Author Topic: Dealing with all the bad mental habits  (Read 1498 times)

greenfly

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Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« on: February 06, 2016, 07:12:17 PM »
hi...  sorry my english...
I meditate for one and a half year now... twice a day for40 min..
I practice awareness of breathing..according to anapanasati sutta....
My question is... i am aware more and more with my reaction to situations, thinking, making stories about anyithing that come in my mind during the day.... and i see the repetity of the (mentaly reactions)
and i know that those are habits and not the way i would like those to be....but those mentalyreactions and making stories are so frequent and the same...and "permanent"..  :-).
Its a common im not good enough " sindrom"....
I know that i would continue with my practice and not give to much importance to them... but  those mentally reactions are so " implanted" in my mind and i need to hear if this is a part of my path and if that amplification of awareness of those are normal on the path...
and some advice....
thx..

Quardamon

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Re: Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2016, 10:05:51 AM »
Hello Greenfly,

Yes, it is normal that one gets more and more aware of one's reactions and actions.

You find, that you make stories. You call them "permanent". I suppose that you mean, that it are the same stories again and again.
One way to handle that situation is to go back to the object of meditation as soon as you find that you are making a story. I suppose that you did that a lot of times already.
Another way to handle the situation is to allow the story to be the object of meditation. There is a subtle difference with 'going with the story'. It is more like 'seeing how it develops', seeing how it comes and goes, while you keep sitting.
If you did that several times, you may find that you grow an attitude like: "Oh, there is this story coming again" and "Oh, there is that story coming again". You may find, that different stories come with different bodily feelings, and with different breathing patterns.
So you keep you awareness, you keep a meditating attitude. And when the story telling fades away, you do not stick with the story, but change back to your original object of meditation.

So this is not what Goenka teaches. It is what I learned in the line of Mahassi Sayadaw.
(By the way, I get the impression that the effects of both methods are the same.)
I hope that this helps you to be at peace with the fact that mental reactions come and go. And I hope that when you have explored this, you can deepen you shamatha practice.

P.S.: Please, call them "mental habits", not "bad mental habits". If you name things that you meet with in meditation in a condemning tone, then you will meet with the condemning tone later on the path. A condemning tone can have a negative side effect. The art is to be clear, precise, and neutral or slightly positive.

greenfly

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Re: Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2016, 12:44:33 PM »

I hope that this helps you to be at peace with the fact that mental reactions come and go. And I hope that when you have explored this, you can deepen you shamatha practice.


Thanks Quardamon for your explanation...it help me to deal with those situation and  remind me to not get cought by the stories...i will not label them......

Attachless

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Re: Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2016, 08:43:24 PM »
All that Quarda said. Additionally to dealing with it this way (recommended), you can also try to adopt a habit (since they are mental habits, not?) of treating yourself good. Affirm yourself you are worthy - doubt the thoughts you are thinking. If you observe yourself thinking bad of yourself, doubt it. "is it really so? Is it really that I'm unworthy?"

Disbelief your beliefs and stories. Tell yourself the opposite and make a habit out of doubting-reaffirming, even if it doesn't feel so. You could also go into why you think that way and why you think those stories, to better understand yourself (psychoanalysy) - but that only helps that much and only gets you so far - hence, what Quarda says is above all this, and a real good fundament for doubting-reaffirming (because how else could zou doubt if you didnt see them objectively as they are and can seperate yourself from it?).

Greets
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

greenfly

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Re: Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 08:53:17 AM »
 Thx..
I ha ve done few times the "Present Process" of Michael Brown... that helped me to "discover" the original cause of this habbits....but the in the last months the equanimity of the reaction to them is the problem...
I feel disapointed of  myself when this happen
...

Vivek

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Re: Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 12:21:13 PM »
Presence Process is an excellent tool that integrates mindfulness pretty well into it. It's good that you have been exposed to the process. Have you done the process for the full 10 weeks? When you go through the process 2-3 times that's when I think we see the most benefits.

Quote
I feel disapointed of  myself when this happen
A little bit more gentleness and kindness to yourself will help you get through this. Equanimity is something that we develop slowly. It is quite natural that we fall into habits of thinking and behaving every now and then, but the great thing is to get up every time we fall. If Presence Process has inspired you then I would strongly recommend you stick with it.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

greenfly

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Re: Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 01:19:46 PM »
Hi....
Yes I 've done the whole proccess three times....i was in trouble to feel emotions(sensation) in my body.... so i 've decided to practice samatha calm abiding for some time in order to calm and relax the mind/body.
In that time a book Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg came to me somehow...:-)...and  i'm doing breath awareness now and will see where the practice will take me.....there is some obstacle in my concentration  and it' s hard for me to see it and recognize it....
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 02:50:19 PM by greenfly »

TheJourney

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Re: Dealing with all the bad mental habits
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2016, 03:45:17 PM »
I am very familiar with your situation. I spent 14 months of mindfulness training on myself, and have finally succeeded in dealing with it.

1. I constantly guard my mind door. At the beginning, thoughts happen so fast. I catch the train of thoughts in the middle of it. Once I caught it, I mentally note "wandering, wandering", then I watch the train of thoughts. It immediately stops because it feels delusional to go on.

2. Certain mental tendency will keep repeating. You just keep doing what you do. Mentally note, "wandering, wandering", and spot light the train of thoughts. The thoughts will stop.

3. Forgive yourself when it keeps happening, because it is a nonlinear process. There will be times when you think you are making progress and that there are less mental tendencies. There will be times when you feel like you are going backwards. It is like the stock market, but ultimately there is progress.

4. I have given up sensual realm. I still have to go see movies or see rental movies with my wife, but I do not watch TV or listen to radio or read Internet news and watch Internet video anymore. I do anapana when I am not doing sitting anapana meditation.  The only difference is that I am not sitting down and my eyes are wide open.

5. When my wife is watching TV, I read Dhamma downloaded from ForestSanghaPublications.org. I keep reading over and over different PDFs on impermanence, unsatisfactory, and no-self. This reinforces my subconscious to stop clinging to forms, being, and doctrine of self.

6. Whenever I am walking, I do walking meditation. If I am walking fast, I still pay attention to the movements of my legs. If it is fast, then it is left right, left, right,... If it is moderate pace, then I notice the entire movement of my legs one at a time. When you get a habit of this, you will not have time to think during walking. You begin to notice that there is just walking and not "I am walking".

7. I contemplate on the fact that all these mental tendencies are just waste of my time. They are impermanent and unsatisfactory.  I read a lot of Dhamma to get this into my subconscious.

Often these thoughts arise because of clinging to "self" or "becoming". It is a nonlinear process because every time you are succeeding, ego has a way of tricking you to thoughts again. Ego doesn't want to disappear. Ego feels it needs to be around to protect you. Ego is feeding all the thoughts.

I know what you are going through. Be patient, determined, and have faith in the mindfulness process. It will eventually reduce. Right effort - need to apply effort to guard the mind but not apply the effort too strongly that it creates tension in your life.

Insight meditation has awareness of thoughts as it arise while staying fully conscious. This is like sitting on a river bank watching river flow.

Daydreaming has awareness of thoughts after it has arisen. This is like swimming in the river.

 

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