Author Topic: Struggling - no equanimity  (Read 1549 times)

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 #100 on: July 28, 2020, 06:44:48 AM »
Sit, gently, peacefully, without force. The forced techniques don't help people who have underlying trauma. Calm-abiding works.

There are too many different stories above to reply to all. You need to be very gentle, but yes, surrender is part of this.

Just sit. Breathe, feel. First you must love yourself. It will come.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 07:02:41 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

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 #101 on: July 28, 2020, 09:25:29 AM »
And about the ego death/derealization thing: it was literally like I’d just taken mushrooms or weed. Chatter completely dissolved. Heightened emotions and perceptions. Felt like Buddha/Jesus/god. sense of time WAs gone. I have yet to meet someone on forums who I knew experienced this as well.

I know people who have had this same type of experience. Just go gently, meditation can help heal the mind but not forced techniques. It may well be the forced methods of Goenka school that pushed you over this cliff. So now, the focus is on relaxing into feeling your body - a little at a time, no force.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

dharma bum

  • Moderator
  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #102 on: July 28, 2020, 01:22:27 PM »
Sometimes there's a tendency to think too much. For me walking calms me down. There is also therapeutic value in volunteering for others. Gardening or even a few potted plants are a kind of Metta meditation. Sleep and exercise are important. Alcohol and excessive coffee don't help.

For me, excessive chatter in mind is directly correlated with lack of rest/sleep. Sleep is correlated with lifestyle in general. Sometimes when we suffer too much we can remind ourselves that life is indeed suffering and it is normal to suffer. That can help with acceptance.
Mostly ignorant

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #103 on: July 28, 2020, 04:43:42 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions...
About the meditation, I decided not to... I am already constantly aware. The issue isn’t that I am not calm, it’s that this process of fragmentation/withdrawal is still happening no matter what, and that it is distressing me. If I could love myself, I wouldn’t have a problem anymore, but I haven’t been able to generate the feelings in a couple months. I will try to listen to the advice of ignoring my thoughts and staying in the present moment....
As for this moment of surrender I am waiting for, I woke up feeling like it’s ridiculous that I think it’s possible. Every moment I am searching, grasping. To have it happen would be a miracle. Still I am just waiting
About goenka, I haven’t practiced in almost 3 years. For the last year and a bit I did a technique called inner dance, where you just lie down and allow whatever is there, to be there
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 05:17:11 PM by Sarahpro »

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #104 on: July 28, 2020, 10:08:40 PM »
Ya..truly worried about getting stuck in this forever. My mind is only getting stronger. The idea of surrender seems far away and is not happening even in small amounts. Except the hour of crying yesterday maybe that was partly it. But I wonder, if not now, when? Time has not been doing me ANY favours. Even if I watch the mind it does not take away from the suffering, I still feel so low, unmotivated, triggered etc

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #105 on: July 28, 2020, 10:55:16 PM »
So you had a moment of awakening. And it felt wonderful. Because it is. And you lost it. Now you are craving for it. You desperately want it back.

This is like losing a loved one. You cannot have that person back. You can either choose to be miserable for the rest of your life for losing the loved one or you can celebrate the great time you had together and move on. Choice is yours.

Sangha here helped you with suggestions and showed you a lot of compassion. You can take the horse to a lake but cannot make it drink the water.

Now you have to walk your own path and live your own life.

All the best.

Middleway

Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #106 on: July 28, 2020, 11:11:51 PM »
Hi Sarah


About attention

There is primitive type of attention in threat-like situation: attention is narrowly focussed (on perceived threat), shifts involuntarily (to threat cues). There is low level of present-moment awareness. The focus is on content of our thoughts. In science this is called bottom-up attention.

The more cognitively complex attention (that allows for skilfull emotion processing) on the other hand shifts flexibly, to the full range of internal and external inputs, it is more open and inquisitive, ready to learn. It can monitor and guide the process. This is called top-down attention.

Language is such a tricky thing. We use the word ‘awareness’, but we mean very different things…
When you use 'awareness', you mean first primitive threat-based type of awareness. You litterally said you don't feel safe in your body: your threat-system is active. Or fight/flight mode as referred to by Matthew. Attention shifts unvoluntarily and reactively to mainly the mental reactions about the sensations you feel.

Bodily felt safety and the accompanying soft, natural awareness (and the benefits this has for learning and emotion processing) WILL be the fruit of a practice as described in the homepage, in no way do they have to be the starting point. You don't need that type of awareness to start the practice, you crave it, but you really don't, you can develop it. All members of this forum are living proof of that.

And even though you're choosing not to develop what you cherish most, this option will always be available.
Your choice also means that there is not much more to say here...

I wish you well.

Sarahpro

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #107 on: July 28, 2020, 11:54:59 PM »
Hey. I don’t think it’s because of fight or flight? I don’t feel a fight or flight reaction. I’d say it’s because my heart is empty. The more empty, the less home I feel in my body.
About cultivating body awareness....like I’ve mentioned the awareness dwindled gradually as I lost balance of my mind. I really think the heart seems to be a connector of body and mind/ the more self love I held, the more I was aware of subtle sensations, I guess because I was out of my mind.
At this moment, I feel like if I go into my body, I just go into emptiness and reactivity. I know reactivity is a choice but it doesn’t feel that simple. It just feels like my mind habitually reacts so quickly with so many horrible thoughts that I don’t even have a choice not to react. So yeah awareness may not be the best thing right now.
Also theoretically the meds I’m on should be working better. If I’ve had a psychotic break I should not be facing the fear that caused the damage, but unfortunately the meds aren’t working very well, I think because the depersonalization is so intense.
Maybe there is still nothing you can say. I am grateful for the support. I guess what I really wanted to hear here is that everything would be ok if I committed to ignoring my thoughts etc and that I could find the light again. I don’t believe meditation will get me there, I believe it has to be found in the healing of relationships, but I haven’t been ready to let in love yet I guess. I’d find it hard to believe that an awareness based practice could benefit me right now when awareness was the problem, showing me more than I’m ready for. Equanimity is what I lack, but I don’t feel I can cultivate that via meditation, because I can’t generate the feelings of calm abiding/love/etc.... sooo I feel like I’m stuck until I heal
I also really just wanted to hear that people have been  in similar predicaments and have found their way out. Like those who have had ego death, lost all equanimity/love, etc.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 11:58:41 PM by Sarahpro »

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 #108 on: July 29, 2020, 01:01:54 AM »
A lot more words. Read what Alex and Middleway have written Sarah. Both write from a position of great compassion and with much wisdom.

You wrote:

Quote
but I don’t feel I can cultivate that via meditation, because I can’t generate the feelings of calm abiding/love/etc....

Yet the truth is you have chosen not to try and cultivate this. You have been offered advice as to how you can do so, if you want to, yet because of the strength of the stories you tell yourself, you choose not to.

I wish you the very best. I hope you will find your balance and equanimity soon, and the strength to continue growing, to move beyond that you cling to.

I do not believe there is anything more we can offer you at this point. It has been an interesting, if somewhat infuriating at times, discussion. For the benefit of you and the community here I will now bar you from posting for one month. If you decide you are ready to meditate again at some point in the future, we will be here if you seek companionship on that journey, but for now it's time to practice - it's why we are all here, and clearly at the moment, you are not.

Look after yourself. Stop believing the stories you tell yourself. They don't help you.

And realise you are stuck in fight flight, and you need to escape this trap this by seeing it.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 01:19:12 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #109 on: July 29, 2020, 08:37:16 AM »
It has been an interesting, if somewhat infuriating at times, discussion.

Definitely!

@stillpointdancer
Don't know if you're still reading this thread, but reflecting back, I regret a reaction of disagreement towards something you wrote. It was prompted by emotion. I'm sorry if I caused you any harm.

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 #110 on: July 29, 2020, 11:23:08 AM »
It has been an interesting, if somewhat infuriating at times, discussion.

Definitely!

@stillpointdancer
Don't know if you're still reading this thread, but reflecting back, I regret a reaction of disagreement towards something you wrote. It was prompted by emotion. I'm sorry if I caused you any harm.

Kindly
Alex
Hi Alex. Thanks for your response. No worries. I always read threads, but only make a comment if I think it might be of some help. I'm always rather reticent to offer advice about using meditation and the path for its therapeutic value. I'm a great believer that the best time to make progress is when everything else in your life is quiet and there's nothing much happening. Over the years I saw many people attending the Buddhist centre for the first time at a time of crisis in their lives in the hope that they will find an answer there. The people in charge were very good at advising such people at a personal level, but this is so much harder when you only know them from a couple of posts.

I wouldn't say that I thrive on disagreements to my posts, but I always reflect to see whether I was wrong in what I said and, strangely, enjoy finding where I've been wrong. It's the only way to learn. On the other hand there often isn't a right or wrong answer and its useful to see what has been thrown into the mix to mull over. I don't mind when people read posts and don't post themselves, and I hope they find it helpful, but it is much more satisfying to get some kind of reaction, whatever it is. I'm fairly fireproof so please keep responding whether you feel I might agree or not.
“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

Alex

  • Member
Re: Struggling - no equanimity
« Reply #111 on: July 30, 2020, 02:07:49 PM »
Hi Alex. Thanks for your response. No worries. I always read threads, but only make a comment if I think it might be of some help. I'm always rather reticent to offer advice about using meditation and the path for its therapeutic value. I'm a great believer that the best time to make progress is when everything else in your life is quiet and there's nothing much happening. Over the years I saw many people attending the Buddhist centre for the first time at a time of crisis in their lives in the hope that they will find an answer there. The people in charge were very good at advising such people at a personal level, but this is so much harder when you only know them from a couple of posts.

I wouldn't say that I thrive on disagreements to my posts, but I always reflect to see whether I was wrong in what I said and, strangely, enjoy finding where I've been wrong. It's the only way to learn. On the other hand there often isn't a right or wrong answer and its useful to see what has been thrown into the mix to mull over. I don't mind when people read posts and don't post themselves, and I hope they find it helpful, but it is much more satisfying to get some kind of reaction, whatever it is. I'm fairly fireproof so please keep responding whether you feel I might agree or not.

Allright, thanks!

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
90 Replies
26911 Views
Last post March 17, 2011, 09:51:45 AM
by Stefan
1 Replies
1272 Views
Last post July 28, 2012, 01:05:00 PM
by Matthew
2 Replies
1771 Views
Last post January 04, 2016, 09:01:52 AM
by Vivek
23 Replies
3554 Views
Last post August 08, 2016, 04:48:20 AM
by Matthew
19 Replies
2213 Views
Last post August 02, 2016, 11:41:02 AM
by Ja192827
5 Replies
1526 Views
Last post January 30, 2017, 01:39:49 PM
by mettajoey
4 Replies
216 Views
Last post July 24, 2020, 08:58:09 PM
by Matthew