Author Topic: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation  (Read 283 times)

Whoami

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Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« on: September 05, 2020, 06:58:20 PM »
Hi, i would consider my self a novice when it comes to meditation and thus i have few questions regarding emotional healing. First some history; I had an unhappy childhood and i’ve had drug problems before in my life. Its a fact that I have emotional scarring.

Recently, i have meditated 4 Times a day for quite a long time each session and i experience very unpleasant deep sorrow. I have read online that meditation can unlock buried emotions. I simpy cant handle this amount of sorrow at once.

Do I need time to heal these emotions that are coming to the surface? It feels like i do but as i Said, i am a meditation novice.

I’ve heard from people that one can actually meditate too much for ones own good, but i just wanted to hear from you guys what you have to say.

Thanks, hugs
WhoAmI

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 04:03:14 AM »
The question is: do i need to take a break from meditation for a while to heal these feelings?

dharma bum

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2020, 04:10:50 AM »
When you say you experience deep sorrow, what does that mean? Do you remember past stuff?

I'm not an expert so everything I say is a suggestion rather than the voice of an expert. Meditation does not unlock buried emotions. It just makes you aware of emotions that are always there but you lose awareness of because the mind is always jumping around. So meditation is really nothing mysterious.

To be aware of a deep sorrow can be a positive thing. The first noble truth in Buddhism is that life is full of suffering. But we're not defined by our suffering. It is possible to lighten our suffering by observing that feelings of suffering come and go.
Mostly ignorant

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2020, 09:58:35 AM »
When you say you experience deep sorrow, what does that mean? Do you remember past stuff?

I'm not an expert so everything I say is a suggestion rather than the voice of an expert. Meditation does not unlock buried emotions. It just makes you aware of emotions that are always there but you lose awareness of because the mind is always jumping around. So meditation is really nothing mysterious.

To be aware of a deep sorrow can be a positive thing. The first noble truth in Buddhism is that life is full of suffering. But we're not defined by our suffering. It is possible to lighten our suffering by observing that feelings of suffering come and go.

No its not connected to any memories, its just a very intense feeling of sorrow, followed by crying.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2020, 11:29:18 AM »
Maybe go easy on the meditation for a while. These feelings are perfectly normal when you meditate, whether sad or happy feelings are arising. Sometimes it's good to stay with them until they disappear, or return to meditating after a few days break from them. I have occasionally stayed with the feeling to see if there was something important my brain had flagged up and needed attention.
“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

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2020, 01:26:21 PM »
Maybe go easy on the meditation for a while. These feelings are perfectly normal when you meditate, whether sad or happy feelings are arising. Sometimes it's good to stay with them until they disappear, or return to meditating after a few days break from them. I have occasionally stayed with the feeling to see if there was something important my brain had flagged up and needed attention.

Ok, i Will take a break. I tried to stay with them but as soon as the feeling starts to rise up my attention flees from it. It doesnt want to face it. So i think i kind of ”touch” these feelings a little bit at a time... makes sense? Or what is your knowledge about this?

Anyways, if its perfectly normal i guess i dont need to worry if im doing it right or not.

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2020, 08:10:54 AM »
Maybe go easy on the meditation for a while. These feelings are perfectly normal when you meditate, whether sad or happy feelings are arising. Sometimes it's good to stay with them until they disappear, or return to meditating after a few days break from them. I have occasionally stayed with the feeling to see if there was something important my brain had flagged up and needed attention.

Also, another question, do you think it would be advisible for me to try another meditation method? I have noticed now that if I observe/focus on the lider part of my belly while breathing, it brings me to tears; while if i focus on the upper lip where the nostrils are, i dont get the same sensation.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2020, 10:40:19 AM »
Maybe go easy on the meditation for a while. These feelings are perfectly normal when you meditate, whether sad or happy feelings are arising. Sometimes it's good to stay with them until they disappear, or return to meditating after a few days break from them. I have occasionally stayed with the feeling to see if there was something important my brain had flagged up and needed attention.

Also, another question, do you think it would be advisible for me to try another meditation method? I have noticed now that if I observe/focus on the lider part of my belly while breathing, it brings me to tears; while if i focus on the upper lip where the nostrils are, i dont get the same sensation.
There are a couple of different views on this. Some think that you only need one meditation method for life while others look to a more balanced approach, with different meditations for different effects. Personally I spent years experimenting with many different types before becoming a Buddhist and developing a couple of basic fall-back meditations. I took up metta bhavana and mindfulness of breathing meditations, each having an element of relaxation and body check as the first stage. It might be worth checking out a few to see how you react.
“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

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2020, 11:53:53 AM »
Maybe go easy on the meditation for a while. These feelings are perfectly normal when you meditate, whether sad or happy feelings are arising. Sometimes it's good to stay with them until they disappear, or return to meditating after a few days break from them. I have occasionally stayed with the feeling to see if there was something important my brain had flagged up and needed attention.

Also, another question, do you think it would be advisible for me to try another meditation method? I have noticed now that if I observe/focus on the lider part of my belly while breathing, it brings me to tears; while if i focus on the upper lip where the nostrils are, i dont get the same sensation.
There are a couple of different views on this. Some think that you only need one meditation method for life while others look to a more balanced approach, with different meditations for different effects. Personally I spent years experimenting with many different types before becoming a Buddhist and developing a couple of basic fall-back meditations. I took up metta bhavana and mindfulness of breathing meditations, each having an element of relaxation and body check as the first stage. It might be worth checking out a few to see how you react.

I see, interesting. Thanks for sharing  :) i will look it up

dharma bum

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2020, 04:30:40 PM »
Maybe there is no need to be afraid of sorrow. What I would do as an experiment to try and sit with it for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and so on. All these feelings come and go.
Mostly ignorant

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2020, 05:57:58 PM »
Maybe there is no need to be afraid of sorrow. What I would do as an experiment to try and sit with it for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and so on. All these feelings come and go.

That has automatically been what im doing actually. Since this immense sorrow came up due to meditation i have not been able to push it back or avoid it, NOTHING works. I have tried pushing it away while at the job, listening to music to distract me, meditate with other techniques (worked for about 15 minutes by pure force of concentration). No strategies work, so eventually the sorrow and tears came up the surface, in other words ”being with the sorrow” :) so.. i have cried for 2 hours straight now. I feel that it had an healing effect on ”me” because i can feel that i have carried this weight for a long long time... i hope the crying ends soon though because its kinda drains me.

So Yeah i think you are right. Face the feeling :) but its hard when its such an enormous amounts of grief.

Matthew

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 06:53:50 PM »
Hi Whoami,

The question is: do i need to take a break from meditation for a while to heal these feelings?

Balance in all things is important. In this case you will need to keep allowing these feelings to arise and allow yourself time to process them. It's not really an either/or kind of thing. You will need to engage with people or activities that allow you to process and heal the scars from your childhood. That could range from talking to a deeply trusted friend, family member, partner, or therapist, to running or other exercise, painting, journaling about your experiences, feelings and memories, writing poetry, buying an old car and a lump hammer and taking out your anger on the banger ...

You are going to have to feel your way forward in life through this grief, and beyond it. Trust yourself to be your best guide in these matters. Do be aware of any potentially self-destructive tendencies that might arise, and if they do, listen quietly to them: ask what they need to heal, rather than being expressed negatively.

Only you can answer the question as to whether you need a break from meditation: my suggestion would be not really, or not for long. Provided you are doing some (or all) of the above; to feel, honour and process your feelings - and as long as you feel safe meditating, that it will only help, and speed your processing of the hurt. It will give you tools of calm, compassion, and insight to support yourself on this journey.

Also, another question, do you think it would be advisible for me to try another meditation method? I have noticed now that if I observe/focus on the lider part of my belly while breathing, it brings me to tears; while if i focus on the upper lip where the nostrils are, i dont get the same sensation.

Focussing on the nostrils is a form of forced meditation akin to self-hypnosis. It is great way to repress things. It is never mentioned anywhere in the teachings of the Buddha about over-coming mental suffering. Every teaching of the Buddha on this subject starts with the same formulation: "breathing in mindful of the body and calming the body, breathing out mindful of the body and calming the body". Noses are not part of the equation (except to the extent they are a part of the body, a quite small part).

The "calming" is truly important. It sends a strong feedback to the brain through calming the body that you are safe here and now - and that feedback calms the mind. It is fundamental to how meditation cures suffering.

Forced techniques hide you from the suffering and will always bite you in the arse at the end of the day if used.

Have a look at the "Calm Abiding" instructions linked from the homepage, and the "Relaxation: the Key ..." thread at the top of this board. Those are key to meditation that works with healing trauma.

Since this immense sorrow came up due to meditation i have not been able to push it back or avoid it, NOTHING works. I have tried pushing it away while at the job, listening to music to distract me, meditate with other techniques (worked for about 15 minutes by pure force of concentration). No strategies work, so eventually the sorrow and tears came up the surface, in other words ”being with the sorrow” :) so.. i have cried for 2 hours straight now. I feel that it had an healing effect on ”me” because i can feel that i have carried this weight for a long long time... i hope the crying ends soon though because its kinda drains me.

So Yeah i think you are right. Face the feeling :) but its hard when its such an enormous amounts of grief.

It's good you have discovered you can't hide from this. best not to. From personal experience I would say that this kind of grief only comes to you when you are in a place where you are safe and stable enough to deal with it. Otherwise the subconscious mind would keep it from you.

Meditation is very much about "fully facing" oneself. This is the path. This is healing. Trust yourself.

Be well,

Matthew
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 09:28:47 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 09:11:39 AM »
Hi Whoami,

The question is: do i need to take a break from meditation for a while to heal these feelings?

Balance in all things is important. In this case you will need to keep allowing these feelings to arise and allow yourself time to process them. It's not really an either/or kind of thing. You will need to engage with people or activities that allow you to process and heal the scars from your childhood. That could range from talking to a deeply trusted friend, family member, partner, or therapist, to running or other exercise, painting, journaling about your experiences, feelings and memories, writing poetry, buying an old car and a lump hammer and taking out your anger on the banger ...

You are going to have to feel your way forward in life through this grief, and beyond it. Trust yourself to be your best guide in these matters. Do be aware of any potentially self-destructive tendencies that might arise, and if they do, listen quietly to them: ask what they need to heal, rather than being expressed negatively.

Only you can answer the question as to whether you need a break from meditation: my suggestion would be not really, or not for long. Provided you are doing some (or all) of the above; to feel, honour and process your feelings - and as long as you feel safe meditating, that it will only help, and speed your processing of the hurt. It will give you tools of calm, compassion, and insight to support yourself on this journey.

.... snip .....

Matthew

Thanks for your reply.  :)
I understand what youre saying, and it makes sense.
I have noticed now that i have developed some kind of fear for deep meditation, because i will come in contact with these feelings. Its like.. when i meditate i wont allow myself to relax and enter a deep state. But maybe its just a matter of continuing and recognize it as a feeling and and a thought, and then get on with it. But damn i dont want to experience that extreme sadness again. I have successfully buried them again now btw, i just couldnt stand it no more and i was like ”im not going to feel this anymore”. I dont know the whole process here... maybe its going to be fourth and back like this i dont know.

But honestly, thanks for your reply, it kinda made me to feel like its ok to feel like this.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 08:06:04 PM by Matthew »

Matthew

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2020, 08:24:57 PM »
Hi again Whoami,

I have noticed now that i have developed some kind of fear for deep meditation, because i will come in contact with these feelings. Its like.. when i meditate i wont allow myself to relax and enter a deep state.


You can hide from your feelings, though I wouldn't recommend it. You can live your whole life this way, yet unless/until you escape that past by going through the process, you will never taste true freedom, never taste true joy, never taste true peace, and everything will be surrounded by a "cotton wool" blanket of sorts.

Don't go seeking anything from meditation: don't seek "deep states"; have no goal. To meditate is the goal. The fruits of meditation will naturally arise from the process, if you do it right, which isn't rocket science. In the first instance for you these fruits are inner-calm and being centred; connected body and mind; quiet mind; concentration, and; compassion.

They can all be nurtured in practice, though again - this needs to be "light touch": not too much force/effort, nor too little. A bit like learning to ride a bike, one has to find balance. One has to fall off a few times to learn how to balance. I suggest you put in place some of the things I suggested above to deal with the feelings, and then get back on the bike.

But maybe its just a matter of continuing and recognize it as a feeling and and a thought, and then get on with it. But damn i dont want to experience that extreme sadness again. I have successfully buried them again now btw, i just couldnt stand it no more and i was like ”im not going to feel this anymore”. I dont know the whole process here... maybe its going to be fourth and back like this i dont know.

As I suggest above, put in some tools/time/techniques/support/structure etc to deal with the grief. I gave you some ideas, some starting points in my first response to you - they are not set in stone. You find what works for you.

Recognising these feelings are transient and will pass; that they are not solid (unless you make them solid by ignoring them); that they are "anicca" - a mark of existence, is helpful. Then when the feelings arise one is not so attached to them: there is space to allow them to arise, manifest, be felt, be seen, be understood, and thus to dissolve, dissipate and pass. There is no shortcut however, only by seeing what is can you move on to discover the full richness of what is.

But honestly, thanks for your reply, it kinda made me to feel like its ok to feel like this.

It is OK. Everything is OK - it is all perfectly what it is. Acceptance of "what is" is one half of the process. The other half is being brave enough to grow beyond. I don't think you would be on this forum if you didn't have it in you to walk the walk.

Peace, in the Dhamma,

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

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2020, 08:37:22 PM »
Maybe there is no need to be afraid of sorrow. What I would do as an experiment to try and sit with it for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and so on. All these feelings come and go.

Beautiful :)
~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: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2020, 11:19:30 PM »
This:
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Whoami

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Re: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2020, 09:29:12 AM »
Hi again Whoami,

I have noticed now that i have developed some kind of fear for deep meditation, because i will come in contact with these feelings. Its like.. when i meditate i wont allow myself to relax and enter a deep state.


You can hide from your feelings, though I wouldn't recommend it. You can live your whole life this way, yet unless/until you escape that past by going through the process, you will never taste true freedom, never taste true joy, never taste true peace, and everything will be surrounded by a "cotton wool" blanket of sorts.

Don't go seeking anything from meditation: don't seek "deep states"; have no goal. To meditate is the goal. The fruits of meditation will naturally arise from the process, if you do it right, which isn't rocket science. In the first instance for you these fruits are inner-calm and being centred; connected body and mind; quiet mind; concentration, and; compassion.

They can all be nurtured in practice, though again - this needs to be "light touch": not too much force/effort, nor too little. A bit like learning to ride a bike, one has to find balance. One has to fall off a few times to learn how to balance. I suggest you put in place some of the things I suggested above to deal with the feelings, and then get back on the bike.

But maybe its just a matter of continuing and recognize it as a feeling and and a thought, and then get on with it. But damn i dont want to experience that extreme sadness again. I have successfully buried them again now btw, i just couldnt stand it no more and i was like ”im not going to feel this anymore”. I dont know the whole process here... maybe its going to be fourth and back like this i dont know.

As I suggest above, put in some tools/time/techniques/support/structure etc to deal with the grief. I gave you some ideas, some starting points in my first response to you - they are not set in stone. You find what works for you.

Recognising these feelings are transient and will pass; that they are not solid (unless you make them solid by ignoring them); that they are "anicca" - a mark of existence, is helpful. Then when the feelings arise one is not so attached to them: there is space to allow them to arise, manifest, be felt, be seen, be understood, and thus to dissolve, dissipate and pass. There is no shortcut however, only by seeing what is can you move on to discover the full richness of what is.

But honestly, thanks for your reply, it kinda made me to feel like its ok to feel like this.

It is OK. Everything is OK - it is all perfectly what it is. Acceptance of "what is" is one half of the process. The other half is being brave enough to grow beyond. I don't think you would be on this forum if you didn't have it in you to walk the walk.

Peace, in the Dhamma,

Matthew

Thank again :) to meditate is the goal... super!  ;D

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: Buried feelings, sorrow after and during meditation
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2020, 11:19:39 PM »
Thank again :) to meditate is the goal... super!  ;D

I'm not the first to say that. It really is true though. Meditation is a tool that frees you by helping you see you. Only when you see you can you change you: to become happier and more fulfilled. :)
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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