Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Sarahpro on July 15, 2020, 02:55:47 AM

Title: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 15, 2020, 02:55:47 AM
Hi there,
I have been struggling for 3.5 months now. Some fear came up in March and instead of accepting it, I resisted it. My once radiant heart became very empty and painful. I was not practicing formal meditation but just awareness in day to day, but came from goenka tradition previously.
As the fear comes back again and again (even with medication) it just does more mental damage, taking a piece of my heart and making me go further into darkness. I cannot find enjoyment in anything, I cannot focus on anything, I cannot feel my body very much (to me love within correlates with awareness of body)
I cannot meditate, I just get lost in sensations.
Time has not been healing, it has been creating more friction.
I really want to open my heart to love again and find equanimity. I have been totally stuck for months now.
I googled Om Mani Padme Hum. Reading that it can purify the minds/hearts of even hell beings, lol it made me feel optimistic. Is there some sort of thing I can do. I have tried loving kindness and it doesn’t really work that much. I am in therapy and I am able to do emotional release sometimes but then the fear comes back and just rips my heart out again .
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 15, 2020, 01:28:58 PM
Hi Sarahpro

I'm sorry to read you 've been struggling for some time now.

Is there some sort of thing I can do.

Yes! Take a step back...

It seems - from what you write - that you’ve experienced for yourself that resisting the fear is not helping (maybe on the contrary), nor have you found any escape or bypass strategy. Time alone also doesn't seem to help.

So what do you make of this? What can you learn from it?

Kindly
Alex

Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Dhamma on July 15, 2020, 06:06:38 PM
Dear Sarahpro,

I am so sorry to hear that you are deep in samsara.

Don't resist the fear, but learn to sit with it. If you begin to shake, let yourself shake and lie down. Try to do nothing at all when the terrible feelings come. Don't force anything. Sit with it as long as you can. At the same time, do this in moderation: if the fear gets too intense, and you think you're going to faint, then back off. Don't put yourself in hell, but go as close to it as you can.

The Holy Buddha promised that all things shall pass, even our darkest moments. Happiness is waiting, if we "just be." Even our darkest moments are just thoughts generated by the mind. They have no inherent existence, no matter how terrifying they may be. I promise you that, and so did the Holy Buddha.

I suggest you try to TRE therapy. Though it's not a Buddhist practice, it's a very effective and simple exercise that helps us "shake off" our fears (animals "shake off" their traumas and fears). No Buddhist would be opposed to this. It's just lying down and let your body release built-up traumas and fears. You do nothing but trigger a "shaking off "period. This will help you realize that your all states are impermanent as you see things being released in your muscles; and, it will help you in your Buddhist practice, to see that your mind affects your body. Let the body go, let the mind go. Yes, our thoughts get entangled in our bodies. Buddhism emphasizes too much the  idea that our minds affect our bodies, and "not" the reverse: that our bodies affect our minds. This is where the yogis are more correct. That said, I am still a strong Buddhist overall in my beliefs.

May you, like me, and all others fulfill our deepest wish: to be forever happy.

Peace and enlightenment.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 17, 2020, 08:35:56 PM
Thanks for the responses , kind people.
I don’t know if I am learning anything.
I have resisted the fear for 4 months now, my mind now lost equanimity. When the fear arises, I do not feel I have a choice to sit with it. I am waiting for love and equanimity. This has happened in the past. I resisted fear for a year, and then my heart spontaneously opened, and a few days later the fear came and I just went into it.
So right now I am not waiting to face the fear but waiting to heal. My heart is reluctant to open. I am trying everything - therapy, healing etc. Maybe it IS working and I am still just stuck in negativity.

It is not just the fear that I am waiting to pass. It is this state of lack of eqUnimity. I am waiting for love. I am worried it will not come because my ego is too strong to let it in now.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Thanisaro85 on July 18, 2020, 03:21:32 PM
Quote from: Sarahpro link=topic=3670.msg36484#msg36484 date=1
[/quote

I am resisting very hard not to reply this thread, as I am afraid that I am not getting what is going on with the thing you are facing.

Sin on me if I am wrong🙏.

1. I assume you do not have a very strong foundation of meditation.
2. If possible, don't meditate. Maintaining awareness is good enough.
3. Do deep but slow breathing for at least 1 min everytime u remember.

Do you know how awareness can help?
It help by identify the feeling as a individual eement, which can be later on separated from the "you".  ( later on mean if you do it constantly with result, be realistic)
Also, it help to interrupt the continuous flow of the unpleasant feeling. That moment when you are aware of the mood, you can actually feel neutral for a short while, few seconds. Please watch the YouTube video which illustrate how the man singing interrupted the cat angriness. It works the same way. But we just need to do it( like the man) so constantly to break the chain of unpleasant feeling.

https://youtu.be/XYcFKgox2Y4

Will the traumatic feeling get away? Highly likely not, so this is the exercise(awareness) we need to keep doing until it become a habit.

Have you ever train for 100m run?it is as hard as that if you are not a born althele. Its painful and tiring and it months to years to become good, but just push on. You are already in a living hell, what could be worse than training interrupting with mindfulness?

The above is the spiritual part.

For physical part, tell your doctor that the medication is not helping. Whatever medicine that they prescribed should minimise the pain you going thru, not worse. Perhap a change of doctor too.

1. Drink at least 8 cup plain water per day.
2. Exercise moderately, even long distance walking is fine.
3. Be talkative, it works by distracting you from the lousy mood.
4. Sun, various vitamins*(check with your doctors),believe in it.
5. Cut down caffeine/sugar if needed.


Last but not least, ARE YOU WILLING to overcome the current situation? We may ask for advises and helps but sometime we are so overwhelmed by the pain and got use to submerging it, unknowingly.

Unless you understood how meditation works or how to go about it, doing it blindly is not going to help unless you hit the jackpot by chance.


May the kindness of reverend Father Pramote help relieve you from the pain.

https://youtu.be/uNy5FrcBIpQ
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 19, 2020, 04:05:36 AM
Thanks for responding ..
The thing is, people keep encouraging me to practice mindfulness but I am already aware of everything . Just lacking equanimity. I see all the thoughts in my head, and they come, and I’m like fuuuuck this isn’t getting anywhere. It’s just hard to start with very little equanimity. I am looking for love and equanimity.
I wonder about mantras like Om Mani Padme Hum, can they help open me up and surrender my ego mind.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Thanisaro85 on July 19, 2020, 10:08:34 AM
Thanks for responding ..
The thing is, people keep encouraging me to practice mindfulness but I am already aware of everything . Just lacking equanimity. I see all the thoughts in my head, and they come, and I’m like fuuuuck this isn’t getting anywhere. It’s just hard to start with very little equanimity. I am looking for love and equanimity.
I wonder about mantras like Om Mani Padme Hum, can they help open me up and surrender my ego mind.

I hope u have watch the video I attached, the talk by Reverend father. There might be answer to your need.

In your message my impression is that you are suffering from anxiety. Could u describe at least 1 day of activities going thru your body and mind? Are you saying that during awake times you do not have even 10 mins of peace? And your mind is running non stop?

Note that even accomplished meditators and monks, need some medications to relieve some symptoms

You could chant Om mani padme Hom. Remember to make a wish for the remedy to your situation after chanting. If do it faithfully , constantly, someone may appear in your life to help you. It can be anyone from doctors to spiritual teacher, or even a road sweeper, no pun intended.

Or alternatively,  you could chant Namo Avalo Kite shavarah. Read about Avalo kite.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalokiteśvara
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 19, 2020, 11:31:28 AM
Thanks for responding ..
The thing is, people keep encouraging me to practice mindfulness but I am already aware of everything . Just lacking equanimity. I see all the thoughts in my head, and they come, and I’m like fuuuuck this isn’t getting anywhere. It’s just hard to start with very little equanimity. I am looking for love and equanimity.
I wonder about mantras like Om Mani Padme Hum, can they help open me up and surrender my ego mind.
It would be interesting to explore what you mean by "I am already aware of everything". Mindfulness is going beyond observing both what is out there and what is happening in your mind goes deeper into, for example, why the thoughts in your head are as they are. Equanimity can be seen as the end point of practice, the result of enlightenment perhaps rather than something you are "just lacking", which, I think, could apply to most of us here, or why else are we here? If you are stuck on mindfulness then perhaps you need to explore other areas of practice, since mindfulness is only one strand of the path.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 19, 2020, 04:55:18 PM
By being aware I mean I am just aware of the content but doesn’t stop me from having a really hard time with it, with releasing it and finding joy and meaning. I don’t know what else I could explore. People have suggested metta which is also super hard right now.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 20, 2020, 05:18:52 AM
Also, no, not ten minutes of peace, I cannot remember what peace is like. My ego is constantly working. Only peace during sleep I’d imagine and even sleep I’m active in my dreams
I just want to somehow be above my ego mind but I can’t find the gap between thoughts
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 20, 2020, 10:12:42 AM
Maybe concentrate on yourself for a while. There are plenty of 'feel-good' meditations out there to help you in how you feel about yourself. Lots of us found it hard to feel good about ourselves, to relax and enjoy the meditation which will then help us enjoy what it means to be ourselves. A combination of relaxation meditations and counting the breath once I was relaxed helped me when I was a teacher, stressed out by teaching in a busy school and running a household on very little money.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 20, 2020, 10:38:53 AM
The thing is, people keep encouraging me to practice mindfulness but I am already aware of everything . Just lacking equanimity. I see all the thoughts in my head, and they come, and I’m like fuuuuck this isn’t getting anywhere. It’s just hard to start with very little equanimity. I am looking for love and equanimity.
By being aware I mean I am just aware of the content...
I don’t know if I am learning anything.

Sarahpro, I can see how much you just want to feel better...
And this is not happening, because there are things to be learned. Life is asking something from you.
If you haven't learned anything about your predicament in the last few months that's proof enough that there's a lack of understanding the problem/solution.

About attention

There is primitive type of attention in threat-like situation: attention is narrowly focussed (on perceived threat), shifts involuntarily (to threat cues). There is low level of present-moment awareness. The focus is on content of our thoughts. In science this is called bottom-up attention.

The more cognitively complex attention (that allows for skilfull emotion processing) on the other hand shifts flexibly, to the full range of internal and external inputs, it is more open and inquisitive, ready to learn. It can monitor and guide the process. This is called top-down attention.

Try to shift away from the content to the process of what is happening. Notice you're having a thought instead of being fused with the content of the thought. Notice what your experience is like, it's more of a bundle of toughts, feelings, physical sensations, memories or associations, there is so much to explore!

For example the thought "fuuuuck this isn’t getting anywhere" is a thought. You can beleive it's content and let fear or despair run free, or you can detach from the thought and choose to look at the process. "I'm having the thought. It's creating arousal. I feel it in my stomach or (wherever you feel it)." etc. This is present moment awareness or mindfulness and (to the degree possible) equanimity. Equanimity doesn't mean absence of unpleasant experiences, it just means you 're able to stay with these experiences without losing your mindfulness. Being at peace with the experience of fear.

Minfulness, acceptance, metta, therapy... all these (and many other) practices aim to shift from bottom-up to top-down attention towards these normal human experiences (like fear or other intense emotion like anger).

About the process

But it is a process and... it... will... take... time!   :'(

You will have to do it again and again and again... untill you (your body-mind) learn(s) how to handle these unpleasant internal and external events in a skilfull way.
That's just the way it is. I'm sorry you're suffering, but wishing to find a fix, complaining you're not finding the escape, is just prolong your suffering. Can you see that?

It is hard, but you can do this work, with your therapist, with the help of meditation or other practices, because we're all doing it... in our own way... feeling, exploring, learning our way out of the suffering.

You're not alone in this, but only you can do this work. The choice is yours. What are you willing to do yourself? Are you willing to stop avoiding and fighting your fear, so you can become familiar with it and learn from it?

Kindly
Alex
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 20, 2020, 05:34:22 PM
Thank you so much Alex. Incredibly helpful. Yes I can see how I am self sabotaging and mindfriking again and again. I am addicted. Maybe this will be my last forum complaint
The issue is due to this dissociation it is getting harder for me to actually feel my emotions...I am quite numb so without feeling it it’s hard to really be that equanimous observer. I can work on thought level for sure though, but just seems like running on a hamster wheel. But I have to try
And the fact that I can’t currently sit with the fear means it is doing increased damage ie making me feel more separate from others....creating new layers of ego separation....this is a reason I post on forums, cuz I don’t know if mindfulness alone can help....until I get to some point where I am able to totally let go and love rushes in again and am no longer separate...that’s the goal anyway lol
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 20, 2020, 08:40:44 PM
Ya so I am just having a hard time fathoming what the work could look like. If things are worsening over time- social withdrawal, apathy, disconnection, feeling less engaged in life - I just don’t know how being mindful and not feeding my thoughts will help. I guess the idea is that I’d let go of the attachment TO these phenomena happening.
Also I don’t know how I’m not friked cuz I mean my ego structure is just strengthening more and more, the part of it that feels so separate from everyone and everything. I don’t know how simply working with thoughts, can help. It doesn’t ameliorate the suffering, I can be mindful of my thoughts but still feel so bored and disconnected from whatever I’m doing, just waiting to feel something again. I know you said this will take time. I just haven’t seen any progress at all. People say I haven’t really started. Maybe this is true, here I am complaining.
Like a typical day is me in the garden just bored and waiting for it to finish, or playing volleyball and noticing feeling disconnected, and not wanting to do much else, just go on forums and figure out how to get spiritual deliverance. I do not see how working on thought level, can help. But maybe even the Buddha himself would say not to heed all these thoughts and just focus on the present moment. To me the present moment is so empty though. I guess that’s just another judgment. A lot to let go of. Worried my clinging ego will never let go.
Finally , in my dark night of the soul a couple years ago it ended when my heart spontaneously rose into love and equanimity during an intimate encounter. Is it reasonable to believe I can recreate this? I am just so obsessed I don’t know how to stop it, but I don’t know how to be ok with life with an unopened heart and lack of joy etc, and don’t see how working at thought level can do this
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 21, 2020, 09:48:25 AM
Hi Sarahpro

Thanks for sharing some more.  It’s making crystal clear that you’re stuck in a web of your own thoughts. And it confirms you haven’t really started.
Your coping strategies have just been strengthening your thinking, tightening the web more and more. I guess this is what you mean when you write ego is getting stronger.
This is also the reason why you’re disconnected from your body and others. Attention is not able to connect to your senses, there is no receptivity; negative thinking and judgements are blocking your experience.

Ya so I am just having a hard time fathoming what the work could look like.

Well that’s a thought  ;) And it reveals a rule you live by. “I have to understand and know where it’s going before I do this.”
You might let that hold you back, and continue with your old strategies that semm unhelpful… but consider this… if this practice is leading to a NEW perspective, or a NEW relationship to thinking, then how would you be able to understand that NOW?
Maybe the whole point is to be confused, to not know where this is going, and because you have a little faith in this practice... to feel your way forward, and learn, and then to arrive at something new, gain a little insight, let go a little, become a little bit more free…. and build on that…

And yes, this is hard to just be an observer and feel the way that you do.
As a fellow human being, among a group of fellow human beings on this forum.. we know it's hard. But it can be done, one breath at a time.
We are all here because we chose not to run away from (the unpleasantness that is inevitably part of) the experience of being a human being, and instead to the radical opposite: PAY ATTENTION and learn.

You are welcome to join. But ask yourself “Am I willing to commit to a different strategy?"

Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 21, 2020, 06:10:31 PM
Ok.... thanks for this
So is it reasonable that if I ignore all my thoughts I can break free....?
I wake up and have these thoughts of “I feel so empty” “I feel so disconnected” “it’s getting worse automatically” “I don’t want to do anything” “I want to sleep forever” and then I get up and it’s just about getting thru the day...... so ya working with therapist she says to tel let mind to shut up but my mind is trying to help me feel some happiness although clearly not working....
I have just been watching things steadily get worse since April. Back in April I was joking and laughing some, and could coherently understand my thoughts, and was doing some activities with engagement.
It’s just hard to be with what is.
I am expecting some magical spiritual breakthrough- that if I am mindful enough and can detach, I all of a sudden WILL feel like engaging again and will feel some happiness..... sooo ya I am very stuck in a web of my own thoughts but it also feels like underneath there is nothing....currently no love or joy in my heart even if I do try to feel it...so what to do
And the reason I was feeding my thoughts so much since April is that it was accompanied by great anxiety. So I could hardly sit still and be with it, and therefore would reach for the phone and message my therapist. For example I’d be playing a game and would have thoughts of evaluating how I am doing and judging myself and feel anxious and beg to use my phone to message her haha. Anything to make this stop. So you are right, I have not really started yet....I have not truly just let it be, no matter how uncomfortable...cuz I don’t know how long this will go on for.
Even back in April when I was way more clear and together and in my body, I would feel anxiety about things worsening, and it would take a ton of stamina to sit thru it and not complain. Now, I am so dissociated from my body it is just so hard to exist. All I have is the promise that if I just carry on, ignore my thought, ignore the anxiety, that things will get better. I do not really know how this works
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 21, 2020, 09:33:35 PM
Hi Sarahpro

We are repeating ourselves:
- you think all these thoughts are helpfull and you know they're not
- what you're going through is hard (I hear you, and I'm very sorry it's been like that for a while now)
- you're not willing to sit with the uncomfortable stuff unless you know for how long you will have to

So, enough with the words, just a reminder that you are dodging the question: are you willing to commit to a different strategy, to use your capacity to make choices, to do the work yourself, not knowing how and when it would help you?

And if you're not, what would you need to say "yes"?

Kindly
Alex
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 21, 2020, 10:27:35 PM
YES....I am.....no matter how disconnected from my body, how apathetic I am, how separate I feel from others, no matter how big my ego is gotten....No matter how much worse I worry it’s getting and moving further from myself/the goal.....I guess I MUST carry on and just do, and not complain ..... and trust........?
I guesss I worry this is impossible . Partly because I cannot feel my body really so how am I supposed to sit with the discomfort. It’s all just thoughts I’m sitting with. And partly because of the fully dissolved ego structure thing. We need a healthy ego in order to dissolve it- and that’s ultimately what I want to do; to experience love I suppose...? Am I wrong... but ya I worry that my unhealthy ego will just build and build since my mind is panicking and fully exposed..... But that’s a thought too, that it’s impossible. And it’s been programmed into me...and the Buddha did say nothing is impossible....but it is a fact that this fear I resisted is kinda corroding me so I worry that until I am able to face it it will destroy my spirit....! Ok I don’t care about that I just want to be free from my mind and let in love
Just to clarify what the work is.::: being with the thoughts. And not feeding them or identifying with them (even if some are true such as things are getting worse)
Am I right?
And well I guess I need to know that this work will lead to my ultimate goal which is love.
From my experience love happened when I let go and stopped thinking so much.
Sounds easier said than done. Each moment there is a problem.
But
Eventually
This
Would
Be
Nice. 💖💖
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: JvilleJeff on July 21, 2020, 11:40:57 PM
Give it time, time heals all
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 22, 2020, 12:50:49 AM
Time has only been making things worse but maybe my impatience and negativity is fueling this
And I also want to ask...can this work EVEN if my mind has been descending further into the dark? Complete darkness, not moved by even the cutest kitten, completely hardened, well almost. And this has gotten worse, back in April I was crying and crying in moments of love.
Also about the equanimity. I have been resisting the fear for months now. Not as a choice- well the first month or so was a choice, because I was told by some people that the fear was an external entity I had to fight, so I actively resisted. By the time I tried to accept it it was too painful and led to panic. Now I’m so in my head I can barely connect with the fear energetically. It’s all just a mess of thoughts, panic, and reactivity. Ok I know these thoughts aren’t helping either but I am really caught in a catch 22.
My only hope is that if I work at thought level and detach myself this will open up some magical portal of equanimity to get back in my body and accept the sensations. Technically this is what has happened before I guess.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Thanisaro85 on July 22, 2020, 05:45:31 AM
Quote from: Sarahpro link=topic=367y0.msg36496#msg36496 date=1595274044
Y - I just don’t know how being mindful and not feeding my thoughts will help. I guess the idea is that I’d let go of the attachment TO these phenomena happening.
Like watching them and you become peaceful or normal?
No, it doesn't help the way you think.  It does not work like a pill that sedate you in a min. At least Not at this point.

As you are aware of your thoughts, the sad, anxious feeling is still there and will be there, but still, you continue to watch them and see them pass. I know you already well verse in this inside out, what you may not understand is that at this point, the low feeling will still be there. That is what make you struggle.

What awareness of the mind is-  to segregate the arising of the feeling, to disassociate with the thoughts. The feeling is one entity, the thoughts is another entity. Even if there are no thoughts, the feeling is Still there, no peace, no comfort.

So next, because when you are mindful of the thoughts, they stopped. It just work that way, but of course the powerful thoughts ejecting machine that is temporary working abnormally, will continue ejects thoughts non stop immediately.

Let's say you manage to stop the continuous thoughts  for a while, you turn to look at the feeling, look at the feeling, just look at the feeling, and look at the feeling.....it subsided .....you may be also be familiar with this...idk...

Then, unfortunately, you have peace for a short while, then wrecking feeling came back again. The heavy feeling just follow you every day. Like you feel like you don't see the light ever.....it is just not the same anymore.

Coming to term with it you might see changes, not kudos to it. Like managing a new body, new mind.

My anxiety still kicks in anytime, triggering non stop scary and ridiculous thoughts. But mindfulness allow me to interrupt the thoughts and then the feeling( not 100%). Still pacing up and down at my home, but it subsided quicker than ever. The cold feet feeling will still be there for the whole day or sometimes the next day. Tomorrow the state of mind is entirely different.

The overall experiences from a normal person to the current state is entirely different, but I learnt to accept it, and I am pretty happy now. At least I know the differences between a normal person and people who suffer from all these mental disturbance, and that i can understand and sympathise with them, and help them as much as I could. I was an angry person, but never a hateful person in the past.












Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 22, 2020, 05:55:50 AM
Thanks for this, yeah I’m constantly aware of the thoughts but it’s just hard to feel heavy as you said, feel no joy or love etc. As I mentioned as for the anxiety feeling I’ve gotten so dissociated from my body that I don’t really even feel it, it’s just thoughts plus a TON of aversion, nothing can quell the aversion - except the thought that I WILL get better. So ya mindfulness right now is me waiting to feel again
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Thanisaro85 on July 22, 2020, 05:56:31 AM
Time has only been making things worse but maybe my impatience and negativity is fueling this
And I also want to ask...can this work EVEN if my mind has been descending further into the dark? Complete darkness, not moved by even the cutest kitten, completely hardened, well almost. And this has gotten worse, back in April I was crying and crying in moments of love.
Also about the equanimity. I have been resisting the fear for months now. Not as a choice- well the first month or so was a choice, because I was told by some people that the fear was an external entity I had to fight, so I actively resisted. By the time I tried to accept it it was too painful and led to panic. Now I’m so in my head I can barely connect with the fear energetically. It’s all just a mess of thoughts, panic, and reactivity. Ok I know these thoughts aren’t helping either but I am really caught in a catch 22.
My only hope is that if I work at thought level and detach myself this will open up some magical portal of equanimity to get back in my body and accept the sensations. Technically this is what has happened before I guess.

depression and anxiety all in one pack. 

I hope that there are one, just anyone person here or any forums, can lead you to light. I always believe in affinity, frequency and chemistry. Pray, Sarahpro, pray sincerely.🙏🙏🙏
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 22, 2020, 11:35:35 AM
There's a useful Ted Talk by Zindel Segal here, https://www.mindful.org/the-mindful-way-through-depression-video/ (https://www.mindful.org/the-mindful-way-through-depression-video/) which may help. He was the co-founder of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, made famous by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 22, 2020, 06:43:15 PM
Thank you...I actually got a book on depression by him....I just don’t see how it could help though haha. I am already aware of the little sensations in my body I can feel, and I am aware of all these negative thoughts, but can’t seem to climb out. My therapist WAnts me to actually work with the thoughts like shift them into positives and insists this can create change on a deeper level. I am filled with doubt but obviously it doesn’t feel great right now to continually tell myself I’m f**ked and have no chance.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 22, 2020, 07:49:22 PM
Hi Sarahpro

The reason I come back to this question of willingness is because of this: If you feel you have other avenues for relief or healing from your difficulties, you might just want to pursue those. It is only when you have thoroughly seen that the habitual solutions not only don’t work but might be the problem, that you are ready to commit. And commitment is necessary because 1) these practices are not going to do the work for you and 2) develop the fruits of meditative practices is like building small step upon small step: every present moment is an opportunity for positive change as well as an opportunity for strengthening the problem (addiction, judging or avoidance strategies). It is the relative balance of those steps forward and back that will determine your progress.

So, we have already established that the constant stream of thinking is part of the problem. Maybe it’s good then to focus on those?

The thing with thoughts is they act like an alarm. As if a bear or lion were standing in front of you the thought “This is not going to work” or “I have no chance” will trigger a fight/flight/freeze stress response, inciting you to action and take care of this problem, or freeze if you think there is no solution.
Your mind will probably go in overdrive to find the right solution. Now if a bear were standing in front of you, it would make sense for your threat-system to hijack all attention resources (bottom-up, remember?), so that all resources are directed towards the problem (bear) so that you can fight or flight.
Whereas, in the safety of your house, and with the goal of finding peace, love, joy or equanimity, the same stress reaction makes no sense at all. It is keeping you imprisoned. Does this makes sense to you?

So how to break this pattern?

The trick is to remember that it’s a thought, a sequence of words in your mind. What you want to do then is to learn to detach, to disengage, to disidentify, or to defuse from the thought. These words are all meaning approximately the same, but I reckon it would be helpful to lookup "defusion & Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" on Youtube.
Another way of saying the same is to see that the thought in question is not personally relevant. Yes, the thought is personal, and yes, it’s relevant in some way because it might convey some kind of information, but it is not personally relevant to allow for your attention resources to be hijacked. For the goals you have (climbing out of your difficulties) it is not relevant. You want your attention resources freed up, and your stress level lower so you can develop qualities like calm, joy and peace.

So, detaching from thinking will create a little more psychological space, biological arousal will decrease (just enough) for you to redirect your attention. In meditation we use the breath as an anchor point. You will find good instruction for shamatha (calm abiding) on the homepage of this forum. Other practices develop other qualities, but for the purpose of working with thought and calming your threat-system, working with shamatha is fine.

Basically that’s it. No point talking about it anymore, but do the practice  ???
And, oh yes, some encouragement... don’t get your hopes up. You are only at the beginning, benefits come in small steps. And it’s gonna be tough, this will be a struggle, and will require numerous repetition. But it can be done. All of us on this forum have been and aredoing this, and you are kindly invited to join. You have a functioning body and mind, time and willingness, which is all you need.
Having little expectations also has the advantages of being able to see what actually changes instead of realizing the same boring thing "This practice is not meeting my unrealistic expectations"  ;)

Good luck!
Alex
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 22, 2020, 07:53:05 PM
Quote from: Ajahn Chah
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.
If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 22, 2020, 09:53:37 PM
Ok thank you so much Alex. This is very clear. BUT
I have one more thing to add which I guess I have already said
I don’t know if the issue is only the constant steam of thoughts? But it is the lack of connection and love. Well I guess that is a thought/judgment too.
But even when I feel like I am calm I feel a lack of it and lack of feeling like doing ANYTHING. Like even if the thoughts weren’t there I’d still not really feel like doing any activities. The only time I feel like it is after an emotional release I feel a brief burst of energy. But otherwise it’s just a constant stream of suffering- apathy and aversion to everything , no matter what the content of my thoughts
Can this practice like you said make more room for that to come in......?
Yes it will be a very slow process I am sure
I also don’t know if samatha is the best for me and here’s why....dissolving my sense of self opened up a ton of neuroses including my own breath so..while my body IS breathing automatically...my ego mind has taken control over it and is grasping in a way. I mean we are all grasping for air but ya I feel like my mind got involved with this too. Maybe I should focus on something like my feet
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 23, 2020, 08:37:58 AM
Hi Sarahpro

I don’t know if the issue is only the constant steam of thoughts?

Off course it’s not the only issue. But it seems a good place to start.

As for the other isssues, let's be humble, we 're still figuring it out, and that will be so much easier if we're able to tame the neurotic mind a little, so we can see what's really there instead of what neurotic mind is projecting. But here's a guess about other contributing factors:

Like even if the thoughts weren’t there I’d still not really feel like doing any activities.
 

There is the physical component as mentioned above: As a result of all these dynamic your body is still flooded with stress hormones and energy is low. This will turn around eventually.
And there is a also mental component: you have lost faith, given up. You can look up the concept of ‘learned helplessness’, “Whatever I do, it won’t help me.” So this conditioning needs to turn around again until you reach something like: “I am, by my choices and actions, able to create a life that fulfills my needs.”
 
Can this practice like you said make more room for that to come in......?

So, in conclusion, to the above: YES. But you have to start somewhere. Doing the practice will show all other aspects that require your attention soon enough.

I also don’t know if samatha is the best for me.
Maybe I should focus on something like my feet

You can explore for yourself if that works for you. Especially in daily life attention at the feet might help to ground yourself.
It seems that there is also an opportunitie for you to learn in shamatha. To learn to remain aware and let the grasping dissolve … instead of grasping to control the grasping. As soon as you feel ready for this, I would recommend it, but you can explore for yourself.

The important thing is that you start doing.
Doing = experiencing and leads to learning. And to be able to do that, you need to first learn the difference between thinking about experience (like judging and complaining) and actually experiencing things as they are even the unpleasnat experiences. As we can, so can you.

Kindly
Alex
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 23, 2020, 10:44:09 AM
Thank you...I actually got a book on depression by him....I just don’t see how it could help though haha. I am already aware of the little sensations in my body I can feel, and I am aware of all these negative thoughts, but can’t seem to climb out. My therapist WAnts me to actually work with the thoughts like shift them into positives and insists this can create change on a deeper level. I am filled with doubt but obviously it doesn’t feel great right now to continually tell myself I’m friked and have no chance.

Even if we can't help directly at least be aware that people here will listen. Sometimes it's enough to know that somebody cares.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 23, 2020, 05:34:32 PM
Okkk thanks for the responses. The conclusion here seems to be for me to DO, as much as I don’t want to....ok fine
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 23, 2020, 09:42:16 PM
Ok there is more. I really think that things are getting increasingly worse and worried they won’t stop. So fear keeps persisting, and therefore my ego walls strengthen, mental activity gets more erratic, I feel more distant from the world, completely apathetic, empty etc etc. I know I have said this already
It is equanimity I long for again. I realize the idea of everything getting worse is what I have to fight back on. But there just isn’t something for my mind to anchor on, because I don’t want to DO ANYTHING. My mind doesn’t find fascination in anything, everything is boring besides talking about my mental state and going on forums etc. So I am constantly just waiting for something to change, waiting for awakening, equanimity, love etc, which only pushes it away.
I worry I just won’t be able to surrender my mind ever. I know this is a choice...but my choice to cling is very very conditioned. I don’t know a way out of this
I know this is thoughts too, I know this complaining is all thoughts, there just isn’t an anchor that can cheer myself up and keep me busy, it’s a constant effort to just stay awake and alive (I mean if I could relax enough to sleep all day I definitely would) soooo yeahhhh just waiting for things to be different....waiting for myself to be different. I know the practice is all about acceptance. But how Am I supposed to accept TOTAL apathy, social withdrawal, inability to focus on even light conversation or movies, boredom, lack of safety within.....how can I do this without waiting for things to change. This is kinda new agey too but I feel I am totally in my sacral chakra right now too, completely stuck in duality and can not relate to anyone at a heart level......social relationships are Almost fully dead at the moment
My only hope is that if I commit to just watching all these thoughts float by and trudge through the day as painful as it is...and as disconnected and numb and out-of-body I feel.... and for as many days or months as this will take......that I can break free somehow....attain equanimity...somehow
It really is hard like in every conversation I am trying so hard to focus and get thru it, and waiting for things to end. Like I said all I have is the prospect of breaking free. But so far, only feeling more and more trapped in my ego, even the breath, every breath exhausting. What can I do???? Just watch it all happen?
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 23, 2020, 10:40:41 PM
Hi Sarahpro

Wow. I can feel the agitation and despair in my gut. I’m sorry you feel this way.
I’m also sorry there ‘s nothing I can say to make it better. I’m glad you have a therapist who can help you work out which course of acion is best.

I sincerely wish for you to find the escape, or encounter a miracle.

You know, I’ve been in a similar place where you are, and the only thing that I could have wished the old ‘me’ was not to stress as much. When you do the work, healing will come, but it takes time.
The trust I feel in life or myself comes from going through the struggles. “No matter what life throws at me, I know I will work my way through it.” I know what sadness is, I know what fear is, and I know how to work with them. I know what tricks my mind can play on me and what happens if I let myself go down certain roads, how stuck you can get. This trust could not have developed if I had not been prepared to accept and work with whatever was on my plate back then, and still now. I don't know if that makes sense?

Anyhow. Respect your insincts. You're not convinced this road is for you now, so follow what you feel is best. I’ve done my best to outline a logic why doing these contemplative practices work. Why working with thinking is a good place to start so that your stress level are in a more optimal range to pursue your goals. The option will still be here when you’re ready for it.

Kindly
Alex
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 23, 2020, 11:14:26 PM
Oh thank you....it’s not like I have any other course of action in mind. WhT I have in mind most of the time is helplessness. What I desire from doing the work- detaching from thoughts - is to somehow find love and joy again, which I’m sure you would not have shared if it weren’t the case.
Thanks for sharing you’ve been through a similar time. I guess I really have a hard time trusting the process when things are getting worse I know I have said this a lot.
And it isnt just the sadness or fear, it’s the lack of equanimity. So it’s not like I’m currently in a state of fear that when it passes, I will be ok. I’m in a state of lack of equanimity and therefore love and connection within. That’s why I have had so much resistance to just working with my thinking. That’s why I imagine some spiritual reward for noting mind states etc and doing the work- that eventually I will have this magical detachment from my own mind and finally connect with the beauty all around me and within.. Can you speak to this?
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: eatyhappy2000 on July 24, 2020, 01:21:30 AM
I've no idea if this is a good suggestion, but when you mentioned love and joy as well as being able to appreciate the beauty of the world, I thought of loving and kindness meditation (Metta I think is what it's called?). Basically, you sit down and rather than focusing on the sensations your body is feeling, it focuses more on your emotions. More specifically it allows you in theory to appreciate and to wish happiness upon certain things or people depending on who or what you focus on. While on paper I think it'd be a good idea for you to practice, I'm in no way a professional. You did also say you feel fear during meditation so I'm not so sure about the idea. It's up to you to try it out.

Still though, stay strong, and I'll be hoping you, at some point in time do get better.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Thanisaro85 on July 24, 2020, 03:01:07 AM

Keep writing here....dun stop. Say prayers to ask for help everyday....you just need the correct switch to connect you to the flow.....yes, you may need the little anger to keep you going....


My prayers : may all the good deeds i have done, the kind thoughts i have ever harnessed to all my friends and relatives, animals in this and past millions lifes, manifested now, to lead one benefactor to save me from this mental agony.  Let me develop the mental and physical strength, to overcome this calamity.










Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 24, 2020, 08:22:01 AM
Well, what I understand is that you just want to feel better. And that, even after more intense emotions quiet down, you still feel stuck in a baseline of apathy and emptiness. Also, not seeing the effect of your efforts is discouraging, amen to that  :'(
So you feel as if there is no reward which would reinforce your efforts. Instead you are asked to trust, to have faith, and that’s hard, when every cell in your body seems to scream the opposite.

From my perspective, the constant stream of evaluative thinking is – even though understandable – a part of the problem, it’s a sustaining factor. It also makes a person blind for small changes that do appear. For example if stress or tiredness is usually at 80% most of the day, then it would be an improvement to have it at 70% most of the day, even though that would still not be enough to let in the joy and love. Take a moment to really take this in. This IS an improvement. Incase you feel a reaction inside, you can tell yourself this: "Yes, evaluative mind, this is not where you would like to be. But I, wise mind, am learning to trust in such small signs of progress. I wish for myself to develop patience."  ;)

Refering to a model I used before, it’s as if you’re saying “Even after the bears and the snakes have gone by, I’m still stuck with this lion. I really need to get away from this place.” The result is that, as explained, your threat-system is active and hijacks all attention resources.” Evolutionary there is no point in looking at small beautiful flowers, when your life is in danger. And this system is biased towards (perception of) danger, better be safe then sorry.
What you're invited to see is that you’re actually fine. Your reality is unpleasant, fair enough, but it’s really okay, it's really okay to soothe yourself, to stand still and let this whole thing wash over you. You won’t die. You can have it. How hard it might be, you can have it. And you have time to look at the small things and smell the flowers, so to speak.”

There is this idea of a magic solution… so alluring...
There is actually something magic about the present moment. It is an opportunity for radical change. It is an opportunity to explore, find a passageway, a shift in your perception. Finding a moment of softness, of reassurance, of calm is such a beautiful thing. But that little flower will be squashed by the threat-system the next moment when you make contact with (the memory of) apathy again. When mind evaluates that it is not where it wants or is supposed to, then it will not consider the small things, the memory of that little moment of calmness is already gone. Maybe you're thinking "But I don't even have that." Maybe, but know then that such a moment is just one moment away from you, just one moment. But don't expect it to be lasting. Life or human experience doesn't do "lasting". Everything changes and is dependent on conditions.

But what I don’t get is this: That’s why I have had so much resistance to just working with my thinking.

That’s why I have had so much resistance to just working with my thinking.

I don't get this conclusion, though. Thinking and feeling (and behavior) are intricately linked. Even though your focus is on lack of equanimity and love, it still makes sense to pay attention to thinking and learn to defuse them. Actually, right there, when I say “even though your focus is on lack of equanimity and love”! That’s where your focus is, that's where your attention is, that's what you think about, all. of. the. time. Whereas your focus might be anywhere else, for example on things more beneficial for working towards your goals. So knowing your thinking, knowing where your focus is, and what the consequences are thereof, is a crucial part of your recovery. I don't know if you can see that? I don’t know if I’m able to explain myself well ;)
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 24, 2020, 05:10:45 PM
I guess it’s like.... I feel trapped in this thing right .. in my ego. And so even small moments of happiness I’ll say “well what’s the point if I will just go back into the same thinking”. What I am looking for is somehow surrender.... to be not so attached to my mind... to feel love and joy when they come and not be so hardened...
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 24, 2020, 06:38:19 PM
So your mind/ego is sending you the message “Well, what’s the point of a small moment of happiness, if I will just go back into the same thinking”.
And when it comes to making choices, you follow the messages your mind/ego sends you, even though you feel trapped by that same mind/ego, even though you know that paying attention to such messages has not led to some new angle in life or a move in the right direction…
Because this mind/ego also sends you messages of some kind of permanent surrender, some kind of freedom that will magically come, although it never does.

I wonder what messages your mind/ego is sending you when you read this?
And I also wonder what you, the human being who can report on these messages feels about those messages...
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 24, 2020, 08:57:21 PM
What went through my mind was that yes, it does seem useless to feel these small moments of happiness if I’m just going to stay trapped in the same thinking. I know that is the mind. Again and again. Right now my mind is sending me messages that it is hopeless , that surrender is impossible, that things are worsening , that ignoring my thoughts won’t do any good besides push down some worry for now but the lack of joy will still be there. How I feel about this is shitty, trapped, just overall shitty and desperate
So....I guess I really need to just IGNORE MY MIND......even despite feeling a lack of joy and motivation and love constantly etc etc.....despite feeling so withdrawn....
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 24, 2020, 10:44:04 PM
Yes... it seems difficult to navigate in that trap your mind has created, not knowing which way is actually forward.

It also seems that you are starting to see more of a choice in whether you pay attention or not to these messages mind sends you. But, if you're not sure, don't feel obligated... keep asking yourself: is paying attention to these messages going to contribute in any way to help you move closer to your goals?
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 24, 2020, 11:13:46 PM
Thank you this is good advice...I mustn’t forget to do that
Its honestly like every breath is exhausting, evaluating , judging, it’s non stop, that’s why I get disappointed when the happy moments don’t “pull me out” cuz last time I was trapped in  strong ego I did have an experience Of sudden spontaneous love and equanimity that did pull me out of it permanently, this is why I am yearning for such a thing again
So just to clarify...the main work is to see the thoughts as thoughts right ? And this has potential to be successful even if I can’t really feel/work with my body and emotions?

This is really a catch 22 cuz I AM feeling more withdrawn from myself and others and I don’t think it’s just thoughts I feel like it’s at a metaphysical level. Feeding the thoughts hasn’t been helping though. So...have to try something else...but ya I really feel like the change has to happen on a METAPHYSICAL level ie surrender somehow and let in love...could be wrong
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Dhamma on July 25, 2020, 02:19:29 AM
Talk about no equanimity (I am angry at a person on another Buddhist forum). I'm struggling right now, even thought it is something super minor.

On another Buddhist forum, I got attacked viciously for mentioning the necessity of Right Speech and how many Buddhist don't practice it. I got accused of being "self-righteous", which was never my intent (It's all about intention, right?). I made it clear that I wasn't trying to look down on anyone, as I, myself, need to clean up my own language.  Right speech is simply often not practiced on said forum. Although the forum is useful to learn about Buddhism and meditation, many of its participants treat each other with no respect and no compassion.  That said, there are those on there who are lovely and kind, but the overall impression I have been getting over the past year has been one of "nastiness."

So, when being genuinely kind and loving, I get accused of being horribly self-righteous. What bothers me isn't so much the insult, but it's the total disregard for morality by self-claimed Buddhists.  If you try to be moral and make a point to tell others that Right Speech is essential in Buddhism, you get screamed at. In fact, the tables get turned, and you become the wrongdoer. LOL.  One can easily say that something is wrong or immoral without being judgmental. But on the forum, you can easily get accused of being self-righteous and judgmental.  It is sad: morality seems dead on there.

Anyways, my point is this: there is no enlightenment without morality. We build our meditation practice on a foundation of morality. They are inseparable. That said, I understand that morality alone without meditation will not bring enlightenment.  We love ourselves and others without blame and guilt, but we still need to recognize our defilements when they arise, and learn to stop committing them. Meditation makes see why it is so wrong to engage in defilements.

The video posted by Father Reverend Pramote posted by Thanisaro85 makes this abundantly clear. We must be moral!
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 25, 2020, 08:34:35 AM
Yes, recognizing that the thinking is not helping, doesn’t actually make it stop. Sometimes mind seems to chatter non stop.

So just to clarify...the main work is to see the thoughts as thoughts right ? And this has potential to be successful even if I can’t really feel/work with my body and emotions?

Yes, recognizing thinking and having the skills to 1) not react to the messages mind tells you or 2) to be able to disengage when inevitably (!) you do get sucked in, is a big part of the work.

Somehow I get a sense mind is interfering in this, saying something like “I’m only prepared to do this when there is a guarantee of being successful?

The thing is, we have already established that paying so much attention to the messages your mind sends you is not helpful. In addition to these massages not being helpful, could it actually be that these messages are (part of) the problem? Could this worrying, ruminating, the judging actually be (part) of the problem?

If you were to answer this question positively, then wouldn’t it make sense to learn to see thoughts as thoughts just for the sake of it, because not seeing thought as thought just leads you to a place you don't want to be?
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 25, 2020, 08:36:44 AM
..cuz last time I was trapped in  strong ego I did have an experience Of sudden spontaneous love and equanimity that did pull me out of it permanently, this is why I am yearning for such a thing again

Can you tell us something about that? How did this happen? What were the circumstances? How long did it last? And why you feel that this was a metaphysical thing...
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 25, 2020, 08:38:47 AM
@Dhamma

I wonder what messages your mind is sending you about what happened on this other forum? Are these messages feeding your anger? And do how you go about disengaging/disidentifying from this thinking when this happens?

Much metta ;)
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 25, 2020, 02:25:09 PM
Sarahpro,

I see right at the beginning you came from Goenka tradition. I've read the entire thread and I think it is possible for you to move beyond this very tight, frightened, hard ball of emotional reactions you are becoming.

Goenka practice is not balanced with calm and relaxation given equal measure to insight and awareness. It can be a damaging practice, as with any forced practice, for those with underlying trauma or unprocessed deep wounds.

If you go to the homepage and click through to the "calm abiding" meditation this form is much better suited for someone in your position. You will need to forget what you know and come from a beginners mind perspective.

From personal experience, I think you have also been offered some very good advice above not to immediately identify with thought, but to recognise it as thought, so an amount of this "labeling" practice, especially early in the day as you form your habitual stance, could be a powerful tool. "Oh, there's that thought again about x, y, z...". This will put some distance between the thought and identifying with the thought - it can create enough of a gap to allow some light in.

Also earlier, Peter Bercelli's TRE was mentioned as a process that might benefit you. I would encourage your consideration of this. TRE works to take the heat of of bodily held trauma memories through non verbal practice. It works. It is very useful. You can do half a dozen sessions one on one with a practitioner and it's enough often that after this you can do it without help.

Clearly you are quite distressed at the moment. The final suggestion I will raise at this point, is don't forget to breathe. Breathe deep when you awake, and let go of your worries, take time during the day often to stop and check, "how am I breathing?". You will likely find your breathing is shallow and tight and mainly in the upper chest. So breathe deep, into your belly, and with each breath in, relax, and with each breath out, relax. Two minutes of that practiced frequently will start enervating your vagus nerve, resulting in a shift of your base state from "fight/flight" to "rest/digest".

Be well, you can do it,

Matthew
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 25, 2020, 05:21:34 PM
Thanks for the advice here...
Yeah disengaging from the thinking is I guess important here. I just keep making sure because again even if I had a head full of positive thoughts, I’d probably still feel withdrawn  and unmotivated etc. The thoughts are part of the problem yes but I don’t know how much . I guess spending time disidentifying them will help me find out.
But yeah so I was in kinda a dark night for like 10 months, pretty strong ego, in my head, worried I’d go crazy, not super happy. But after ten months I was making out with this random guy and just focused on my breathing and awareness and all of a sudden I filled up with love and burst into tears. I started living life after that. Anxiety and depression still came, but I had the equanimity to transmute and release it, rather than just drowning.
How this is metaphysical: fragmentation is occurring...so, i FEEL more separate from other people, experientially. I feel more out of my body. I feel my heart less empty. I feel like socializing less and less.
Again, about the breath, I am constantly aware of breath and it feels like my ego mind has taken control over it. Again I feel it has to do with the ego dissolution thing- it showed me too many of my buried neuroses at once, the breath being one of them...
Anyway I got an insight from the universe yesterday that I need to trust my therapist (and therefore you guys too) and stop feeding my thinking so much and let it go
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Thanisaro85 on July 25, 2020, 05:24:30 PM
Talk about no equanimity (I am angry at a person on another Buddhist forum). I'm struggling right now, even thought it is something super minor.


Hope you are doing fine now. 🙏🙏🙏.

I understand your predicament. I meant few night back I was having a walk with my family and I 
Was sharing with my elder how angriness in him toward some people can return to him. And told him I am a good example he should not follow if he don't want to be in my shoes.

A lack of mindfulness for a short while, a cyclist came from behind and rings non stop for us to give way and immediately my temper flared up as we were already walking one single file for hin to pass,  so I turn around to look at the cyclist, but seeing him an elderly my empathy arised. But the fuming state never subside equally  But of course in while i see how lacking of mindfulness of our body and mind we can suffer instantly.

If I could be stay mindfulness all the time, the ring would be just a ring the mind will not allow " the cyclist is just so rude, can't he see we already given way to him, what does he want" type of story to be fabricated or form in our mind.

Sorry to digress from Sarahpro thread little

Dhamma, Just hope you are doing fine now.



Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 25, 2020, 05:36:19 PM
Sorry to digress from Sarahpro thread little

As far as I’m concerned this is right on track...
We’re talking about mind and conditioning keeping us trapped in pointless negative thinking and feeling if mindfulness is low, when meanwhile our deepest aspiration is to be equanimous, compassionate, loving and develop joy and gratitude, etc.
 
;)

Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 25, 2020, 07:41:15 PM
Just to describe more what I’d happening. ... I am with my grandma. I feel no bond with her whstsoever. I keep waiting for things to be over, can’t enjoy the moment. Emptiness inside. Horrible thoughts of self esteem that have only worsened. I promised I would trust my therapist to tell my mind to shut up but I don’t see how Things can change by just ignoring my thinking ....?
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Dhamma on July 25, 2020, 07:42:11 PM
@Dhamma

I wonder what messages your mind is sending you about what happened on this other forum? Are these messages feeding your anger? And do how you go about disengaging/disidentifying from this thinking when this happens?

Much metta ;)

I am so thankful for your kind response.

My mind is telling me, "This man is trying to drive me nuts by downplaying morality, and it's making me think my whole Buddhist practice is for nothing" (which I know is completely false). There is no reasoning with this person, making me think, "Is there any solid ground on which I know what is true and right"?

Right now, I do feel better and a bit less angry. I am getting more aware of impermanence, my silly ego, and resting in the "pure" mind of just being without judgment and delusion.

Thank you for caring and extending your metta.   :)   I give much metta to you as well.



Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Dhamma on July 25, 2020, 07:51:07 PM
Talk about no equanimity (I am angry at a person on another Buddhist forum). I'm struggling right now, even thought it is something super minor.


Hope you are doing fine now. 🙏🙏🙏.

I understand your predicament. I meant few night back I was having a walk with my family and I 
Was sharing with my elder how angriness in him toward some people can return to him. And told him I am a good example he should not follow if he don't want to be in my shoes.

A lack of mindfulness for a short while, a cyclist came from behind and rings non stop for us to give way and immediately my temper flared up as we were already walking one single file for hin to pass,  so I turn around to look at the cyclist, but seeing him an elderly my empathy arised. But the fuming state never subside equally  But of course in while i see how lacking of mindfulness of our body and mind we can suffer instantly.

If I could be stay mindfulness all the time, the ring would be just a ring the mind will not allow " the cyclist is just so rude, can't he see we already given way to him, what does he want" type of story to be fabricated or form in our mind.

Sorry to digress from Sarahpro thread little

Dhamma, Just hope you are doing fine now.


Thank you so, so much. I am doing better today.  I am just tormented a bit by the illogical nature of the person who has angered me. It's more the fact that he's not making any sense, and that he's trying to downplay morality/defilements. We must be moral, yet this person thinks Wrong Speech is acceptable Buddhist behavior -- it is clearly NOT. He thinks saying that hateful speech isn't really that bad. Wrong view! But I am not trying to look down on him like I am better.  Self-righteousness is also wrong.  It's like a mouse on a wheel. I decided to let it go. Done.

I feel better after receiving responses on here. It has helped, but so does my meditations, of course.

Father Reverend Pramote is amazing, by the way! :)

Much love in the Dhamma.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 12:57:54 AM
Thanks for the advice here...
Yeah disengaging from the thinking is I guess important here. I just keep making sure because again even if I had a head full of positive thoughts, I’d probably still feel withdrawn  and unmotivated etc. The thoughts are part of the problem yes but I don’t know how much . I guess spending time disidentifying them will help me find out.
But yeah so I was in kinda a dark night for like 10 months, pretty strong ego, in my head, worried I’d go crazy, not super happy. But after ten months I was making out with this random guy and just focused on my breathing and awareness and all of a sudden I filled up with love and burst into tears. I started living life after that. Anxiety and depression still came, but I had the equanimity to transmute and release it, rather than just drowning.
How this is metaphysical: fragmentation is occurring...so, i FEEL more separate from other people, experientially. I feel more out of my body. I feel my heart less empty. I feel like socializing less and less.
Again, about the breath, I am constantly aware of breath and it feels like my ego mind has taken control over it. Again I feel it has to do with the ego dissolution thing- it showed me too many of my buried neuroses at once, the breath being one of them...


That's a lot of words.


Quote
Anyway I got an insight from the universe yesterday that I need to trust my therapist (and therefore you guys too) and stop feeding my thinking so much and let it go

Whatever helps you cross the bridge.

Just breath, and let go ... feel the breath move the body - thats about all you need to do to meditate. When you think, notice, stop, breath... rinse and repeat :-)

Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 02:34:35 AM
Haha yes it’s a lot of words but it’s my reality... so... yeah I mean again really supposed to stop feeding my thoughts here. But the present moment itself seems empty of joy, it’s all just judgments and evaluations, even the breath itself. I have not gone more than one day of just accepting though so I can’t really say how effective it is. Of really seeing The thoughts - incl all the ones of “this is getting worse” etc, as just thoughts.

I await another awakening if I do this long enough, if I distance myself from thoughts. Seems unlikely right now due to how much my mind is clinging but .... anything is possible
I realize this is a thought itself but how I don’t see how this shouldn’t go on forever...I am deeeeeeeep in the dark, my ego has such a strong hold and almost zero equanimity. Nothing gives me pleasure. Ok I will continue to work and ignore thoughts....
Like I’ve mentioned even the breath isn’t an anchor for me to let go....my ego is involved with the breath...nowhere to hide
I mean my body does breathe automatically cuz obviously during sleep I am surviving but during the day my mind is grasping and clinging...

I just can’t stop thinking about the experience that brought me out of the dark a few years ago. I was in a similar place- but with a much more stable mind...and was so sure I’d be stuck in lack of equanimity forever...and then yeah one day with this guy time just stopped and I felt such pure love and equanimity. This was the start of my journey...I just worry so much that I compromised my heart so much and I was given such a gift of purity that allowed me to blossom....I mean of course there is no saying it CANNOT happen again but I have trained my mind to grasp intensely for months now. Right when things got bad, I noticed my lack of love, and desperately tried to open my heart. Every time I felt some love, I obsessed and hoped it would be the experience to pull me out. But really what I was and am looking for is an experience of the gap between thoughts - the absence of craving/aversion. I am literally waiting for that experience. How can it ever come when the mind is constantly craving/averting. I guess that’s the whole point of letting go of my thoughts.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 04:28:46 AM
Ok I know, more words but....
Seriously... well that insight about trusting my therapist really got to me but there are just so many BUTS.
BUT:
I am getting less and less social
I have no sense of self anymore
I can barely feel the sensations in my body anymore
The emptiness is growing
I have no interests anymore and am only caving further into myself
I don’t feel a bond with nearly any creature
I am so disconnected to my body that even after a full day and hours of volleyball I am wide awake
The fear keeps persisting and lessens my equanimity and creates more of these symptoms

Despite all of these...challenging my thoughts is the way out ?!
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 26, 2020, 10:59:32 AM
Ok I know, more words but....
Seriously... well that insight about trusting my therapist really got to me but there are just so many BUTS.
BUT:
I am getting less and less social
I have no sense of self anymore
I can barely feel the sensations in my body anymore
The emptiness is growing
I have no interests anymore and am only caving further into myself
I don’t feel a bond with nearly any creature
I am so disconnected to my body that even after a full day and hours of volleyball I am wide awake
The fear keeps persisting and lessens my equanimity and creates more of these symptoms

Despite all of these...challenging my thoughts is the way out ?!
Challenging your thoughts may be way down the line for you right now. I know what you are going through, "The thought isn't real" sort of thing. Such thoughts are real, of course, but they are only constructs of our brains. Unfortunately thoughts change your brain, developing pathways which can be measured, and taking charge of new neurons developed in another part of the brain. The aim of therapy is to reduce those pathways and enhance others. This is a real, measurable thing.

It doesn't matter how they get reduced, whether by challenging the thoughts, or ignoring them, or replacing them or whatever. The important thing is to understand that change can  be real and lasting. Of course, it can all be changed back until, apparently, you achieve enlightenment, but the brain is so flexible and plastic that they can be changed once again.  Anything you think or say or do can bring about changes. The key for lots of people is to work on excessive rumination, so anything which distracts is useful. Mental activity, physical activity, or a combination of the two. It really doesn't matter as long as it works on the pathways.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 01:00:46 PM
Haha yes it’s a lot of words but it’s my reality... so... yeah I mean again really supposed to stop feeding my thoughts here. But the present moment itself seems empty of joy, it’s all just judgments and evaluations, even the breath itself. I have not gone more than one day of just accepting though so I can’t really say how effective it is. Of really seeing The thoughts - incl all the ones of “this is getting worse” etc, as just thoughts.

I await another awakening if I do this long enough, if I distance myself from thoughts. Seems unlikely right now due to how much my mind is clinging but .... anything is possible
I realize this is a thought itself but how I don’t see how this shouldn’t go on forever...I am deeeeeeeep in the dark, my ego has such a strong hold and almost zero equanimity. Nothing gives me pleasure. Ok I will continue to work and ignore thoughts....
Like I’ve mentioned even the breath isn’t an anchor for me to let go....my ego is involved with the breath...nowhere to hide
I mean my body does breathe automatically cuz obviously during sleep I am surviving but during the day my mind is grasping and clinging...

I just can’t stop thinking about the experience that brought me out of the dark a few years ago. I was in a similar place- but with a much more stable mind...and was so sure I’d be stuck in lack of equanimity forever...and then yeah one day with this guy time just stopped and I felt such pure love and equanimity. This was the start of my journey...I just worry so much that I compromised my heart so much and I was given such a gift of purity that allowed me to blossom....I mean of course there is no saying it CANNOT happen again but I have trained my mind to grasp intensely for months now. Right when things got bad, I noticed my lack of love, and desperately tried to open my heart. Every time I felt some love, I obsessed and hoped it would be the experience to pull me out. But really what I was and am looking for is an experience of the gap between thoughts - the absence of craving/aversion. I am literally waiting for that experience. How can it ever come when the mind is constantly craving/averting. I guess that’s the whole point of letting go of my thoughts.


When I wrote it was a lot of words I wasn't trying to invalidate anything of your experience. I apologise if it came across that was. I was simply drawing attention to the contrast between what you know you have to do, from your own knowledge:

Quote
stop feeding my thinking so much and let it go

.. and the huge investment you have in thinking, as this:

Quote
Haha yes it’s a lot of words but it’s my reality


Isn't really true - it is your reality, but filtered through words, habits of thinking, and the stories you tell yourself

...  which is exactly what you need to break away from.

You also need to stop chasing past experience and let that go too. You may well regain it, but never by clinging to it or chasing it. And as you are not in that place now, all you are really chasing is a ghost, a memory, and one that you label and tell yourself a story about with words and thinking. So this goal seeking and day dreaming is actually making things worse for you, not better. Let go. Be where you are.

Every day is a new day. You can choose today between feeding thought and taming thought. Sadly you can't choose both!

:)
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 02:00:15 PM
Sarah,

You won't change anything by thinking about it, this has become a trap. Try the calm abiding meditation instruction from the homepage. Forget all the other practices you know and stick to it. Within a week or two you'll be calmer if you follow it.

Experiencing calm fostered in the body by this practice activates the "rest and digest" nervous system, allowing body and mind to calm. At the moment you are trapped in a cycle of "fight or flight" thinking, hence the circular patterns running crazy in your head.

You cannot think your way into practice, you can only do it. It will work. If you have questions ask, but it's a simple practice, balancing noticing the body movements as you breath (concentration or samhadi) and calming the body with each in breath and with each outbreath (development of shamatha and acceptance/equanimity).

It will do you more good to spend 30 to 40 minutes a day doing this, than writing your life history on here with words.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 26, 2020, 02:42:32 PM
Hi Sarah

When I read the posts again, the image I get is this:

I’m stuck in a dark place. People tell me there’s an exit door, and I can actually see the exit door sometimes. But my mind sends me all these messages:

And so you saty put, and keep listening to these messages mind sends you, because they seem so real.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 26, 2020, 02:46:49 PM
You won't change anything by thinking about it, this has become a trap.

It makes one wonder what makes thinking so attractive. In my opinion thinking (ruminating and worrying) is a way to avoid present moment experience. It pulls attention away from unpleasant and unwanted emotional experiences. Even if it's bad, it seems even worse to actually approach or turn towards these feared emotional experiences. Like just sitting with agitation, when mind is saying "this is too much, you wil desintegrate", and every cell screams to get up and go do something pleasant... aaargh  :D
And also, it offers the illusion that we’re trying to solve the problem, whereas the ruminating and worrying actually becomes the problem.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 26, 2020, 02:50:58 PM
"Is there any solid ground on which I know what is true and right"?

Such an interesting question!
Good to hear you feel lighter again...

Kindly
Alex
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 26, 2020, 02:57:21 PM
Challenging your thoughts may be way down the line for you right now.

I couldn't disagree more, respectfully off course ;)
Insights about thinking, its values and its pitfalls, deepen and deepen as we learn and grow, but it starts now, wherever we are. And while the skills to do so have not fully developed, the direction can become very clear so that it might orient our efforts, our choices and our actions...
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Dhamma on July 26, 2020, 05:13:57 PM
"Is there any solid ground on which I know what is true and right"?

Such an interesting question!
Good to hear you feel lighter again...

Kindly
Alex

Thank you so much.

I know that Wrong Speech is wrong. End of story. I will not allow someone to shake my beliefs. When we are deep in meditation, we can see that we must be moral, as immorality is suffering.

From the verse 183 from the Holy Dhammapada: Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one's mind (I don't like the word "evil", but that is the translation).

It's a crazy world out there.  I must tame the mind. My mind must be unshaken. Ultimately, it's not the world that is shaken, but my own mind.  May we all find equanimity in all phenomena. :)
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 06:16:52 PM
Thanks a lot for these super helpful responses. The garden analogy is SPOT ON.
I’m still questioning whether or not challenging my thoughts will bring the joy I seek but I have gotten enough info now that I have to try no mater how unpleasant.
However because of the persistent fear, it is my opinion that the mechanism that is causing me to contract, will continue to happen, as long as I have no integrated the fear. So it feels like it’s up to me to find the light amidst the contraction, by ignoring it and not putting so much focus on it.... it’s a tireless loop but yeah honestly back in April I was stil joking and laughing, I was connected to my body, I was planning the future. How am I supposed to ignore this.
Can’t remember if I mentioned but I think a reason my therapist wants me to stop making these comparisons is that I actually notice the present moment. But I DO notice the present moment, it’s just that it doesn’t bring joy, it triggers me more and reminds me of a happier time. Maybe I’m just out of practice.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 26, 2020, 07:40:06 PM
How am I supposed to ignore this.

You don’t have to ignore this. It's just... You know where you are, how different it is from where you were, and what you want to change. You just don’t have to keep telling yourself in an endless loop. This loop of thinking is the trap.

Can’t remember if I mentioned but I think a reason my therapist wants me to stop making these comparisons is that I actually notice the present moment.

Aha, so we’re on the same page! ;)

But I DO notice the present moment, it’s just that it doesn’t bring joy, it triggers me more and reminds me of a happier time.

What I read is that when you contact the present moment, your mind starts sending you messages. And - drumm rolls please - if you are not recognizing these messages as thinking - as of that moment you are no longer experiencing the present moment, at least not with what we call "present moment awareness" or mindfulness.

Maybe I’m just out of practice.

It would seem so. Just get back on the horse… practice! Contact the present moment. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. And so on.
As said, there are good instructions on the homepage.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 07:50:08 PM
Thank you Alex, you are enormously helpful and very trustworthy  :D
I would say though that I have been aware this whole time...the issue is that as I have “fragmented” the present moment is bringing me less and less joy. Now I am completely in my head and don’t feel anything in my heart... like I will focus on a present moment task but it’s very drab and just getting it over with... honestly though maybe this can change with time , I’d hope so, it’s been like this pretty steadily for a few weeks now though with continued fragmentation (I know this word seems ambiguous to some, I guess I just mean like dissociated, emptiness in heart) like it isn’t just a matter of recognizing the minds messages, and then shifting it back to the moment and being like “ohhh ok. THIS is what it’s about” there isn’t really an anchor I can shift to, something that brings me joy etc. There is the present moment task I can shift back to, and my idea is that with continued practice somehow magically joy will reappear
Waiting for the garden haha
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 26, 2020, 08:14:09 PM
Thank you Alex, you are enormously helpful and very trustworthy  :D

You're most welcome. I'm glad to be of service.  :angel: ;)

THIS is what it’s about” there isn’t really an anchor I can shift to, something that brings me joy etc.

This is an expectation, a condition you impose on what your present moment should look like.
The anchor is always there, be it the breath or the bodily sensations during any activity. It is there, end of discussion.
But it won’t feel like you want it to feel, that’s for sure! Joy will come by, but when and for how long, that is not for us/you to decide, it is dependent upon conditions. What you can do, however, is create the right conditions for joy to arise (in buddhist terms, follow the 8-fold path). That is within your control.
So what constitutes our present moment is not our chosing, it's the result of past actions and circumstances, but that’s the place you want to start. It's the only place you can start.

Or not… because the choice is yours… you can always continue waiting.  :D
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 08:58:02 PM
Shit..  past actions? Well I experienced a ton of love and joy and goodness up till March, after which when the fear came I watched my heart dwindle...I’m worried I used up my good karma and now all I experience is fear and negativity haha
And I can’t generate good karma if I can’t generate the feeling of love I think...now all I do is generate new negativity...
I remember back in 2018 when I had that experience of love and equanimity.... was that because of past karma? Because there was a seed of compassion? Back then I felt more of a presence in my heart than now.. What happens if that seed is gone? How does this work??? I am just longing to feel this feeling again but what if it never blossoms because I’ve compromised everything that was there that COULD blossom? Because I reacted so negatively and thought so negatively about myself?
People always tell me to do kind things for others but I say doesn’t it not really matter if it doesn’t change the way I feel? If I’m not doing it from a pure heart but just in my head?
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 09:28:52 PM
You won't change anything by thinking about it, this has become a trap.

It makes one wonder what makes thinking so attractive. In my opinion thinking (ruminating and worrying) is a way to avoid present moment experience. It pulls attention away from unpleasant and unwanted emotional experiences. Even if it's bad, it seems even worse to actually approach or turn towards these feared emotional experiences. Like just sitting with agitation, when mind is saying "this is too much, you wil desintegrate", and every cell screams to get up and go do something pleasant... aaargh  :D
And also, it offers the illusion that we’re trying to solve the problem, whereas the ruminating and worrying actually becomes the problem.

Yes Alex - a very apt analysis. Exactly why doing and not thinking is the exit door. 🙂
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 09:33:48 PM
Shit..  past actions? Well I experienced a ton of love and joy and goodness up till March, after which when the fear came I watched my heart dwindle...I’m worried I used up my good karma

Worry not Sarah. Good karma is limitless. You just have to get back on the roller-coaster. You'll find your way - but by feeling, not thinking x
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 09:41:31 PM

Maybe I’m just out of practice.

It would seem so. Just get back on the horse… practice! Contact the present moment. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. And so on.
As said, there are good instructions on the homepage.


Yes!

Just do it Sarah. You can spend hours here taking, yet the calm abiding instructions on the homepage have proven over many years, for many people, to be the key that unlocks the trap.

You might have questions. Ask!

You might have doubts. It's normal 🙂

You will get a positive outcome. Thirteen years of running this forum and helping people trapped as you are has taught me this truth.

Don't short change yourself. You deserve happiness, and it's within your grasp.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 10:25:47 PM
Thanks for saying this .... I will continue to wait and try to be ok with each moment no matter how shitty lol
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 10:31:16 PM
Thanks for saying this .... I will continue to wait for good karma to ripen(?)and try to be ok with each moment no matter how shitty lol
I realize all this resistance is me just refusing to accept who I am....I mean it is a fact that things are worsening but it would be nice if it somehow stopped if I committed to accepting myself in the moment....
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 10:39:59 PM
Thanks for saying this .... I will continue to wait for good karma to ripen(?)and try to be ok with each moment no matter how shitty lol
I realize all this resistance is me just refusing to accept who I am....I mean it is a fact that things are worsening but it would be nice if it somehow stopped if I committed to accepting myself in the moment....

So do it. You know it. You're only hiding from peace because fear is your habituated domain.

Move on. It really isn't hard. Karma ripens with action, not time.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 26, 2020, 11:47:23 PM
I do know the answer. It’s just....like I have this fear that I’ve resisted for months now, so ideally accepting myself would be accepting the fear. If I slipped and lost equanimity, then even if I am allowing myself to be me, I am still resisting the fear...I feel like unless I come into equanimity I am resisting myself
Maybe this is just an excuse
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 26, 2020, 11:49:23 PM
It's just an excuse.

Accepting yourself is accepting everything without judgement.

Just so it xxx
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 12:53:50 AM
Fine haha. It isn’t gonna take away from the suffering but ok
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Thanisaro85 on July 27, 2020, 01:25:58 AM


But it won’t feel like you want it to feel, that’s for sure! Joy will come by, but when and for how long, that is not for us/you to decide, it is dependent upon conditions.


Sarahpro,

I wanted to add on to Alex's msg above...

Whenever the joy comes by, do make sure you remember this mental states, these will be the motivations for you to believe, that mental phenomenons come and go, and it is possible for one to regain joy again, be it better or slightly off than your past. Grab the chances to remember the state.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Becker333 on July 27, 2020, 01:38:27 AM
Am loving this forum.
Just to add . I wish to say i have really seen alot change in my life with meditation.  Didn't know it would be this helpful when i started . And to be sincere,  for me i wouldn't have gotten this far to where i am if i didn't get some help on meditating . Just follow the link I'll put below and discover the true wonders of your potential. 
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 05:51:49 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, not sure if meditation is appropriate, I am already aware of what is there.

Yeah it’s really hard to be with myself without judgment...it’s always easy to say....
Went out for dinner with some friends and so disengaged, nothing to say, no joy of connection, constant thoughts of waiting to feel better, disconnected from body, just feel like a zombie
Did have an insight though that I wouldn’t have asked for this experience if I didn’t know I could get out of it...but well I DONT know that I can get out of it, it literally feels impossible, I know that’s a thought but I am caving into myself more and more....nothing stops it...

Matthew , didn’t realize you RAN the forum. I feel much more inclined to trust you, lol.
As for contacting the present moment...that’s the thing, my awareness of body’s sensations is suuuuper poor, I don’t believe it’s a matter of practice I believe it’s been a progressive result of me being dissociated from my body. And as for the breath, again, the breath is all I have but there is grasping behind it. So the present moment for me is just non stop grasping.

I just don’t see how this could ever end. I am constantly aware, yet I lack eqUnimity. Constantly aware of constant grasping and aversion. No breaks. Generating misery constantly. Longing for love. And the grip is only tightening. I long for liberation but the longing keeps it away. Even the breath I don’t feel I can rest in. Don’t have rest in any thing in this present moment.
Like how long must this go on for? What am I waiting for ? I have been waiting for 4 months and things only intensifying and contracting
Also my dead ego is really distressing me. Ego as in healthy ego structure. I have plenty of ego, judging and evaluating. But that’s the issue...since I dissolved my healthy ego ie my sense of boundaries and time, my unhealthy ego is working hard to try to protect me, meanwhile getting in the way of my ability to feel connection .
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 27, 2020, 10:42:55 AM
Matthew , didn’t realize you RAN the forum. I feel much more inclined to trust you, lol.


Sarah, I set up the forum many years ago. Now there is a great team doing the managing so I can take a well earned break. Middleway, Siddharth, and Raushan are keeping the wheels on the bus.

Don't put me on any pedestal. I'm walking the path just like everyone else. Yet over the years there's not much I haven't come across I guess, including people trapped as you are, unable to see their way out.

Quote
As for contacting the present moment...that’s the thing, my awareness of body’s sensations is suuuuper poor, I don’t believe it’s a matter of practice I believe it’s been a progressive result of me being dissociated from my body.


OK, some background: I was super dissociated when I found meditation. The calm abiding instructions on the homepage are incredibly effective at reconnecting body and mind, at reversing dissociation. You have to forget what you've learned or think you know, and just do them.

The focus is on the physical feelings created in the body by the process of breathing, and on calming the body-mind with each breath in and each breath out. It is a whole body awareness, no following the breath, no nose meditation, no scanning etc.

It works to kick start the parasympathetic nervous system which puts you in a state of "rest and digest" where things calm and progressively your ability to feel, including emotions, becomes refined.

From all you've said you are trapped in the sympathetic "fight or flight" mode at the moment. You use words and stories as a defence mechanism. You're constantly on high alert, and see no way out because you've been thinking this stuff in circles for so long.

Through thinking you probably won't get far. Through reconnecting body and mind with that practice things will change. You'll feel again, you'll begin to loosen the grip of mind.

I've seen this happen so many times Sarah. So, if you trust me, even a little bit, please download the pdf and try the experiment for a couple of weeks. If you follow that technique even this should show you results that give you confidence to continue.

All the stories you are using as a defence mechanism take huge energy to maintain. Turn some of that towards this practice grounded in peace, nurturing calm, connecting body and mind. It will do you more good than writing down anything further about how you see things through the web of words you have woven to keep yourself stuck.

Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 05:23:11 PM
Thank you...but we’ll I do have some excuses for that...I am already full body Aware. Before this happened I was aware of subtle sensations in my body wherever I went. And as love/equanimity diminished, I watched my awareness become more and more gross. And so now even if I try to get back in my body I still don’t feel safe in there, normally my heart is home, but without it, I am just reacting to whatever sensations I feel...and I am actually aware of my heart all the time, the biggest feeler, but it’s just empty. and again the breath is not home either, I am hyper aware of it all the time but it doesn’t feel natural, passive... seriously worried about that one. I’ll bet you haven’t seen that one on the forums? I think it happened because of the ego death- the barrier between me and ALL my neuroses was shot down. I learned one time that the breath is the LAST object a yogi confronts- the craving and clinging he faces. But this one came up for me a bit too early. And obviously since I am not ready to surrender to death, I started grasping. Like I mentioned that beautiful moment of love and equanimity that brought me out of the dark last time, a) I wasn’t expecting it or looking for it and b) I was focusing on the breath in an intimate encounter.....sooooo ya in my opinion I am fkd. In my therapists opinion I am not. Will talk to her about that today hahah

About the idea of our experiences being a result of karma, that really got to me. I spent the last 2 years working SO HARD to constantly be aware of karma that was arising, and processing and releasing it everywhere I went. Fear, grief, anger, bliss etc. Kundalini. And now what do I do if I am just drowning in it, reacting to it.
I know I’m supposed to move on but really wish I had Listened to my therapist back in April and taken some meds then, I was a lot more stable and had a lot more equanimity to work with. Right now I’m just wAtching myself grasp and grasp, waiting for salvation, knowing it can only come with surrender, knowing I cannot surrender if even my breath involves grasping now. Are you annoyed yet. Lol
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 27, 2020, 06:41:39 PM
Quote
...that’s the thing, my awareness of body’s sensations is suuuuper poor,

Quote
I am already full body Aware.


Sarah,

Do you see the contradiction in your own words? It is blatant. You are lying to yourself due to over identification with words and stories.

I bring this to your attention so that you may reflect upon it.

All your defences are words and stories. There will be no healing there for you. You have to choose to continue suffering or to move beyond. If you choose to move beyond the members here can help. If you choose suffering we can't. It really is that straightforward.

With metta,

Matthew

Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 06:52:17 PM
Ok...so you Think I should let go of all these stories no matter how subjectively real they are and how much they concern me?
I know what you mean, by full body aware I mean aware of whatever is there to be felt, which at the moment is not a lot. But if it’s able to be felt, I feel it. Eg samskaras etc.

And to move beyond , I guess I just don’t really know what that would look like, I don’t know where to abide if not my thoughts. I don’t know where the healing is. In my body yes maybe but again I am just reacting to whatever is there.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 27, 2020, 07:09:20 PM
Ok...so you Think I should let go of all these stories no matter how subjectively real they are and how much they concern me?
I know what you mean, by full body aware I mean aware of whatever is there to be felt, which at the moment is not a lot. But if it’s able to be felt, I feel it. Eg samskaras etc.

And to move beyond , I guess I just don’t really know what that would look like, I don’t know where to abide if not my thoughts. I don’t know where the healing is. In my body yes maybe but again I am just reacting to whatever is there.

I will let Matthew respond, but I just wanted to say that when I read this, it feels like a different, more real part of you is responding (as opposed to the mind fabrications).
And no, I'm not annoyed, I care too much about your wellbeing. Be well  ;)
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 27, 2020, 07:37:48 PM
All that needs to be said has been said, but I do feel tempted to respond  ;D
... using your own words

When this happens:

... but again I am just reacting to whatever is there.

You do this:

let go of all these stories reactions no matter how subjectively real they are and how much they concern me

;)
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Middleway on July 27, 2020, 07:57:53 PM
Hi Sarahpro,

Either you are really stuck at your thought level and cannot move beyond or you are trolling the sangha  here.

I will give you the benefit of doubt and offer the following to contemplate on. No need to respond to me.

1. If you don’t change direction, you will end up where you are going.
2. What is your original face before you were born?
3. When you can do nothing, what can you do?
4. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Please contemplate on these 4 points thoroughly and report back to the sangha in a week on your findings.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 27, 2020, 08:30:37 PM
Ok...so you Think I should let go of all these stories no matter how subjectively real they are and how much they concern me?


During meditation, yes. By doing so you will develop the calm, concentration, and insight needed to discern that which is true from that which is false, that which you need to deal with from those things you can discard as mental confections.

Quote
I know what you mean, by full body aware I mean aware of whatever is there to be felt, which at the moment is not a lot. But if it’s able to be felt, I feel it. Eg samskaras etc.


Start where you are. If you can't feel a lot that's fine. Feeling a bit is better than nothing. As you practice according to the instructions from the homepage your ability to feel will increase, but in a very controlled manner: the mind will not let you feel things you are not ready to deal with.

Regarding words such as "Samskara" these are mental confections - they are not real, they are abstract, and where you are now, they are best dropped.

Quote
And to move beyond , I guess I just don’t really know what that would look like, I don’t know where to abide if not my thoughts. I don’t know where the healing is. In my body yes maybe but again I am just reacting to whatever is there.

Healing is in body and mind . It is in reconnecting the two . This practice from the homepage brings the two together. Abiding in your thoughts alone is abiding in delusion. You can stay there is you wish, though personally I would suggest it is a very unwise choice.

That doesn't mean all your thoughts are delusional, but that you need to calm down enough to realise which thoughts need further reflection, and those which can be discarded.

I do not doubt that many of your thoughts require calm, careful contemplation. But the edifice of stories you have created is woven from truths, half truths, beliefs, and self deceptions.

You need to step back far enough to start discerning the difference. The only way you will achieve this is through years and years of psychotherapy or a few months of basic meditation combined with psychotherapy. Your money, your life, your choice.

Much metta,

Matthew
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 09:14:50 PM
Ok. I guess I try to make my life a meditation and always be aware. Being more meditative would just make me more sensitive to what created the destabilization, no? I remember back in April, my mind was more subtle and balanced than it is now, but the fear came up with my healer and she told me to just be with it and my ego would just NOT be with it. So I can’t expect it to happen now. Further I don’t believe in my capacity to heal on my own because like i said my heart feels totally empty... I have not been recommended meditation by anyone else.... I just hmmmm I don’t know. I want to trust you but due to my constant heightened awareness and lack of equanimity I cannot see how meditation could be anything except destabilizing. I am waiting to heal first- somehow- to have a breakthrough and let in love - and then be able to go into the sensations.
I know that obsessing about all the things worsening- my ego, social withdrAwAl, emptiness etc, I know that’s the antithesis of being meditative ahah. But It really is hard to ignore. I have to keep trying I guess.
And about this healing business...therapy isn’t even working. When I was a bit more relaxed, I did have a couple of really profound sessions with some huge releases, and I felt kinda more like myself afterwards, but then the fear came back and only retraumatized me and left me feeling empty again. This is why it’s hard to see a way out. And now my ego is so much stronger and less able to relax and allow in some healing light...I know that’s what the practice is about, to just ignore the ego. I do trust in you guys and my therapist now to just ignore my thinking. But I really hope I can find that anchor to focus on that is not my thoughts ... that release.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 09:40:11 PM
Ok I am seeing now that if I try to distance myself from all this bullshit mess in my mind even a little bit then I can heal. Just had a huge crying fit which shows me I’m not as “hardened “ as I thought I was compared with day April..buuuut ya and I saw I really Really need to stop thinking so much and be patient....
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 27, 2020, 10:04:55 PM
Ok I am seeing now that if I try to distance myself from all this bullshit mess in my mind even a little bit then I can heal

Good. This is a beneficial insight. A powerful insight.

Now go and read or download the calm abiding instructions and use them. Please do not come back with lots of words and stories until you have tried it for a week or more. Maybe you will seek clarification - if needed, please feel free to ask, but other than that, all the stories you have tied yourself up in knots with are completely irrelevant.

This is a meditation forum, not a "not meditation" forum.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 11:19:41 PM
Ok nothing to lose at this point , haha fine I will try.
ONE CONCERN though is the dissolution of my ego structure. Have you seen that with others as well? The reason my shadow part of my ego is fighting so hard? The reason the fear persists so intensely? The reason I haven’t been able to surrender ?
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 27, 2020, 11:39:09 PM
Sarah,

Believe me, your ego has not dissolved. We wouldn't be having such a protracted discussion if it had. It may be out of balance, yet that balance can be restored.

You know what to do. Read the instructions on the homepage. Stick to them. Don't alter them according to your preference or previous experiences. If you do that, it's ego friking with you, trying to ensure failure. So, just do what it says on the can. Questions? Ask - just be sure they are related to the simple practicalities, not these stories you have.

You will benefit from this experiment if you can stick to the rules.

Much metta,

Matthew
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 27, 2020, 11:52:36 PM
Well....it fully did...like Ya when it happened all the chatter was gone like concepts, time, etc.... I mean yes it would not matter at all if I had equanimity but I worry about the pursuit of equanimity with an imbalanced structure
But I should probably stop
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 27, 2020, 11:56:34 PM
Yeah, you need to stop talking and start practicing. Otherwise this discussion is pointless.

Much metta,

Matthew
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 28, 2020, 01:26:27 AM
Well....it fully did...like Ya when it happened all the chatter was gone like concepts, time, etc.... I mean yes it would not matter at all if I had equanimity but I worry about the pursuit of equanimity with an imbalanced structure
But I should probably stop

OK, I understand this now I believe. What you experienced was not an ego dissolution as one might discuss in terms of the path of meditation.

It sounds much more like an episode of dissociative derealisation or depersonalisation.

So, do the practice, but with the main focus being relaxation and calm. No force. You need to start feeling safe in your body again. This will need to be gentle, full of self care, and done slowly. So, don't push yourself, and don't hide from yourself either.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 28, 2020, 02:15:59 AM
Ok. What do you think about the idea of surrender? Part of me is convinced that this is the only way- to not feel so trapped in my ego
I guess since I do not know obviously HOW to surrender, this means just allowing myself to be as I am..
I worked my butt off the last 2 years surrendering my ego, and that’s what felt great, that’s what brought me love and peace...problem is I cannot control how I surrender...
And yes it is derealization serious derealization. The dissolution of my personality. If i didn’t do it, I could be healed now. I know it’s all words but I believe it is the reason why the shadow part of my ego (judgments, inferiority, superiority, hardening of heart) got so strong- to try to protect me. I know this is all just more concepts though and they are impeding me from my goal. But I feel like my mind is to find any logic it can for why i cannot reattain love and peace. So far for 4 months it has proven to be true but mind you i was not doing the best things- I was forcefully trying to open my heart, and I was feeding this fear of things worsening.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 28, 2020, 04:33:33 AM
Also this afternoon I was in hysterical tears for like half an hour. Is it too much to expect that this could have been the moment of transcendence, of love, rapture ? Lol
Every time I cry like that I feel like my self for once. But then I just go back into emptiness, into my exhausting ego.
I believe there is a lot of love and light on this planet at the moment. I believe it is causing me to lose balance of my mind- making the fear more intense and therefore I react unstably - but I also believe it is causing these sudden rapturous tears, like whenever I go out into nature.
I just want to get back on the path but my mind will not let in love..
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 28, 2020, 05:51:18 AM
And about the ego death/derealization thing: it was literally like I’d just taken mushrooms or weed. Chatter completely dissolved. Heightened emotions and perceptions. Felt like Buddha/Jesus/god. sense of time WAs gone. I have yet to meet someone on forums who I knew experienced this as well.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 28, 2020, 06:44:48 AM
Sit, gently, peacefully, without force. The forced techniques don't help people who have underlying trauma. Calm-abiding works.

There are too many different stories above to reply to all. You need to be very gentle, but yes, surrender is part of this.

Just sit. Breathe, feel. First you must love yourself. It will come.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 28, 2020, 09:25:29 AM
And about the ego death/derealization thing: it was literally like I’d just taken mushrooms or weed. Chatter completely dissolved. Heightened emotions and perceptions. Felt like Buddha/Jesus/god. sense of time WAs gone. I have yet to meet someone on forums who I knew experienced this as well.

I know people who have had this same type of experience. Just go gently, meditation can help heal the mind but not forced techniques. It may well be the forced methods of Goenka school that pushed you over this cliff. So now, the focus is on relaxing into feeling your body - a little at a time, no force.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: dharma bum on July 28, 2020, 01:22:27 PM
Sometimes there's a tendency to think too much. For me walking calms me down. There is also therapeutic value in volunteering for others. Gardening or even a few potted plants are a kind of Metta meditation. Sleep and exercise are important. Alcohol and excessive coffee don't help.

For me, excessive chatter in mind is directly correlated with lack of rest/sleep. Sleep is correlated with lifestyle in general. Sometimes when we suffer too much we can remind ourselves that life is indeed suffering and it is normal to suffer. That can help with acceptance.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 28, 2020, 04:43:42 PM
Thanks for the suggestions...
About the meditation, I decided not to... I am already constantly aware. The issue isn’t that I am not calm, it’s that this process of fragmentation/withdrawal is still happening no matter what, and that it is distressing me. If I could love myself, I wouldn’t have a problem anymore, but I haven’t been able to generate the feelings in a couple months. I will try to listen to the advice of ignoring my thoughts and staying in the present moment....
As for this moment of surrender I am waiting for, I woke up feeling like it’s ridiculous that I think it’s possible. Every moment I am searching, grasping. To have it happen would be a miracle. Still I am just waiting
About goenka, I haven’t practiced in almost 3 years. For the last year and a bit I did a technique called inner dance, where you just lie down and allow whatever is there, to be there
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 28, 2020, 10:08:40 PM
Ya..truly worried about getting stuck in this forever. My mind is only getting stronger. The idea of surrender seems far away and is not happening even in small amounts. Except the hour of crying yesterday maybe that was partly it. But I wonder, if not now, when? Time has not been doing me ANY favours. Even if I watch the mind it does not take away from the suffering, I still feel so low, unmotivated, triggered etc
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Middleway on July 28, 2020, 10:55:16 PM
So you had a moment of awakening. And it felt wonderful. Because it is. And you lost it. Now you are craving for it. You desperately want it back.

This is like losing a loved one. You cannot have that person back. You can either choose to be miserable for the rest of your life for losing the loved one or you can celebrate the great time you had together and move on. Choice is yours.

Sangha here helped you with suggestions and showed you a lot of compassion. You can take the horse to a lake but cannot make it drink the water.

Now you have to walk your own path and live your own life.

All the best.

Middleway

Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 28, 2020, 11:11:51 PM
Hi Sarah


About attention

There is primitive type of attention in threat-like situation: attention is narrowly focussed (on perceived threat), shifts involuntarily (to threat cues). There is low level of present-moment awareness. The focus is on content of our thoughts. In science this is called bottom-up attention.

The more cognitively complex attention (that allows for skilfull emotion processing) on the other hand shifts flexibly, to the full range of internal and external inputs, it is more open and inquisitive, ready to learn. It can monitor and guide the process. This is called top-down attention.

Language is such a tricky thing. We use the word ‘awareness’, but we mean very different things…
When you use 'awareness', you mean first primitive threat-based type of awareness. You litterally said you don't feel safe in your body: your threat-system is active. Or fight/flight mode as referred to by Matthew. Attention shifts unvoluntarily and reactively to mainly the mental reactions about the sensations you feel.

Bodily felt safety and the accompanying soft, natural awareness (and the benefits this has for learning and emotion processing) WILL be the fruit of a practice as described in the homepage, in no way do they have to be the starting point. You don't need that type of awareness to start the practice, you crave it, but you really don't, you can develop it. All members of this forum are living proof of that.

And even though you're choosing not to develop what you cherish most, this option will always be available.
Your choice also means that there is not much more to say here...

I wish you well.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Sarahpro on July 28, 2020, 11:54:59 PM
Hey. I don’t think it’s because of fight or flight? I don’t feel a fight or flight reaction. I’d say it’s because my heart is empty. The more empty, the less home I feel in my body.
About cultivating body awareness....like I’ve mentioned the awareness dwindled gradually as I lost balance of my mind. I really think the heart seems to be a connector of body and mind/ the more self love I held, the more I was aware of subtle sensations, I guess because I was out of my mind.
At this moment, I feel like if I go into my body, I just go into emptiness and reactivity. I know reactivity is a choice but it doesn’t feel that simple. It just feels like my mind habitually reacts so quickly with so many horrible thoughts that I don’t even have a choice not to react. So yeah awareness may not be the best thing right now.
Also theoretically the meds I’m on should be working better. If I’ve had a psychotic break I should not be facing the fear that caused the damage, but unfortunately the meds aren’t working very well, I think because the depersonalization is so intense.
Maybe there is still nothing you can say. I am grateful for the support. I guess what I really wanted to hear here is that everything would be ok if I committed to ignoring my thoughts etc and that I could find the light again. I don’t believe meditation will get me there, I believe it has to be found in the healing of relationships, but I haven’t been ready to let in love yet I guess. I’d find it hard to believe that an awareness based practice could benefit me right now when awareness was the problem, showing me more than I’m ready for. Equanimity is what I lack, but I don’t feel I can cultivate that via meditation, because I can’t generate the feelings of calm abiding/love/etc.... sooo I feel like I’m stuck until I heal
I also really just wanted to hear that people have been  in similar predicaments and have found their way out. Like those who have had ego death, lost all equanimity/love, etc.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Matthew on July 29, 2020, 01:01:54 AM
A lot more words. Read what Alex and Middleway have written Sarah. Both write from a position of great compassion and with much wisdom.

You wrote:

Quote
but I don’t feel I can cultivate that via meditation, because I can’t generate the feelings of calm abiding/love/etc....

Yet the truth is you have chosen not to try and cultivate this. You have been offered advice as to how you can do so, if you want to, yet because of the strength of the stories you tell yourself, you choose not to.

I wish you the very best. I hope you will find your balance and equanimity soon, and the strength to continue growing, to move beyond that you cling to.

I do not believe there is anything more we can offer you at this point. It has been an interesting, if somewhat infuriating at times, discussion. For the benefit of you and the community here I will now bar you from posting for one month. If you decide you are ready to meditate again at some point in the future, we will be here if you seek companionship on that journey, but for now it's time to practice - it's why we are all here, and clearly at the moment, you are not.

Look after yourself. Stop believing the stories you tell yourself. They don't help you.

And realise you are stuck in fight flight, and you need to escape this trap this by seeing it.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 29, 2020, 08:37:16 AM
It has been an interesting, if somewhat infuriating at times, discussion.

Definitely!

@stillpointdancer
Don't know if you're still reading this thread, but reflecting back, I regret a reaction of disagreement towards something you wrote. It was prompted by emotion. I'm sorry if I caused you any harm.

Kindly
Alex
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 29, 2020, 11:23:08 AM
It has been an interesting, if somewhat infuriating at times, discussion.

Definitely!

@stillpointdancer
Don't know if you're still reading this thread, but reflecting back, I regret a reaction of disagreement towards something you wrote. It was prompted by emotion. I'm sorry if I caused you any harm.

Kindly
Alex
Hi Alex. Thanks for your response. No worries. I always read threads, but only make a comment if I think it might be of some help. I'm always rather reticent to offer advice about using meditation and the path for its therapeutic value. I'm a great believer that the best time to make progress is when everything else in your life is quiet and there's nothing much happening. Over the years I saw many people attending the Buddhist centre for the first time at a time of crisis in their lives in the hope that they will find an answer there. The people in charge were very good at advising such people at a personal level, but this is so much harder when you only know them from a couple of posts.

I wouldn't say that I thrive on disagreements to my posts, but I always reflect to see whether I was wrong in what I said and, strangely, enjoy finding where I've been wrong. It's the only way to learn. On the other hand there often isn't a right or wrong answer and its useful to see what has been thrown into the mix to mull over. I don't mind when people read posts and don't post themselves, and I hope they find it helpful, but it is much more satisfying to get some kind of reaction, whatever it is. I'm fairly fireproof so please keep responding whether you feel I might agree or not.
Title: Re: Struggling - no equanimity
Post by: Alex on July 30, 2020, 02:07:49 PM
Hi Alex. Thanks for your response. No worries. I always read threads, but only make a comment if I think it might be of some help. I'm always rather reticent to offer advice about using meditation and the path for its therapeutic value. I'm a great believer that the best time to make progress is when everything else in your life is quiet and there's nothing much happening. Over the years I saw many people attending the Buddhist centre for the first time at a time of crisis in their lives in the hope that they will find an answer there. The people in charge were very good at advising such people at a personal level, but this is so much harder when you only know them from a couple of posts.

I wouldn't say that I thrive on disagreements to my posts, but I always reflect to see whether I was wrong in what I said and, strangely, enjoy finding where I've been wrong. It's the only way to learn. On the other hand there often isn't a right or wrong answer and its useful to see what has been thrown into the mix to mull over. I don't mind when people read posts and don't post themselves, and I hope they find it helpful, but it is much more satisfying to get some kind of reaction, whatever it is. I'm fairly fireproof so please keep responding whether you feel I might agree or not.

Allright, thanks!