Friends, thanks for all the input.
daverupa wrote:What sort of mindfulness is present? Are you able to watch e.g. despair arise, able to see what was in place that supported the arising of that? A change happens, as you say, but is this only outside in external objects? Are you noticing the changes in aggregates, noting impermanence, or are you simply insisting to yourself "do not cling" as a command? Or something else?
And what's this feeling sorry for external objects... I hope you aren't thinking of people as external objects... are you experiencing empathy for inanimate things? What's going on here?
And an unresponsive body: is this an expectation or desire for things to be a certain way? How does this lack of response feel to you, and how did this feeling come to be?
Despair is often supported by a certain set of ideas and generally lack of trust/saddhā. I directly the see the changes in aggregates, I notice the breath and impermanence altogether, but I don't see where the experience is going. I try not to cling to anything and this indeed is a conscious command, but I'm also aware that I don't know anything, so I don't trust any experience, as they too are impermanent. Knowing this, the mind searches for a permament place to settle but it can't seem to find any, and I guess this is the basis of my suffering. I cannot locate voidness. I actually talked about this with a friend of mine, he said to let go of the experience as well but I don't know what that even means.
External objects - I feel empathy for almost about anything really. Again, was meditating on impermanence the other day and my dog showed up, I took a mental note of the vision of his face, and I felt so bad about it. I'm also aware how and why these feelings arise, but somehow they turn into ideas and memories, replayed like a stuck record which is out of my control, and this is why I say the body is unresponsive. I can't get rid of these ideas, and they are usually strong enough to take away the concentration. Intellectually I cannot understand why all this is going on, and that is the big bad black vortex I mentioned in the OP, which is another somewhat stationary idea.
All in all, I do observe each sensation objectively and try to remain aware, but suffering is just there, even though I'm aware of it and its roots, I have no idea on how to cut these roots.