Author Topic: Could use a little advice for a newbie  (Read 289 times)

Offline Bradster

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Could use a little advice for a newbie
« on: July 11, 2017, 10:11:18 pm »
Hello All,

This is only my second post and I hope this is the correct place to post my questions. I'm only a month in so i'm quite new to everything, I don't have any local places to visit for help and turned to the internet and here I am :).  I had two questions that I wanted to ask that I hope someone could enlighten me (pun intended  ;D on possible answers.

Question 1:  While meditating a few days ago something intriguing happened and a bit surprising. I experienced something that I never have before. While meditating I experienced what I would call seeing stars from being knocked in the head but at warp speed.  To elaborate on that, it felt like I was warping through space like the star ship enterprise, only the stars I saw were different colors and appeared like the stars you would see if you hit hard on the head or under massive strain.   The only conclusion I could come up with is perhaps I’m starting to experience a deeper mediation that involves more parts of the brain and that’s what I saw.  I was distracted by it and snapped out of it. When I experienced it again same thing happened.  Hasn’t happened since but that night I was in the zone and really focused.   Wondered if anyone experienced something similar? I've longed to reproduce that but haven't been successful yet.


Question 2:  More of a concern. I’m not an angry person but like many I do get annoyed and frustrated but never really act on it. When embarking down this journey my goal is simply live peaceful and happy. Don’t worry about this and that, just be in the moment and be grateful for joy. Any thoughts of negativity and anger that I feel I actively suppress and dismiss quickly and don't dwell on them and things have been going better until recently.  Once last week and now today when I experienced a moment of frustration I acted and exploded with it.  This isn’t my character or how I conduct myself. In both cases it took me by surprise, today I felt shame for my actions and it was over nothing.  I asked myself what changed, what compelled me to do this? It seems by suppressing these emotions, given the right moment it comes out with a vengeance with no buffer or time to react or think, nothing I’ve felt before. Never had such lack of time for control before.  I wondered if it was due to me holding these feelings and my body longed for that emotion.  On the other hand, like everyone else I have things going on in life that are undesirable and at times hard to deal with, is it life catching up?  Out of the two conclusions I favor suppression.

The way I got about controlling these is if I experience displeasure or anger I simply reason with myself in that moment, “You know if you don’t let things like this bother you it would go a long way to improve the quality of life, just let it go, who cares?”
However, there are those that say it’s not healthy to “Bottle up emotions”, is there a different strategy that would be more effective and healthy? Today was quite out of the ordinary for me and caused concern.

Much appreciated for your time!
Brad




Offline Rahul

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 12:27:59 am »
You are not the only one who had such experiences.

Beginners often have strange experiences while in meditation, such as: the body swinging side ways spontaneously, or feeling tingling sensation in the middle of the eyebrows, having visions, some words/pictures/locations (known or unknown) show up in your mind, men experiencing strong erections without any reasons, body temperature going up and feeling feverish, feeling sudden overwhelming joy/fear/peace... yes, many people report to be overcome by fear especially while meditating at night.

I had certain experiences, too. But you won't find any explanation for these anywhere. My guess is that it is the way our mind/body reacts to meditation because they are not used to it.

I have had fits of rage just like you did. Often, after meditation there is a deep and lingering calm. That's the time I would like not to be bothered by anyone, I wouldn't even want to listen or answer anyone's questions. Probably that's because the mind has found such a serenity that it doesn't want to get disturbed. I have noticed that first few months of my practice I used to get angry more easily, and my reactions were much furious than normal. I think it's because our mind is going through a phase of change, and some part of us isn't yet ready for that change, and probably as a result our mind tries to rebel and hold on to its ground.

But all this is temporary state. If you continue your practice, you will eventually become so calm and indifferent to the emotional stimuli, that your mind will stand tall and firm like a mountain, no winds or hurricanes would be able to move you. Just carry on with your practice.

Offline ground

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 01:52:38 am »
...
Question 2:  More of a concern. I’m not an angry person but like many I do get annoyed and frustrated but never really act on it. When embarking down this journey my goal is simply live peaceful and happy. Don’t worry about this and that, just be in the moment and be grateful for joy. Any thoughts of negativity and anger that I feel I actively suppress and dismiss quickly and don't dwell on them and things have been going better until recently.  Once last week and now today when I experienced a moment of frustration I acted and exploded with it.  This isn’t my character or how I conduct myself. In both cases it took me by surprise, today I felt shame for my actions and it was over nothing.  I asked myself what changed, what compelled me to do this? It seems by suppressing these emotions, given the right moment it comes out with a vengeance with no buffer or time to react or think, nothing I’ve felt before. Never had such lack of time for control before.  I wondered if it was due to me holding these feelings and my body longed for that emotion.  On the other hand, like everyone else I have things going on in life that are undesirable and at times hard to deal with, is it life catching up?  Out of the two conclusions I favor suppression.

The way I got about controlling these is if I experience displeasure or anger I simply reason with myself in that moment, “You know if you don’t let things like this bother you it would go a long way to improve the quality of life, just let it go, who cares?”
However, there are those that say it’s not healthy to “Bottle up emotions”, is there a different strategy that would be more effective and healthy? Today was quite out of the ordinary for me and caused concern.

I don't think that suppression of or trying to control emotions is a successful approach. the most simplest approach is certainly to avoid the causes if one knows the causes of emotions. Also emotions or outbursts of these do not arise 'out of the blue' but always have their specific 'inner preannouncements' which however often are simply not registered due to lack of mindfulness.

Offline Rahul

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 03:24:13 am »
...
Question 2:  More of a concern. I’m not an angry person but like many I do get annoyed and frustrated but never really act on it. When embarking down this journey my goal is simply live peaceful and happy. Don’t worry about this and that, just be in the moment and be grateful for joy. Any thoughts of negativity and anger that I feel I actively suppress and dismiss quickly and don't dwell on them and things have been going better until recently.  Once last week and now today when I experienced a moment of frustration I acted and exploded with it.  This isn’t my character or how I conduct myself. In both cases it took me by surprise, today I felt shame for my actions and it was over nothing.  I asked myself what changed, what compelled me to do this? It seems by suppressing these emotions, given the right moment it comes out with a vengeance with no buffer or time to react or think, nothing I’ve felt before. Never had such lack of time for control before.  I wondered if it was due to me holding these feelings and my body longed for that emotion.  On the other hand, like everyone else I have things going on in life that are undesirable and at times hard to deal with, is it life catching up?  Out of the two conclusions I favor suppression.

The way I got about controlling these is if I experience displeasure or anger I simply reason with myself in that moment, “You know if you don’t let things like this bother you it would go a long way to improve the quality of life, just let it go, who cares?”
However, there are those that say it’s not healthy to “Bottle up emotions”, is there a different strategy that would be more effective and healthy? Today was quite out of the ordinary for me and caused concern.

I don't think that suppression of or trying to control emotions is a successful approach. the most simplest approach is certainly to avoid the causes if one knows the causes of emotions. Also emotions or outbursts of these do not arise 'out of the blue' but always have their specific 'inner preannouncements' which however often are simply not registered due to lack of mindfulness.

Howdy, Ground?

Suppression is inevitable. You realize that certain emotion or a response to a certain situation is improper or futile etc. But then you need to start training yourself to stay immune to that emotion, or not to respond to that particular situation in that way. Here, the old hardwired habits will show resistance, and you need to suppress them to an extent. It's just that the mindfulness and awareness of the futility of that emotion or response etc. would assist you in transitioning relatively easier or faster.

Just like you realize jogging in the morning is really beneficial, but that doesn't make your body fit for jogging, in fact you need to push your body to jog and in response your body will ache. It's just that due to awareness of the benefits, you bear the pain willingly and get over it after a while.

Offline ground

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 09:27:28 am »
...
Howdy, Ground?

Suppression is inevitable.
I wouldn't say that. Certainly depends on the kind of approach.

You realize that certain emotion or a response to a certain situation is improper or futile etc. But then you need to start training yourself to stay immune to that emotion, or not to respond to that particular situation in that way. Here, the old hardwired habits will show resistance, and you need to suppress them to an extent. It's just that the mindfulness and awareness of the futility of that emotion or response etc. would assist you in transitioning relatively easier or faster.
It may be enough just to recognize the silliness of emotions to make them dissolve when they are on the verge of arising 'Ah here you again' or - for the advanced - to realize the nature of emotions.

Offline Bradster

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 02:55:09 pm »
Thanks all, I found the responses you provided very helpful, especially yours Rahul.  Much appreciated and helpful!


Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 04:43:21 pm »
Buddhism is a wisdom tradition rather than a yogic tradition.

It is possible your outburst was connected to your meditation experience because the mind went more deeper into itself.

However, this is irrelevant.

In Buddhism, the practise is to use wisdom/intelligence to reflect upon/think about the disadvantages & harm of anger.

Wisdom is considered more skilful than suppression.

Best wishes  :namaste:

Offline ground

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 08:36:52 pm »
In Buddhism, the practise is to use wisdom/intelligence to reflect upon/think about the disadvantages & harm of anger.

Wisdom is considered more skilful than suppression.
That's a valid point. Rationality/wisdom always should prevail. Emotions can be directly perceived and the effects of emotions can be directly perceived too. When this arises that arises too.
So one can rationally ask oneself: Do I want to have the effects of emotions? Are emotions a manifestation of rationality/wisdom or are they a manifestations of irrationality/ignorance?
It is impossible for emotions to arise when rationality/wisdom prevails and one has come to validly know for oneself that emotions do have exclusively negative effects. Then simply through being mindful and immediately recognising irrationality/ignorance when emotions arise will make them dissolve immediately.
The same applies when being mindful of the 'inner preannouncements' of emotions.

Suppression hower means to impute a reality into emotions that they do not have because they are really only optional and their arising depends on a lack of mindfulness and a lack of rationality/wisdom.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 08:45:18 pm by ground »

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 05:40:25 pm »
It may be enough just to recognize the silliness of emotions to make them dissolve when they are on the verge of arising 'Ah here you again' or - for the advanced - to realize the nature of emotions.

You don't recognize them for anything more than what they are - thoughts, emotions, phenomena.

You don't "make" them do anything.  Thoughts, emotions, and phenomena in general are all "self-liberating".  They will disolve and sure as they arise, provided you don't cling to them.  That's why in proper mediation instruction you are encouraged to develop a "light touch".  You recognize but don't act on it.  Don't evaluate.  Simply recognize and return to the object of your meditation.  Don't interfere.  Don't judge.  Just be present and let it be.

But yes you will eventually come to see the nature of those phenomena - that is that they are empty of anything you might afix to them- elaborations and fabrictions,  like silliness.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 07:06:49 pm by IdleChater »

Offline ground

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 08:33:15 pm »
It may be enough just to recognize the silliness of emotions to make them dissolve when they are on the verge of arising 'Ah here you again' or - for the advanced - to realize the nature of emotions.

You don't recognize them for anything more than what they are - thoughts, emotions, phenomena.
When it is said that the manifestations of ignorance are recognized as ignorance ('silliness') then this is a common conventional linguistic case of designating the effect as the cause.
Why is this consistent?
It is consistent because if the effect could not be directly perceived then the cause would not be present. The effect is the sign of the predicate in the syllogism 'There is ignorance because there are emotions.' as in the case of there being fire because smoke can be directly perceived which may cause one to say 'There is fire' although one is only directly perceiving smoke.

..
You don't "make" them do anything.  Thoughts, emotions, and phenomena in general are all "self-liberating".  They will disolve and sure as they arise, provided you don't cling to them.  ...
That is nicely said however in real life there have been people that had killed other people or undergone a lot of mental suffering before their emotions had liberated themselves.  :wink1:

... That's why in proper mediation instruction you are encouraged to develop a "light touch".  You recognize but don't act on it.  Don't evaluate.  Simply recognize and return to the object of your meditation.  Don't interfere.  Don't judge.  Just be present and let it be.
Now people rarely sit on a meditation cushion when emotions arise in everyday life. Also if you're in a state of ignorance but - as you suggest - you 'don't act on it', 'Don't evaluate' but simply recognize and return to the object of your daily work ... there have been people that killed their families when they were back home after work after proceeding this way for a longer period of time. 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:56:49 pm by ground »

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 03:39:27 am »
'There is ignorance because there are emotions.'

Well, that's not what the Buddha taught and this is, after all and Buddhist forum.

Offline ground

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 04:52:51 am »
'There is ignorance because there are emotions.'


Well, that's not what the Buddha taught and this is, after all and Buddhist forum.


This is exactly what the budddha taught. See:
Quote
And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 02:51:39 pm »

This is exactly what the budddha taught. See:

Nope.  Swing and a miss.  Emotions are not taught as a part of the 12 Nidanas that you cited.  More properly it's birth that gives rise to ignorance.

Emotions are generally taught in the context of the Sanghas.

Finding a teacher to work with is an important part of the Kalama Sutra you so conveniently dismiss.  The Buddha taught the Kalampas that a part of the process of evaluation is that which is "praised by the wise".  This is as necessary any teacher student relationship in any foield of learning.  Yoyu can go to college and think whatever you like, but you won't get a degree until you get a passing grade on your tests; tests adminstered by scholars farther up the academic food chain than you.

That's why I tend to rely on my Dharma teachers the same way I relied on my college professors.  They just know more about the subject than I do.

And you, too.

Offline ground

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2017, 02:58:13 pm »

This is exactly what the budddha taught. See:

Nope.  Swing and a miss.  Emotions are not taught as a part of the 12 Nidanas that you cited. 
C'mon. you're talking nonsense. Of course emotions are the effect of ignorance in the 12 nidanas.

There is 'sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair' arising as effects of ignorance and you want to ignore that? you want to subscribe to ignorance?


Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Could use a little advice for a newbie
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 03:01:29 pm »
Nope.  Swing and a miss.  Emotions are not taught as a part of the 12 Nidanas that you cited.  More properly it's birth that gives rise to ignorance.
Lol. This certainly lives up to your user name - Idle Chatter.  :teehee:

C'mon. you're talking nonsense. Of course emotions are the effect of ignorance in the 12 nidanas.

There is 'sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair' arising as effects of ignorance and you want to ignore that? you want to subscribe to ignorance?
Craving, attachment, becoming & birth are also "emotions". For a non-Buddhist, you are making some OK posts lately.  :jinsyx:
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 03:04:21 pm by VisuddhiRaptor »

 


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