Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 660755

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Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt

Posted by llrrrpp on June 23, 2006, at 20:01:00

I feel like a bad Buddhist lately. I haven't been taking life, but I've been having many angry thoughts. I cannot get my mind under control using Vipassana Meditation. My most frequent attempt was very frustrating. Every time I tried to focus on the breath, I had profound sensory (hallucinations?) that my body was taking up huge amounts of space. That my being was gigantic. I could not keep my eyes still. These kinesthetic sensations were so disturbing. I know that I should meditate on the emotions that they arouse. Why are they disturbing? I think they disturb me because I see them as a sign of medication. I have poisoned my being. My body. My soul.

I feel profound guilt, which is not in keeping with the way I would like to experience Buddhism. I feel guilty that I cannot practice meditation regularly. That I do not have the discipline to keep my body pure, and that I indulge in sensory pleasure (sorbet -grin-) in an effort to keep my 'self' under control.

I feel that my psychologist has caused me to think about my 'self' in a way that is at odds with my faith. I hope I can readjust my 'self' when I am recovered/remitted and move it back in to a place where it is more covert, less individual, and more organically related to my community. Where my 'self' is less about the things I do, the choices I make and the things that happen to me, and where I can realize that my self is part of the universe.

Somethings I have been doing well. I think I have been more open-minded and less prejudiced since initiating treatment for depression, certainly since learning about so many diverse people and diverse struggles on psycho-babble. I feel I have helped many, or at least tried my best, and that is not only a good feeling, but increases the good in the community and the world.

But I also feel some regret that my mind so often turns to the dark side, and I think of sordid and rotten things, even from the innocents. I hope that I can stay strong and resist these temptations to act and create negative consequences.

Has anyone else (of any faith or non-faith) ever had similar regrets?

thanks for listening to me,
-ll

 

Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt llrrrpp

Posted by rayww on June 24, 2006, at 11:22:01

In reply to Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt, posted by llrrrpp on June 23, 2006, at 20:01:00

>
> Has anyone else (of any faith or non-faith) ever had similar regrets?
>
> thanks for listening to me,
> -ll

You describe this so well that I feel as though I am right there with you. Medications certainly disrupt your emotions. They interfere with the way you are used to reacting, and build a whole new world, one that you may not be as comfortable in. Heck, I'm still waiting for one of my moods to hit so I can de junk and deep clean my house. It used to be a mood would hit and I'd have super charged non stop energy that I could use till I dropped, but no more. I have to intentionally plan and work within that plan, which is a new way of doing things for me. The emotional state you talk of as Buddhist, is similar to what I have experienced through whole hearted healing. http://www.peakstates.com/WHHlaypeople.html
I identify with everything you said, even though I use different labels. Thanks for sharing. It helps to have a strong sense of right and wrong that will carry you through your dark time, somewhere you can lean when you lose trust in your own judgement, and hang on till it passes. You are used to achieving that state through meditation, but if that isn't working for you right now, you may need to try a different approach.

Have you ever wondered why medication and meditation are so close? I don't believe it is right to use one to achieve the other. Perhaps it would help to discuss?

 

Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger* rayww

Posted by llrrrpp on June 28, 2006, at 20:39:51

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt llrrrpp, posted by rayww on June 24, 2006, at 11:22:01

Hi Rayww,
nice to meet you :)

I needed some time to digest your remarks. I still haven't made it to your website. I'm going to try not to feel too guilty about it. Had a lot of other stuff to read lately. It doesn't take much to make me feel guilty.

You know, the last time I meditated, I was fearful. Fearful because it was me and my mind and soul. No other distractions, besides my body, which is just kind of humming along. And me and myself have become strangers lately, haven't really had time/courage to check in and say- how are you? How's our body treating us lately? How is our mind-body connection? Awareness? How does our breathing affect our emotions? How does our environment affect our body and our emotions. All these questions I used to be able to answer.

So confusing now. I have been exploring a lot of my psychological misconceptions lately with help from my psychologist. So, now I realize things like: I have a lot of pent-up anger. I have a lot of uncontrolled anxiety. All these things are suddenly being released, like a pack of confused wild animals. And I'm not sure how to get my mind to the quiet peace. I used to be able to achieve the peace and emptiness for 10 breaths in a row. Keeping my body still and my mind (mostly!) focused for 15-30 minutes was a challenge, but now it seems like a herculean feat. I am terrified of my own heart. Especially since I have been suicidal in the recent past. What if? What if I can get into a deep dark scary place and not find my way out. I am perfectly capable of finding my depression in about 20 minutes nowadays.

Well. Just a few thoughts. I think it takes a strong mind and strong heart to commit to a regular meditation practice. I should try, maybe for 5 minutes at a time. Maybe I'll even start with 2 minutes and work up from there.

yours,
-ll

 

Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger* llrrrpp

Posted by rayww on June 29, 2006, at 9:54:27

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger* rayww, posted by llrrrpp on June 28, 2006, at 20:39:51

It seems your main issue (from reading your post) is meditation. Perhaps if you could meditate back to your first recollection of feeling the emotion of love, and then stay there for a few moments till you are able to retain that memory, as an identifying moment, THEN you might be able to face your present realities, using your "love yourself image" to help ease the pain.

In your meditation it is important to identify the emotion you are feeling from the situation you are in, and then go inside that emotion, not the situation, and remain inside the emotion pressing on it till it eases, and while inside it using your "love yourself image" or else (eyes closed) the light inside your eyes at the same time. Once that emotion eases, go back in time to your earliest recollection of the same emotion and repeat.

This is the basis of whole hearted healing, and it is something we should all learn how to do in kindergarden. If you can keep tracing back your negative emotion (through meditation) till you are at the root of it, like a stack of dishes, you remove the one at the bottom and the whole pile crumbles, leaving you free of the emotional garbage that interferes with your present realities.

I don't know what your present reality is, but I can guarantee there are emotions attached to it that may be intensified because of old emotional ruts or patterns you have developed. The personal process of WHH is to disolve those ruts and free you up to deal with the present as just the present. And to distinguish between a situation and the emotion it charges.

Usually we find once we can unpack the emotional garbage from our past, our present realities become more manageable. I don't know if you are in a state where this might help, but I know it relieves a lot of pressure, it does take time to work through at the beginning (up to 2 or 3 hours) but once you get the hang of it, can happen quickly.

Pay attention to the sensations or feelings you have while doing this because you will be able to feel your body purge these waves of negative emotion, such as fear, anger, guilt and shame.

You mentioned guilt. Perhaps that would be a good place to start, and by doing that you go inside the emotion of guilt that you are feeling at the present, and then go back to your earliest recollection of when you felt that same feeling, stay there as I described earlier, till it disolves, and then go back further and repeat. Remember to stay inside the emotion, not the situation which caused it, and remain, using the love yourself image or focus on the light inside your eyes, to lift.

It is important to find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed (as in any meditation) close your eyes, connect with yourself, as in place your hand over your heart, lay back and relax till you feel yourself floating, and motionless till you can't feel your chair. Then begin.

The reason I shared this with you is because you understand meditation, and I thought you would be able to relate to this. It is such a simple procedure, and may be used along with your other treatments, either on your own, or with a professional by your side. My professional called this procedure the missing link to her professional training. She discovered it during a seminar by Grant McFetridge. http://www.emofree.com/cousins/mcfetridge.htm

Please let me know how this goes.
rayww

 

Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger*

Posted by rayww on June 29, 2006, at 10:50:05

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger* llrrrpp, posted by rayww on June 29, 2006, at 9:54:27

Oops. I forgot to link my last post to faith. Not sure it belongs on the faith board without. This might be stretching it, but I would say this process gets you in tune with your own spiritual self. Some of us believe the soul of man is comprised of the physical body and the spirit, and that once the spirit leaves, the body is dead. The spirit breathes life, but the body must be taken care of to sustain it. Emotions are physical/spiritual things, as they have an effect on both. So, I would say it belongs on faith because it is about spirit. Or, you might say, about soul :)
ray

 

Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt llrrrpp

Posted by Jakeman on July 5, 2006, at 21:15:23

In reply to Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt, posted by llrrrpp on June 23, 2006, at 20:01:00

I've been trying to reconnect to a meditation practice. I find that just 5 or 10 minutes a day sometimes has an effect on the hurricane in my mind. I've revisted Pema Chodron's book "Start where you are". Sometime I read a few paragraphs and just sit for a few minutes. I read this a few nights ago:

"Being able to lighten up is the key to feeling at home with your body, mind, and emotions, to feeling worthy to live on this planet. For example, you can hear the slogan 'Always maintain only a joyful mind' and start beating yourself over the head for never being joyful. That kind of witness is a bit heavy."

It's not always easy for me to lighten up though.

warm regards, Jake


> I feel like a bad Buddhist lately. I haven't been taking life, but I've been having many angry thoughts. I cannot get my mind under control using Vipassana Meditation.

 

Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger*

Posted by Declan on July 18, 2006, at 19:16:11

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger* rayww, posted by llrrrpp on June 28, 2006, at 20:39:51

G'day Lurps
You play a musical instrument. When you do, when it goes well, do you find that is like meditation in that you are ummmm what's the words?..in the moment? not thinking? absorbed in what you are doing?
Declan

 

Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt Jakeman

Posted by Declan on July 18, 2006, at 19:20:10

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt llrrrpp, posted by Jakeman on July 5, 2006, at 21:15:23

Hey Jake
There is a Chinese saying, from where I forget:
There is nothing in heaven and earth worth losing your composure over.
Just the thing to throw into a leftwing gathering to give them something to chew on.
Declan

 

Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt Declan

Posted by Jakeman on July 21, 2006, at 0:37:42

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt Jakeman, posted by Declan on July 18, 2006, at 19:20:10

a simple truth.

 

Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt Jakeman

Posted by Declan on July 21, 2006, at 4:18:11

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating- Buddhist guilt Declan, posted by Jakeman on July 21, 2006, at 0:37:42

I've known people to take offence at it. I wondered if it was an extreme position.

 

Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger* Declan

Posted by llrrrpp on July 21, 2006, at 9:07:05

In reply to Re: Having trouble meditating *suicide trigger*, posted by Declan on July 18, 2006, at 19:16:11

> G'day Lurps
> You play a musical instrument. When you do, when it goes well, do you find that is like meditation in that you are ummmm what's the words?..in the moment? not thinking? absorbed in what you are doing?
> Declan

Hi Declan,
I've just come back from vacation. not a lot of opportunities to meditate. But I feel a lot better than I have in a long time :)

I'm impressed you remember I'm a musician! I haven't been playing much since June (when orchestra season ended). There are times when I'm performing that I can let myself go. Kind of like what sports psychologists call "Flow". Just to be in the music, and let the music control you. Not to think, just to let it happen. This is pretty awesome. I reserve this experience to performances.

I cannot do my regular violin practice like this. My practicing has to be methodical and conscious. Often my mind wanders, and I have to lasso it back in and remember what my practice goal is (some tricky fingering, or perhaps an awkward rhythm). The daily practice requires a constant discipline of thought, particularly when playing a piece that I already know well. It's too easy to just go on autopilot, thinking about lunch... Instead there has to be a firm push to bring the conscious mind to the task at hand. 15 minutes of conscious practice can be more effective than a week of "playing" violin.

Stop the violins!

-ll


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