Cathartic?

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woodsman
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Cathartic?

Post by woodsman »

Hi,

I am experincing a consistent sense of deep sadness and remorse about my previous actions that have either hurt or wronged others.

Is this normal...seems to be contrary to my expectations from my practice.

Thanks...
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robertk
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by robertk »

Elements are conditioned to arise so it is no help to try to struggle with them- just see them as only momentary.

And I would say try to learn more about Abhidhamma and anatta and that will help to reveal this.
Spiny Norman
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by Spiny Norman »

woodsman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:44 am Hi,

I am experincing a consistent sense of deep sadness and remorse about my previous actions that have either hurt or wronged others.

Is this normal...seems to be contrary to my expectations from my practice.

Thanks...
This can happen as our awareness develops, and in a way it's a sign of progress. You might find it helpful to develop some metta towards yourself, a kinder and more accepting attitude.
And maybe apologising to the people you've hurt, if that's feasible?
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Bundokji
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by Bundokji »

Hi Woodsman,

Your post does not provide much details. How long have you been practicing? what is your practice? and what is it that makes you think that there can be a causal relationship between your practice and your experience of sadness and remorse?

Sometimes feeling sad and remorse is skillful, and sometimes it can be unskillful depending on the situation or the mindset behind the feeling. Also sometimes thinking about the practice as a way of becoming "holy" or "pure" can give rise to feelings of guilt.

The following article by Bhikkhu Bodhi can be relevant:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_23.html

But if i were you, i would keep in mind that guilt and remorse are linked to self-view, so try to understand instead of attaching.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
santa100
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by santa100 »

woodsman wrote:I am experincing a consistent sense of deep sadness and remorse about my previous actions that have either hurt or wronged others.
That's a good start. There're those who continue to carry on with their evil way without any sadness or remorse. But now that you do, you'll need to move beyond this state and start cultivating positive attributes as laid out in the Teaching, for remorse alone doesn't do any good for you nor for those you had hurted or wronged. Start implementing the Four Right Exertions in the spirit of the Brahmavihara.
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DooDoot
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by DooDoot »

woodsman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:44 am I am experincing a consistent sense of deep sadness and remorse about my previous actions that have either hurt or wronged others.

Is this normal...seems to be contrary to my expectations from my practice.
Its normal & expected and it proves the reality of the law of kamma. This said, as long as you no longer engage in those former types of actions and see those former action were unskillful, the sadness & remorse will start to dissolve and cease. Its all par for the course. Ultimately, the "doer" of those past wrong actions was IGNORANCE rather than "your self". The Buddha taught old kamma is something to "be felt" and not identified with.
Bhikkhus, this group [of aggregates] is not yours, nor does it belong to others. It is old kamma, to be seen as generated and fashioned by [past] volition, as something to be felt.

SN 12.37
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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SarathW
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by SarathW »

Have you killed one thousand people?
Please read Angulimala Sutta.
Good advice is already given by others. What really matters is the awareness and what you do right now.
You can't erase all your past kamma.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
woodsman
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by woodsman »

Thanks everyone,

To answer a couple of questions. I've been practicing for some time, if I told you how long you'd likely laugh and ask why I haven't worked out an answer for my own question! Practice has been in a different tradition and I've only of late been practicing under a Theravadin umbrella as it were.

I was going to ask if there was a practice similar to Shikantaza in Soto Zen but I suspect that might go off like a grenade!!

All help appreciated tho!

🙏
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confusedlayman
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by confusedlayman »

woodsman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:44 am Hi,

I am experincing a consistent sense of deep sadness and remorse about my previous actions that have either hurt or wronged others.

Is this normal...seems to be contrary to my expectations from my practice.

Thanks...
u need to forgive urself if u want to avoid hell - ajhan brahm
dont think
[james]
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by [james] »

woodsman wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 5:14 pm Thanks everyone,

To answer a couple of questions. I've been practicing for some time, if I told you how long you'd likely laugh and ask why I haven't worked out an answer for my own question! Practice has been in a different tradition and I've only of late been practicing under a Theravadin umbrella as it were.

I was going to ask if there was a practice similar to Shikantaza in Soto Zen but I suspect that might go off like a grenade!!

All help appreciated tho!

🙏
You might find this interesting:

http://www.theravadin.org/2015/09/05/zh ... dhidharma/

A couple of excerpts:

“Vipassana has several meanings around the common field of “observation,” “insight,” “introspection,” “intuition,” etc. It is often translated as “insight meditation.” One thing that bothers me is that some American Insight Meditation teachers seem to have tried to separate vipassana from samatha. Samatha-vipassana is the traditional meditation method of Buddhism. In Chinese they are translated as 止観, written in our alphabet as “zhiguan” in Pinyin and “shikan” in Japanese. In the Mahayana 止 (zhi, shi) is stopping or cessation and 観 (guan, kan) is observation or introspection. Bodhidharma taught “wall gazing” meditation which is a metaphor for zhiguan, “wall” meaning stopping (calming, cessation, samatha) and “gazing” meaning introspection (insight, observation, vipassana).“

“Dogen, the creator of designating shikantaza (只管打坐) as a method of meditation, was trained in the Tendai branch of Buddhism that centered its meditation practice on the traditional method and practices of shikan (止観) as expounded by the Tiantai Master Zhiyi whose teaching was edited by his disciple Kuan-ting in the classic Chinese opus treatise on samatha-vipassana called Mohezhiguan (Maha Samatha-Vipassana, 摩訶止観, Moho Chih Kuan). I’ve never seen scholarly discussion about this but it has always been my position that it was no coincidence that Dogen named his method of shikantaza using the same homonym of shikan (只管, “only minding”) as the shikan (止観, “samatha vipassana”) of the traditional Tendai meditation method. I see this as Dogen’s sly pun saying “I’m talking about the real ‘shikan’ here.”
Padipa
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by Padipa »

woodsman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:44 am Hi,

I am experincing a consistent sense of deep sadness and remorse about my previous actions that have either hurt or wronged others.

Is this normal...seems to be contrary to my expectations from my practice.

Thanks...
I think the initial sadness is normal and healthy--it will help to incentivize your increased commitment to the path. Doing random acts of kindness builds up your faith in the practice and helps transform the sadness into good actions. I think everybody has hurt and wronged others, but not everybody has realized it before they died.
Laurens
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by Laurens »

woodsman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:44 am Hi,

I am experincing a consistent sense of deep sadness and remorse about my previous actions that have either hurt or wronged others.

Is this normal...seems to be contrary to my expectations from my practice.

Thanks...
It can be the case that once we drop our distractions with a practise such as meditation things that we have been avoiding come to the fore.

I'd say if this is geniunely traumatic stuff coming up you might want to seek the help of someone trained in psychiatry. If it's bearable and not debasing your emotional wellness too severely, I'd say just let it come up and feel it as it comes and goes. If meditation makes you feel tangibly bad, and is destabilising you emotionally you may want to work through this stuff with a trained professional.

Meditation doesn't necessarily bring us what we expect. Regret, pain, remorse, and so on are a part of life, and meditation sometimes brings us face to face with this rather than removing it for us. Oftentimes we distract ourselves from these feelings or repress them but meditation can sometimes put us in the room with these things and force us to see them. It is important that you know your threshold, and understand that geniune trauma might take something more than solo meditation practice to overcome. If the stuff you are experiencing is really bad, I'd proceed with caution and with the guidance of people who know the territory and can help you deal with things.

Sorry if that seems over precautionary but it's hard to tell from your original post the degree to which these things are affecting you.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

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befriend
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by befriend »

Choice less awareness is like shikantaza. Ajahn viradhammo and Ajahn amaro talk about it. It's not exactly choiceless because your choosing to stay in the present moment and see impermanence. A lot of the Thai forest Ajahn chah monks practice like this. See this video by venerable Ajahn amaro
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Cathartic?

Post by confusedlayman »

befriend wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 11:12 pm Choice less awareness is like shikantaza. Ajahn viradhammo and Ajahn amaro talk about it. It's not exactly choiceless because your choosing to stay in the present moment and see impermanence. A lot of the Thai forest Ajahn chah monks practice like this. See this video by venerable Ajahn amaro
The monk tells even if u have choiceless non clinging awareness u get back to normal ways of clinging as sensory organs are hungry .. this happens when someone practice top down method (I think he is telling it to laypeople)

It is a problem when u realize choiceless awareness without killing the defilements by root...

if u want to kill defilement by root, u need to see terror of sence pleasures... which means u will surely become monk or anagami mostly...
dont think
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