Author Topic: I'd like to request advice for my meditation  (Read 837 times)

Corrupted Catnip

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I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« on: March 08, 2020, 10:31:47 AM »
Hi, I'm new to this forum and also somewhat new to meditation. I've been practicing for several months and now I'm experiencing new sensations. Loud ringing, intense heat, electricity coursing through my head, I feel pathways or airways opening/unlocking in my head and face. I can move this sensation through the rest of my body like I'm spreading my consciousness and I can feel and almost see my inner parts and even my skeleton. This in itself isn't troubling to me though. While I was doing this meditation practice a friend started texting me frantically, telling me to stop Astral traveling because she could sense evil spirits on me and she told me to pray to God to remove them. I don't know what she's talking about. As far as I know I'm healing my mind and body, not traveling anywhere. I want to know what she's seeing, maybe it's negative energy expelling from my body or something? Or maybe it's nothing and I shouldn't worry? This is a new experience so I don't know what to do, should I stop meditating or not be afraid?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 10:34:41 AM by Corrupted Catnip »
"Do you want control over chaos or do you want to let go and give in to it? Which is it? Order or chaos? Choose!" - my brain?

stillpointdancer

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2020, 11:09:33 AM »
Hi. I'm a log-term meditator, 20+ years. Things happen when you meditate, so I wouldn't worry about any basic meditation. I don't know which particular meditations you have been practicing, but it seems to me you are just becoming more aware of your body and feelings. It does feel like energy moving through your body sometimes.

As to other people, some do notice changes in those who start meditating. I could be out and about with my wife and she could pick out, without knowing them, people who meditated at the centre I went to, without knowing any of them. For us meditators the changes are gradual and more noticeable to people who know us rather than ourselves. It's pretty normal since we  mostly meditate to bring about change. Maybe it freaks other people out to see us changing in front of them?
“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

Corrupted Catnip

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2020, 03:59:26 PM »
Hi. I'm a log-term meditator, 20+ years. Things happen when you meditate, so I wouldn't worry about any basic meditation. I don't know which particular meditations you have been practicing, but it seems to me you are just becoming more aware of your body and feelings. It does feel like energy moving through your body sometimes.

As to other people, some do notice changes in those who start meditating. I could be out and about with my wife and she could pick out, without knowing them, people who meditated at the centre I went to, without knowing any of them. For us meditators the changes are gradual and more noticeable to people who know us rather than ourselves. It's pretty normal since we  mostly meditate to bring about change. Maybe it freaks other people out to see us changing in front of them?

Yeah it was pretty weird lol. First I was like digging through my body feeling these nodes of energy like tingly spots and when I followed them I started coming to mental barriers, like I would hear voices or get distracted by random thoughts and visions. But when I dismissed it I would keep feeling it out and that little bit of pain would relax and I felt like something was opening up there. Eventually I came to this point where I could visualize myself going down a vortex lined with eyes and it was asking me, do I want order or chaos? And by that point I felt like I had enough for the day and I didn't have time to explore the infinity of my Lovecraftian imagination so I took a break
"Do you want control over chaos or do you want to let go and give in to it? Which is it? Order or chaos? Choose!" - my brain?

Dhamma

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2020, 04:43:09 PM »
We can experience all kinds of bizarre sensations and feelings when doing meditation, even when you've meditated for a long time. Our minds are simply fighting the quiet; we don't want to relax the mind. And often times meditation brings up the subconscious mind. This can be very unsettling at times. We can see where are deepest fears and insecurities lie.

There is this myth that circulates that meditation is always supposed to pleasant.  Many times they are anything but pleasant. But, over time, you should develop a greater sense of peace by understanding ultimate reality a little better.

I have a total monkey mind at times. I get obsessive thoughts that usually have to do with others getting in my way and controlling me. I see the worst in people and think how they want to make me unhappy (not everybody).  I wake up in the morning, thinking, "Who's going to try to make my life hard today"? I just want to go into a cave.  I get feelings of being extremely overwhelmed by other people. And then I go into a loop, obsessing with everything that's wrong with world and how I cannot fix any of it.  Never fight your feelings; just be present with them. Let them simply be. Feel them completely in the body. My subconscious mind is still very delusional about ultimate reality.


I work through these issues through vipassana meditation and Tsa Lung exercises. It takes time. I've made progress over the past few years, but those very negative feelings are still there with me almost everyday at different degrees.  And I am fine with this. I simply "am" - good, bad, neutral, whatever.

It is normal for meditators to become agitated with others when becoming a serious meditator. We see less and less the point in idle chat and socialization. We see how others are delusional about ultimate reality and how others pander to our defilements. When in solitude, our defilements are less pronounced.

That said, we need to develop loving-kindness and compassion for all beings, even those we cannot stomach (metta). We don't become real friends, however, with those who don't share our values.  Also, once you start to begin to understand the Buddhist concept of emptiness, it helps you better deal with unpleasant feelings about others. It does help me.

Our practice must be regular if we really want to make progress. But one thing (and this is best stated by the Zen Buddhists): don't strive to meet a goal - just be in whatever state you're in.  In other words, just be present without thinking so much of a goal.

In closing, people with psychosis or extreme mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar, on verge of suicide etc.) should not be meditate without being under the care of a teacher. And even then, it may not be advised. This is whole other topic, but I just needed to throw that out there.

I wish you great success in your meditation journey. Stick with it. Make sure you are meditating correctly as taught by one of the great schools of Buddhism (Theravada, Zen, Tibetan, etc.)

May we all fulfill our deepest wish: to be truly happy and free from all suffering:)
You are already Buddha

Corrupted Catnip

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2020, 05:15:39 PM »
We can experience all kinds of bizarre sensations and feelings when doing meditation, even when you've meditated for a long time. Our minds are simply fighting the quiet; we don't want to relax the mind. And often times meditation brings up the subconscious mind. This can be very unsettling at times. We can see where are deepest fears and insecurities lie.

There is this myth that circulates that meditation is always supposed to pleasant.  Many times they are anything but pleasant. But, over time, you should develop a greater sense of peace by understanding ultimate reality a little better.

I have a total monkey mind at times. I get obsessive thoughts that usually have to do with others getting in my way and controlling me. I see the worst in people and think how they want to make me unhappy (not everybody).  I wake up in the morning, thinking, "Who's going to try to make my life hard today"? I just want to go into a cave.  I get feelings of being extremely overwhelmed by other people. And then I go into a loop, obsessing with everything that's wrong with world and how I cannot fix any of it.  Never fight your feelings; just be present with them. Let them simply be. Feel them completely in the body. My subconscious mind is still very delusional about ultimate reality.


I work through these issues through vipassana meditation and Tsa Lung exercises. It takes time. I've made progress over the past few years, but those very negative feelings are still there with me almost everyday at different degrees.  And I am fine with this. I simply "am" - good, bad, neutral, whatever.

It is normal for meditators to become agitated with others when becoming a serious meditator. We see less and less the point in idle chat and socialization. We see how others are delusional about ultimate reality and how others pander to our defilements. When in solitude, our defilements are less pronounced.

That said, we need to develop loving-kindness and compassion for all beings, even those we cannot stomach (metta). We don't become real friends, however, with those who don't share our values.  Also, once you start to begin to understand the Buddhist concept of emptiness, it helps you better deal with unpleasant feelings about others. It does help me.

Our practice must be regular if we really want to make progress. But one thing (and this is best stated by the Zen Buddhists): don't strive to meet a goal - just be in whatever state you're in.  In other words, just be present without thinking so much of a goal.

In closing, people with psychosis or extreme mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar, on verge of suicide etc.) should not be meditate without being under the care of a teacher. And even then, it may not be advised. This is whole other topic, but I just needed to throw that out there.

I wish you great success in your meditation journey. Stick with it. Make sure you are meditating correctly as taught by one of the great schools of Buddhism (Theravada, Zen, Tibetan, etc.)

May we all fulfill our deepest wish: to be truly happy and free from all suffering:)
That's some great insight. I think I will stay in the meditation next time and go through that vortex without giving an answer to its question. I definitely sound like a crazy person lol. My friends said they've never heard of meditation causing pain before but I don't know if they've had as much trauma as I have. I can't speak for them lol
« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 05:24:53 PM by Corrupted Catnip »
"Do you want control over chaos or do you want to let go and give in to it? Which is it? Order or chaos? Choose!" - my brain?

Dhamma

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2020, 11:58:49 PM »
One more thing, friend: it is very normal to think you're going crazy at times in your meditation journey. All it is, is an anxious mind.  I still get vestiges of it at times. I am a highly anxious person, so just imagine all the crazy stuff that I think of and off the cushion LOL.

Again, I wish you all the best. Don't give up - I beg you. I doubted my practiced several times but always persevered.

I know in my heart that the Holy Dhamma is the only way to a truly happy life and to resolve all of life's problems. It is the antidote to ending suffering and being brought into endless cycles of birth and rebirth.

Pick a tradition with strong lineage: Zen, Theravada, Tibetan, etc (there are a lot of fake schools and fake gurus out there). You can also go the Indian yogi route in your meditation journey, but there are a few marked differences between Buddhism and Yogi spirituality, particularly in the concept of emptiness in Buddhism vs. Advaita Vedanta in the Yogi world. But they are complicated concepts and you don't need to understand them now. Just learn to meditate properly and consistently and follow Eastern goodness and morality, the holy Dhamma (Yogis and Buddhists all follow it, more or less).

In closing, I hope that I don't show an ego of any sorts in my explanations.  I stand to be corrected in anything I said above.

Peace and enlightenment. :)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 12:00:50 AM by Dhamma »
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Matthew

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2020, 12:46:13 AM »
Hey CC,

What is your practice? And how or where did you learn it? As to your friend's Gods and spirits, that is her projection to deal with. Be kindly towards them, yet don't get dragged in.

In the Dhamma,

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

mobius

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2020, 01:22:23 AM »
Occasionally when meditating I've had episodes where it felt like I was or had left my body and went 'astral traveling'. For example once it felt like I sank out of my body; downwards, through the floor of my room, through my basement and down below the ground. But this wasn't 'real' in any ultimate sense; how could it be? I didn't see anything or wasn't ever able to gain information or take anything with me and move stuff or do anything to prove it was real. But these sensations felt very realistic and convincing at the time. I think it's very easy to believe what our minds tell us initially. But most of it is wrong or inaccurate, at least in my case. So ultimately when it comes to all the "mystical" things in religion or whatever my personal stance is: I don't know; maybe that's real maybe not. I can't say; I have no experience there. I only know what I know.

I've also had a lot of pain and negative stuff go on from meditating; but I've gone through a lot of pain and negative stuff in my life. Like you said trauma can cause this.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

Dhamma

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2020, 01:51:43 AM »
I wanted to add something: we tell ourselves a lot of "stories", even when we're meditating. Many things we think are not even true at all about ultimate reality, yet we cling to the thoughts and believe them to truly real. We tell ourselves stories about ourselves, others, our feelings, etc. all the time. The more we meditate, the more we see how many things we believe are completely and utterly false.

Just notice thoughts as just thoughts and don't go down the rabbit hole with them, even very positive ones. Gently let them be. If a thought causes a terrible sensation and feeling, notice in the body where you feel it (even positive feelings are felt in the body). Feel it as much as you can while "noting" it.  But don't get caught up in it, no matter how bad it feels. It will pass as all things do (impermanence of all phenomena).

Please learn to make your physical body your home (where you feel all those feelings and sensations arising from thoughts). If we don't make our body our home, our mind shoots off into fantasy and folklore, creating much more suffering.  We must learn to be grounded in the physical body.

Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

mobius

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2020, 12:28:48 AM »
.....
In closing, people with psychosis or extreme mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar, on verge of suicide etc.) should not be meditate without being under the care of a teacher. And even then, it may not be advised. This is whole other topic, but I just needed to throw that out there.

I wish you great success in your meditation journey. Stick with it. Make sure you are meditating correctly as taught by one of the great schools of Buddhism (Theravada, Zen, Tibetan, etc.)

May we all fulfill our deepest wish: to be truly happy and free from all suffering:)

I'm really curious as to *why* exactly people with those mental problems have negative effects from meditation. Is this understood at all? And what can be done about it? Shinzen Young talks about this a little bit but admits he doesn't really have a lot of answers.
I'm asking because I was severely depressed as a teenager, had thoughts of suicide (though never attempted). Most of my depression, I believe was circumstantial* however. I haven't felt that way in years and I haven't started meditating until very recently. And yet; I seem to be inclined (for reasons I don't yet understand) to have said negative effects.


*by that I mean I was depressed because my life was pretty crap at the time (no friends, bleak future...) not a "chemical depression" where things were okay but I felt bad anyway. I have maybe a little bit of that from time to time but nothing I've ever felt needed medical attention.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

dharma bum

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2020, 12:46:38 AM »
I'm guessing that when you sit in meditation, your mind is relatively free from distraction, there is a possibility of excessive rumination on the things that cause you mental issues.

I've heard anecdotes of people sort of coming to terms with traumatic events in their past such as sexual abuse etc due to meditation, but there is no predicting how people will react. That makes us human, I guess. If we could be predictable, we wouldn't be human.
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lazy55

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2020, 05:27:34 AM »
hii
thanks for sharing this
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 05:30:18 AM by lazy55 »

Corrupted Catnip

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Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2020, 10:10:28 PM »
Hey CC,

What is your practice? And how or where did you learn it? As to your friend's Gods and spirits, that is her projection to deal with. Be kindly towards them, yet don't get dragged in.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
I don't follow a strictly traditional meditation practice, though it would help to study and actually practice one. I guess I'm stubborn about doing things by the book. I go to an online community full of spiritualists and pagans who give me pointers and that's basically it. I'm interested in learning more though
"Do you want control over chaos or do you want to let go and give in to it? Which is it? Order or chaos? Choose!" - my brain?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: I'd like to request advice for my meditation
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2020, 10:04:04 PM »
I don't follow a strictly traditional meditation practice, though it would help to study and actually practice one. I guess I'm stubborn about doing things by the book. I go to an online community full of spiritualists and pagans who give me pointers and that's basically it. I'm interested in learning more though

The Buddha's teachings are not a religion, not a philosophy, they are a way of life informed by a deep understanding of the human psyche gained through experience, destruction of clinging, ignorance and aversion, and the development of wisdom and compassion.

Trungpa coined the term "Spiritual Supermarket" to describe the mix and match attitude of us very self-centered westerners towards finding what is true. A bit of incense, a dollop of patchouli oil, a bit of chakra alignment, some Daoist ideas, and a bit of xyz meditation. That's MY recipe 😂

It's all very superficial, and feeds the ego, rather than giving insight into how the ego functions. This insight is the primary tool for digging deeper, and making changes.

You are interested in learning more. That's a good start. I don't think you will find the answers you are looking for in the Spiritual Supermarket. That's because they are in you.

Are you willing to try an experiment? If yes, put down the books, and everything you've learned until now. Go to the homepage and print off the pdf of the Shamatha/Calm Abiding meditation instructions - and follow them rigorously for a month, ideally an hour a day if you can. See what grows from that experiment.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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