Author Topic: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness  (Read 10993 times)

bartleby

Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« on: February 24, 2009, 11:00:04 AM »
hey guys, a short question...

i just finished the 10-day Vipassana course for the first time, it was an awesome experience... I think the technique totally rocks, of course, provided there is practice in continuity...

Now, my problem is that I am just too self-conscious, really a lot a lot... i dunno if shyness and self-consciousness are the same thing... I am not really shy when I am amongst my friends and all... i am very confident when I am in familiar situation or with familiar people... its just when I am by myself, that my confidence kinda falters... and thats massive dependence and instability... and I want to know how I can use Vipassana to get rid of this huge anxiety...

I have tried to observe and look for the sensation which arises as a result of my anxiety, but i have not found it yet, i dont even know on which part of my body the sensation arises...

If any of you have experienced/are experiencing this problem, do let me know how you are dealing with it...

cheers and thanks...

ravalbapu

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 11:41:19 AM »
Why should you solve that self-consciousness!
It is a mind's play. Just remain aware when you are and when you are not- self-conscious,that is.

Be your self. Most of the time we want to "conform" to the people or the conditions we are in.
Of course, I am not suggesting that - When in Rome Don't do what Romans do!!!- but if you do not like wearing a toga and are comfortable in a kilt, wear it!
 Metta.
ravalbapu

frepi

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 03:40:47 PM »
Usually, those strong "feelings" arise in the belly/diaphragm area. I suspect that you don't feel them because being always present your brain has simply shut to them. I have no other suggestion than to keep on looking for them, without forcing. Maybe do like in the retreat: start by doing annapana on a small area under your nose to increase your sensitivity. Maybe TIB can help you with that.

pimpoum

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 03:47:41 PM »
I agree with ravalbapu, and in a way, with this kind of "problem" the search for the next fix is often part of the problem (if I need to do sth to stop being self conscious, it reinforces my belief that I am selfconscious...)

So it is only reluctantly that I give the following recommendation, but I've had good result with it and, moreover, I think it relates to the Buddhist/Zen/Mystical holistic paradigms (it is this which actually got me to do meditation, which I see as a purer form of the following).

It is called the Sedona method, give it a try if it feels right(you can find it on many torrent sites ::).

It is different from other selfhelp trash precisely insofar as it helps you, for instance, to let of wanting to change your self consciousness, and other kind of egoic demands that we set on ourselves. I don't know to what extent it might clash with a meditative practice, and would be interested in other people's comments about that.

bartleby

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2009, 04:38:51 PM »
Thnaks everyone... i do agree with ravalbapu... just observe and let go...

frepi... you are right, the feeling/sensation arises in the diaphragm area... it is so strong at times when i am very anxious that i had started feeling it even before i got introduced to Vipassana, or any kind of meditation... so now, i do wait for the sensation to arise and try to not like or dislike the feeling, but just observe it...

pimpoum... are you saying you had similar issues? i have also been into quite a lot of self help but this is an issue i have not been able to solve... can you elaborate what this sedona method actually consist of? is it another kind of meditation?

cheers

alex

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 05:07:50 PM »
Welcome bartleby!

how I can use Vipassana to get rid of this huge anxiety...

You can't. But your problem is probably not the self-consciousness, or anxiety, but your mind's reaction to it, like imagination, interpretation and maybe a resulting fear. Try to separate these two factors.

What you can do is learn to live with your self-consciousness without allowing it to take over your mind, i.e. with less reaction. That involves getting mindfully into problematic situations, thereby learning that you still can be active (as opposed to re-active) while having negative feelings.

A little meditation can help you to stay in the present moment - there is no need to feel your anxiety, just anything there is (like you body touching the chair, or simply your breath). If you stay more in the present, this can reduce your reactions, not by getting rid of them, but by acknowledging their presence and getting less lost in them.

I had similar problems. It helped me to know some ways to cope with certain social situations, little tricks to get over the worst parts, to enable me to survive the first (and worst) confrontations. For example, being too nervous to remember the beginning of my public speech, I can simply admit this fact to the audience - this alleviates the situation, mostly makes my brain work again, and even gains me some sympathy. These problems are very common, so check your local library (or ask a shrink who knows about behavioural therapy).


Regards,
Alex

pimpoum

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009, 06:02:37 PM »
pimpoum... are you saying you had similar issues? i have also been into quite a lot of self help but this is an issue i have not been able to solve... can you elaborate what this sedona method actually consist of? is it another kind of meditation?

Well it's hard to know whether I had "similar issues" since we don't know each others, plus self consciousness is quite tricky to define. I know from having tried a lot of self help, this is the only thing which made a tangible difference.

The sedona method is not a meditation, but a series of questions you ask yourself in order to release unwanted emotions - just try the first few CDs (they are seminars to teach you how to do it) and you'll see if it does something or not very quickly.

I see it as closely related to meditation practice in its approach to emotions, attachments, resistance etc...but I might be wrong, I'm not an expert.  :)



deanmw

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2009, 08:16:43 PM »
Hi bartleby.

You could try EFT (Emotional freedom technique or "tapping" as it is also known) to release negative feelings. Another one is TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique). I found the website www.tapping.com had a lot of good stuff on it. These techniques both work via the energy meridians of the body (allegedly), and a number of people seem to have had remarkable success using them. I don't really have a great deal of experience myself with them, although I have been giving them a go the last week or so dealing with some of the stressful feelings that work has being throwing up lately.

However the strong desire to get rid of something you don't like (i.e. aversion) is a big part of what meditation is dealing with. This aversion is half of the problem. Some might say it is all of the problem. But if there is a technique that can quickly and permanently release negative emotions, I say go for it!

Kind regards,
Dean.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 08:52:44 PM by deanmw »

bartleby

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009, 09:30:41 PM »




You can't. But your problem is probably not the self-consciousness, or anxiety, but your mind's reaction to it, like imagination, interpretation and maybe a resulting fear. Try to separate these two factors.

What you can do is learn to live with your self-consciousness without allowing it to take over your mind, i.e. with less reaction.


Thanks dude... so I understand that the root of the problem is the very fact that I dont want to have a problem, and that I am reacting to it... well, in my particular situation, my reaction is mostly Social Anxiety... I just cannot get in a social/talkative state as a result of this self-consciousness...

So in this respect, can you help me determine how I can LET GO, and NOT REACT to being self-conscious...

Thanks for your reply,

cheers...

greenhorn

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009, 10:34:21 PM »

So in this respect, can you help me determine how I can LET GO, and NOT REACT to being self-conscious...

 
Hi, Bartleby!

I would say meditation can help you not react to being self-conscious, but I believe meditation cannot help with your lack of self-confidence. That you have to build yourself by getting to know yourself better, and asking yourself what is it that makes you feel self-conscious.

Usually, people are social animals. They like to hang around other people, share experiences, jokes, and basically have a good time. Among these, there are people who don't talk that much unless they really have something to say. There's nothing wrong in being a taciturn. There is also another category of people who simply don't need the company of others. They like to be with themselves observing the crazy, chatty people out there. You have to figure out which category you belong to, and not feel guilty if you are not a chatterbox.

From my experience I can tell you I'm also a bit reticent when I meet new people, and it takes me some time to open up. I am myself with a person only after I met him/her at least two or three times. I guess you might be calling it 'testing the territory': what kind of people are these? are they 'my type'. I'm not saying my approach is the best, not at all. I always feel I might be missing on something because appearances are deceiving. And, since we're on a meditation site, I guess I also miss being in the present and living the moment: talking to people, getting to know people, instead of analysing and putting a label on them without having even exchanged 2 words with them.

Monica
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 12:23:45 PM by mettajoey »

bartleby

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 08:42:48 AM »
Thanks Dean and Monica...

Well, I am the talkative kinda guy once I am in the social mood/state, even if i am in a party or something with friends of mine... the problem usually arises when I am by myself... you are right, that confidence needs to come out of myself, not the company of my friends...

In the 10-day Vipassana course, it has been taught that when you observe the sensations on yor body, as they arise and go away, and you dont react to them... if you continue doing this, in time, the old Sankhara (habit patterns, in the form of sensations) crop up and if you continue to remain indifferent, the Sankhara get destroyed... I was wondering if anyone here has had such an experience either during the course or during practice sessions?

Cheers...

Hazmatac

  • Member
Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2009, 09:39:55 AM »
hey bartleby,

It seems that you have one thing that you dislike (self-consciousness) and one thing which you desire (self-confidence). If you have an aversion to the feelings of self-consciousness you will be fighting your experience which will take you away from peace, which is the goal of Vipassana. Also if you have the compulsive desire to attain self-confidence you will also suffer because you won't have it, but if you can just accept your experience you will find peace.

With this style of meditation, you get better a little bit at a time. Eventually you will be able to be aware of your emotions as they come up and you will be able to observe them in a calm way, and eventually by observing them long enough and enough times they will go away.

The compulsive desire for self-confidence is part of the if-only symptom. If you had it you might feel better etc. but you'll still have other problems and want more stuff. What you need more than that is inner peace and inner happiness, which isn't always achieved by possessions. But if you want inner confidence, or confidnece around people, that's fine. But the inner lack and feeling you need to have it or you won't be happy is bad. My only advice is to keep meditating.

Rob

frepi

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2009, 01:16:09 PM »
In the 10-day Vipassana course, it has been taught that when you observe the sensations on yor body, as they arise and go away, and you dont react to them... if you continue doing this, in time, the old Sankhara (habit patterns, in the form of sensations) crop up and if you continue to remain indifferent, the Sankhara get destroyed... I was wondering if anyone here has had such an experience either during the course or during practice sessions?

Cheers...

I haven't experienced the disapeareance of "emotions" but I definitely experienced a major reduction of a prevailing pain under my right hand shoulder blade. It happened exactly as Geonka had explained. I looked deeply at the pain zone, and the more I tried to see how it was made, smaller the pain area became. I realised then that my physical pain was accompanied by "emotional" pain: unconscious "fear" or "aversion" created a painfull zone around the real physical pain made it feel twice as bad. Now the pain is still there, but much less in intensity and in size than during my first retreat. So yes, you can say that I managed to discard an old sankara (I hate this way of explaining, for me it has more to do with neuronal connections).
This is a direct consequence of meditation. But meditation has helped e in more subtle ways. I realised that some undesirable "knee jerk" emotional responses to had disminished to the point that family members noticed it. I get angry and depressed less easily. I have a conscious control over negative emotions I didn't have before. This is why I say : forget the Goenka bashers.

alex

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2009, 01:28:27 PM »
if you continue doing this, in time, the old Sankhara (habit patterns, in the form of sensations) crop up and if you continue to remain indifferent, the Sankhara get destroyed... I was wondering if anyone here has had such an experience either during the course or during practice sessions?

May I assume then that your retreat was Vipassana a la Goenka? Please note that there are lots of other teachers with totally different theories and techniques, all of them called Vipassana. The Sankhara theory is only one, and it's nothing but an analogy, not to be confused with reality. Usually when a student has lots of pain sitting, and after a while it eases up or even becomes pleasureable, he will tell "oh my, this was a deep sankhara which went away". I never ever heard that someone meditated any kind of psychological problem away. On the contrary, a long retreat can even worsen certain social problems, because you are all alone with yourself all the time.

Meditation (in moderation) can help to react less. Even the most basic form of perceiving an itching and not scratching yourself follows a similar behavioural pattern, and by observing your not-reaction you can learn about yourself. This is the theory.

But like learning to swim you can't learn to cope with social situations without getting wet. That means to practice, practice, practice the situations you are afraid of, in places where you do not fear looking stupid, because you will. Not too much pressure, work your way up: Speaking up in front of a group of close friends will help to hold a speech in front of loose friends, and so on. (I assume that you are confident enough to speak up at least in front of a group of close friends. If not, you should see a doctor).

It really helps to have an advisor. This can be a friend, a teacher, a shrink, a coach... anyone who you trust to give good advice. You can ask him/her for a second opinion and practice special situations.

greetings,
alex

bartleby

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2009, 02:45:41 PM »
Yeah Alex, it was Goenka's course that I attended...

I did and I still do feel very numb in my right leg after 45 minutues of sitting in the same position (legs crossed) and I do try to concentrate on the pain... I guess the pain will melt away with practice... so yea, one may call that a sankhara... but my question was concerned with changing behavior patters...

Like the itching example that you gave... I guess it has became a deep rooted behavioral pattern for me to react to my self-consciousness... react by imagination, by fear of what people will think etc etc...

Sure cant learn swimming without getting wet and I do always try to put myself into social situations that I am uncomfortable with, just to get used to it... and yeah, I can speak very well amongst my friends or for that matter, even in front of a group I met barely 5 minutes ago... once I am in conversation, I am pretty confident... the problem is not the conversation or the speech and all... the problem is how I feel overwhelmed in social situations... for instance, if I have a friend of mine with me and he pushes me to get out of my comfort zone, then I have a good time... but when I am alone........

Good advice bro...

cheers...

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2009, 06:54:26 AM »

So in this respect, can you help me determine how I can LET GO, and NOT REACT to being self-conscious...

 
Hi, Bartleby!

I would say meditation can help you not react to being self-conscious, but I believe meditation cannot help with your lack of self-confidence. That you have to build yourself by getting to know yourself better, and asking yourself what is it that makes you feel self-conscious.

Agree with you about examining self-consciousness and experiencing reactions and that this can help overcome reactions.

However, meditation can and will help overcome lack of confidence. Meditation = getting to know oneself. Meditation = asking what makes you self conscious. All these are or can be part of the meditative path.

In calming the mind one befriends the mind, the mind reveals it's secrets and lets go, loosens up. Plus just basic calming, Shamatha will increase self confidence with no other practice and no other thought. Self confidence fails when we are overwhelmed with social stimulus and in a place outside of our comfort zone.

Shamatha increases the comfort zone.

bartelby, my advice would be to do a lot of Anapana and less of any other technique. Anapana is pure grounding and if you are practising without stressing yourself will quickly help your situation. Just don't be seeking results - be happy when they surprise you with their presence. If doing this increases stress, then soften the technique, focus less.

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

frepi

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2009, 01:55:46 PM »
bartelby, my advice would be to do a lot of Anapana and less of any other technique. Anapana is pure grounding and if you are practising without stressing yourself will quickly help your situation. Just don't be seeking results - be happy when they surprise you with their presence. If doing this increases stress, then soften the technique, focus less.

Matthew

Do you mean anapana "à la Goenka"? i.e. awareness of the area below the nostrils or awareness of the belly/diaphragm (where emotions make the tickle sensation) ?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2009, 09:48:22 AM »
bartelby, my advice would be to do a lot of Anapana and less of any other technique. Anapana is pure grounding and if you are practising without stressing yourself will quickly help your situation. Just don't be seeking results - be happy when they surprise you with their presence. If doing this increases stress, then soften the technique, focus less.

Matthew

Do you mean anapana "à la Goenka"? i.e. awareness of the area below the nostrils or awareness of the belly/diaphragm (where emotions make the tickle sensation) ?

Frepi,

I meant at the nostrils - as that is what bartleby has learned. It might help him to concentrate on the belly - it's very good for people who suffer levels of anxiety.

Matthew

« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 09:48:48 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

bartleby

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2009, 07:26:15 AM »
Thanks again, everyone...

wonderful advice... let me try it for a few days and report back...

cheers...

Hazmatac

  • Member
Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2009, 08:57:15 AM »
Hey Bartleby. Do what you can to step out of your comfort zone, but meditation works gradually.

thao

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2009, 10:44:14 AM »

Now, my problem is that I am just too self-conscious, really a lot a lot... i dunno if shyness and self-consciousness are the same thing... I am not really shy when I am amongst my friends and all... i am very confident when I am in familiar situation or with familiar people... its just when I am by myself, that my confidence kinda falters... and thats massive dependence and instability... and I want to know how I can use Vipassana to get rid of this huge anxiety...

I have tried to observe and look for the sensation which arises as a result of my anxiety, but i have not found it yet, i dont even know on which part of my body the sensation arises...

If any of you have experienced/are experiencing this problem, do let me know how you are dealing with it...

cheers and thanks...

Hi Bartleby,

I am experiencing the same thing and am trying to work it out via Vipassana (Goenka style). 

I am pretty good at holeing myself up with school and volunteer things, though I do make time for close close friends, but so far it's really only one person right now.  Anyway I started to question whether or not I was just busy or whether I was just avoiding people because of the aversion I have to feeling self conscious, which usually always happens. 

I have recently stopped drinking and/or using drugs.  This has helped me to get down to the problem and to stay present in my body. 

So the event today that triggered it was a job interview.  Like you I am triggered when I am alone, in a one on one conversation.  I've reached a point where I can clearly hear(?) or identify some beliefs I have of myself in those moments.  I just can't seem to separate the emotion from the sensation just yet.  This is what I am working on.

Thank you for this question because I have more of an understanding of what can be done by reading everyone's replies. 

I think I will ask a friend, who also does Vipassana to be the trigger for me.  And as we sit alone, it will come up and I will stay with sensation in my stomach and anywhere else as much as possible.  Start small and then go big right?.  I don't feel strong enough to tackle unfamilar strangers just yet. 

I am getting self conscious even in an internet forum about talking about my self consciousness. 

So I will continue later.


greenhorn

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2009, 09:43:01 PM »

Now, my problem is that I am just too self-conscious, really a lot a lot... i dunno if shyness and self-consciousness are the same thing... I am not really shy when I am amongst my friends and all... i am very confident when I am in familiar situation or with familiar people... its just when I am by myself, that my confidence kinda falters... and thats massive dependence and instability..


I am getting self conscious even in an internet forum about talking about my self consciousness. 

So I will continue later.



HI, dear Thao,
Your last words put a smile on my face. Not a mean one, I can reassure you. :) You don't need to worry when writing on this forum. You are among friends. No one will judge you. People are very helpful and nice on this forum.
 
As for your self-consciousness, it's part of being a teen/adolescent. Just keep on doing meditation, and you'll be fine. It's so wonderful you started it already. I only learnt about meditation last year, and I feel sorry I didn't find out about it when I was a very shy, self-conscious high school girl. But there's no use regretting the past. I coped with it by keeping a journal. It was my rescue.  It also helped me discover I had a talent for writing (I lost it in the meanwhile, :) but back then writing was my safe line).

Sometimes I have this very clear understanding that ther's nothing really anything to worry about. I don't analyze it or try to explain why. I just live with my realization. I wish you also come the same conclusion.:)

Monica

Venture

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2009, 01:27:01 AM »
I'm gonna go ahead and drop something very practical and possibly naive into this dilemma. It has little to do with Vipassana. Sorry if it's offtopic.

Here's an example.
I can be very shy with girls. Sometimes, for example on a first date, I can get so nervous that my entire face twitches, I find myself uttering complete nonsense and I feel like i'm about to crap my pants. All because I worry to much how i'm perceived.

My simple solution : pay attention the other person. Trying NOT to think about yourself doesn't work. Instead, I listen, really listen to her. I really want to get to know her. I enjoy the sound of her voice, and notice her pretty eyes, etc. I actually forget the fact that i'm nervous that way, and a date becomes fun instead of torture !

So more concrete : focus on something else. Kinda like what you do when your foot hurts when you're sitting in meditation. Let go.

Hope that gives you some kind of inspiration :)

-peace, Joeri

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2009, 08:11:51 AM »
I'm gonna go ahead and drop something very practical and possibly naive into this dilemma. It has little to do with Vipassana. Sorry if it's offtopic.

....

My simple solution : pay attention the other person. Trying NOT to think about yourself doesn't work. Instead, I listen, really listen to her. I really want to get to know her. I enjoy the sound of her voice, and notice her pretty eyes, etc. I actually forget the fact that i'm nervous that way, and a date becomes fun instead of torture !

So more concrete : focus on something else. Kinda like what you do when your foot hurts when you're sitting in meditation. Let go.

Joeri,

You are turning the girl into an object of meditation. And all your practice kicks in because when you are meditating ... you are calm.

:)

Nice trick lol

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

Venture

Re: Vipassana to solve self-consciousness
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2009, 12:29:26 PM »
Hahahh and later that night is when the reallly good objects of meditation present themselves lol

 

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