Author Topic: Struggling - no equanimity  (Read 2570 times)

Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2020, 07:41:15 PM »
Just to describe more what I’d happening. ... I am with my grandma. I feel no bond with her whstsoever. I keep waiting for things to be over, can’t enjoy the moment. Emptiness inside. Horrible thoughts of self esteem that have only worsened. I promised I would trust my therapist to tell my mind to shut up but I don’t see how Things can change by just ignoring my thinking ....?

Dhamma

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2020, 07:42:11 PM »
@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 ;)

I am so thankful for your kind response.

My mind is telling me, "This man is trying to drive me nuts by downplaying morality, and it's making me think my whole Buddhist practice is for nothing" (which I know is completely false). There is no reasoning with this person, making me think, "Is there any solid ground on which I know what is true and right"?

Right now, I do feel better and a bit less angry. I am getting more aware of impermanence, my silly ego, and resting in the "pure" mind of just being without judgment and delusion.

Thank you for caring and extending your metta.   :)   I give much metta to you as well.



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Dhamma

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2020, 07:51:07 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.


Thank you so, so much. I am doing better today.  I am just tormented a bit by the illogical nature of the person who has angered me. It's more the fact that he's not making any sense, and that he's trying to downplay morality/defilements. We must be moral, yet this person thinks Wrong Speech is acceptable Buddhist behavior -- it is clearly NOT. He thinks saying that hateful speech isn't really that bad. Wrong view! But I am not trying to look down on him like I am better.  Self-righteousness is also wrong.  It's like a mouse on a wheel. I decided to let it go. Done.

I feel better after receiving responses on here. It has helped, but so does my meditations, of course.

Father Reverend Pramote is amazing, by the way! :)

Much love in the Dhamma.
You are already Buddha

Matthew

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #53 on: July 26, 2020, 12:57:54 AM »
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...


That's a lot of words.


Quote
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

Whatever helps you cross the bridge.

Just breath, and let go ... feel the breath move the body - thats about all you need to do to meditate. When you think, notice, stop, breath... rinse and repeat :-)

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Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #54 on: July 26, 2020, 02:34:35 AM »
Haha yes it’s a lot of words but it’s my reality... so... yeah I mean again really supposed to stop feeding my thoughts here. But the present moment itself seems empty of joy, it’s all just judgments and evaluations, even the breath itself. I have not gone more than one day of just accepting though so I can’t really say how effective it is. Of really seeing The thoughts - incl all the ones of “this is getting worse” etc, as just thoughts.

I await another awakening if I do this long enough, if I distance myself from thoughts. Seems unlikely right now due to how much my mind is clinging but .... anything is possible
I realize this is a thought itself but how I don’t see how this shouldn’t go on forever...I am deeeeeeeep in the dark, my ego has such a strong hold and almost zero equanimity. Nothing gives me pleasure. Ok I will continue to work and ignore thoughts....
Like I’ve mentioned even the breath isn’t an anchor for me to let go....my ego is involved with the breath...nowhere to hide
I mean my body does breathe automatically cuz obviously during sleep I am surviving but during the day my mind is grasping and clinging...

I just can’t stop thinking about the experience that brought me out of the dark a few years ago. I was in a similar place- but with a much more stable mind...and was so sure I’d be stuck in lack of equanimity forever...and then yeah one day with this guy time just stopped and I felt such pure love and equanimity. This was the start of my journey...I just worry so much that I compromised my heart so much and I was given such a gift of purity that allowed me to blossom....I mean of course there is no saying it CANNOT happen again but I have trained my mind to grasp intensely for months now. Right when things got bad, I noticed my lack of love, and desperately tried to open my heart. Every time I felt some love, I obsessed and hoped it would be the experience to pull me out. But really what I was and am looking for is an experience of the gap between thoughts - the absence of craving/aversion. I am literally waiting for that experience. How can it ever come when the mind is constantly craving/averting. I guess that’s the whole point of letting go of my thoughts.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 03:52:56 AM by Sarahpro »

Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2020, 04:28:46 AM »
Ok I know, more words but....
Seriously... well that insight about trusting my therapist really got to me but there are just so many BUTS.
BUT:
I am getting less and less social
I have no sense of self anymore
I can barely feel the sensations in my body anymore
The emptiness is growing
I have no interests anymore and am only caving further into myself
I don’t feel a bond with nearly any creature
I am so disconnected to my body that even after a full day and hours of volleyball I am wide awake
The fear keeps persisting and lessens my equanimity and creates more of these symptoms

Despite all of these...challenging my thoughts is the way out ?!

stillpointdancer

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2020, 10:59:32 AM »
Ok I know, more words but....
Seriously... well that insight about trusting my therapist really got to me but there are just so many BUTS.
BUT:
I am getting less and less social
I have no sense of self anymore
I can barely feel the sensations in my body anymore
The emptiness is growing
I have no interests anymore and am only caving further into myself
I don’t feel a bond with nearly any creature
I am so disconnected to my body that even after a full day and hours of volleyball I am wide awake
The fear keeps persisting and lessens my equanimity and creates more of these symptoms

Despite all of these...challenging my thoughts is the way out ?!
Challenging your thoughts may be way down the line for you right now. I know what you are going through, "The thought isn't real" sort of thing. Such thoughts are real, of course, but they are only constructs of our brains. Unfortunately thoughts change your brain, developing pathways which can be measured, and taking charge of new neurons developed in another part of the brain. The aim of therapy is to reduce those pathways and enhance others. This is a real, measurable thing.

It doesn't matter how they get reduced, whether by challenging the thoughts, or ignoring them, or replacing them or whatever. The important thing is to understand that change can  be real and lasting. Of course, it can all be changed back until, apparently, you achieve enlightenment, but the brain is so flexible and plastic that they can be changed once again.  Anything you think or say or do can bring about changes. The key for lots of people is to work on excessive rumination, so anything which distracts is useful. Mental activity, physical activity, or a combination of the two. It really doesn't matter as long as it works on the pathways.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Matthew

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2020, 01:00:46 PM »
Haha yes it’s a lot of words but it’s my reality... so... yeah I mean again really supposed to stop feeding my thoughts here. But the present moment itself seems empty of joy, it’s all just judgments and evaluations, even the breath itself. I have not gone more than one day of just accepting though so I can’t really say how effective it is. Of really seeing The thoughts - incl all the ones of “this is getting worse” etc, as just thoughts.

I await another awakening if I do this long enough, if I distance myself from thoughts. Seems unlikely right now due to how much my mind is clinging but .... anything is possible
I realize this is a thought itself but how I don’t see how this shouldn’t go on forever...I am deeeeeeeep in the dark, my ego has such a strong hold and almost zero equanimity. Nothing gives me pleasure. Ok I will continue to work and ignore thoughts....
Like I’ve mentioned even the breath isn’t an anchor for me to let go....my ego is involved with the breath...nowhere to hide
I mean my body does breathe automatically cuz obviously during sleep I am surviving but during the day my mind is grasping and clinging...

I just can’t stop thinking about the experience that brought me out of the dark a few years ago. I was in a similar place- but with a much more stable mind...and was so sure I’d be stuck in lack of equanimity forever...and then yeah one day with this guy time just stopped and I felt such pure love and equanimity. This was the start of my journey...I just worry so much that I compromised my heart so much and I was given such a gift of purity that allowed me to blossom....I mean of course there is no saying it CANNOT happen again but I have trained my mind to grasp intensely for months now. Right when things got bad, I noticed my lack of love, and desperately tried to open my heart. Every time I felt some love, I obsessed and hoped it would be the experience to pull me out. But really what I was and am looking for is an experience of the gap between thoughts - the absence of craving/aversion. I am literally waiting for that experience. How can it ever come when the mind is constantly craving/averting. I guess that’s the whole point of letting go of my thoughts.


When I wrote it was a lot of words I wasn't trying to invalidate anything of your experience. I apologise if it came across that was. I was simply drawing attention to the contrast between what you know you have to do, from your own knowledge:

Quote
stop feeding my thinking so much and let it go

.. and the huge investment you have in thinking, as this:

Quote
Haha yes it’s a lot of words but it’s my reality


Isn't really true - it is your reality, but filtered through words, habits of thinking, and the stories you tell yourself

...  which is exactly what you need to break away from.

You also need to stop chasing past experience and let that go too. You may well regain it, but never by clinging to it or chasing it. And as you are not in that place now, all you are really chasing is a ghost, a memory, and one that you label and tell yourself a story about with words and thinking. So this goal seeking and day dreaming is actually making things worse for you, not better. Let go. Be where you are.

Every day is a new day. You can choose today between feeding thought and taming thought. Sadly you can't choose both!

:)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 01:46:08 PM by Matthew »
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Matthew

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2020, 02:00:15 PM »
Sarah,

You won't change anything by thinking about it, this has become a trap. Try the calm abiding meditation instruction from the homepage. Forget all the other practices you know and stick to it. Within a week or two you'll be calmer if you follow it.

Experiencing calm fostered in the body by this practice activates the "rest and digest" nervous system, allowing body and mind to calm. At the moment you are trapped in a cycle of "fight or flight" thinking, hence the circular patterns running crazy in your head.

You cannot think your way into practice, you can only do it. It will work. If you have questions ask, but it's a simple practice, balancing noticing the body movements as you breath (concentration or samhadi) and calming the body with each in breath and with each outbreath (development of shamatha and acceptance/equanimity).

It will do you more good to spend 30 to 40 minutes a day doing this, than writing your life history on here with words.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 02:01:56 PM by Matthew »
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Alex

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2020, 02:42:32 PM »
Hi Sarah

When I read the posts again, the image I get is this:

I’m stuck in a dark place. People tell me there’s an exit door, and I can actually see the exit door sometimes. But my mind sends me all these messages:
  • “It’s better not to go there, because it’s probably not the door leading to the garden. You’ll first have to make my way through other rooms as well, which might not have as many light as in the garden.”
  • “Is it not better to wait until you magically get transported in the garden, where there is light, like last time. Keep a look out for the magic-transporter-button!”
  • “It’s so so so damn dark here, that there really must be something else you have to do. Will this door really lead to anything?”

And so you saty put, and keep listening to these messages mind sends you, because they seem so real.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 02:58:45 PM by Alex »

Alex

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2020, 02:46:49 PM »
You won't change anything by thinking about it, this has become a trap.

It makes one wonder what makes thinking so attractive. In my opinion thinking (ruminating and worrying) is a way to avoid present moment experience. It pulls attention away from unpleasant and unwanted emotional experiences. Even if it's bad, it seems even worse to actually approach or turn towards these feared emotional experiences. Like just sitting with agitation, when mind is saying "this is too much, you wil desintegrate", and every cell screams to get up and go do something pleasant... aaargh  :D
And also, it offers the illusion that we’re trying to solve the problem, whereas the ruminating and worrying actually becomes the problem.

Alex

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2020, 02:50:58 PM »
"Is there any solid ground on which I know what is true and right"?

Such an interesting question!
Good to hear you feel lighter again...

Kindly
Alex

Alex

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2020, 02:57:21 PM »
Challenging your thoughts may be way down the line for you right now.

I couldn't disagree more, respectfully off course ;)
Insights about thinking, its values and its pitfalls, deepen and deepen as we learn and grow, but it starts now, wherever we are. And while the skills to do so have not fully developed, the direction can become very clear so that it might orient our efforts, our choices and our actions...

Dhamma

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2020, 05:13:57 PM »
"Is there any solid ground on which I know what is true and right"?

Such an interesting question!
Good to hear you feel lighter again...

Kindly
Alex

Thank you so much.

I know that Wrong Speech is wrong. End of story. I will not allow someone to shake my beliefs. When we are deep in meditation, we can see that we must be moral, as immorality is suffering.

From the verse 183 from the Holy Dhammapada: Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one's mind (I don't like the word "evil", but that is the translation).

It's a crazy world out there.  I must tame the mind. My mind must be unshaken. Ultimately, it's not the world that is shaken, but my own mind.  May we all find equanimity in all phenomena. :)
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Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2020, 06:16:52 PM »
Thanks a lot for these super helpful responses. The garden analogy is SPOT ON.
I’m still questioning whether or not challenging my thoughts will bring the joy I seek but I have gotten enough info now that I have to try no mater how unpleasant.
However because of the persistent fear, it is my opinion that the mechanism that is causing me to contract, will continue to happen, as long as I have no integrated the fear. So it feels like it’s up to me to find the light amidst the contraction, by ignoring it and not putting so much focus on it.... it’s a tireless loop but yeah honestly back in April I was stil joking and laughing, I was connected to my body, I was planning the future. How am I supposed to ignore this.
Can’t remember if I mentioned but I think a reason my therapist wants me to stop making these comparisons is that I actually notice the present moment. But I DO notice the present moment, it’s just that it doesn’t bring joy, it triggers me more and reminds me of a happier time. Maybe I’m just out of practice.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 06:43:12 PM by Sarahpro »

Alex

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2020, 07:40:06 PM »
How am I supposed to ignore this.

You don’t have to ignore this. It's just... You know where you are, how different it is from where you were, and what you want to change. You just don’t have to keep telling yourself in an endless loop. This loop of thinking is the trap.

Can’t remember if I mentioned but I think a reason my therapist wants me to stop making these comparisons is that I actually notice the present moment.

Aha, so we’re on the same page! ;)

But I DO notice the present moment, it’s just that it doesn’t bring joy, it triggers me more and reminds me of a happier time.

What I read is that when you contact the present moment, your mind starts sending you messages. And - drumm rolls please - if you are not recognizing these messages as thinking - as of that moment you are no longer experiencing the present moment, at least not with what we call "present moment awareness" or mindfulness.

Maybe I’m just out of practice.

It would seem so. Just get back on the horse… practice! Contact the present moment. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. And so on.
As said, there are good instructions on the homepage.

Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2020, 07:50:08 PM »
Thank you Alex, you are enormously helpful and very trustworthy  :D
I would say though that I have been aware this whole time...the issue is that as I have “fragmented” the present moment is bringing me less and less joy. Now I am completely in my head and don’t feel anything in my heart... like I will focus on a present moment task but it’s very drab and just getting it over with... honestly though maybe this can change with time , I’d hope so, it’s been like this pretty steadily for a few weeks now though with continued fragmentation (I know this word seems ambiguous to some, I guess I just mean like dissociated, emptiness in heart) like it isn’t just a matter of recognizing the minds messages, and then shifting it back to the moment and being like “ohhh ok. THIS is what it’s about” there isn’t really an anchor I can shift to, something that brings me joy etc. There is the present moment task I can shift back to, and my idea is that with continued practice somehow magically joy will reappear
Waiting for the garden haha

Alex

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2020, 08:14:09 PM »
Thank you Alex, you are enormously helpful and very trustworthy  :D

You're most welcome. I'm glad to be of service.  :angel: ;)

THIS is what it’s about” there isn’t really an anchor I can shift to, something that brings me joy etc.

This is an expectation, a condition you impose on what your present moment should look like.
The anchor is always there, be it the breath or the bodily sensations during any activity. It is there, end of discussion.
But it won’t feel like you want it to feel, that’s for sure! Joy will come by, but when and for how long, that is not for us/you to decide, it is dependent upon conditions. What you can do, however, is create the right conditions for joy to arise (in buddhist terms, follow the 8-fold path). That is within your control.
So what constitutes our present moment is not our chosing, it's the result of past actions and circumstances, but that’s the place you want to start. It's the only place you can start.

Or not… because the choice is yours… you can always continue waiting.  :D

Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #68 on: July 26, 2020, 08:58:02 PM »
Shit..  past actions? Well I experienced a ton of love and joy and goodness up till March, after which when the fear came I watched my heart dwindle...I’m worried I used up my good karma and now all I experience is fear and negativity haha
And I can’t generate good karma if I can’t generate the feeling of love I think...now all I do is generate new negativity...
I remember back in 2018 when I had that experience of love and equanimity.... was that because of past karma? Because there was a seed of compassion? Back then I felt more of a presence in my heart than now.. What happens if that seed is gone? How does this work??? I am just longing to feel this feeling again but what if it never blossoms because I’ve compromised everything that was there that COULD blossom? Because I reacted so negatively and thought so negatively about myself?
People always tell me to do kind things for others but I say doesn’t it not really matter if it doesn’t change the way I feel? If I’m not doing it from a pure heart but just in my head?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 09:07:21 PM by Sarahpro »

Matthew

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #69 on: July 26, 2020, 09:28:52 PM »
You won't change anything by thinking about it, this has become a trap.

It makes one wonder what makes thinking so attractive. In my opinion thinking (ruminating and worrying) is a way to avoid present moment experience. It pulls attention away from unpleasant and unwanted emotional experiences. Even if it's bad, it seems even worse to actually approach or turn towards these feared emotional experiences. Like just sitting with agitation, when mind is saying "this is too much, you wil desintegrate", and every cell screams to get up and go do something pleasant... aaargh  :D
And also, it offers the illusion that we’re trying to solve the problem, whereas the ruminating and worrying actually becomes the problem.

Yes Alex - a very apt analysis. Exactly why doing and not thinking is the exit door. 🙂
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #70 on: July 26, 2020, 09:33:48 PM »
Shit..  past actions? Well I experienced a ton of love and joy and goodness up till March, after which when the fear came I watched my heart dwindle...I’m worried I used up my good karma

Worry not Sarah. Good karma is limitless. You just have to get back on the roller-coaster. You'll find your way - but by feeling, not thinking x
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #71 on: July 26, 2020, 09:41:31 PM »

Maybe I’m just out of practice.

It would seem so. Just get back on the horse… practice! Contact the present moment. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. Get lost. Recontact. And so on.
As said, there are good instructions on the homepage.


Yes!

Just do it Sarah. You can spend hours here taking, yet the calm abiding instructions on the homepage have proven over many years, for many people, to be the key that unlocks the trap.

You might have questions. Ask!

You might have doubts. It's normal 🙂

You will get a positive outcome. Thirteen years of running this forum and helping people trapped as you are has taught me this truth.

Don't short change yourself. You deserve happiness, and it's within your grasp.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #72 on: July 26, 2020, 10:25:47 PM »
Thanks for saying this .... I will continue to wait and try to be ok with each moment no matter how shitty lol

Sarahpro

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #73 on: July 26, 2020, 10:31:16 PM »
Thanks for saying this .... I will continue to wait for good karma to ripen(?)and try to be ok with each moment no matter how shitty lol
I realize all this resistance is me just refusing to accept who I am....I mean it is a fact that things are worsening but it would be nice if it somehow stopped if I committed to accepting myself in the moment....

Matthew

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Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #74 on: July 26, 2020, 10:39:59 PM »
Thanks for saying this .... I will continue to wait for good karma to ripen(?)and try to be ok with each moment no matter how shitty lol
I realize all this resistance is me just refusing to accept who I am....I mean it is a fact that things are worsening but it would be nice if it somehow stopped if I committed to accepting myself in the moment....

So do it. You know it. You're only hiding from peace because fear is your habituated domain.

Move on. It really isn't hard. Karma ripens with action, not time.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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