Author Topic: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties  (Read 274 times)

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« on: September 10, 2019, 07:46:28 PM »
Hey guys,

I want to know from other experienced meditator about the explanation of few experiences and way to deal with them. I have been doing meditation for 3 years now and I am seeing some changes in me that I am not sure due to the meditation but it seems to be one of the cause. I want to know if you have experienced the same if so How did you deal with it?

1. I feel aversion from alcohol. I mean I can have 1 glass of beer but as soon as I start to loose my awareness I immediately want to stop. It feels alcohol is doing exactly opposite of meditation. That wasn't the case 2 years back. So I fail to mingle in group sometimes.
Currently I am in Germany and here alcohol is big part of their culture.

2. I am having difficulty in socializing with people or classmates(After working for three years I have decided to do masters in Computer science). It's not shyness I guess because I can talk easily regarding the work with anyone. But when it comes to outside of the classroom I usually find I don't agree on many things they are doing or saying. I can't get involve much. This happen to be case even with the Indians as I am an Indian(So, this is also not about the cultural issue).

3. There is hardly I have met person who is doing meditation seriously for long. So often it's hard to discuss or open up about it. I think no one in my circle knows that I meditate.

Now why I have doubts about it because I don't particularly feel very peaceful yet or other benefits of meditation(or may be I haven't noticed), but that doesn't really bother me anymore because I haven't tied any expectation from it. It's just the activity I do daily as I eat.

Also I feel it's inevitable to become alone ultimately if meditation brings change. Because it will become harder and harder to find common interest.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 07:59:21 PM by raushan »

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
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  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 11:08:05 AM »
1. Yep, this was one of the consequences for me too. Didn't do my social life any favours, but I guess I gained much more than I lost.
2. See 1. above. Your interests can change as you meditate.
3. There are lots of meditation centres in Germany and so it may be worth while looking for one.
“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

Chaska

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    • Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 09:34:34 PM »
Hello Raushan,
So nice to hear that you meditate as you eat ahah sounds like you are already and advance meditator :)
No worries about your life changes (regarding friend and alcool) that was the same for me but I gained new friends and I haven’t drunk since 2 years and my wallet and my health is telling me thanks.
I am not sure about the end goal being alone if you keep on practicing. Meditation is all about observing the reality as it is. So everything will change. Being with people and being mindful in the same time (that you cannot have deep conversation on meditation and that is annoying you) is a good mindful exercice to be aware of it and not reacting.

Also finding meditation friend for sure helps. You can join a Vipassana retreat and meet people there and later you will be able to do service which is even better.

Ending your life (dying) alone is just a reality for everyone. But it doesn’t mean you must be alone with meditation. It’s an art of living doesn’t matter if you are a monk or a householder. It just give you better lenses to see the world and to be more compassionate and kind to others. That is also one way to mesurate your progress so far.

Keep your practice it’s great.
The day I will be able to meditate as I eat ahah i will let you know. Right now I am having hard to sitting on the cushion (because it’s the time I need to do it the most).

With metta

My life is a stepping stone for something bigger

dharma bum

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Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 10:33:56 PM »
Agreed with Chaska. While solitude is a good thing, being with people can also help meditation, especially since you're not a monk. You don't have to agree with with people say and do, nor do you have to be like others to be friends or friendly with them.
Mostly ignorant

Marino

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Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 06:12:25 PM »

1. I feel aversion from alcohol. I mean I can have 1 glass of beer but as soon as I start to loose my awareness I immediately want to stop. It feels alcohol is doing exactly opposite of meditation. That wasn't the case 2 years back. So I fail to mingle in group sometimes.
Currently I am in Germany and here alcohol is big part of their culture.


That's expected. Real meditation brings upliftment in the consciousness of human being who performs it. Old things become pale and you gain interest in spiritual life.


2. I am having difficulty in socializing with people or classmates(After working for three years I have decided to do masters in Computer science). It's not shyness I guess because I can talk easily regarding the work with anyone. But when it comes to outside of the classroom I usually find I don't agree on many things they are doing or saying. I can't get involve much. This happen to be case even with the Indians as I am an Indian(So, this is also not about the cultural issue).

That is also expected. You become more intelligent so you can't socialize with old folks any more or as you already did. Relationships also change and they should because your intelligence is rising. Your interests shift from material things to spiritual.

The only advice to you is to advance more, become more qualified and become ordained as a monk in some authentic spiritual tradition. That's how it goes in you continue to advance spiritually. Then you will be actually making advancement and becoming spiritual.

raushan

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  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 10:54:01 PM »
1. Yep, this was one of the consequences for me too. Didn't do my social life any favours, but I guess I gained much more than I lost.
2. See 1. above. Your interests can change as you meditate.
3. There are lots of meditation centres in Germany and so it may be worth while looking for one.

Hi stillpointdancer,

1. Glad to know you experienced the same. I guess I will get adjusted slowly and I am doing something right.

3. I tried looking up for the monastery in Germany but couldn't find any with free service. As currently being a student I have some budget constraint. But I will keep looking.


« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 11:28:44 PM by raushan »

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 11:23:54 PM »
Hi Chaska,
Hello Raushan,
So nice to hear that you meditate as you eat ahah sounds like you are already and advance meditator :)
No worries about your life changes (regarding friend and alcool) that was the same for me but I gained new friends and I haven’t drunk since 2 years and my wallet and my health is telling me thanks.
I am not sure about the end goal being alone if you keep on practicing. Meditation is all about observing the reality as it is. So everything will change. Being with people and being mindful in the same time (that you cannot have deep conversation on meditation and that is annoying you) is a good mindful exercice to be aware of it and not reacting.
Thanks for your response. I am glad to know you had the same experience. It means I am not going off the track. I still find it difficult to be mindful in day to day life. Going to a vipassana retreat is helpful but as my course is hectic it's difficult to go for long retreat now. But I will do that if time permit.
Quote
But it doesn’t mean you must be alone with meditation. It’s an art of living doesn’t matter if you are a monk or a householder.
I feel there should be a way to balance things. I should be able to find the way.
Quote
It just give you better lenses to see the world and to be more compassionate and kind to others. That is also one way to mesurate your progress so far.
I haven't actually experienced this part yet. May be I need more understanding.
Quote
Keep your practice it’s great.
The day I will be able to meditate as I eat ahah i will let you know. Right now I am having hard to sitting on the cushion (because it’s the time I need to do it the most).
Thanks for your encouraging words. It has not been easy to keep the practice going. There have been times when i have considered it as a waste of time. But also I have seen that it has helped to calm me down when life situations were bad.
All the best for your practice.

Thanks dharma bum, Marino for the response.


mobius

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Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2019, 09:19:49 PM »
1. Ive never liked alcohol all that much  so cant say this is was an issue for me. I usually only drinm 1 beer at a time. But as others have said meditation helps curb all kinds of addictive behavior.

2. Ive always had problems with my social life so i cant quite relate here either. If anything ive gotten better at socializing, but this has been happening gradually for years.

3. I know nobody in real life that meditates. Thats why i come to places like this  :)
"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

"If you learn to laugh at your own stupidity, all your crap will turn into manure very fast. And manure is good for growth." -Sadhguru

Mert

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Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2019, 05:33:12 AM »
1. I really liked getting intoxicated. Now, I just like the taste of things or not.

Another thing is I started to like real music. Previously I liked heavy metal, pop, whatever. Now I get into the notes and get the pleasure I never had from life from this, sometimes no other sense than hearing becomes the current world. I plan to start to play piano myself and may learn violin for fun. This transition was gradual.

I started to learn Chinese too, it became interesting and fun which I had no interest in.

2. This doesn't have anything to do with meditation. People as a child learn the world with social learning, possessed by mainstream culture think relationships are something else and you need them, when you reset your brain continuously, your most used neurological pathways which correlates everything you interact with some predefined rule based system (for example this is good or this is bad, religious rules, cultural dogmas for example you need someone to stay alive) gradually fades. (This is currently used in Artificial Intelligence development for a specific task.) You continuously shut down and open up your brain to the act of thinking, coming into gradual real-ization.

You don't need friends to survive, not that you learned this with meditation, your brain unlearned it. Why would your new self want to tolerate someone against yourself (ego)? It's not desirable for a human mind/nature.

In my case, I relearned to communicate with people and relationships became uncomplicated and healthier.

3. I don't think "meditating" is the purpose or a tool, this kind of thing doesn't exists. You just deal with yourself and get to know your actual-self as you come out of your character and identity. I don't feel any attachment for the act of sitting down like I first started, thus I have no desire in "meditation" specific anything.

Also I feel it's inevitable to become alone ultimately if meditation brings change. Because it will become harder and harder to find common interest.
I agree with you. My life totally changed.

raushan

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  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2019, 08:01:50 AM »
Hi Mert,

Thanks for the response. Your answer is really helpful. You gave some good insights here.

Siddharth

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    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2019, 11:25:53 PM »
Hello Raushan,
I have been wanting to reply to this post for a while now. I used to be a pretty serious meditator for a period of 20 months (2 hours every day, shamatha), and at that time I went through similar experiences as you have described.

1. Yes, I was completely off alcohol, marijuana and even masturbation. Even coffee for me was too strong and felt like I am drugged, so did the muscle relaxant that I was prescribed for back pain at an earlier time.
All in all, meditation, once we get the hang of it significantly alters our life. So subtly though, unlike any drug that we only recognize this while interacting with entities - substances or people which we earlier enjoyed, but now seem strange, to say the least.

this brings me to the second point,

2. Socialising has also suffered. Professional relations are just fine, you can talk about anything which has very formal rules like some algorithm, some theory or anything involving logistics like talking to a receptionist, or planning to meet someone at the subway etc.
But it is not the same in case of socialising, or making small talk, or just having a fun conversation..
There is neither issue of confidence nor of competence. The issue that occurred with me was multi-layered. But over time what I could get out of it was this :

A. With meditation, we seem to realise more and more the transient and transactional nature of almost all, if not all relationships. We see(intuitively) that the social interactions where we earlier used to "connect", or "enjoy spending time" with people are actually not real, but constructed by ourselves. It is very difficult to fall in love with one particular person. We just after many complex manoeuvres, end up deciding to place a much higher value to some people than we do to others. It comes from our very deep need for acceptance and security, as much as I understand. but all this veil starts to get away as we start practising seeing things as they are..

B. Another thing which Matthew pointed out somewhere on this Forum and which I find valuable is this: with meditation, we are attacking out ego, trying to dissolve it. In the process, at times the ego like a piece of glass breaks a bit, but the newly broken parts are very sharp and hurtful to self and others. We understand much, but are not kind enough. at least initially. It is like sub-consciously we feel those non-meditating people don't get it.. It happened with me, perhaps still the case..atleast in some degrees..
Metta practise might help here.

3. Not finding meditators in the lives we live in is no surprise. We as a society work increasingly hard to earn less and less with time. Our ancestors did not work this hard for this long. More so, the amount of cerebral load is exceptionally higher today. So people in general do not get time even to stay fit, leave alone dive into something like meditation. I can rant about this on and on and on..but that is not the point. The point is that as we are not monks, we need to make peace with the fact that this is how things are going to be most of the time.
I could not make peace for a long time, ended up giving up meditation and taking up everything and anything that would lead me into a "normal life".
But that is just not possible now, I can't pretend to enjoy what and who I don't. I get misunderstood. A lot. and yet, I have learnt the lessons and concluded that there is a lot to work on within, and that is the only work that I truly value at present.

Currently I am living in a community hostel, and unable to connect with anyone, but I am at peace, and people are mostly at peace with me. They get it. I am not like most in my day to day conduct, but I am mostly kind when I rarely interact with anyone and do not cause irritation or harm.

I understand that I am much younger, less experienced than you and most members here. But this topic is something I feel resonates with my personal experiences.

and Mert's observations about 2 are also seemingly valuable to me. As a student of computer science, I feel present work in AI can take us much further as a race, not just due to the technological advancement, but more due to understanding of cognitive science. We might in time mature as a race in terms of personal and social relationships and institutions.

Re-learning social interaction is something I can work on too.

In my case, I relearned to communicate with people and relationships became uncomplicated and healthier.


Mert, can you tell us more about this process. and resources if possible.

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

Mert

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Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2019, 03:42:40 AM »
Siddharth,

Focusing on "re-learning of things" can make the predefined world more solid and indestructible jail which makes you suffer, as you seem to have a lot to deal. You don't need to name anything and go after them; ego, self and emotions aren't things yet alone being different things.

Siddharth

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    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2019, 09:35:35 AM »

Mert, this is Something to contemplate. Somehow there is already a feeling that this is a very meditator's approach. More in the lines of not doing as found in tao te Ching.

Perhaps i am a prisoner of my own mind.
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

raushan

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  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Looking for explanation of some experiences and difficulties
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2019, 02:51:06 PM »
Mert and  Siddharth, You have raised really some interesting points which I would like to discuss further. But currently little busy so won't be able to post long response. I will post it in few days.