Author Topic: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha  (Read 646 times)

NewPathForward

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Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« on: July 01, 2020, 06:15:42 PM »
Something that I am encountering lately is my new sensitivity to suffering, and I am struggling to find equanimity.

Whilst meditation has begun to open my eyes, I am now beginning to find some true (but not complete) awareness as to my own suffering.  For example, I am much more aware of my identification with thoughts and feelings, but I have not yet developed the wisdom to completely see it for what it is and release it.  This seems to "Magnify" it in a way.  The best analogy I could use is realizing that your house has been on fire for an hour, and how before you knew the problem existed you were blissfully ignorant, but now that you are aware of the problem you are freaking out.

I feel emotional suffering in the body now.  While that is a gift for developing wisdom, it now hurts oh so much more sometimes!  :D  This has all been indispensable in helping me make better decisions when a defilement is present.  I am able to recognize my frustration and impatience with others for what it is and make decisions mindfully, but it still feels magnified since there is not as much ignorance.

I practice Shamatha often and usually do it for 5 - 15m before my Vipassana practice, but the resulting Samadhi seems to be rather fleeting.  I have been practicing for four months daily now, and practice for about 90 minutes daily along with continued mindfulness throughout the day.  I am eternally grateful for the wisdom that has begun to arise, but this awareness sometimes feels overwhelming.  It has even caused me to question my practice and path at times.  I was warned of this, but now that I am in the beginning stages of it I don't know how to approach it. 

I wanted to ask for the input from those who have followed this path much longer than I.  Brutal honesty is welcomed. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 06:20:03 PM by NewPathForward »

Thanisaro85

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 03:18:51 AM »
You are doing all good, perhaps there is a fear of what is coming up next? Is there a thought of "what if"  wisdom finally arised and we are ready to desert this world? According to LP promote, one of his teacher ( monk) experienced a day of intense sufferings/ pains after wisdom arised, so this is something that we have to keep in mind that might happened to us, it is like the whole millions life of suffering compressed in a day happening together.

Be brave, be clear, observe the fear and watch it go, observe the fear of fear and watch it go. Observe the feel of overwhelming and let it go. Sometimes the overwhelming is so horrible that we thought we are not coping it well but it is OK, do it tomorrow, again and again. Keep interrupting with mindfulness.

Thank you for bringing this up, its a reminder for myself when some feelings and sensation is overwhelming.🙏🙏🙏
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

stillpointdancer

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 12:01:58 PM »
Something that I am encountering lately is my new sensitivity to suffering, and I am struggling to find equanimity.

I feel emotional suffering in the body now.  While that is a gift for developing wisdom, it now hurts oh so much more sometimes!  :D  This has all been indispensable in helping me make better decisions when a defilement is present.  I am able to recognize my frustration and impatience with others for what it is and make decisions mindfully, but it still feels magnified since there is not as much ignorance.

I practice Shamatha often and usually do it for 5 - 15m before my Vipassana practice, but the resulting Samadhi seems to be rather fleeting.  I have been practicing for four months daily now, and practice for about 90 minutes daily along with continued mindfulness throughout the day.  I am eternally grateful for the wisdom that has begun to arise, but this awareness sometimes feels overwhelming.  It has even caused me to question my practice and path at times.  I was warned of this, but now that I am in the beginning stages of it I don't know how to approach it. 

I wanted to ask for the input from those who have followed this path much longer than I.  Brutal honesty is welcomed.

Meditation brings about changes, it really does. Unfortunately change is never easy and for that reason many meditators prefer to find a teacher who knows about these things and can guide them when such changes happen. Those not lucky enough to have such a teacher have to go through it alone. In each case it's probably best to take small steps. It might be that you need to lay off the vipassana meditation for a while and only go for Shamatha. On the other hand it is useful to investigate what a balanced practice entails, a mix of different types of meditation rather than just going for, say, vipassana. I had been meditating for years before going to a Buddhist centre. They taught me mindfulness of breathing and metta bhavana as two fall-back meditations to develop before going back to vipassana.
“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

Dhamma

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 05:23:03 PM »
Meditation brings about changes, it really does. Unfortunately change is never easy and for that reason many meditators prefer to find a teacher who knows about these things and can guide them when such changes happen. Those not lucky enough to have such a teacher have to go through it alone. In each case it's probably best to take small steps. It might be that you need to lay off the vipassana meditation for a while and only go for Shamatha. On the other hand it is useful to investigate what a balanced practice entails, a mix of different types of meditation rather than just going for, say, vipassana. I had been meditating for years before going to a Buddhist centre. They taught me mindfulness of breathing and metta bhavana as two fall-back meditations to develop before going back to vipassana.

Excellent advice!  This is why I am doing Shikantaza meditation instead of vipassana. I needed a change-up, as I was just tensing up too much in vipassana too often. Will I return to vipassana? I do not know. Now, I am doing zazen, and "just being."

We need to put aside the idea of a goal, and "just be". And when we cannot, this is why we can do metta bhavana, or samatha -- or just zazen (which is a singular path in its own right). Then, when we're a bit more focused, we can go back to vipassana, should we choose.   

Your fallback meditations are perfect. I can tell you've had years of experience in Buddhist meditation.
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Matthew

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 09:51:52 PM »
Keep on feeling your way forwards. Defilements arise, you bring mindfulness to them, they will dissolve. I think you knew this already 😂
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Dhamma

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 07:04:14 PM »
@ Charlie: If you're going down a strict vipassana path, follow Matthew's advice, I suppose. You're a following a more Theravada Buddhist path, which is very beautiful. Do you do mental noting as well when you're not meditating?

Sometimes if we are trying too hard, or if we're experiencing extreme negativity during meditation, we can take a breather and just do relaxation meditations until we're a bit calmer, etc.  Sometimes we get overzealous for results. It's up to you, as this is *your* path - only Charlie can do it. Either way, I just don't want you get burnt out on the Path. You're very young and new to Buddhism, so go steadily with self-love. Don't bring on any more suffering in ignorance by being too ambitious.

As you know, not all Buddhists have the same exact opinions on what it best, even though we all have the same core beliefs. I don't follow one particular method or school; I incorporate a little Theravada, Zen and Tibetan. My main meditation technique is Zen in nature, but I still do Theravada mental noting and Tibetan yoga. It works for me now in my life.

"Just be", dear friend.

Much love in the Dharma,
Dhamma
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 07:06:06 PM by Dhamma »
You are already Buddha

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: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2020, 12:31:41 PM »
@ Charlie: If you're going down a strict vipassana path, follow Matthew's advice, I suppose. You're a following a more Theravada Buddhist path, which is very beautiful. Do you do mental noting as well when you're not meditating?

This has nothing to do with any so-called "vipassana path" - insight/vipassana is a fruit of practice, not a path.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Dhamma

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2020, 04:58:09 PM »
This has nothing to do with any so-called "vipassana path" - insight/vipassana is a fruit of practice, not a path.

Well, "vipassana" means "to see clearly", right?  So, I suppose you may be right: it is the fruit of practice.  ;)
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NewPathForward

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2020, 05:23:16 PM »
Keep on feeling your way forwards. Defilements arise, you bring mindfulness to them, they will dissolve. I think you knew this already 😂

Yes, I think I just needed a reminder.  Due to COVID shutdowns and my younger age, I don't have a Sangha.  I have a great social support system for my addictions which shares a lot of values as a traditional buddhist path, but it is still not the same.  I think I just needed to hear all of this from people who I can trust know what I'm talking about, lol.

NewPathForward

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2020, 05:29:56 PM »
Do you do mental noting as well when you're not meditating?

I do, if by mental noting you mean returning to a focal point (Such as breath or sensation of body) throughout the day and then taking mental note of what I am feeling, thinking, and doing.  I try not to get too caught up in the "story" of it all but rather just be aware of what's going on mentally :)

Just "be", my friend.

Lately I have been practicing shamatha without an object where I just let myself be aware of awareness itself.  A lot of people call it "Dropping the ball".  Whenever my mind grasps or won't let go, I try and just drop it.  Being aware of the fact that I am experiencing consciousness and form, and that's all.  Sometimes this helps me just relax, other times I let it become a struggle, which is not ideal.  I think it is closer to Zazen than what I've been doing previously.

I appreciate you reminding me of my tendency to become ambitious.  I think part of the issue is that I don't have people in my walking life to relate to this with, to talk about it with.  I met someone at an AA meeting recently, he was a speaker.  He had great things to say, and mentioned that he had completed a Goenka 10-day retreat.  I think I ought to speak with him a bit, it may help.

Thank you :)

Dhamma

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2020, 05:56:53 PM »
@ Charlie

It is really good if you can find Buddhists who have had the same life problems as you. That's great!

Yes, I wish I had half the ambition you have, friend. I'm twice your age, and lack motivation at times. You're an inspiration for me.

I have non-serious illnesses that plague me at times, like severe neck-induced migraines (I always have a little pain or discomfort when I don't have severe episodes).  Also, my social anxiety gets really, really bad at times, even though I am not a shy person. All I can do is sit and be present with it without judgment, and then learn to see it for what it really is. It takes a lot of time.  I've been doing neurogenic yoga to help release internal traumas. It seems to help a little.  Yoga/qigong/breathing exercises all complement meditation.

^ This is all *samsara*, and we're all in it.  We need to expect and accept suffering, as it's part of life. If we want to liberate ourselves, we can never be in denial; in fact, we must embrace it.


Best wishes, friend.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 06:04:56 PM by Dhamma »
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mobius

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2020, 02:10:17 AM »
You are doing all good, perhaps there is a fear of what is coming up next? Is there a thought of "what if"  wisdom finally arised and we are ready to desert this world? According to LP promote, one of his teacher ( monk) experienced a day of intense sufferings/ pains after wisdom arised, so this is something that we have to keep in mind that might happened to us, it is like the whole millions life of suffering compressed in a day happening together.

This is a big one that has plagued me most of my life. In abstract form it's like a big dark scary cloud looming over my head. All my life though, it would come and go. Some days it would be there; making me feel miserable. Other days it would be gone and I'd just live and be at peace; never understanding why.

Now I think I'm beginning to understand why. Meditation has definitely helped me to get a better understanding of this and other thoughts and feelings, how and why they come and go.

Just knowing a feeling and remembering "oh haha this anger (or whatever, even physical pain) will pass eventually; sooner than later most likely" makes it so much better/easier to deal with.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 02:16:09 AM by mobius »
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

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Thanisaro85

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Re: Hypersensitivity to Dukkha
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2020, 03:58:11 PM »



Just knowing a feeling and remembering "oh haha this anger (or whatever, even physical pain) will pass eventually; sooner than later most likely" makes it so much better/easier to deal with.

Yes....The painful day, be it anger, depressed or anxiety is the most difficult to cope with, but make sure to keep interrupting it with mindfulness. Watch the sensation it presented , it is uncomfortable, or very uncomfortable, but just know it anyway, you know the trick. Look carefully at the moment you are mindfulness of the sensations, there are " neutral" in the intervals, a very nano one.....
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

 

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