Painful memories.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Painful memories.

Postby Individual » Wed May 20, 2009 5:59 pm

I've noticed that painful memories seem to last longer than happy ones. They are stronger in my thoughts and dreams. So when my mind wanders, whether asleep or awake, it often comes across a painful memory which makes me angry or anxious. And yet very rarely does my mind wander across a happy memory. It is in fact very easy to forget happy moments and very difficult to forget moments of suffering. Even if I try to think of a happy memory and find one, it does not have the same emotional impact as thinking of a painful memory.

Is this true for everyone, what is the cause of this problem, and what would the Buddha have said about it? Why does the mind seem to collect painful memories and disregard happy ones?

Even if I consciously try to stop dwelling on painful memories -- there are quite a lot of them -- even if I think, "There is no past or future, only the present," or "There is no self. So, this memory is not of me, but is simply like a dream," it does not go away or only goes away temporarily; it feels like a physical sensation.
The best things in life aren't things.


User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Contact:

Re: Painful memories.

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed May 20, 2009 6:03 pm

I think this is typical of a depressed personality or someone going through depression. Mind has anxious or depressed feelings so it looks for "hooks" to hang them on. The more intense the feelings, the more painful the memories Mind will dredge up. Sometimes in issues involving mind and emotion, it's hard to tell which is the cart and which is the horse.

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Painful memories.

Postby Individual » Wed May 20, 2009 6:20 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Painful memories.

Postby Cittasanto » Wed May 20, 2009 6:32 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Re: Painful memories.

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed May 20, 2009 8:53 pm



User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Painful memories.

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 21, 2009 1:16 am

Greetings Individual,

Often memories resurface because there's something unresolved about them... observing them mindfully, see if you can find their origin and their cessation.

Be careful not to attach to these memories or identify with them... remember everything that is not-self. Identification will lead to papanca and that papanca (particularly of this depressing kind) will lead to suffering.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Painful memories.

Postby Individual » Thu May 21, 2009 11:41 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Painful memories.

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 22, 2009 12:38 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexander____, Google [Bot] and 35 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine