Thoughts, mental stories, dhammas... For my personality type

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Thoughts, mental stories, dhammas... For my personality type

Post by Awarewolf » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:17 am

I've been struggling with life and meshing socially lately. When I was younger I always felt important and approved of, but nowadays I'm more anxious, unconnected and Buddhist :p just messin, but seriously I think most of the problems I've developed have been due to misunderstanding of the teachings.

Regardless, I've been trying to just be myself but in social situations this always leads me down dark feelings, it's almost like I would feel much more real if I broke down emotionally in fromt of everyone. I also feel like watching the breathe during the day and other methods don't help me keep my cool.

However, looking at analyo's (spelling?) satipatthana chart for personality and characteristics, I believe I mostly fall into the category of "quick theorizer". I always am trying to mentally make sense of things, especially now that I am more jumbled up (or possibly just more aware of my downfalls)

I was at a wedding and things were going downhill. Just be yourself, face the fear, relax tension if you can... Didn't work, people started messing with me and as I became anxious and couldn't joke around the social scenarios began to tense up on me. Soon after trying to be mindful of my speech and others words and failing, I realized during a wedding speech that maybe its best for me to watch mental objects.... I observed and involved myself in a perception of some sort.... It was me recognizing the prideful and fancy feeling of being in the dimly lit beautiful wedding room and nice words were shared and the audienced listened attentively. The lights looked beautiful and I was calmer. This is the important part. My girlfriend said something to me, responding as if I was still in my anxious state. I barely looked at her but told her to be quieter because I wanted to listen to the toast... Here again I felt a thought... A mental formation of my own social importance as I paid attention to the classyness of the wedding speech. She picked up on this and we were soon enough in a much smoother conversation/interaction.
Later that nice I was able to face something that had been worrying me all day beforehand, dancing and not making an awkward depressed fool of myself! I was full of more thoughts and mental scenarios which I laid down over whatever true reality is. The music had its own awesome affects on my perception and confidence. And I danced with mental objects of feeling confident, cool, liked and desired. Everyone was easier to talk to, I had been the one missing out before I begun this observing.

I want to know whether watching these thoughts, perceptions and mental stories.. if you will call them, are suitable to observe through out daily life. As I watch for these mind events, I find them pop up much of the time. An experience could be for example seeing a large wall of rock on the side of the road, accompanied by some thought of being adventurous and cool, and a pleasant feeling that brings back childhood like innocence.

I know the goal isn't to go back in time, but this outlook on life makes me feel more creative and passionate about living and interacting with others, and I am starting to feel similar relaxed mental states like I did before I found Buddhism and most likely overdissected it, along with my life.

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Re: Thoughts, mental stories, dhammas... For my personality

Post by Ben » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:01 am

Greetings Awarewolf,

I get the sense from your disjointed post that perhaps things are not well for you at the moment. If that is the case, then I hope that you have someone in whom you can talk - such as a friend, confidante, teacher or doctor. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression and its having a pronounced impact on your life - I recommend that you see a doctor or therapist to get it checked out. If, on the other hand, I am completely 'off-base', then I apologize.

With regards to your practice, I recommend that you keep things simple, and grounded. Focus on maintaining your precepts, give dana - if you have the means and opportunity, do some study and perhaps practice anapana or the recollections of the triple gem. This, I think, will ground you.
with metta,

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR


Posts: 43
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Re: Thoughts, mental stories, dhammas... For my personality

Post by Awarewolf » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:14 pm

No you may be right on there, I've considered joining my Buddhism studies with psychotherapy as of course I can not expect meditation to heal me emotionally, and this is always what I thought.

As far as keeping it simple goes, I have trouble with the idea of not investigating deeply all day. By many methods however, breathing for example, I take it too far and try to make a system out of it that I can rely on and this never works. I find that by watching thoughts and my mental stories (my idea of these words might match with the idea of the aggregates) it keeps things fresh and by going along with them a bit I can stay aware of what's happening and keep my calm. Who knows, maybe the only true reliable "calm" for me right now is this confident, desired, cool-feeling that keeps me in a state where I'm not too anxious to laugh and start freaking out. I may be a narcissist... Haha but that's why psychotherapy could help. I'm getting the idea that this mental exploration I have begun may not be exactly dhamma and aggregate study but more appropriately my own personal psychotherapy sessions... Who knows

If something brings you good, and steers away from the bad we should move towards these things right? This is part of right view? I say this knowing to avoid extremes and keep an eye on morality.

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