Author Topic: Struggling - no equanimity  (Read 2569 times)

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2020, 07:49:22 PM »
Hi Sarahpro

The reason I come back to this question of willingness is because of this: If you feel you have other avenues for relief or healing from your difficulties, you might just want to pursue those. It is only when you have thoroughly seen that the habitual solutions not only don’t work but might be the problem, that you are ready to commit. And commitment is necessary because 1) these practices are not going to do the work for you and 2) develop the fruits of meditative practices is like building small step upon small step: every present moment is an opportunity for positive change as well as an opportunity for strengthening the problem (addiction, judging or avoidance strategies). It is the relative balance of those steps forward and back that will determine your progress.

So, we have already established that the constant stream of thinking is part of the problem. Maybe it’s good then to focus on those?

The thing with thoughts is they act like an alarm. As if a bear or lion were standing in front of you the thought “This is not going to work” or “I have no chance” will trigger a fight/flight/freeze stress response, inciting you to action and take care of this problem, or freeze if you think there is no solution.
Your mind will probably go in overdrive to find the right solution. Now if a bear were standing in front of you, it would make sense for your threat-system to hijack all attention resources (bottom-up, remember?), so that all resources are directed towards the problem (bear) so that you can fight or flight.
Whereas, in the safety of your house, and with the goal of finding peace, love, joy or equanimity, the same stress reaction makes no sense at all. It is keeping you imprisoned. Does this makes sense to you?

So how to break this pattern?

The trick is to remember that it’s a thought, a sequence of words in your mind. What you want to do then is to learn to detach, to disengage, to disidentify, or to defuse from the thought. These words are all meaning approximately the same, but I reckon it would be helpful to lookup "defusion & Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" on Youtube.
Another way of saying the same is to see that the thought in question is not personally relevant. Yes, the thought is personal, and yes, it’s relevant in some way because it might convey some kind of information, but it is not personally relevant to allow for your attention resources to be hijacked. For the goals you have (climbing out of your difficulties) it is not relevant. You want your attention resources freed up, and your stress level lower so you can develop qualities like calm, joy and peace.

So, detaching from thinking will create a little more psychological space, biological arousal will decrease (just enough) for you to redirect your attention. In meditation we use the breath as an anchor point. You will find good instruction for shamatha (calm abiding) on the homepage of this forum. Other practices develop other qualities, but for the purpose of working with thought and calming your threat-system, working with shamatha is fine.

Basically that’s it. No point talking about it anymore, but do the practice  ???
And, oh yes, some encouragement... don’t get your hopes up. You are only at the beginning, benefits come in small steps. And it’s gonna be tough, this will be a struggle, and will require numerous repetition. But it can be done. All of us on this forum have been and aredoing this, and you are kindly invited to join. You have a functioning body and mind, time and willingness, which is all you need.
Having little expectations also has the advantages of being able to see what actually changes instead of realizing the same boring thing "This practice is not meeting my unrealistic expectations"  ;)

Good luck!
Alex

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2020, 07:53:05 PM »
Quote from: Ajahn Chah
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.
If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2020, 09:53:37 PM »
Ok thank you so much Alex. This is very clear. BUT
I have one more thing to add which I guess I have already said
I don’t know if the issue is only the constant steam of thoughts? But it is the lack of connection and love. Well I guess that is a thought/judgment too.
But even when I feel like I am calm I feel a lack of it and lack of feeling like doing ANYTHING. Like even if the thoughts weren’t there I’d still not really feel like doing any activities. The only time I feel like it is after an emotional release I feel a brief burst of energy. But otherwise it’s just a constant stream of suffering- apathy and aversion to everything , no matter what the content of my thoughts
Can this practice like you said make more room for that to come in......?
Yes it will be a very slow process I am sure
I also don’t know if samatha is the best for me and here’s why....dissolving my sense of self opened up a ton of neuroses including my own breath so..while my body IS breathing automatically...my ego mind has taken control over it and is grasping in a way. I mean we are all grasping for air but ya I feel like my mind got involved with this too. Maybe I should focus on something like my feet
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 10:00:15 PM by Sarahpro »

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2020, 08:37:58 AM »
Hi Sarahpro

I don’t know if the issue is only the constant steam of thoughts?

Off course it’s not the only issue. But it seems a good place to start.

As for the other isssues, let's be humble, we 're still figuring it out, and that will be so much easier if we're able to tame the neurotic mind a little, so we can see what's really there instead of what neurotic mind is projecting. But here's a guess about other contributing factors:
  • As you have been avoiding and pushing away your feelings because they were to difficult or painful you have closed down your feelings alltogether, like a water tap. This will re-open soon enough and you will develop the skills (like acceptance and investigation) to do so. Because you don't get a choice: if the tap opens and it is unpleasant, then you will have to make a choice: close the tap again or not.
  • You probably have  stopped a lot of activities as well, opportunities for social connection, opportunities for personal satisfaction or a sense of fulfilment. This is a dynamic that will also turn around.
  • As a result of all these dynamics your body is flooded with stress hormones, deprived of the good stuff, and energy is low.

Like even if the thoughts weren’t there I’d still not really feel like doing any activities.
 

There is the physical component as mentioned above: As a result of all these dynamic your body is still flooded with stress hormones and energy is low. This will turn around eventually.
And there is a also mental component: you have lost faith, given up. You can look up the concept of ‘learned helplessness’, “Whatever I do, it won’t help me.” So this conditioning needs to turn around again until you reach something like: “I am, by my choices and actions, able to create a life that fulfills my needs.”
 
Can this practice like you said make more room for that to come in......?

So, in conclusion, to the above: YES. But you have to start somewhere. Doing the practice will show all other aspects that require your attention soon enough.

I also don’t know if samatha is the best for me.
Maybe I should focus on something like my feet

You can explore for yourself if that works for you. Especially in daily life attention at the feet might help to ground yourself.
It seems that there is also an opportunitie for you to learn in shamatha. To learn to remain aware and let the grasping dissolve … instead of grasping to control the grasping. As soon as you feel ready for this, I would recommend it, but you can explore for yourself.

The important thing is that you start doing.
Doing = experiencing and leads to learning. And to be able to do that, you need to first learn the difference between thinking about experience (like judging and complaining) and actually experiencing things as they are even the unpleasnat experiences. As we can, so can you.

Kindly
Alex

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
  • Member
  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2020, 10:44:09 AM »
Thank you...I actually got a book on depression by him....I just don’t see how it could help though haha. I am already aware of the little sensations in my body I can feel, and I am aware of all these negative thoughts, but can’t seem to climb out. My therapist WAnts me to actually work with the thoughts like shift them into positives and insists this can create change on a deeper level. I am filled with doubt but obviously it doesn’t feel great right now to continually tell myself I’m friked and have no chance.

Even if we can't help directly at least be aware that people here will listen. Sometimes it's enough to know that somebody cares.
“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

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2020, 05:34:32 PM »
Okkk thanks for the responses. The conclusion here seems to be for me to DO, as much as I don’t want to....ok fine

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2020, 09:42:16 PM »
Ok there is more. I really think that things are getting increasingly worse and worried they won’t stop. So fear keeps persisting, and therefore my ego walls strengthen, mental activity gets more erratic, I feel more distant from the world, completely apathetic, empty etc etc. I know I have said this already
It is equanimity I long for again. I realize the idea of everything getting worse is what I have to fight back on. But there just isn’t something for my mind to anchor on, because I don’t want to DO ANYTHING. My mind doesn’t find fascination in anything, everything is boring besides talking about my mental state and going on forums etc. So I am constantly just waiting for something to change, waiting for awakening, equanimity, love etc, which only pushes it away.
I worry I just won’t be able to surrender my mind ever. I know this is a choice...but my choice to cling is very very conditioned. I don’t know a way out of this
I know this is thoughts too, I know this complaining is all thoughts, there just isn’t an anchor that can cheer myself up and keep me busy, it’s a constant effort to just stay awake and alive (I mean if I could relax enough to sleep all day I definitely would) soooo yeahhhh just waiting for things to be different....waiting for myself to be different. I know the practice is all about acceptance. But how Am I supposed to accept TOTAL apathy, social withdrawal, inability to focus on even light conversation or movies, boredom, lack of safety within.....how can I do this without waiting for things to change. This is kinda new agey too but I feel I am totally in my sacral chakra right now too, completely stuck in duality and can not relate to anyone at a heart level......social relationships are Almost fully dead at the moment
My only hope is that if I commit to just watching all these thoughts float by and trudge through the day as painful as it is...and as disconnected and numb and out-of-body I feel.... and for as many days or months as this will take......that I can break free somehow....attain equanimity...somehow
It really is hard like in every conversation I am trying so hard to focus and get thru it, and waiting for things to end. Like I said all I have is the prospect of breaking free. But so far, only feeling more and more trapped in my ego, even the breath, every breath exhausting. What can I do???? Just watch it all happen?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 09:44:00 PM by Sarahpro »

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2020, 10:40:41 PM »
Hi Sarahpro

Wow. I can feel the agitation and despair in my gut. I’m sorry you feel this way.
I’m also sorry there ‘s nothing I can say to make it better. I’m glad you have a therapist who can help you work out which course of acion is best.

I sincerely wish for you to find the escape, or encounter a miracle.

You know, I’ve been in a similar place where you are, and the only thing that I could have wished the old ‘me’ was not to stress as much. When you do the work, healing will come, but it takes time.
The trust I feel in life or myself comes from going through the struggles. “No matter what life throws at me, I know I will work my way through it.” I know what sadness is, I know what fear is, and I know how to work with them. I know what tricks my mind can play on me and what happens if I let myself go down certain roads, how stuck you can get. This trust could not have developed if I had not been prepared to accept and work with whatever was on my plate back then, and still now. I don't know if that makes sense?

Anyhow. Respect your insincts. You're not convinced this road is for you now, so follow what you feel is best. I’ve done my best to outline a logic why doing these contemplative practices work. Why working with thinking is a good place to start so that your stress level are in a more optimal range to pursue your goals. The option will still be here when you’re ready for it.

Kindly
Alex

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2020, 11:14:26 PM »
Oh thank you....it’s not like I have any other course of action in mind. WhT I have in mind most of the time is helplessness. What I desire from doing the work- detaching from thoughts - is to somehow find love and joy again, which I’m sure you would not have shared if it weren’t the case.
Thanks for sharing you’ve been through a similar time. I guess I really have a hard time trusting the process when things are getting worse I know I have said this a lot.
And it isnt just the sadness or fear, it’s the lack of equanimity. So it’s not like I’m currently in a state of fear that when it passes, I will be ok. I’m in a state of lack of equanimity and therefore love and connection within. That’s why I have had so much resistance to just working with my thinking. That’s why I imagine some spiritual reward for noting mind states etc and doing the work- that eventually I will have this magical detachment from my own mind and finally connect with the beauty all around me and within.. Can you speak to this?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 11:32:12 PM by Sarahpro »

eatyhappy2000

  • Member
  • Meditating since 2017. Just curious and interested
    • N/A
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2020, 01:21:30 AM »
I've no idea if this is a good suggestion, but when you mentioned love and joy as well as being able to appreciate the beauty of the world, I thought of loving and kindness meditation (Metta I think is what it's called?). Basically, you sit down and rather than focusing on the sensations your body is feeling, it focuses more on your emotions. More specifically it allows you in theory to appreciate and to wish happiness upon certain things or people depending on who or what you focus on. While on paper I think it'd be a good idea for you to practice, I'm in no way a professional. You did also say you feel fear during meditation so I'm not so sure about the idea. It's up to you to try it out.

Still though, stay strong, and I'll be hoping you, at some point in time do get better.

Thanisaro85

  • Member
  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2020, 03:01:07 AM »

Keep writing here....dun stop. Say prayers to ask for help everyday....you just need the correct switch to connect you to the flow.....yes, you may need the little anger to keep you going....


My prayers : may all the good deeds i have done, the kind thoughts i have ever harnessed to all my friends and relatives, animals in this and past millions lifes, manifested now, to lead one benefactor to save me from this mental agony.  Let me develop the mental and physical strength, to overcome this calamity.










A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2020, 08:22:01 AM »
Well, what I understand is that you just want to feel better. And that, even after more intense emotions quiet down, you still feel stuck in a baseline of apathy and emptiness. Also, not seeing the effect of your efforts is discouraging, amen to that  :'(
So you feel as if there is no reward which would reinforce your efforts. Instead you are asked to trust, to have faith, and that’s hard, when every cell in your body seems to scream the opposite.

From my perspective, the constant stream of evaluative thinking is – even though understandable – a part of the problem, it’s a sustaining factor. It also makes a person blind for small changes that do appear. For example if stress or tiredness is usually at 80% most of the day, then it would be an improvement to have it at 70% most of the day, even though that would still not be enough to let in the joy and love. Take a moment to really take this in. This IS an improvement. Incase you feel a reaction inside, you can tell yourself this: "Yes, evaluative mind, this is not where you would like to be. But I, wise mind, am learning to trust in such small signs of progress. I wish for myself to develop patience."  ;)

Refering to a model I used before, it’s as if you’re saying “Even after the bears and the snakes have gone by, I’m still stuck with this lion. I really need to get away from this place.” The result is that, as explained, your threat-system is active and hijacks all attention resources.” Evolutionary there is no point in looking at small beautiful flowers, when your life is in danger. And this system is biased towards (perception of) danger, better be safe then sorry.
What you're invited to see is that you’re actually fine. Your reality is unpleasant, fair enough, but it’s really okay, it's really okay to soothe yourself, to stand still and let this whole thing wash over you. You won’t die. You can have it. How hard it might be, you can have it. And you have time to look at the small things and smell the flowers, so to speak.”

There is this idea of a magic solution… so alluring...
There is actually something magic about the present moment. It is an opportunity for radical change. It is an opportunity to explore, find a passageway, a shift in your perception. Finding a moment of softness, of reassurance, of calm is such a beautiful thing. But that little flower will be squashed by the threat-system the next moment when you make contact with (the memory of) apathy again. When mind evaluates that it is not where it wants or is supposed to, then it will not consider the small things, the memory of that little moment of calmness is already gone. Maybe you're thinking "But I don't even have that." Maybe, but know then that such a moment is just one moment away from you, just one moment. But don't expect it to be lasting. Life or human experience doesn't do "lasting". Everything changes and is dependent on conditions.

But what I don’t get is this: That’s why I have had so much resistance to just working with my thinking.

That’s why I have had so much resistance to just working with my thinking.

I don't get this conclusion, though. Thinking and feeling (and behavior) are intricately linked. Even though your focus is on lack of equanimity and love, it still makes sense to pay attention to thinking and learn to defuse them. Actually, right there, when I say “even though your focus is on lack of equanimity and love”! That’s where your focus is, that's where your attention is, that's what you think about, all. of. the. time. Whereas your focus might be anywhere else, for example on things more beneficial for working towards your goals. So knowing your thinking, knowing where your focus is, and what the consequences are thereof, is a crucial part of your recovery. I don't know if you can see that? I don’t know if I’m able to explain myself well ;)

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2020, 05:10:45 PM »
I guess it’s like.... I feel trapped in this thing right .. in my ego. And so even small moments of happiness I’ll say “well what’s the point if I will just go back into the same thinking”. What I am looking for is somehow surrender.... to be not so attached to my mind... to feel love and joy when they come and not be so hardened...

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2020, 06:38:19 PM »
So your mind/ego is sending you the message “Well, what’s the point of a small moment of happiness, if I will just go back into the same thinking”.
And when it comes to making choices, you follow the messages your mind/ego sends you, even though you feel trapped by that same mind/ego, even though you know that paying attention to such messages has not led to some new angle in life or a move in the right direction…
Because this mind/ego also sends you messages of some kind of permanent surrender, some kind of freedom that will magically come, although it never does.

I wonder what messages your mind/ego is sending you when you read this?
And I also wonder what you, the human being who can report on these messages feels about those messages...

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2020, 08:57:21 PM »
What went through my mind was that yes, it does seem useless to feel these small moments of happiness if I’m just going to stay trapped in the same thinking. I know that is the mind. Again and again. Right now my mind is sending me messages that it is hopeless , that surrender is impossible, that things are worsening , that ignoring my thoughts won’t do any good besides push down some worry for now but the lack of joy will still be there. How I feel about this is shitty, trapped, just overall shitty and desperate
So....I guess I really need to just IGNORE MY MIND......even despite feeling a lack of joy and motivation and love constantly etc etc.....despite feeling so withdrawn....
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 09:09:50 PM by Sarahpro »

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2020, 10:44:04 PM »
Yes... it seems difficult to navigate in that trap your mind has created, not knowing which way is actually forward.

It also seems that you are starting to see more of a choice in whether you pay attention or not to these messages mind sends you. But, if you're not sure, don't feel obligated... keep asking yourself: is paying attention to these messages going to contribute in any way to help you move closer to your goals?

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2020, 11:13:46 PM »
Thank you this is good advice...I mustn’t forget to do that
Its honestly like every breath is exhausting, evaluating , judging, it’s non stop, that’s why I get disappointed when the happy moments don’t “pull me out” cuz last time I was trapped in  strong ego I did have an experience Of sudden spontaneous love and equanimity that did pull me out of it permanently, this is why I am yearning for such a thing again
So just to clarify...the main work is to see the thoughts as thoughts right ? And this has potential to be successful even if I can’t really feel/work with my body and emotions?

This is really a catch 22 cuz I AM feeling more withdrawn from myself and others and I don’t think it’s just thoughts I feel like it’s at a metaphysical level. Feeding the thoughts hasn’t been helping though. So...have to try something else...but ya I really feel like the change has to happen on a METAPHYSICAL level ie surrender somehow and let in love...could be wrong
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 01:13:56 AM by Sarahpro »

Dhamma

  • Member
  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • I take from all Buddhist schools + some yogic schools
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2020, 02:19:29 AM »
Talk about no equanimity (I am angry at a person on another Buddhist forum). I'm struggling right now, even thought it is something super minor.

On another Buddhist forum, I got attacked viciously for mentioning the necessity of Right Speech and how many Buddhist don't practice it. I got accused of being "self-righteous", which was never my intent (It's all about intention, right?). I made it clear that I wasn't trying to look down on anyone, as I, myself, need to clean up my own language.  Right speech is simply often not practiced on said forum. Although the forum is useful to learn about Buddhism and meditation, many of its participants treat each other with no respect and no compassion.  That said, there are those on there who are lovely and kind, but the overall impression I have been getting over the past year has been one of "nastiness."

So, when being genuinely kind and loving, I get accused of being horribly self-righteous. What bothers me isn't so much the insult, but it's the total disregard for morality by self-claimed Buddhists.  If you try to be moral and make a point to tell others that Right Speech is essential in Buddhism, you get screamed at. In fact, the tables get turned, and you become the wrongdoer. LOL.  One can easily say that something is wrong or immoral without being judgmental. But on the forum, you can easily get accused of being self-righteous and judgmental.  It is sad: morality seems dead on there.

Anyways, my point is this: there is no enlightenment without morality. We build our meditation practice on a foundation of morality. They are inseparable. That said, I understand that morality alone without meditation will not bring enlightenment.  We love ourselves and others without blame and guilt, but we still need to recognize our defilements when they arise, and learn to stop committing them. Meditation makes see why it is so wrong to engage in defilements.

The video posted by Father Reverend Pramote posted by Thanisaro85 makes this abundantly clear. We must be moral!
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 02:22:55 AM by Dhamma »
You are already Buddha

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2020, 08:34:35 AM »
Yes, recognizing that the thinking is not helping, doesn’t actually make it stop. Sometimes mind seems to chatter non stop.

So just to clarify...the main work is to see the thoughts as thoughts right ? And this has potential to be successful even if I can’t really feel/work with my body and emotions?

Yes, recognizing thinking and having the skills to 1) not react to the messages mind tells you or 2) to be able to disengage when inevitably (!) you do get sucked in, is a big part of the work.

Somehow I get a sense mind is interfering in this, saying something like “I’m only prepared to do this when there is a guarantee of being successful?

The thing is, we have already established that paying so much attention to the messages your mind sends you is not helpful. In addition to these massages not being helpful, could it actually be that these messages are (part of) the problem? Could this worrying, ruminating, the judging actually be (part) of the problem?

If you were to answer this question positively, then wouldn’t it make sense to learn to see thoughts as thoughts just for the sake of it, because not seeing thought as thought just leads you to a place you don't want to be?

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2020, 08:36:44 AM »
..cuz last time I was trapped in  strong ego I did have an experience Of sudden spontaneous love and equanimity that did pull me out of it permanently, this is why I am yearning for such a thing again

Can you tell us something about that? How did this happen? What were the circumstances? How long did it last? And why you feel that this was a metaphysical thing...

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2020, 08:38:47 AM »
@Dhamma

I wonder what messages your mind is sending you about what happened on this other forum? Are these messages feeding your anger? And do how you go about disengaging/disidentifying from this thinking when this happens?

Much metta ;)

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: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #46 on: July 25, 2020, 02:25:09 PM »
Sarahpro,

I see right at the beginning you came from Goenka tradition. I've read the entire thread and I think it is possible for you to move beyond this very tight, frightened, hard ball of emotional reactions you are becoming.

Goenka practice is not balanced with calm and relaxation given equal measure to insight and awareness. It can be a damaging practice, as with any forced practice, for those with underlying trauma or unprocessed deep wounds.

If you go to the homepage and click through to the "calm abiding" meditation this form is much better suited for someone in your position. You will need to forget what you know and come from a beginners mind perspective.

From personal experience, I think you have also been offered some very good advice above not to immediately identify with thought, but to recognise it as thought, so an amount of this "labeling" practice, especially early in the day as you form your habitual stance, could be a powerful tool. "Oh, there's that thought again about x, y, z...". This will put some distance between the thought and identifying with the thought - it can create enough of a gap to allow some light in.

Also earlier, Peter Bercelli's TRE was mentioned as a process that might benefit you. I would encourage your consideration of this. TRE works to take the heat of of bodily held trauma memories through non verbal practice. It works. It is very useful. You can do half a dozen sessions one on one with a practitioner and it's enough often that after this you can do it without help.

Clearly you are quite distressed at the moment. The final suggestion I will raise at this point, is don't forget to breathe. Breathe deep when you awake, and let go of your worries, take time during the day often to stop and check, "how am I breathing?". You will likely find your breathing is shallow and tight and mainly in the upper chest. So breathe deep, into your belly, and with each breath in, relax, and with each breath out, relax. Two minutes of that practiced frequently will start enervating your vagus nerve, resulting in a shift of your base state from "fight/flight" to "rest/digest".

Be well, you can do it,

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

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2020, 05:21:34 PM »
Thanks for the advice here...
Yeah disengaging from the thinking is I guess important here. I just keep making sure because again even if I had a head full of positive thoughts, I’d probably still feel withdrawn  and unmotivated etc. The thoughts are part of the problem yes but I don’t know how much . I guess spending time disidentifying them will help me find out.
But yeah so I was in kinda a dark night for like 10 months, pretty strong ego, in my head, worried I’d go crazy, not super happy. But after ten months I was making out with this random guy and just focused on my breathing and awareness and all of a sudden I filled up with love and burst into tears. I started living life after that. Anxiety and depression still came, but I had the equanimity to transmute and release it, rather than just drowning.
How this is metaphysical: fragmentation is occurring...so, i FEEL more separate from other people, experientially. I feel more out of my body. I feel my heart less empty. I feel like socializing less and less.
Again, about the breath, I am constantly aware of breath and it feels like my ego mind has taken control over it. Again I feel it has to do with the ego dissolution thing- it showed me too many of my buried neuroses at once, the breath being one of them...
Anyway I got an insight from the universe yesterday that I need to trust my therapist (and therefore you guys too) and stop feeding my thinking so much and let it go
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 05:25:48 PM by Sarahpro »

Thanisaro85

  • Member
  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2020, 05:24:30 PM »
Talk about no equanimity (I am angry at a person on another Buddhist forum). I'm struggling right now, even thought it is something super minor.


Hope you are doing fine now. 🙏🙏🙏.

I understand your predicament. I meant few night back I was having a walk with my family and I 
Was sharing with my elder how angriness in him toward some people can return to him. And told him I am a good example he should not follow if he don't want to be in my shoes.

A lack of mindfulness for a short while, a cyclist came from behind and rings non stop for us to give way and immediately my temper flared up as we were already walking one single file for hin to pass,  so I turn around to look at the cyclist, but seeing him an elderly my empathy arised. But the fuming state never subside equally  But of course in while i see how lacking of mindfulness of our body and mind we can suffer instantly.

If I could be stay mindfulness all the time, the ring would be just a ring the mind will not allow " the cyclist is just so rude, can't he see we already given way to him, what does he want" type of story to be fabricated or form in our mind.

Sorry to digress from Sarahpro thread little

Dhamma, Just hope you are doing fine now.



A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2020, 05:36:19 PM »
Sorry to digress from Sarahpro thread little

As far as I’m concerned this is right on track...
We’re talking about mind and conditioning keeping us trapped in pointless negative thinking and feeling if mindfulness is low, when meanwhile our deepest aspiration is to be equanimous, compassionate, loving and develop joy and gratitude, etc.
 
;)


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
90 Replies
27531 Views
Last post March 17, 2011, 09:51:45 AM
by Stefan
1 Replies
1370 Views
Last post July 28, 2012, 01:05:00 PM
by Matthew
2 Replies
1889 Views
Last post January 04, 2016, 09:01:52 AM
by Vivek
23 Replies
3819 Views
Last post August 08, 2016, 04:48:20 AM
by Matthew
19 Replies
2410 Views
Last post August 02, 2016, 11:41:02 AM
by Ja192827
5 Replies
1650 Views
Last post January 30, 2017, 01:39:49 PM
by mettajoey
4 Replies
422 Views
Last post July 24, 2020, 08:58:09 PM
by Matthew