Help/Advice With Aversion!

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Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby O'seeker » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:57 am

I cannot practice outside of being alone because of intense aversion.
I always feel like EVERYONE is trying to screw me over somehow.
I believe most of this was caused by experiences with the bad women I had in my life.

What view should I hold about people in general? How can I change this? I am always so defensive, closed off, and thick-skinned... Almost like Ebenezer Scrooge.
This has been going on for years and I do not know how to change it.

I just cannot see the good in people anymore and if I think I should try, then I think I will be taken advantage of somehow.
Any advice?
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:20 am

It is a fact that some people can only approach meditation practice after a course of counselling or therapy.
Only you can decide whether that would be appropriate for you.
In the practice of Buddhadhamma there is usually no direct approach to these issues as in western psychology.
More frequently we are advised to turn the light of awareness on what is arising...anger, aversion...even positive states and stay with them and watch them change. And how they arise. This is not easy. It requires perseverance and ideally , support from others attempting to work the same process.
You may want to investigate Metta practice also.
best wishes..

Valerie.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:33 am

I suggest you get some help with regard to your attitude regarding women.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby 5heaps » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:01 pm

O'seeker wrote:I just cannot see the good in people anymore and if I think I should try, then I think I will be taken advantage of somehow. Any advice?

you should study cognition theory (pramana).
i dont agree with the previous posts. knowing youre frozen in views is good for insight!

persons may indeed have the mental intentions of wishing to harm you but this isnt what causes your mind to become defensive. what causes that is your judgement and other such mental elaborations.

essentially, the mind gets trapped in conceptual prisons made out of habit. these appear solid but actually they are like empty fog, because the mind which is at the root of them is naturally lucid and vast.

once you understand this by analyzing pramana deeply, people will still be out their trying to harm you but youll no longer be able to behave as though static, heavy, dull, unsophisticated conceptions have any validity to them. they will eventually disappear and you will be left very lucid and therefore will respond out of that. in addition to pramana there is also death meditation, compassion meditation, simple single-pointed concentration, etc which help to give our ordinary experiences rational context.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Hoo » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:55 pm

I have had a similar situation. In my case, there were a number of painful events in my life and I used them as the "reason" for becoming angry and cynical. I had aversion, but it was ill-will that was my primary. Aversion was a way to prevent hurt or pain, but the ill-will was my protector, in a way. Angry cynic described me best.

In January last year I had an over the top anger episode and decided that was too much. I was drawn to Buddhism, the practice in particular, not the philosophy. I knew my solution was to become calm, not to study someone's words on calm, except the Buddha's words, of course.

In time, I saw that my old enemies were all gone and there was just me to be an enemy to myself - and I was still doing it. A kind soul had pointed me toward the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path. Another mentioned the Kalama Sutta, which was central for me. I discovered the quote from the Buddha,"Come and see..." So I did. I began to practice and eventually to meditate.

Some other things began to get my attention. One was the Brahma Viharas, the four immeasurables of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. The Buddha was these ways, I wasn't :) I thought that was a pretty good lesson for me.

Another thing that got my attention was the concept of emptiness. I could see it at work sometimes in my interactions. I won't try to explain it because that would take a while. But there is one aspect that struck me - the label is not the thing. The things, events, etc., usually have no meaning outside what someone has attached to it. We paste labels on things, then react to the label......the guy who cuts me off in traffic didn't do it to make me mad, he's just late. He isn't a ^%#@#$% like I think he is - another label. I don't really "hate it when that happens." But I can choose to hate, or to just let it be an empty event.

I have nothing to teach, especially in Buddhism, so please take my descriptions as just examples of things that I do. They seem to help me and I hope that they might be of some use to you. Feel free to take them or leave them, they are just my views and limited experience. There's a bunch of others here who can offer advice and suggestions. My caution would be to see what the Buddha says about it, too.

My other caution is to remember that everyone, IMHO, is in a different place on their path, and their opinions reflect that. Opinions are like noses, everybody's got one. Some are more attuned to where they are than others. Some are more able to speak to where you are than others. I sometimes think the Buddha foresaw the internet when he taught the Kalama Sutta :)

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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Hoo » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:37 pm

I just cannot see the good in people anymore and if I think I should try, then I think I will be taken advantage of somehow.
Any advice?


I almost forgot. When I first started, people would suggest Metta (loving-kindness) as an antidote to anger. I had to laugh when that was brought up :) At that point in my study, simple Buddhist morality was sometimes a challenge. There wasn't a Sangha anywhere near, much less a teacher. I wouldn't have trusted a teacher anyway, due to a number of past experiences I was still carrying around.

It wasn't long though until some things began to sink in.
Everyone is just trying to be happy in their own way. I could wish them well in that, so long as they weren't trying to rip me. And no one has ever said that I'd just have to stand still and let someone abuse me.
I heard the Dalai Lama say that his religion is kindness - I could work at simply being kind, doing no harm, etc.

As I began to understand some of these things, Metta meditation began to make more sense. Because I had suffered, I felt more compassion for people who are still suffering. I appreciated kindness from others, so I understood how sharing my kindness was possible. Joy for others wasn't hard either. Greeting each and every thing equally, equanimity, is a work in progress :) As I experienced some cessation of suffering, I began to really believe more of what I encountered in the Dhamma.

Over time, and with practice (the crucial point), I no longer automatically saw everyone as some kind of potential threat until proven otherwise. It isn't gone, just watered down a lot. I also learned that I couldn't lose anything that was empty. If someone called me a %#@#$$, what did I lose or gain? If I looked at "I, me, mine," with that same view of emptiness, did "MY reputation" suffer? Did "MY self esteem" take a nose dive? How dare they interfere with MY view or MY schedule? Don't they know that "I" come first? When I encountered Buddhism, that all began to change....I don't come first anymore, by choice. "I/ME/MY" are no longer the measure of all things.

I'm not good at this yet, mind you. For me, progress goes from the most gross experiences, bit by bit, to more subtle levels. In time, maybe I'll get to the bottom, but I truthfully don't have that much time left.

BTW, if it's relationships with women that are highest on your list, maybe the Brahma Viharas are a good shopping list?? Looking for ladies that are loving-kind, compassionate, joyful for others and meet the world with equanimity, may seem hard to find. But you don't find what you don't look for. Other suggestions above about counseling help with those relationships appear to be good ones, too, IMHO

Hoo

Please remember that I have nothing to teach - these are just my experiences and your milage may vary. I share in hopes that others may find something useful, and that they will share too.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Goedert » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:04 pm

O'seeker wrote:I cannot practice outside of being alone because of intense aversion.
I always feel like EVERYONE is trying to screw me over somehow.
I believe most of this was caused by experiences with the bad women I had in my life.

What view should I hold about people in general? How can I change this? I am always so defensive, closed off, and thick-skinned... Almost like Ebenezer Scrooge.
This has been going on for years and I do not know how to change it.

I just cannot see the good in people anymore and if I think I should try, then I think I will be taken advantage of somehow.
Any advice?


This kind of perception occur because of attachment to the self and things that happen in the past. A good counterfeit for it, is the cultivation of loving-kindness.

I suggest you read the this sutta:
"Pema Sutta: Affection" (AN 4.200), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, July 3, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Then you can do some metta meditation when you fell that way. Sources:
"Karaniya Metta Sutta: Good Will" (Snp 1.8), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, July 11, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"The Heart Awakened", by Eileen Siriwardhana. Access to Insight, June 7, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... bl093.html
"The Four Sublime States: Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity", by Nyanaponika Thera. Access to Insight, June 7, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el006.html
"Head & Heart Together: Bringing Wisdom to the Brahma-viharas", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, June 5, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... heart.html

You can also complement your study with oral instructions at:
http://www.audiodharma.org/series/1/talk/1728/
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:11 pm

Hoo wrote:
I just cannot see the good in people anymore and if I think I should try, then I think I will be taken advantage of somehow.
Any advice?


I almost forgot. When I first started, people would suggest Metta (loving-kindness) as an antidote to anger. I had to laugh when that was brought up :) At that point in my study, simple Buddhist morality was sometimes a challenge. There wasn't a Sangha anywhere near, much less a teacher. I wouldn't have trusted a teacher anyway, due to a number of past experiences I was still carrying around.

It wasn't long though until some things began to sink in.
Everyone is just trying to be happy in their own way. I could wish them well in that, so long as they weren't trying to rip me. And no one has ever said that I'd just have to stand still and let someone abuse me.
I heard the Dalai Lama say that his religion is kindness - I could work at simply being kind, doing no harm, etc.

As I began to understand some of these things, Metta meditation began to make more sense. Because I had suffered, I felt more compassion for people who are still suffering. I appreciated kindness from others, so I understood how sharing my kindness was possible. Joy for others wasn't hard either. Greeting each and every thing equally, equanimity, is a work in progress :) As I experienced some cessation of suffering, I began to really believe more of what I encountered in the Dhamma.

Over time, and with practice (the crucial point), I no longer automatically saw everyone as some kind of potential threat until proven otherwise. It isn't gone, just watered down a lot. I also learned that I couldn't lose anything that was empty. If someone called me a %#@#$$, what did I lose or gain? If I looked at "I, me, mine," with that same view of emptiness, did "MY reputation" suffer? Did "MY self esteem" take a nose dive? How dare they interfere with MY view or MY schedule? Don't they know that "I" come first? When I encountered Buddhism, that all began to change....I don't come first anymore, by choice. "I/ME/MY" are no longer the measure of all things.

I'm not good at this yet, mind you. For me, progress goes from the most gross experiences, bit by bit, to more subtle levels. In time, maybe I'll get to the bottom, but I truthfully don't have that much time left.



Well said. :thumbsup:
There is no comfort without pain; thus
we define salvation through suffering.
-- Cato
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:18 pm

Given what you say here and in the misogynist thread you started that was removed, therapy probably is not an option, but rather a necessity.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Vepacitta » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:56 am

Therapy might help - and there are therapists who are strongly Buddhist based.

Perhaps what could be helpful would be a good female therapist - I"m thinking perhaps nd older, mother-ly type therapist - she'll be a woman - but not someone you'd be attracted to - which could help you with your particular issues and help you to see that women are just people too. Some are nice, some are shitty- just like people everywhere.

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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Terasi » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:21 pm

Hoo wrote:It wasn't long though until some things began to sink in.
Everyone is just trying to be happy in their own way. I could wish them well in that, so long as they weren't trying to rip me. And no one has ever said that I'd just have to stand still and let someone abuse me.

As I began to understand some of these things, Metta meditation began to make more sense. Because I had suffered, I felt more compassion for people who are still suffering. I appreciated kindness from others, so I understood how sharing my kindness was possible. Joy for others wasn't hard either. Greeting each and every thing equally, equanimity, is a work in progress

Being very new, I don't have anything to share either, except for personal experience. As we are both suffering, sharing experience may be practical.
My problem stemmed from low self-esteem, I thought everyone out there was trying to undermine me, I became unnecessarily defensive. Then like Hoo, I discovered Buddhism and meditation a few months ago. Just like Hoo too, at that time I thought sending Metta to other people was impossible, but I tried. Now I meditate very little, very messily, but the fruit is still abundant. I don't know what you'll get for yourself, but Metta meditation has really helped me: acquaintances tried to become friends, and actually tried to help me (wow!), strangers on the street smile to me, I found a job easily after I started to feel the fruits of Metta meditation. I guess what happened is, I have unconsciously changed my face expression and speech. People then sense that I am ok to approach.
Probably you will also find that not everyone is out to get you. Can't change them, but you can change yourself. Actually many people are defensive because they are suffering too. They react unkindly thinking that they are defending themselves. If they think you are harmless, they will react in different way.

Hoo wrote:The things, events, etc., usually have no meaning outside what someone has attached to it. We paste labels on things, then react to the label......the guy who cuts me off in traffic didn't do it to make me mad, he's just late. He isn't a ^%#@#$% like I think he is - another label. I don't really "hate it when that happens." But I can choose to hate, or to just let it be an empty event.

And that labelling thing that Hoo mentioned, I still can't do it myself, but it is very sensible. Thanks Hoo for sharing this.
If something happens to you, you may think "Why me, why he/she has to be mean to me?", but then you may see that he/she is not specifically mean to you, but he/she is mean to everyone :tongue: ... or it's not really "meanness", it's just a neutral action which you labelled as meanness.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Hoo » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:03 pm

Hi Terasi,

"I guess what happened is, I have unconsciously changed my face expression and speech. People then sense that I am ok to approach."

Something similar has happened to me. There have been a couple of times I had what felt like "Aha! moments" in my practice. They left me with a stupid smile on my face and others noticed it quickly. Mostly in the stores, where competition for time use and cart position can get intense (chuckle), people would make it a point to catch my eye and smile too, little kids wanted to smile at me, etc. Like you say, I had become approachable - where before I was apparently sending out "keep your distance" signals.

It was great, but as tilt is fond of saying, it's just another thing to get over (or words to that effect). My version is more like, "Good or bad, it's gone now, so let it go). In this case, it was fun but it's as impermanent as all the rest. Letting it go is what frees me :)

Hoo, just sharing my experience in hopes someone finds it useful.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby Kenshou » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:54 pm

I used to be a much grumpier person than I am, and there's one main thing that helped me change that. Being angry, bitter, etc. is stressful, it's unpleasant to bear, it's dukkha. It doesn't help anything, in fact more often than not it just leads to more problems. Better to just put it down.
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Re: Help/Advice With Aversion!

Postby O'seeker » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:10 am

Thank you for you answers.
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