Mental Anguish

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Mental Anguish

Postby Azure » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:05 pm

I can't seem to stop the craving and desire for this one thing in my life.

I've been trying to be more mindful in my daily activities, be less obsessed with the thoughts surrounding the issue. I've started meditating. Does it take some time for the effects to come into play?

I don't really wish to extricate the source of my current pain from my life.

Wouldn't that just be an escape route?

But the desires, the longing, the attachment, the clinging, are really plaguing me. It's been getting better but my mind keeps running over it. Worrying about it, constantly checking itself and poking the bruises. I don't want to crave and to suffer. But maybe removing this thing from my life entirely for a short time might be a good idea. I don't know. Except that such extreme measures never really work.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions for things to read to help with this? I'm relatively new to meditating and also to the idea of trying to be mindful in general.
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Re: Mental Anguish

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:49 pm

Azure wrote:I can't seem to stop the craving and desire for this one thing in my life.


The Dhamma will help you with this. Whatever is going on, and you don't have to disclose it, it is a mistake to believe that anything outside of ourselves will make us happy or miserable. Attachment to anything will only result in misery. Everything we experience is insubstantial, impersonal and ephemeral. The thoughts, the feelings, this body are just thoughts, feelings and physical processes. There is no 'me' to be found, no where or no thing where "azure" can be found or said to be.
Practice the Noble Eightfold Path and it will put you on the road to the end of suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... toend.html

All the best,

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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
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Re: Mental Anguish

Postby Azure » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:42 am

Thanks for your post. :)

I think I am letting go day by day, little by little. :)
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Re: Mental Anguish

Postby manas » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:57 pm

Azure wrote:I can't seem to stop the craving and desire for this one thing in my life.

I've been trying to be more mindful in my daily activities, be less obsessed with the thoughts surrounding the issue. I've started meditating. Does it take some time for the effects to come into play?

I don't really wish to extricate the source of my current pain from my life.

Wouldn't that just be an escape route?

But the desires, the longing, the attachment, the clinging, are really plaguing me. It's been getting better but my mind keeps running over it. Worrying about it, constantly checking itself and poking the bruises. I don't want to crave and to suffer. But maybe removing this thing from my life entirely for a short time might be a good idea. I don't know. Except that such extreme measures never really work.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions for things to read to help with this? I'm relatively new to meditating and also to the idea of trying to be mindful in general.


Hi Azure,

something I've learned over the last few years of dealing with compulsive / obsessive desires that are a particular issue, is: don't 'deal' with them. The defilements love it when you get involved in an argument to and fro about the pro's and con's of abstinence versus indulgence, etc...that's because the thinking-realm is their domain, has long been their domain, and they are used to getting their own way there. Don't engage in the battle. Divert your attention instead, to something more wholesome.

You can't stop a raging river, but you can divert it's flow.

By 'raging river', I refer to our mind's tendency to want something to fill what feels like a lack, an emptiness. That's how I perceive it, anyway. While it is good to just sit with this sometimes and cultivate some equanimity towards it, in the case of addictions or compulsions this might not work so well. We might need to replace the desire, rather than just try to sit with it peacefully. A practical example from my own life: I might have an unwholesome desire, and the instant it comes up, I can quickly say to myself "I'm not even going there (into that particular thought-realm). Put on some of your favorite music instead. Get your 'kicks', your pleasure, from music, or from the beauty of Nature - go for a walk in the forest, or whatever. Go for a bike ride. Enjoy any other, relatively wholesome (or less harmful) thing, instead." It is very hard to suddenly stop wanting things per se; but we can learn, even in the short-term, to want better things, to divert our attention to less harmful things.

This is still a long-term process for me, but I'm gradually getting better at it. Please be patient with yourself! We are not trying to be perfect, we are trying to improve. Gaining control over the mind is a long-term process, but it is real and it is rewarding.

Vitakkasanthana Sutta: The Removal of Distracting Thoughts

...When evil unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate, and delusion arise in a bhikkhu through reflection on an adventitious object, he should, (in order to get rid of that), reflect on a different object which is connected with skill. Then the evil unskillful thoughts are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).

Like an experienced carpenter or carpenter's apprentice, striking hard at, pushing out, and getting rid of a coarse peg with a fine one, should the bhikkhu in order to get rid of the adventitious object, reflect on a different object which is connected with skill. Then the evil unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate and delusion are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation)...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .soma.html

with metta :anjali:
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Re: Mental Anguish

Postby Azure » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:15 am

But that doesn't get to the root of it. It doesn't help one understand why or how or what the reason is for this particular void or the desire. And to distract is just to avoid reality, surely?
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Re: Mental Anguish

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:07 am

Hi Azure,

IMO you divert it or use the other expedient means in the sutta referenced above when you are unable to see into the true nature of the phenomenon. Only when you have developed sufficient calm and clarity will you be able to uproot the kilesas (defilements) entirely.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Mental Anguish

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:54 am

Azure wrote:But that doesn't get to the root of it. It doesn't help one understand why or how or what the reason is for this particular void or the desire. And to distract is just to avoid reality, surely?


Are you really ready to get rid of the root?

One Buddhist master said this:
“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”

The interest part is the last one.

If you can't do anything to your problem, why you shouldn't worry?

It is because your problem which you can't fix is by nature has the behavior of illusory.

If you want completely fix all your problems in life for once and for all, you should experience directly with vivid and clear experience the illusory of your problem.

This is where your meditation comes to play.

Letting go will not solve the problem.

You can let go, but it will come back again soon or later.

Instead you should seize it and look at it.

At the arising of illusory thoughts, one should not stop the mind, since the thoughts being stopped will become even more active. Witness for yourself as the reality witnesser the coming of thoughts and The ending of thoughts.

They come from nowhere and they go to nowhere.

Don't let it go. Don't anticipate them.

They come without your invitation. They go without your permission.

But no matter how they come and how they go, they come and go from nowhere.

That conviction of nowhere will give you solution for once and for all.

There is nothing to worry there even you can't fix your problem.

Now you are in trouble because you think that thought is real.

But if you can successfully confirm for yourself how illusory your thought is,

What it the point to worry illusory tiger cashing you?

Everything just melt.

You think you have a problem, but in reality you never have a problem.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Mental Anguish

Postby pegembara » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:44 am

Image


All things are just as they are. They don’t cause suffering to anybody. It’s just like a thorn, a really sharp thorn. Does it make you suffer? No, it’s just a thorn. It doesn’t bother anybody. But if you go and stand on it, you’ll suffer. Why is there suffering? Because you stepped on the thorn. The thorn is just minding its own business. It doesn’t harm anybody. It’s because of we ourselves that there is pain. Form, feeling, perception, volition, consciousness…. all things in this world are simply as they are. It’s we who pick fights with them. And if we hit them, they hit us back. If they’re left alone they won’t bother anybody. Only the drunkard gives them trouble.

- A Tree in a Forest
A collection of Ajahn Chah’s Similes



"So, bhikkhus any form, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'

Anattalakkhana Sutta
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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