Author Topic: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?  (Read 12160 times)

verdanais

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I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« on: December 15, 2011, 01:06:21 PM »
Hello,

It has been a long time since I came to this forum but I would like to make this post because I really feel like I am hitting a brick wall and I am sick of it.

My whole life I have been battling with depression and it worsened about 4 years ago, it got so bad that I finally decided to seek help and I was under antidepressants.

After one year under antidepressants, I discovered meditation and the change was dramatic, the antidepressants would calm me down, but the meditation gave me true peace, after a while, being afraid of the long term effects I did stop my treatment and unfortunately as soon as I stopped the mental confusion came back (not the negative toughts tough, just a general feeling of confusion and being “detached” from the rest of the world).

I kept sitting regularly and since then I am experiencing a pattern that is driving me nuts, I usually have one or two “good days” when my mind is calmer, when my body feels less agitated followed by a week of “hell” which is basically an inability to have positive feelings (like joy or pleasure) and a strong feeling of being detached from this world, like if I was an alien or a robot.

The biggest problem that I am experiencing (and I don’t know if it comes from the meditation) is that I cannot enjoys much, I cannot feel much empathy or concentrate because my mind is constantly trying to “force” or “do things.

For example, in the past I loved music, now I can barely tolerate it because every time I listen to music, I have to “make myself” enjoy it, I automatically try to make my mind push the “enjoy” button and make me appreciated it like I did in the past.

It is also problematic for my concentration skills, when I read an article I am constantly trying to “make me understand it”.

It is like I didn’t have an unconscious mind anymore, like all the unconscious processes (like simply enjoying music) became conscious and I cannot deal with it because it leaves me no mental space to concentrate or enjoy simple things, my mind always goes in “meta mode”. It is basically like if I was always trying to step out of me and observe myself while trying to actually make me do things the way it should be.

Anybody have any idea what I could do about it ? I really feel like I am dead inside (I don’t have much of a sense of humor anymore for example) and it is ruining my life.


Thank you !
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 01:08:27 PM by verdanais »

chintan

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2011, 05:39:53 PM »
Hi Verdanais,

Your post has opened up some new dimensions for me.. would never have thought meditation can have these results. Maybe its time to focus on maturing other Paramis.

It would be really sad not to not feel alive and to force ourselves to enjoy music. I also have the feeling of detached but over time a feeling of compassion has started growing and I feel more and more connected to the world around us..

May you find a way out of the maze..
Metta..


mettajoey

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2011, 07:49:48 PM »
Verdanais,
Do you exercise at all?
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

Stefan

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 07:55:05 PM »
In my understanding this feeling of joyless detachedness is a desease of human mind. I know this, I too tried to make me enjoy things or respond to things as I always did before. But as soon as you go beyond this illusion, you cannot fool yourself with this any more (no matter how hard you try) ... you know the trick now.

Meditation doesn't create this bad feeling, but it helps you being aware of this feeling. Fortunately meditation also provides us with the tool to deal with this situation. It starts with simply observing ... you don't try to make yourself enjoy music (which will not work, obviously), but you simply stay with the music and observe it. There should be no craving for a response like "enjoying" - since this craving blocks a true response that will happen by itself as soon as any mind activity ceases. True joy ... yes, I know, pathetic words ...  ;)

That was the meditation aspect to this. But also conventional therapy for depressions is not to be neglected. Maybe you stopped your treatment too early or too fast?

Be well ...  :)
anicca

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 10:11:56 PM »
In reply to mettajoey, lately I don't exercise much (my job job consuming a lot of my time and energy).

Stefan, I find your answer quite interesting, what do you mean by illusion ? I know that the best thing would be to just observe but in those situations it is almost impossible, I have tis compulsion to force things that should just be natural (like understanding a text I am reading or listening to music).

When you try to observe those things how do you proceed ? I cannot help myself but to make it an intelectual exercise and I am always making mental comments out what I observe (I can literraly hear my mental voice) and it distracts me from what i am trying to observe.

It reminds me of this idea (I think from quantum physics) that the very fact of observing something changes it.

I talked about music because it is the easiest one to explain for me, what happens when I listen to music is that I cannot make an abstraction of myself.  Instead of letting go and enjoying it, I am aware of all the body sensation that I get and I go "meta" I think about me listening to music and I wonder why I cannot enjoy it as I used to and I force myself to feel what I used to.

I have noticed that this whole process is also cyclical, for two or three days this stops and I am "there" I get a glimpse of the tranquility I wish I had more often (maybe that is my mistake) and after that, I feel confusion for two weeks.

I know they key is to try to look at it for what it is but I feel like my problem is that I am continually trying to compulsively control everything that is happening with my mind, even the things that should be unconscious, that is why I said that It is almost like I didn't have an unconscious mind anymore (if that make any sense).

I also really wonder if what I am experiencing is a common byproduct of meditation or if it is related to my other problems.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 11:36:10 PM by verdanais »

Quardamon

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 10:59:52 AM »
Hello verdanais,

What would happen if, for three minutes, you would just allow: allow the world to be as it is, not doing anything about it. No meditation, no good will, no ill will, no stopping yourself. What would happen?

Did you ever play, in the last three years? I mean like playing with sand on the beach, or joining playing children? Harmless, meaningless playing that has a meaning in itself?
Is there someone that can caress and hold you, or that you can hold?
Do you ever enjoy walking in the rain?
In my view, there is so much that meditation cannot give. Meditation can acknowledge it once you have let it in. In my view, meditating can deform into philosophising: thinking about life, and being in ones head only. Only taking for real that which can be named.
There is so much more.

In an individual case, there might be a good reason not to dive into this. The art might be just to feel the temperature of the water, not dive.

Well, I hope that this helps you or us as a forum to get a bit of perspective. That is what a forum is for, isn't it?

May innocence stand like little flowers at the sides of your path.

Quardamon

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 11:41:08 AM »
verdainis,

Both Stefan and Quardamon raise interesting perspectives about what you are experiencing. Quardamon is asking if you have access to some human basics: feeling close to others, being able to let go in simple play; Stefan is raising the issue of meditation revealing what is there.

Both are important, both can give insights.

You also mention that you have a stressful job and this can introduce a lack of balance into life that affects all else.

There is another alternative to Anti-Depressants and one that is strongly related to mood: Vitamin D normalisation. I would strongly suggest you get a 25(OH)D serum blood test from your doc and I suspect you will have very low levels. Correcting this can change everything because like anti-depressants it changes your mood and view of life.

Also I would ask how you are meditating and  where you learned?

The cyclical nature of the pattern you describe seems to indicate that on one or another level you are living life at the limits of what your bodymind system can cope with: a couple of OK days then a few whacked out recovery days. It may be your work, your Vit D levels or a number of other things. Ruling out Vit D deficiency (ideal levels 50 - 80ng/ml) involves getting the test and ignoring your doc - they don't know (most of them).

It won't be easy but taking a systematic look at these things can certainly help find where change is needed.

Kind regards,

Matthew
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Stefan

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 01:02:05 PM »


what do you mean by illusion ?


The joy that is felt by non-meditators is sometimes illusive, it is not real, it is self-made. As you described ... it is the subconscious mind telling "oh! music! so I need to be happy now." When you meditate, you begin to look through this fake joy, the fake happiness (which might be the reason for depression). So a meditator shouldn't crave for joy but observe all those mechanisms. He cannot go back to "not knowing", so he cannot go back to this artificial "joy" he used to feel.

It's this "red pill - blue pill" metapher (from the movie Matrix).

Music? Just observe it.
Your mind trying to create artificial joy? Just observe your mind as it tries to do this.
The ego being angry at not being enjoyed right now? Just observe your ego and your anger.
Your belly twisting because of the anger? Observe your belly ...  ;) ... and so on ...

Equanimity is a core concept here. Let it all happen ... don't take part. The mind going berserk? Never try to stop it, just observe it. If you make an intellectual game of this observation, then don't suppress that either, but observe your mind making an intellectual game of it.

@ exercise: Joeys got a point here. Sports or Hatha Yoga is a brilliant remedy when depressed.

Be well!
anicca

Alexanderjohn

Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 02:55:31 PM »
Hi verdanais,

As stephan said if your mind is going berserk with intellectual mental dialogue sit and watch it, don't suppress it by any means, I suspect suppression is the cause of your 3 day peace cycles but could be wrong. I would like to add to that though. It is important to be able to sit enough to let that dialogue pass even if only for a few moments, observe those moments lightly and continue sitting, they will grow. Then after just sit and watch the mind kicking back in with 'woah that was like 5 seconds of silence'! Learn to smile at this. Don't try too hard just to focus on the body, tune into all of the sounds around you, the colours behind your eyelids, everything that is happening NOW, AND NOW... And now.

 It is not just a case of going about your normal day and sitting for an hour or so, it may take some significant lifestyle changes. After all sitting can become just another habit pattern and probably will for a while but my point is that sitting alone cant carry you through. Make an effort to be spontaneous, don't think that just sitting on your arse will do that for you. Make an effort to meet more people, maybe that is why you feel so detached, lack of human contact, observe your insecurities and their sensations when meeting people and how they're mixed in with your sense of self, do this with a pinch of salt of course, don't take it too seriously. AND above all don't expect this to happen over night.
OH and don't take me to seriously either :)

Much love mate hope you can start to kick these blues soon. X

frepie

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 08:49:48 PM »
Hi Verdanais.
I can say that I understand your situation.  I have been without a job for almost 3 years now and if it weren't for my meditation practice and the anti-depressant I take daily, I would be in a major breakdown. i understand your desire to flee from yourself by trying to find a solution or an exit to your suffering.
 
I have been experiencing pain in my neck for the last 45 days because of a pinched nerve. The stress of my situation made me take bad neck postures (shoulders permanently raised and chin pushed forward) which eventually led to pain in my neck and arm. I tried to deal with it by  meditating on the pain. I would sit and observe my pain, as objectively as i could, but with the untold desire to see it go away. It never worked.  I finally went to see a physiotherapist and a doctor and, with their help, my situation improved, which then impacted on the quality of my meditation.
I am telling you this to point the fact that when you are in too much pain, it is very difficult to look at it objectively. I guess it can be done, but with great difficulty.  My first advice would be to take your anti-depressant if you felt it was helping you. If not, try to find the one that best suits you. Also, try to see a psychologist if you have access to one. There is no point in trying to cope with it by yourself alone. Anti-depressant might be seen as a crutch, but when your leg is broken, crutches are necessary.  It should be noted that meditation is very efficient in preventing depression relapses, but only when out a the crisis phase.  From you account, you seem to be needing outside help.
One thing I learned in this period of my life, is that you don't have much control on your mood, much like you don't control your stomach or heart. What you can control though, through meditation, is how much you let these moods change your behavior.  2 months ago, I entered a rather depressive state that lasted 2-3 days. But because of my meditation practice, I could choose to watch it. It was as if I has 2 conscious mind processes at work: one that wanted to die, the other one, undaunted, looking at it, knowing it wouldn't last.  But this capacity is not developed in a crisis situation. As Jon Kabat-Zinn said: meditation is like weaving a parachute: you need to practice when you can to develop the mental abilities that will help you when you can't.

There are people who can help you.

Sorry for talking so much about myself.
Meditation makes me angry...

Stefan

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2011, 06:56:51 PM »


Anti-depressant might be seen as a crutch, but when your leg is broken, crutches are necessary.


true
anicca

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2011, 07:59:11 AM »
Hello,

It has been a long time since I came to this forum but I would like to make this post because I really feel like I am hitting a brick wall and I am sick of it.

My whole life I have been battling with depression and it worsened about 4 years ago, it got so bad that I finally decided to seek help and I was under antidepressants.

After one year under antidepressants, I discovered meditation and the change was dramatic, the antidepressants would calm me down, but the meditation gave me true peace, after a while, being afraid of the long term effects I did stop my treatment and unfortunately as soon as I stopped the mental confusion came back (not the negative toughts tough, just a general feeling of confusion and being “detached” from the rest of the world).

I kept sitting regularly and since then I am experiencing a pattern that is driving me nuts, I usually have one or two “good days” when my mind is calmer, when my body feels less agitated followed by a week of “hell” which is basically an inability to have positive feelings (like joy or pleasure) and a strong feeling of being detached from this world, like if I was an alien or a robot.

The biggest problem that I am experiencing (and I don’t know if it comes from the meditation) is that I cannot enjoys much, I cannot feel much empathy or concentrate because my mind is constantly trying to “force” or “do things.

For example, in the past I loved music, now I can barely tolerate it because every time I listen to music, I have to “make myself” enjoy it, I automatically try to make my mind push the “enjoy” button and make me appreciated it like I did in the past.

It is also problematic for my concentration skills, when I read an article I am constantly trying to “make me understand it”.

It is like I didn’t have an unconscious mind anymore, like all the unconscious processes (like simply enjoying music) became conscious and I cannot deal with it because it leaves me no mental space to concentrate or enjoy simple things, my mind always goes in “meta mode”. It is basically like if I was always trying to step out of me and observe myself while trying to actually make me do things the way it should be.

Anybody have any idea what I could do about it ? I really feel like I am dead inside (I don’t have much of a sense of humor anymore for example) and it is ruining my life.


Thank you !

Verdanais, I know exactly how you feel. I felt this feeling for about 2 or 3 years and still feel it from time to time, sometimes more frequently than others. I think what happened is that I just kind of accepted that things for me were different than they were during " happier" times...and this kind of led to me getting over what I was feeling(which I classify as depression). This didn't happened all at once, though. It happened over a few years for me. Right now, I feel a sad feeling in my heart and I don't know what to do--maybe there is some kind of mindfullness meditation way I could deal with this feeling?

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2011, 01:47:48 AM »
Hello,

First of all I would like to thank everybody for your comments full of insights, it really made me think about my current path and the things I need to work on.

Last week I had two breakthroughs, the first one is about this compulsion that I have to try to force my feelings and make every processes that should be unconscious conscious. During one of my sitting sessions, I realized that whenever I am listening to something or even feeling something my autonomous nervous system il doing all the work.

In other words, when I am listening to music, my nervous system is already converting the sound waves into feelings and emotions. When I look at something, my optical nerve is already sending the information to my brain which is already analyzing the data. The main issue is that I lost the ability to “trust” my body and mind to do their job and I try to control everything with my conscious mind. Since my body is already feeling and my mind is already analyzing an unhealthy loop is created and it disconnects me from the present moment.

This brings me to my second breakthrough which is about my relationship with time. During another sitting session, I discovered that when I am actually in the present moment, when I just listen to what is happening at the moment, when I just let my body feel what it feels as it happens, all the compulsive thoughts that I have tend to disappear.

I have noticed that usually, when a compulsive thought arises, it only lasts about a second, by the time I realize it happened, it was already gone. I can also apply this to uncomfortable feelings, I came to the realization that usually, when “bad” thoughts or feelings did arise, I “crystalized” them, I continually thought about it which kept it artificially alive and did add fuel to the fire.

In a way, I did realize in a personal level that everything is temporary, that those thoughts and feelings are incredibly short but my constant thinking about it made them feel like they lasted an eternity.

I don’t know yet if thos two “realization” some other mind games that I created, I have this tendency to make mental concepts that work as band aid for a short period of time and then all my issues come back with a vengeance. It is like if my enemy (actually my own mind) was proteiform, constantly evolving to whatever way I come up with to try to tame it.

To reply to Matheew’s question, I learned to meditate on my own, I usually just focus on my breath as a lighthouse when my mind goes astray. It has been mentioned that I should think about having more social interactions to decrease this feeling of being disconnected; I think there is a lot of truth in it.

I used to be a fun, smart and interesting person but with time I grew more and more solitary and now I have close to no friends, I don’t feel like I have much of an interesting personality anymore and I am much less intelligent than I used to be. I will try to socialize more ( I am conscious of the fact that I am personally bankrupt from my lack of meaningful interactions with other people) but it certainly is going to be a huge challenge for me !

On another note, Matthew mentioned that I might be living on the limit of what my bodymind system can cope with. Actually, since I started my current job, I have had very few sleep, and I hardly workout anymore. I have decided last week that from now on I will have 8h of sleep per night and I can see it’s effect on my energy level and mood. As for the vitamin D, my sister’s doctor actually diagnosed her with low level (I suspect her of suffering of depression like me). I wil definitely look into it as well.

I just hope that what I just wrote made some sense to you, it does to me right now but I unfortunately don’t know if it still will tomorrow.

Vivek

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2011, 05:14:32 AM »
Congratulations on the breakthroughs, verdanais. Those are some real solid insights. As you continue your sittings, you will definitely progress through insights.

Quote
I used to be a fun, smart and interesting person but with time I grew more and more solitary and now I have close to no friends, I don’t feel like I have much of an interesting personality anymore and I am much less intelligent than I used to be. I will try to socialize more ( I am conscious of the fact that I am personally bankrupt from my lack of meaningful interactions with other people) but it certainly is going to be a huge challenge for me !
Most probably, this is a passing phase. With the continued sitting, your personality should be undergoing some deep changes, for the better. Let the sittings continue. I suggest to drop all judgements you make about yourself and accept whatever is happening in this moment as they are. Let things unfold as they may. This is part of your off-cushion Vipassana practice. Also, practise Metta regularly. Metta goes a long way in helping you connect with people once again, this time, in a much more meaningful way.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

frepie

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2011, 01:27:19 AM »
Meditation makes me angry...

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2011, 08:35:36 PM »
Thank you, for the article, to reply to Vivek, no I don’t practice Metta, I have been meaning to but I somehow have difficulties seing how it could work for me. To me me it looks a little «forced» and artificial. I guess I am not ready yet.

Matthew

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2011, 08:50:02 PM »
Leave the Metta til you have found calm. The realisations you have had will help your progress to this.

Kind regards,

Matthew
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verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2012, 09:39:44 PM »
my situation is actually getting worst, I pretty much cannot find any pleasure in anything anymore, my loneliness is consuming me and it feels like I am turning into a robot ( I  completely lost my empathy, all my dreams are about work, I have dreams about spreadsheets etc...).

I also have the great difficulties concentrating which jeopardize my job because of the mistakes I am making.

At this point I think I will have to go back to antidepressants to at least have some stability in my mind because it is out of control, I am such a mess meditation is useless, it is just my mind running wild and I do no get anything positive out of it, just more suffering.

Andrew

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2012, 09:58:34 AM »
Hi mate,

Warning; the following is my pet advice that I have tried for all of a day  ;)

Instead of "my loneliness is consuming me" try "I am my loneliness"
Instead of 'my mind running wild" try 'I am running wild"

Basically, so much of our suffering comes from some form of cognitive dissonance; we think we know what is going on, but we don't. Reframing what we are thinking is one way of finding alternatives and things we never considered before.  Go ahead and try something different.

instead of "I must get free from this" try "I am this, I'll try and work with myself to calm it all down"

Breaking down the identification with one set of thoughts that doesn't work; the 'all of this is happening to me' and try another set; there is no seperate me for this to happen too, only a felt/thought me. This means that it (felt/thought me) can change. Thinking new thoughts isn't really that hard to do after all, you just go "hmm, maybe it is true" and go ahead and think about it.

Example;

Thought; 'there is no seperate me'

Next thought 'but i feel like there is'

...'do I? or do I actually think there is, and that these feeling are trapping that me in?'

...'hmm'

...'so if there is not me and the feelings, just a me made up of thoughts, feelings, body parts etc, what is really suffering here? what part of 'me'?'

...'instead of trying to get rid of these feelings (which would be like trying to chop off ones foot), maybe they need some space to be me for a while?'

...'perhaps i need to get out of my seat a bit more at work, do some stretches, stop being afraid to look after myself better in front of people' (that's something I started doing this week more)

Anyway, just some alternative thoughts that might be useful.

stick around and have a chat

Andrew 
getting it done

Masauwu

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012, 10:20:21 AM »
my situation is actually getting worst, I pretty much cannot find any pleasure in anything anymore, my loneliness is consuming me and it feels like I am turning into a robot ( I  completely lost my empathy, all my dreams are about work, I have dreams about spreadsheets etc...).

I also have the great difficulties concentrating which jeopardize my job because of the mistakes I am making.
I`ve found this method to increase my calm and concentration in everyday life, try using it every morning and see how it works for you. Even when things seem hopeless and thoughts are racing all over the place, keep at it and the mind will slowly settle. Once you get a bit of practice, apply the same principles from the sitting meditation during everyday life. You`ve already had a glimpse of the results this process has:
Quote
During another sitting session, I discovered that when I am actually in the present moment, when I just listen to what is happening at the moment, when I just let my body feel what it feels as it happens, all the compulsive thoughts that I have tend to disappear.
Even when meditation seems unfruitful do not give up on it, stressful periods come and go just as pleasant ones do, nothing is permanent. Take any steps needed to get a good night`s rest - that includes no meditation before going to bed in my opinion. Maybe look into investigating if there is a health issue at work.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 10:48:18 AM by Masauwu »
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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2012, 05:14:21 AM »
I would say, if you are aware of something is happening currently, then find some way to deal w/ it.  For example, if you feel lonely, don't just sit there and make a big deal or trying to write a novel about it.  Go do something, keep you mind occupied.   Same thing, if you are physically hungry, you don't just sit there and hope that the hunger will just disappear by itself or someone will give you food, would you? 

Sounds like you really need to take care of yourself more, especially your emotional well being.   If you are facing difficulty,  find some way so that experience will make you a stronger, and happier person- in stead of the same old beating you down routine.  Keep it simple, really!   Don't really need to go in deeply at the nervous system level.  And don't associate or react to any negative thoughts while meditating-   you just wasting your time- been there, done that!  Most important of all, don't philosophize the issue. 

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2012, 06:01:17 AM »
Hello everybody,
Since my last post things have definitely evolved, I still have some strange cyclical patterns but after analyzing it I realized that it was a purely physical phenomenon completely independent of my actions (at least this is how I understand it) so I have learned to let it go knowing that it gets bad only so long before it gets better.

I still have this general feeling of complete detachment to the world, I am usually unable to really feel pleasant or even bad feelings. Most of the time, the world doesn’t seem “real” to me, as if I was dreaming awake.

The way I literally perceive the world has been altered 10 years ago, before I even started to meditate and now, I think that thanks to the meditation I have understood the fact that the way I resisted this very fact caused me an immense amount of suffering and stress in my body. (I have had high blood pressure since I was 27 years old).

I tend to have a lot of random thoughts during the day like everybody but I also always tried to suppress them and after a while it became (still is ) an energy sucking habit but lately, I have decided to instead of trying to consciously block them let them go to their extremes and not only I felt significantly less stressed, I have started to experience an increase in my creativity.

I also finally decided not to take antidepressants again, and right now I think it is a good choice, I am now at a state of acceptance, I accepted that the conscious mind cannot control the unconscious and by allowing my consciousness to be what it is, the weight that I have put on my own shoulder is slightly lifted.

I really think there is something to it but old habits die hard and I am struggling with it every day.

I have a question regarding my mediation practice, lately I have noticed that while sitting I have more and more “flashes” of random moments that I lived in the past I can usually also feel the sensation associated with those moments. Has it happened to somebody else here?

I also just sat 20min ago and while sitting I felt an incredible wave of love in my whole body, I felt love in each breath I took and at one point I also felt how much I am loved by my relatives and it might sound crazy but I was so overwhelmed by it that I laughed and cried in the middle of it. It never happened to me before and I have no idea what it means, if it’s even supposed to mean something.




Stefan

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2012, 06:30:14 AM »
hi verdanais,

glad to hear you are still standing ... er ... sitting ....  ;)

Good thing you don't suppress your thoughts any more.
You know what happens to your belly when you suppress farting?
The same thing happens to your mind when you supress thinking ...


I also just sat 20min ago and while sitting I felt an incredible wave of love in my whole body, I felt love in each breath I took and at one point I also felt how much I am loved by my relatives and it might sound crazy but I was so overwhelmed by it that I laughed and cried in the middle of it. It never happened to me before and I have no idea what it means, if it’s even supposed to mean something.


This is "real joy" that occasionally arises when the mind is blank.
That's something different to the artificial joy the ego tries to create while struggling to keep the mind blank in an artificial way ... ;)

Be well! Metta, Stefan
anicca

redalert

Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2012, 03:22:44 PM »
      Hi verdanais,

      My wife suffered from depression when she was younger, she was lucky that her doctor perscribed anti-depressants as an aid to her depression and not as a cure. Your medication should be used in tandem with a treatment program. The doctor told my wife that the medication was to aid her when she was overwhelmed by negative thought patterns, it would help lift her out of the basement. Then she was in the right frame of mind to observe those thoughts, he perscribed a method of journaling keeping track of her habitual thought patterns as her meditation.
      You should talk to your doctor about combining meditation with your anti-depressant meds, most doctors are very receptive to meditation if they know the patient will do the work.

   About the "flashes" of potential past lives. Yes, I have had these too complete with the full spectrum of accompanying sensations. I too am curious if there is any hidden wisdom or guidence in these.  They are neat, I do not have the ability to create one at will, nor do I even try too. They are just another thing that arises to eventually pass away, do not get attatched to them. These things are probably going on all the time just as sensations are in our bodies, but we are not fully aware of them. Are they past lives or are they not past lives? Yes.

    If you have not cried during meditation you have not started meditating, this is progress, you are connecting with your emotions and your heart is expanding, you are becoming more sensitive.  Just observe it as it comes and observe it as it goes. The same as when those depressing thoughts come, just observe them and the accompanying sensations, watch them arise and pass away.

    Much metta

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2012, 07:59:38 PM »
hi,
When I was referring to flashes I wasn't describing moments in a “past life” but moments in my “current life”, I have flashes from various moments from my childhood, to today and there doesn’t seem to be a pattern to it


      Hi verdanais,

      My wife suffered from depression when she was younger, she was lucky that her doctor perscribed anti-depressants as an aid to her depression and not as a cure. Your medication should be used in tandem with a treatment program. The doctor told my wife that the medication was to aid her when she was overwhelmed by negative thought patterns, it would help lift her out of the basement. Then she was in the right frame of mind to observe those thoughts, he perscribed a method of journaling keeping track of her habitual thought patterns as her meditation.
      You should talk to your doctor about combining meditation with your anti-depressant meds, most doctors are very receptive to meditation if they know the patient will do the work.

   About the "flashes" of potential past lives. Yes, I have had these too complete with the full spectrum of accompanying sensations. I too am curious if there is any hidden wisdom or guidence in these.  They are neat, I do not have the ability to create one at will, nor do I even try too. They are just another thing that arises to eventually pass away, do not get attatched to them. These things are probably going on all the time just as sensations are in our bodies, but we are not fully aware of them. Are they past lives or are they not past lives? Yes.

    If you have not cried during meditation you have not started meditating, this is progress, you are connecting with your emotions and your heart is expanding, you are becoming more sensitive.  Just observe it as it comes and observe it as it goes. The same as when those depressing thoughts come, just observe them and the accompanying sensations, watch them arise and pass away.

    Much metta

 

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