Author Topic: Vipassana beginner experiencing strange feelings, experienced meditators, HELP!  (Read 8012 times)

MountainKing

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Hello Everybody,

It is an absolute pleasure to find a forum like this where people actually come together and discuss meditation.

I just finished my first Goenka style 10 day course, and I feel very.... 'different' (for the lack of a more accurate term).

I have lots of questions, and would be extremely grateful if anybody with more experience could answer them.

To give some background, I lost my girlfriend of 4 years around 2 years ago, after which I went into moderate depression. I have been on anti depressants and psychotherapy since then. I also tried Reiki, which seemed to help. But I see Vipassana as a means to treat the root cause. Most of these medical or psychological interventions just seem superficial, after I came to face my real inner demons through Vipassana.

Earlier, I was very preoccupied with my ego and my mind, which was both a good and a bad thing. I came up with many great research ideas (I'm planning to pursue a PhD), I helped people, I had a good standing/status in society as a helpful knowledgeable person.

However, since I've returned from the course, this is what I feel
1) My drive to do something great has diminished
2) I feel my creativity has been dampened. I used to be a really funny person, and people laughed at my jokes. Now I just find myself being silent.
3) I thought I was extremely smart. I was widely acknowledged to possess a razor sharp thought process - I don't feel that smart anymore
4) I feel easily threatened by adverse circumstances and feel insecure. I feel a little clueless about the world.

I understand that many of these things might be a consequence of the ego dissolution process that Vipassana starts. I believe that the spiritual laws are counter intuitive, to get something, you actually shouldn't want it and just treat your task as meditation. However, as a beginner, all this is just a little too overwhelming. Earlier, my ego had needs, and it felt good when they got fulfilled. Now, as my ego dissolves, what is the objective of fulfilling my ego's needs?

Sorry for going around in circles, I'm just very confused!

Thanks for reading.
Metta
MK

Stefan

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... is this me?
Shortly after my first course, I felt so much alike ...

Quote
1) My drive to do something great has diminished
2) I feel my creativity has been dampened. I used to be a really funny person, and people laughed at my jokes. Now I just find myself being silent.
3) I thought I was extremely smart. I was widely acknowledged to possess a razor sharp thought process - I don't feel that smart anymore
4) I feel easily threatened by adverse circumstances and feel insecure. I feel a little clueless about the world.

doing something great, being creative, funny and smart ... you'll remain to be all this.
but (and that's where your depression might have come from) you used this tools to polish the ego.
now you found out about it, so you stopped. But you didn't stop because your wits are gone. You stopped because you realised how shallow it is to be all this just so the ego can show off.

I feel very much clueless about the world. That's why I try to find out more on the cushion.
In the meanwhile we only can aknowledge our cluelessness, insecurity and of course the size of our ego ... stay equanimous ... smile ... move on ... continue with our meditation sessions ... stay equanimous ...  ;)

Metta, Stefan
anicca

redalert

Hi mountainking,

Welcome to the forum.

There is still ego and ego will have needs, but now you have been given a technique to observe ego, the eyes have opened slightly, the deep sleep is coming to an end. Ego can only exist in darkness, the light of presence will dissolve ego naturally. Your job is to simply observe equanimously.

Have you ever really fulfilled the ego's needs? A bottomless bucket rings a bell. ;)

MountainKing

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Thanks Stefan and redalert. It feels good to know that I'm not the only one.

I think my ego is just getting used to not wanting to polish itself?

Everybody around me is saying things like "You were so witty and funny, why are you silent now?"... that prompted the concern.

I guess I should just observe the concern and watch it pass :)

Masauwu

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Hi MK,

The momentum of the 10 day intensive practice allowed you to notice that what you took for reality was mostly smoke and mirrors; as you begin to gain insight into the true reality, it`s natural for your priorities and old views to change. If you add some calm abiding meditation (or anapana as it`s called at the course) to your daily practice, it will help with most of the restlessness and fear that vipassana may invite.

Check out "Mindfulness In Plain English", it`s a great guide on this path and addresses many of the problems along the way.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 02:59:00 PM by Masauwu »
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

MountainKing

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Thanks Masauwu. I have already read that book :) I will re read it to notice potential problems with my practice.

Everybody around me is saying things like "You were so witty and funny, why are you silent now?"... that prompted the concern.

its just ego reacting to a negative statement. it was doing the same thing before meditation also. but with a bigger and stronger reaction i guess. so meditation is helping you.  ;)

yes i have had the same experience , once i found a firm ground i could see all the qualities coming back. actually multiplied.
u will be funny again , dont worry.

Vivek

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Hello MK, creativity and humor are such rare and beautiful gifts when they are expressed for the good of oneself and every being. And Vipassana definitely does not dampen true humor (you must have watched Goenkaji's videos, remember how effortlessly and with humor he explained abstruse concepts?). You have just completed a 10-day course, which I assume, marked the beginning of your spiritual practice. There is a long way to go and the changes you are perceiving now are most probably short-term effects. You will see lasting gains as you continue the practice.

Quote
Now, as my ego dissolves, what is the objective of fulfilling my ego's needs?
It is a common misconception we have that unless we have needs and unless those are not met, we won't be happy. This is just one of the many beliefs that hold us from attaining true freedom. Vipassana means insight. As the practice is continued, your own insights will lead you to understanding the possibility that one can express one's inner gifts even though there are no more ego-centric desires. This cannot be grasped intellectually, one's experiential wisdom leads one to this realization. So, keep practicing. All the best.   
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Quardamon

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Sorry to hear about your distress.
Is it not possible, that there is a hidden connection between the "coming to face your inner demons" on the one hand, and on the other hand "I find myself being silent" and "my drive to do something great has diminished"?
To me it seems natural that you are silent after doing a lot of hard work.
After facing some demons, some other things do not look that great any more. That is how it is.
If it really fits to you to pursue a PhD, that will come back to you. If it was in your heart to be a helpful person, then it will still be there - do not worry. If it was among your gifts to be a knowledgeable person, then that is still part of your life.
In the future it might feel more as a gift - and less as a mask to hide behind.

Changing from fighting-for-your-place to giving-from-the-richness-that-you-are can be quite a thing. If my guess is well, that is part of what is going on now. Just give it time to settle, please.

Happy New Year.

MountainKing

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I just don't do anything these days. I just sleep, eat, poop.

I've lost my drive and confidence to do anything.

Please help me. Vipassana seems to have opened a can of worms I wasn't prepared to deal with.

hening

I just don't do anything these days. I just sleep, eat, poop.

I've lost my drive and confidence to do anything.

Please help me. Vipassana seems to have opened a can of worms I wasn't prepared to deal with.

Ur view now is going to nihilism view, which is not true, it is extreem view. (Same with my view at first time).
Buddha said: life is LIKE A DREAM (maya upama). Not A DREAM. We still hv to live our life fully at our potential as to become a buddha (practicing makes us become the one ). Doesnt mean after we know  life is anicca, anata, dukkha there is no point for us being in samsara. But make it as motivation, that is why we want to practice and attain final happiness (by erradicate above 3 poisons and do not attach into "things" or "views") because we want to help others too(show them the way)
How?
By let sati/awareness/consciousness present in every moment of our life. Thats the only way to get right view and wisdom of life.  Also practicing compassion and have a good understanding about "emptiness" (sunyata).
Just like buddha said:
Do not do any bad things, Purify your mind, and do lots of good virtue.

Above is the proccess during our life, we still can be funny person or intellectual person,as long as everything that in our mind, words and action did not hurt others, but to make them feel happy and it is usefull. Practicing in our daily lifes also keeping the sila(is it true?is it good? Is it usefull? 3 filters to applyin our mind, word, action).
I just want to share some i know. It might not perfect, because im kind of lack when it comes to meditation. Lots of practice also for me. :-) lets practice together! :-)

hening

Information at this web could helpful where we are in the proccess 8)

www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/gunaratana/wheel351.html


Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Hello Mountain Lion ;) ,

On the 26th of December you wrote:
Most of these medical or psychological interventions just seem superficial, after I came to face my real inner demons through Vipassana.

On the 4th of January you wrote:
Vipassana seems to have opened a can of worms I wasn't prepared to deal with.

It sound like you came unpleasantly close to one of your inner demons. So close, that you cannot see it's behaviour any more. That is not hopeless, but it is tough. You might need to muster any strength and help that you can find - including the superficial ones. And I beg you to get your body moving. Strengthen you body, do physical exercise. And keep looking around you.

To be fair toward the Goenka-organisation: Did you tell them that you have psychotherapy and that you are on anti-depressants?


MountainKing

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Thank you for your responses. I did speak with them regarding that. I have started doing suryanamaskaras.

MuradinBronzeBeard

Hi MountainKing,

If you are still feeling 'anxious' about things in life, check out 'Ayurveda', the ~3000 year old ancient healing system in India.  You most likely are suffering from an imbalance of 'vata', which can sometimes be aggravated by long meditation sittings. An ayurvedic consultation will probably clear alot of the problems up.

I felt a similar way after my first two 10-days... anxious, lack of will to really do anything, i just slept, ate, and pooped too.

Ayurveda provides a wonderful bodily compliment to ground yourself while building up your spiritual and mental energies in meditation.

Best of luck,
MuradinBronzeBeard, fellow mountain king lv5

lsamson

Hey MK,

I have been practicing meditation for a number of years now and felt exactly the same thing when I first started.

Your ego is still there and always will be, unless you become a monk and train your entire life, but now you can observe it. You can observe your emotions, your thoughts, you can now try to understand why you feel the way you do.

As for the matter of not wanting to do anything great anymore I think you just need some motivation to start up again and get the ball rolling. To get one foot in front of the other and start another project of yours.

If you have more questions dont be afraid to send me a PM.

Best of Wishes, Luca.

redalert

Welcome to the forum Isamson,
Your ego is still there and always will be, unless you become a monk and train your entire life, but now you can observe it. You can observe your emotions, your thoughts, you can now try to understand why you feel the way you do.


Why can only a monk do this?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 12:46:30 PM by redalert »

crr11005

I am not trying to answer your question but I am not sure how I start my own post.

pls help!

lsamson

Hey Redalert,

Sorry but there was a bit of mis-communication there on my behalf. I did not mean only a monk can do this, but what I meant was that it would take a very long time and a large part of your life to completely absolve your ego. I said monk because they can usually achieve this as they dedicate a large portion, if not all, of their life to this art.

I hope this clears up what I said.

If you have any more questions don't be afraid to ask.

Thanks everyone, Luca.

redalert

Hey Luca,

I had a feeling thats what you meant, just wanted to clarify. :)

 

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