Author Topic: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?  (Read 12162 times)

redalert

Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2012, 08:49:44 PM »
       hey verdanais,

       Whats the difference? Your current life is this present moment, all memory is of your past lives.
       When we meditate, sankharas(mental formations) arise. Just observe them, don't cling to them and watch them pass away, through the direct experience of doing this you will gain wisdom.
       

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2012, 11:42:46 PM »
That’s an interesting way to look at , I suspected that’s what you meant when you talked about past lives. I will think about it, thank you.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2012, 02:28:36 AM »
Sorry if I hijack the thread slightly, but I can relate to your perspective completely verdanais.

After having a few life altering (or maybe that’s life-view altering) incidences as well as a bit of depression/anxiety on and off I started getting into daily meditation just over a year ago. I have had the same ups and downs as you, from serene bliss for a few days to almost full blown depression for a similar length of time or more. In hindsight this seems like it was a limbo between my past perceptions and my current awakening.

At some point I have managed to cross a hurdle where I can very clearly spot my negative thinking and visualisations as just that, but they have come at a price. With the clarity of mind to see the bad as illusion, I now have the same perception of the good. My equanimity has come alongside nihilism, and I don’t know what to do with it. I have snippets of bliss without any outside chattering where I can appreciate music, or something within nature, or looking at my dog, but my default mode for emotion is pretty numb. Where I used to be a jokester really into life I now feel like a spectator on the sidelines, this despite being more physically active than I’ve ever been.

Is this the logical conclusion for Vipassana, or is there something in the mix I am overlooking? Can I logically reconcile subscribing to a positive view while nullifying the negative?

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2012, 07:19:42 PM »
Hello,
what you are describing is indeed exactly what I am experiencing. As for music, most of the time I am "struggling" to enjoy it again, when I isten to a song, I enjoy I usually enjoy it the first couple of seconds then my mind goes "meta" and I am observing myself listening to it, I think about the context, and I have a lot of unrelated thoughts and I can apply to a lot of activities I used to fully enjoy in the past.

I think part of the solution might be to just accept it (I know I have to stop trying to control my thoughts and emotions) and lately it seems to work but sometimes it is quite overwhelming.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2012, 08:47:37 PM »
I think the best advice in regards to the music is to let go of your expectations of the music, and just take it in. If you're actively telling yourself to enjoy it, you will struggle. I've found if I clear my mind and just "observe" with my ears then I'm able to appreciate music in a way I could only do using recreational drugs in the past - I become more aware of the various instruments and even the recording noise.

Letting go is quite a paradox but it is very liberating once your mind can cross that threshold. 

Matthew

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2012, 11:19:35 PM »
verdainis,

Detachment/depersonalisation and flashbacks to random earlier events in your life can be signs of possible post-traumatic stress/dissociative spectrum. It is good you are aware of how loved you are as this will always help you through whatever comes up. Sometimes after a stability and acceptance is reached in meditation memories of suppressed trauma can arrive. They tend not to come all at once but bit by bit as your inner mind realises you are finding a stable ground.

I am not saying this IS what is happening to you but it could be so. If it is then just keep riding the waves and realise that if you find yourself in the eye of the storm it is because you are healing and because you are able to do so.

Be well and worry not, cling not. Peace be with you.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

verdanais

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2012, 04:49:08 AM »
Thank you for your insight, I don't think it is trauma related since those brief flashback are related to random events troughout my life, they actually happen more and more often know.

My theory is that with my depression intensifiying with the years, I became more and more "numb" and I was less and less able to register what happened around me but now, within the calmness of the meditation it feels safe for my mind to let me live them again.

I also usually sit in the morning right after waking up and lately I have also noticed that I can recall my dreams more and more in that state, I don't know if it also happened to other people in this board.

CameronJ

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Re: I hardly experience positive feelings anymore, what to do ?
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2012, 09:07:23 PM »
Hey Verdanais,

Thanks for sharing your story. Just like Stefan and Dharmic Tui, my experience with meditation has been a gradual shift towards neutrality, which is a double-edged sword as the resulting awareness cuts through even the illusion of pleasure (as Stefan indicates). The whole purpose of meditation is to gain awareness or take what is unconscious and bring it into consciousness. So, it seems to me, going "meta" is a natural consequence, and the idea that certain things are supposed to be unconscious is simply a value judgment that may be shared by many in our culture but, nevertheless, stands in the way of clarity. On the bright side, joylessness is only terrible if you're attached to the kind of joy that's only possible in a state of blindness/ignorance/unconsciousness.

It's not uncommon that we go too deep into meditation without being prepared on some level for the consequences and subsequently have to take a step back. I've done this on countless occasions when nostalgia for the stronger pleasures that I used to feel have drawn me back into some form of drama. If you find yourself resisting the transition away from the highs and lows of pleasure and suffering, maybe more meditation is not what you need at this particular point.

"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."

Maybe this is a manifestation of two conflicting drives: one toward passion and another toward dispassion. Being in this limbo, for me, is always an occasion to ask myself "what do I really want?" and to not beat myself up if I decide to indulge rather than meditate.

And, Dharmic Tui, I don't believe (IMHO) you are overlooking anything regarding the positive and negative, as letting go of negativity removes the occasion for positivity, leaving only a peaceful neutrality: "choiceless awareness" as J Krishnamurti referred to it. If I'm wrong, anyone, I'll joyfully welcome being rebuffed!

Best to you all

 

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