something is wrong

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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effort
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something is wrong

Postby effort » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:39 pm

i have a long problem that my attention turns to breath and changing the rhythm and end up in bodily pain....

i was in retreat, it was a great experience, after retreat i had mis behavior which end into sever anxiety and depression.

i said those because i want you to have a better understanding of my background.

now, i can not sit almost at all, as i sit i become tense very badly that continues for some hours after sitting, some mind state arises that i dont like at all and keep KNOWING that is hurting, the problem is i cant let go or redirect my attention.

in daily life also i have new experience of mind state which i feel like lost and when i become mindful sometimes bad feeling also arises which ends to depression.

i'm trying to keep mindfulness simple as touching, seeing, feeling ... but the mind state is really hurting, it is feeling of lost, not knowing, dizziness, blocked.

i know i cant stay like this. if i just dont knowing my breathing everything would be fine, but knowing of breath comes and bad feeling comes after that. i tried to turn my attention to feeling after that but result is deep depression and fatigue.

i many times tried to post about this but it is really feels hopeless.

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reflection
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Re: something is wrong

Postby reflection » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:58 pm

Hi effort,

Sometimes if there is some sort of a block in my practice, but I can't find exactly what, I find it helpful to switch to another style of meditation. For example, walking meditation. This can just be a mindful walk in the park, for example. Just to walk and enjoy the wind on my face, the ground beneath me and the nature around me can be very calming already. And it is very unlikely walking meditation will tense up your body. After that sitting meditation may also be much easier and the sense of ease may grow bigger.

Against depressive mindstates, often metta meditaton works much better than mindfulness because a big part of depression is rooted in ill will & non-acceptance.

Do you practice these types of meditation? I would really recommend it. I hope it can help you. Aside from that, and I should have actually started with this - if you are really depressive, you should look for more qualified help.

I know you'll be fine eventually :) This feeling won't last forever.

With metta,
Reflection

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Re: something is wrong

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:16 pm

Hi Effort,
What are you practicing appart from anapanasati?
How much active meditation do you do; or other posture meditation?
Do you reflect on your own good qualities; Virtues; or anything else?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: something is wrong

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:00 am

Greetings Effort,

Sometimes meditation will put you in touch with your deepest and darkest demons. That, I understand.
I suggest you continue with practicing sila to the best of your ability and in your meditative practice concentrate on metta bhavana and recollecting the qualities of the triple gem. If you can - attempt some anapana or vedananupassana. But if you can't - just focus on the recollections and metta bhavana for the time being.
Wishing you all the best,

Ben
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loud gush the streamlets,
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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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effort
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Re: something is wrong

Postby effort » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:56 am

nothing else than sitting vipassana, but i tried a little metta which i cant keep just for few moments, after few minutes metta turns into just repeating words ( i know it is ok but this is boring ).

i was thinking about if i could learn some meditation based on imagination, but learning new one from start without teacher is not a good idea, unless there be a clear structure also i can not see anything worthy that merely sitting for myself.

i know everything change but my fear is being in this mood for a long time, distruct me.

i tried recollecting also, i think this one is really valuable for a lost mind.

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Re: something is wrong

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:04 am

Greetings Effort,

My recommendation would be instead to cultivate the Brahma-viharas and/or Recollections on the Triple Gem.

When the mind is not in a good place to start with, insight meditation may be too raw, whereas anapanasati may be too challenging if you're prone to anxiety.

I experience Seasonal Affective Disorder and need to approach my practice differently in the darker months - shifting an emphasis to the things I've mentioned above, gratitude, perception of the beautiful etc. The cognitive slow-down I can experience during these times is conducive to calm, but it's not the concentrated calm the Buddha encouraged - it's more a languid calm and it can lead to excessive passivity and accentuate the cognitive slow-down. A bit of trial and error should help - so don't be afraid to experiment and see what works for you. It might even be that different things will work at different times.

How to gladden the mind - an important part of meditation
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6631

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: something is wrong

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:52 am

hi Effort,
Try to practice in the other postures, and during daily activities.
Also there is the recollections of your own good qualities, the practice of sila, and the recollection of the devas, especially those qualities which lead to their rebirth as a deva.
as has already been suggested try to develop a Brahma-vihara practice, particularly metta as it is one of the protective meditations, even if it is hard try to get into a daily practice of reading the Karaniya-Metta sutta in a meditative way, and putting it into practice, also the development of faith gladdens the mind and the recollection of the Buddha, and Dhamma, are excellent for this.

A Sangha is also very important, I am not talking about the Mendicants specifically here, rather any group of practitioners, if their is a group in your area or even a MBSR type group they can provide on hand support and encouragement.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: something is wrong

Postby reflection » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:12 pm

effort wrote:i tried a little metta which i cant keep just for few moments, after few minutes metta turns into just repeating words

The more reasons to practice it.

:anjali:

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Re: something is wrong

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:00 pm

retrofuturist wrote:anapanasati may be too challenging if you're prone to anxiety.


I can't actually think of a better meditation for anxiety than anapanasati, especially the first tetrad...

effort wrote:after few minutes metta turns into just repeating words


There are non-verbal methods of brahmavihara practice which involve generating the state, then dropping the sign you used to generate it and letting it simply exude while maintaining awareness of the breath, returning to the sign as needed. Remember, too, that metta isn't the only one to practice.

:meditate:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: something is wrong

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:31 pm

In SN. 47.10 (Bhikkhunūpassayasuttaṃ) we read the Buddha’s instruction that when the contemplative experiences “…either a fever (pariḷāha) in the body or sluggishness (līnatta) of mind, or the mind is distracted (vikkhipati) outward…” that one should “…direct his mind to some inspiring sign. (pasādanīye nimitte cittaṃ paṇidahitabbaṃ)” (B.Bodhi Translation).

    Footnote 145 indicates the classic anussati “…such as the Buddha, etc.” for ‘inspiring sign’.

When the mind is again composed “He reflects thus: ‘the purpose for the sake of which I directed my mind has been achieved. Let me now withdraw it’ …”

    (footnote 146) Spk: “Let me withdraw it from the inspiring object and redirect it towards the original meditation object.”

“So he withdraws the mind and does not think or examine. He understands: ‘Without thought and examination, internally mindful, I am happy”
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: something is wrong

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 pm

Greetings,

daverupa wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:anapanasati may be too challenging if you're prone to anxiety.

I can't actually think of a better meditation for anxiety than anapanasati, especially the first tetrad...

I actually don't see that those two statements contradict each other at all. Often what is challenging is the most rewarding, if achievable.

However, the OP doesn't seem to be achieving much with it at the moment... an alternative approach to bhavana might be worthwhile at present. Those prone to anxiety disorders often find introspection too challenging and seek solace through distraction. The practices I recommended above were recommended in part because they have an external objects of focus, rather than internal ones, so shouldn't be too confronting in that regard.

This seems to accord with SN. 47.10 as quoted above.

One foot in front on the other...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: something is wrong

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:17 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

daverupa wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:anapanasati may be too challenging if you're prone to anxiety.

I can't actually think of a better meditation for anxiety than anapanasati, especially the first tetrad...

I actually don't see that those two statements contradict each other at all. Often what is challenging is the most rewarding, if achievable.

However, the OP doesn't seem to be achieving much with it at the moment... an alternative approach to bhavana might be worthwhile at present. Those prone to anxiety disorders often find introspection too challenging and seek solace through distraction. The practices I recommended above were recommended in part because they have an external objects of focus, rather than internal ones, so shouldn't be too confronting in that regard.

This seems to accord with SN. 47.10 as quoted above.

One foot in front on the other...


Olendzki's note at the end of SN. 47.10 is perhaps worth citing here:

    Translator's note

    This text is interesting for a number of reasons, though it seems not to be particularly well known or often referred to.

    The framing story shows clearly that women were diligent and successful practitioners of insight meditation in the Buddha's time, and that they were well-supported in this pursuit. Ananda, the Buddha's cousin and life-long assistant, was a great champion of the nuns' cause and would often visit communities of nuns to encourage their dhamma practice. The Buddha seems to take the opportunity of Ananda's report to expound on some of the details of mindfulness technique.

    What he says here about directed and undirected meditation is particularly interesting in light of the modern integration of metta practice with vipassana practice. The Buddha seems to acknowledge that mindful awareness is sometimes difficult to come by, and that there are times when one's "mind becomes scattered" by the arising of challenging mind states (has this ever happened to you?).

    His response here is not the warrior's tone sometimes found elsewhere in the texts, whereby the practitioner should just overcome the unwholesome thoughts and rouse up sufficient heroic energy to re-establish mindfulness. Nor is it the gentler response we often hear in the dhamma hall, to just be aware of what is arising, without judgment of any kind, gently returning our attention to the breath or other primary object of meditation. Rather the Buddha's suggestion is a deliberate re-direction of our attention to a "satisfactory image."

    The pali words here are pasadaniya nimitta. A nimitta is an image or manifestation that appears in the mind — something akin to a sign, a vision or an appearance of an object in the "mind's eye." It is the term used in visualization meditations, and even has a slight connotation of "conjuring up" something in the mind.

    The adjective pasadaniya is translated by Woodward in the PTS edition as "pleasurable," but this sort of term is too easily misconstrued in Buddhist contexts. I don't think the Buddha is suggesting here that we seek something pleasant in order to avoid the arising discomfort, but is rather suggesting a short term strategy for the practical disarming of the mind's defense mechanisms.

    The commentator Buddhaghosa suggest that the image of the Buddha might be an example of a satisfactory image, but probably anything wholesome and not productive of strong craving (of attachment or aversion) will do. The idea is just to re-direct the mind to flow around the obstacle that has appeared, but not to use something that will itself become another obstacle.

    The practical effect of this re-direction of attention is the natural calming of the mind and relaxation of the body. Only from tranquillity can true alertness arise — otherwise the mind's attentiveness is just busy or restless.

    But as the ensuing passage confirms, this excursion into the deliberate cultivation of a specific image can be abandoned as soon as its mission (the restoration of concentration) has been fulfilled. Insight meditation has never been about cultivating blissful states of mind or body for their own sake.

    But as a skillful means for helping our understanding "become ever greater and more excellent," it seems to be a useful technique. I think we need to rely upon the guidance of experienced meditation teachers, however, to help us discern when it is appropriate to apply this strategy. The mind is so capricious: it may turn to a more pleasurable object of awareness just to escape the growing pains of evolving insight; or it may mislead itself into thinking it is practicing undirected meditation when it is actually just "spacing out."

    One important thing to notice about this passage is that the undirected meditation is occurring squarely in the context of the foundations of mindfulness. This is not "object-less awareness" (which is not even possible in the early Buddhist models of mind), or the "awareness of awareness itself" that is mentioned in some traditions.

    The meditator understands his awareness to be free and undirected, while contemplating body as body, feeling as feeling, mind as mind and mental states as mental states. What distinguishes undirected meditation from directed meditation is simply the role of intention in the process.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves


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