit she was bedbound, and she couldn’t get up because of her dizziness.

“She was never really pain-free. She had incredible nausea which would not settle and had sensory sensitivities which made my job more difficult than normal.

“Palliative care is normally about talking and holding hands and I couldn’t do either of those, so I had to work differently.”

Dr Lippett said she was convinced that Merryn had severe M.E. and was in real, physical pain.


But she said: “There are a lot people, medical professionals, who questioned the M.E. diagnosis and questioned whether it was psychological on Merryn’s part.”

Mrs McKenna said a summary of the rationale behind her conclusion would be released at a later date.

Outside court, the family welcomed the inquest conclusion.

They said in a statement: “Today’s ruling is proof, as if proof was needed, that M.E. is a real, physical disease. It is a devastating and cruel illness that has robbed us of a beautiful daughter and sister.

“We have never wanted Merryn’s death to be in vain and we hope this inquest conclusion is a milestone in the way that M.E. patients are treated from now on.

“This is the outcome that Merryn would have wanted and we take comfort in the hope that more will now be done to benefit the 250,000 people in the UK who suffer from M.E.

“Merryn was desperate to raise awareness of M.E. and donated her brain and spinal column to research into the illness.

“But more research still needs to be done.

“We call on the government and NHS to drastically increase medical funding as a matter of urgency, so no family has to endure the torment that we, and so many others, have.”

Inquest Conclusion: Narrative.


The ME Association is at the forefront of improving access to care, treatment and research and removing the disease’s stigma.

For more information on ME, or to donate towards medical research, visit

For press enquiries, contact or phone 07598032845.


from ME Association



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A Record-breaking ME Awareness Week 2018. Thank You Everyone! | 18 May 2018


Russell Fleming, Content Manager, ME Association.

Whatever you managed to do for ME Awareness Week, thank you! It has been our busiest yet – in so many ways – and while many events continue to take place, we thought you might appreciate a review of the progress that has been achieved.

Website and social media

We witnessed double the number of usual visitors to our website during last week, with more people not only following our blog posts but also viewing the What is ME? section and showing more interest in symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

The ME Awareness Week page also proved a great success with three times as many people visiting compared to the week before, and many people taking advantage of our free leaflet download offers.

On social media our Facebook reach broke all previous records.

More people than ever before received posts from the ME Association in their newsfeeds.

Either because they follow our page, or their friends do, or because posts were actively shared, or through the promotions we made; our week-end total reach exceeded 325,000 – an increase of 146% on the previous week!

An awesome team of fundraisers

A record number of fundraisers walked, ran, knitted, sang, baked and went the extra mile for M.E. and for the ME Association, and we remain in awe of them all.

Helen Hyland, our fundraising manager, is now working to catch up with each and every one, to make sure that they are OK, and to thank them for their magnificent efforts.

Keep an eye on our ME Awareness Week Events Guide, as we’ll update it with photographs of everything that went on, as soon as we can…

Our ME Awareness Go Blue for M.E. campaign will remain open for just a few more weeks. There are a great many more donations to be added to the page total, but if would like to help us perform our vital role, please donate anything you can afford.

While we continue to catch-up with the work we were unable to do because of the sheer volume, we’re also thinking about next year, and hoping to build on our experience and on the relationships we have established.

Please let us know what went right, how we did, what we might have done better, and what you’d like to see us doing more of next year. We are hear to listen and we want to do even better by you next year.

MEA Trustees and Staff

Neil Riley:

The JustWalk event at Goodwood was one of the best ever with a number of walker’s from the ME Community helping to raise awareness of M.E. and funds for the ME Association. Our chairman was there to meet and greet, and to see them all safely home.

Dr Charles Shepherd:
Radio interviews, TV interviews, Unrest promotions (including at Stormont in Northern Ireland), ReMEmber Sussex conference, the Newsbeat ‘M.E. and me’ documentary, and The ME Show.

Stephen Kerr, MP, and Helen Hyland.

Helen Hyland:

Helen was not only busy working with our many fundraisers and helping organise a multitude of events up and down the country, she also worked with Stephen Kerr, MP, in Stirling on an initiative that will help raise awareness of M.E. and improve patient relationships with GPs. And, she gave a very good speech at the #MillionsMissing event in Edinburgh talking about the death of her husband who had M.E.

Nicki Strong:
London #MillionsMissing demonstration.

Ewan Dale:
Edinburgh #MillionsMissing demonstration, Gail Ross MSP event at Holyrood, and Unrest promotions.

Parliamentary Motions

Carol Monaghan and Gail Ross both launched parliamentary motions during ME Awareness Week designed to garner support from other MPs and MSPs.

Please contact your representative and ask them to support these motions. The greater the support, the greater the chance of a full debate on M.E. in Westminster.

Click either link below to find more information and a template letter:

We don’t have a deadline for these motions, but they are unlikely to remain valid for more than a couple of weeks.

Media Summary

This is a summary of the media events that took place during (or just after) ME Awareness Week and where, for the majority, the ME Association had direct involvement. We worked hard to get your stories into the local and national media, and the articles that follow feature people who responded to our various appeals for case studies.

Perhaps our main achievement has been working with BBC Newsbeat who not only produced an excellent documentary, but also pushed for M.E. to appear on the radio and television. We were also delighted by the response to our new podcast series – The ME Show – which Gary Burgess launched with a riveting interview with Jen Brea (producer of the award-winning documentary, Unrest).

Getting our messages out to the news media, increases the chance that people beyond our own community become aware of the real M.E. We all then hope that this added awareness will help extinguish the stigma and the myths that surround M.E. and will lead to more understanding. With better understanding, perhaps we will see more people seeking a diagnosis, improvements in healthcare and even research funding.

It’s a lot to ask from a single week, but this year saw a greater level of involvement than ever before and I think it fair to say that media in general has been more receptive to our approaches and more willing to publish stories about the real M.E.

BBC Documentary

If you haven’t been able to watch it yet, then please do. It’s well worth your support. Please ‘like’ it on YouTube or watch it on BBC Newsbeat iPlayer. The more the video is viewed and shared, the higher it will feature in the rankings – and the greater the chances of other people becoming aware of M.E.

MEA Podcasts

The ME Show with Gary Burgess got off to a very good start at the beginning of ME Awareness Week. We’ve given it its own dedicated page on our website, you can watch the episodes there – they will update automatically – or you can subscribe via iTunes or other podcast platforms.

‘Fantastic and vital!’

‘Beautifully-presented, insightful and much needed podcast which shines a light on the ME/CFS community and their suffering.’

Review: @JackCroxall

Episode One: Jennifer Brea and Robert Saunders
Episode Two: Dr Charles Shepherd
Next Week: An interview with Carol Monaghan, MSP, MP who held the PACE trial debate recently in Westminster, has an early day motion in place and is seeking a full debate on issues relating to M.E.

MEA Research

MEA Blog


  • Spirit Radio: Interview with Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association. Now a podcast.
  • BBC Radio 1: Newsbeat – Interview with Dr Charles Shepherd x2
  • BBC Radio Five Live: Interviews with Dr Charles Shepherd and with Dr Luis Nacul (ME/CFS Biobank).
  • BBC Radio Five Live: Drive: Emma Donohoe (Newsbeat documentary presenter) and Jen Brea (Unrest producer) talk M.E. and speak with others affected by the disease.
  • BBC Radio Five Live: Up All Night: Feature including interview with Dr Charles Shepherd.
  • BBC Radio Newcastle
  • BBC Radio Solent
  • BBC Radio Oxfordshire


  • BBC 1 Breakfast: Dr Eliana Lacerda (ME/CFS Biobank) and Emma Donohue (Newsbeat presenter).
  • BBC 1 North West Tonight: Interview with Merryn Crofts’ mum and sister.
  • ITV Granada Report: Moving video and interview with Merryn Crofts’ mum and sister.
  • Channel 4 News: Interview with Cherry Millar’s mum and focus on London demonstration.

Print and Online Media

Still to come:

Keep an eye out for the following – though we will of course let you know when they’re published!

  • New! magazine: feature ‘M.E. is real and devastating and more needs to be done’.
  • Sunday Express: feature.
  • BBC long-read: feature including the Real M.E. campaign – photos and stories.
  • Outland magazine: opinion piece.

Recently published:

The ME Association

We help people with M.E. and their families.

If you would like show your support for our vital work then please donate whatever you can afford to our ME Awareness Week Just Giving campaign – Go BLUE for ME.

If you want your donation to go towards research, then please leave a note in the comments and we will ensure it reaches the Ramsay Research Fund.

Help us continue to make the UK a better place for people with M.E.


from ME Association