Author Topic: need of approval  (Read 470 times)

Siddharth

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need of approval
« on: March 18, 2019, 05:42:53 AM »
Hello everyone, hope you are all treading the path.

I have in my cognizance for some time that there is a specific set of people that I am desperately seeking approval of. Some non-immediate family members.
I somehow see them as competition, as rivals and whenever I have imaginations of success(whatever that means), somehow that translates into being able to show that I am somehow better than them in some arbitrary aspects. say having a better job, more social status and so on..

I feel I am trapped in this feeling and spending a significant portion of my life seeking approval rather than being and living as per my natural instincts.

All this has been more and more clear as I am more aware and distant from my thoughts in daily life.

Although meditation has helped me realize this, and I had once discussed with Matthew the importance of being radically honest to self,
I have yet not been able to break through this thought pattern, which in turn has been affecting the very approach I have in life and the decisions I have been taking on a day to day basis.

I realize that this is not something very unique and at some level, a lot of human beings are doing this...posting on social media with the sole purpose of creating a veneer of false images of how their lives are and so on.

But I have not been able to yet make any tangible progress at this front. I am more aware of it, but the habit patterns have been more or less intact.

Any help to deal with this is welcome. 

And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

stillpointdancer

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 10:56:38 AM »
Hi Siddharth. Your post highlights a lot of what the path is about. We have to come to terms with our own identity. What is it that makes me 'me'? How do I know what I am without comparing myself with others and what they think of me? How do I know what it is to be a successful human being if I challenge assumptions imposed on me by society, and reject them?

We are constantly bombarded with what it is to be a success in tv programmes, films and even advertising, so is it any surprise that we rely on these outside influences? The way 'in' for me was a structured series of mindfulness meditations which challenged everything, from what we think our bodies are, to every idea we have of everything, moving out to the wider world.

The downside is that it is a very dangerous thing to do without the right protections in place, such as meditations which keep you feeling good about things, so is not to be approached lightly, without a good deal of preparation.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Matthew

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2019, 01:04:26 AM »
Quote
All this has been more and more clear as I am more aware and distant from my thoughts in daily life.

Maybe the words above can be misread? Being more aware of thoughts is useful, seeing how they arise and fall requires to deepen that awareness, not become more distant from them.

As Still point dancer points out, our world today programs is to look for success, progress, to be better than the next guy ... escaping this story, this fake identification with the contents of mind, is not achieved by distancing but by facing them fully and becoming very intimate with them.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Apkallu

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2019, 04:49:28 PM »
Just realize that your biology drives you a lot  ;)

As Buddha said, the most powerful force we have to fight against is sex (not sure of the exact formulation).
Sex/reproduction urges pushes you to a lot of competition or bragging (internal or external).

If you really look at you, you could consider than most of what you are doing on a regular basis comes ultimately from this reproduction urge made to your ego.
It is my present understanding.

stillpointdancer

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 10:47:40 AM »
Just realize that your biology drives you a lot  ;)

As Buddha said, the most powerful force we have to fight against is sex (not sure of the exact formulation).
Sex/reproduction urges pushes you to a lot of competition or bragging (internal or external).

If you really look at you, you could consider than most of what you are doing on a regular basis comes ultimately from this reproduction urge made to your ego.
It is my present understanding.

I don't think 'fight against' is a good way to meditate about what makes us as individuals. I think the idea is to understand our biological selves as part of our practice, neither fighting nor not fighting the underlying physical factors which go towards makins us 'us'.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 11:11:45 AM »
It's not just sex that causes competitiveness. Survival depends on your being stronger than others. Status determines how other people will cooperate with you. We are social animals - even monks have status in society which is why Buddhism thrives in societies where monks have high status. Reducing your needs is one way of reducing the dependence on others. Actually Mr Goenka's retreats were for me very illuminating. In the beginning, when we start, everybody seems to have certain identities - some look rich, some poor, some middle-class, some yuppies, some westerners. Towards the end of the retreat, all these identities fade and you only see fellow humans. For me, this is one of the best aspects of retreats.
Mostly ignorant

Mert

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 11:00:05 PM »
Acting needy is something you might want to examine in yourself, what's the point of meditating otherwise? I recommend reading Pansadhovaka Sutta: The Dirt-washer.

In my experience, when you accept things as they are, for example self, than you can let go of the things you put instead.

Siddharth

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 10:29:58 AM »

We are constantly bombarded with what it is to be a success in tv programmes, films and even advertising, so is it any surprise that we rely on these outside influences? The way 'in' for me was a structured series of mindfulness meditations which challenged everything, from what we think our bodies are, to every idea we have of everything, moving out to the wider world.


I find wisdom in your words, SPD. I am realising, how at times I have been acting to fulfil some artificial role that I feel I am supposed to but is only a construction. The same physical act can be done for many different reasons, and mindsets and that perhaps makes all the difference.

It's not just sex that causes competitiveness. Survival depends on your being stronger than others. Status determines how other people will cooperate with you. We are social animals - even monks have status in society which is why Buddhism thrives in societies where monks have high status. Reducing your needs is one way of reducing the dependence on others.
Dharma Bum, hello. I have read a lot of your past posts in the archives and can relate with much you have said. I agree here too. Reducing physical needs is easier, but when you act in ways that society think violates their rules, they can punish you on an emotional level. All of us, at least I have to pay some "social tax" from time to time i.e. doing certain things just so that we are part of the society and people are cordial with us. This too has reduced substantially as I have surrounded myself with more mature people and also learned a thing or two about self and how we interact with society along the way.

Just realize that your biology drives you a lot  ;)
Hello Apkallu, I think I know where you are coming from, but I feel for me sex is one of the things and not the most important.


Maybe the words above can be misread? Being more aware of thoughts is useful, seeing how they arise and fall requires to deepen that awareness, not become more distant from them.
Hello, Matthew. How are you doing?
Yes, it can be misread. What I meant when I said distant was that due to repeated observing, these realisations that I am seeking approval do not bother me as deeply as they did a while ago. I am more equanimous and therefore able to better probe into the whole business. perhaps distant is the opposite of what has happened.


Acting needy is something you might want to examine in yourself, what's the point of meditating otherwise?

Mert, I will ponder upon this part. In my mind, I generally do not act needy but go all out like a beggar when I find something that can help me substantially on a bigger scale.

As of now, I will attempt to stay equanimous with these thoughts and with the insight as to why I am doing certain things, will try to rewire either the physical action or the reasoning behind them, or both.

The more I tread the path, the more I understand these layers and layers of conditioning that have been defining me. That I have been wrongly assuming to be me.

I hope we all use our lives to reduce some if this conditioning.
With metta,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Siddharth

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 05:15:37 PM »
I recommend reading Pansadhovaka Sutta: The Dirt-washer.


I did read what you recommended and it grounded me from my thoughts, at least for now.

Here is the link for others interested :
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.100.01-10.than.html
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

tbarron

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 08:00:41 PM »
Hi, Siddharth,

I can relate to the desire for approval you describe. It has been one of my struggles, too.

When contemplating a change, I have found it useful to ask myself, "What is the smallest, simplest meaningful shift I can make right now?" Usually small shifts are less risky and easier than larger changes and finding a relatively small and "safe" way to start the change can get the ball rolling.

If I make the change and don't like the result, a small change is easier to withdraw before the next effort. OTOH, if the outcome is good, that usually produces helpful motivation for making larger changes.

I hope you find a way to resolve this situation that makes you happy and helps you grow.

Tom

stillpointdancer

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 10:56:08 AM »
I recommend reading Pansadhovaka Sutta: The Dirt-washer.


I did read what you recommended and it grounded me from my thoughts, at least for now.

Here is the link for others interested :
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.100.01-10.than.html

I like the visualisation meditation associated with this where you imagine yourself as a glass vessel hanging in space, full of dirt. A tear from the Buddha the size of the universe falls and swamps you. As it does so you imagine the top of your, glass, head opening and another opening at the lowest point of your body. the tear flows through you, washing the dirt away, leaving pure crystal glass. The openings close, shutting out any dirt which may be around later.

There are variations, but as a basic visualisation this is pretty good.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Siddharth

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2019, 01:58:10 PM »

I like the visualisation meditation associated with this where you imagine yourself as a glass vessel hanging in space, full of dirt. A tear from the Buddha the size of the universe falls and swamps you. As it does so you imagine the top of your, glass, head opening and another opening at the lowest point of your body. the tear flows through you, washing the dirt away, leaving pure crystal glass. The openings close, shutting out any dirt which may be around later.

There are variations, but as a basic visualisation this is pretty good.

I have never gone with any kind of visualization meditation till now, I will try this soon. Any more resources/guidance on visualization meditation is welcome.
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

stillpointdancer

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2019, 11:00:38 AM »
The other one I regularly use is to imagine I am holding a glass orb as I sit. As I breath in and out, a cleansing white light/mist starts to pour out of the globe and fill me and the room. This is metta and continues to fill the building, the area and eventually the world. Although a metta meditation, it has the same cleansing effect as the previous visualisation.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: need of approval
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2019, 10:14:45 PM »
Sometimes I use a visualization of a knot or a stone loosening/dissolving. The knot can be anxiety or anger. I once attended a session in which they recommended a scrubbing/cleaning action to rid of impurities/ill-will. This is too much work for me.
Mostly ignorant