Uncovered Misery

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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befriend
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Uncovered Misery

Post by befriend » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:03 pm

I am familiar with the idea that meditation can bring up things in our consciousness that we were unaware of. I recently meditated 30 min metta and 30 minutes Mahasi vipassana for about a week. A lot of stuff came up. Grief, rage, sadness, loneliness, hatred, anger, now that I've opened Pandora's box I'm not sure what to do with them I feel depressed most of the time now. Even when I do metta it just taps into the sadness in me. Not sure where to go from here...thanks.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Kim OHara
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:38 pm

Yes, this can be challenging. The best advice I ever had was to alternate between calming meditation and insight meditation.
Use calming meditation - usually meditation on the breath - to establish a space from which you can gently explore the negative emotions, and return to the breath whenever the emotions get too hard to deal with. Repeat this sequence as needed within each meditation session and always finish with the calming meditation.
There's no need to rush the process - some of this messy stuff might have been waiting years for you to process it, so what's a few more weeks or months? - and there's certainly no need to blame yourself because the fact that it's coming up shows that you are beginning to resolve it.

:meditate:
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samseva
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by samseva » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:28 am

Those are suppressed emotions. When they arise, they are more painful than when they are suppressed, because when these emotions are suppressed they are "numb." What I can tell you from personal experience is that it's better to process these than to carry them around for decades (these can create a host of emotional/psychological/physical issues).

Like Kim explained, these are intense emotions from many years, so it's a good idea not to try to process them all at once or in a very short time frame. The way to go about it—and what drastically and positively changed my life—is to (and this perfectly aligns with Buddhist teachings as well):

1. Let the emotion rise
2. Don't judge the emotion or be afraid of it (you'll be letting it go in a short while)
3. Just feel it and observe it fully and completely, even if it might be very intense
4. You are clinging to this emotion (for a specific reason that you might or might not know) similarly as if you would be gripping onto a stick—you have to just let go and stop holding to the stick/emotion (or rather stop exerting effort to hold on to the stick/emotion)
5. Continue feeling the emotion...and then let it go
6. Repeat whenever a strong emotion arises

According to Buddhist teachings, when a strong emotion arises, you should just observe it, let it rise, and then let it cease. The above follows this, but is more detailed/elaborate. Try it out and see how it goes.

paul
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by paul » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:29 am

Suppression is an important tactic on the path and leads eventually to the elimination of unwholesome feelings by depriving them of nutriment, and in that sense it can be understood they should definitely not be indulged. These unwholesome feelings should be seen as ‘feelings of the flesh’ and be replaced with feelings based on renunciation, that is the joy that comes from insight contingent upon escaping from house-based grief.

"There is unrest of mind; frequently giving unwise attention to it — that is the nourishment for the arising of restlessness and anxiety that have not yet arisen, and for the increase and strengthening of restlessness and anxiety that have already arisen.
There is quietude of mind; frequently giving wise attention to it — that is the denourishing of the arising of restlessness and anxiety that have not yet arisen, and of the increase and strengthening of restlessness and anxiety that have already arisen."— SN 46:51

This refers to the four great endeavours of right effort:

1.to prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states;
2.to abandon unwholesome states that have already arisen;
3.to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen;
4.to maintain and perfect wholesome states already arisen.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by Spiny Norman » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:07 am

befriend wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:03 pm
I am familiar with the idea that meditation can bring up things in our consciousness that we were unaware of. I recently meditated 30 min metta and 30 minutes Mahasi vipassana for about a week. A lot of stuff came up. Grief, rage, sadness, loneliness, hatred, anger, now that I've opened Pandora's box I'm not sure what to do with them I feel depressed most of the time now. Even when I do metta it just taps into the sadness in me. Not sure where to go from here...thanks.
What approach are you taking to metta practice? Are you able to accept the feelings of sadness?
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

ToVincent
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by ToVincent » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:57 pm

Spiny Norman wrote: What approach are you taking to metta practice? Are you able to accept the feelings of sadness?
I know that you are very keen to read the suttas "straightforwardly".
So, where does the sutta say that someone should "accept" the feelings?
?!?!?

befriend wrote: Not sure where to go from here...
Get away from this "bare attention"!
Restrain the indriyāni.

Why would you let yourself "attack" by the disagreable (or even the agreable)?
Where is it mentioned in the suttas?
https://justpaste.it/1ac3r
In this world with its ..., Māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

befriend
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by befriend » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:25 pm

I just read The chapter in the book the power of now called dissolving the pain body. It says the negative emotions stored in our mind and body should be made aware of by observing them and not identifying with them. Awareness of these difficult states is what transmutes them into light. I have tried this in meditation when I feel an emotional dagger like pain or sadness in my belly I bring my awareness to it watch it until it turns into a soft fuzzy lighter feeling. As Buddha said when there is an unpleasant feeling he knows there is an unpleasant feeling. I believe I am purifying my subconsciousness or whatever by doing this this is the purifying aspect of Buddhism I will keep practicing like this and let you know how it goes. Thanks guys.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

paul
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by paul » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:46 pm

"As Buddha said when there is an unpleasant feeling he knows there is an unpleasant feeling."

What is described in the above quote is alertness, but in the introduction to the maha satipatthana sutta (DN 22), three qualities are called for:
“There is the case where a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.”

So not only must the practitioner be aware of the present, he or she must also exercise ardency, the desire to avoid what is unbeneficial :
"When, friend, a monk thinks: 'Evil and unskilled states that have not arisen would, if they were to arise, be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor; when he thinks: 'Evil and unskilled states that have arisen will, if they are not abandoned, be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor; when he thinks: 'Skilled states that have not arisen, if they do not arise, this will be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor; when he thinks: 'Skilled states that have arisen, if they should cease, this will be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor — this, friend, is being without ardor.”—-SN 16.2

So mindfulness includes not only awareness, but also active intervention.
It can be seen that ardency is synonymous with right effort:
"And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.---SN 45.8

The sutta says there are three qualities, ardency, alertness and mindfulness and the latter brings memory to bear on the present and, through reflecting on past dhamma knowledge and experience, points it in a skilful direction. In the OP, the practitioner is focussing on unwholesome feelings from the past, thereby replacing that memory function and precluding the action of right mindfulness.
Last edited by paul on Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

befriend
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by befriend » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:16 pm

Tovincent, to restrain the Indriya do I just label what I experience as pleasant, unpleasant or neither or?
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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by ToVincent » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:00 am

befriend wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:16 pm
Tovincent, to restrain the Indriya do I just label what I experience as pleasant, unpleasant or neither or?
What is usually called "sense base (āyatana), is indeed a field of sensory experience.
For instance, let's take the cakkhu āyatana (the "eye's" sense base - aka, the field of sensory experience of the "eye").
In this instance, the eye can't neither be called the physical eye, nor the sight - but instead, it is the "field of the sensory experience" per se.

Again, I like to think of this āyatana, (the field of sensory experience of this "eye" for instance,) as the muscle of the frog you dissected in your natural science class; and on which you applied some electrical current (indriya). The capability of the muscle (e.g. reflex,) can only be expressed through this electrical current.
So, your "sense-consciouness", and the whole sensory experience that follows, will be dependant on the intensity of that indriya.

Indriya is a power. (Indriya comes from the god Indra - And Indra is known as, power).

What you have to be aware of, is of this power; that when not restrained, descend on the āyatana, and have it put to work, in accord with the intensity of the indriya. (SN 22.47)
The restraint of this power (indriya), will be proportional to your involvment with the external.

It is only when you do that (restraint), that you should do vipassana.

"Bare attention" is dangerous, if you don't restrain the indriya first. If you don't withdraw yourself internally in samatha first; before doing vipassana.

Check on what I have ben saying on this thread viewtopic.php?f=13&t=30370&sid=a0232ac2 ... a09befd386 . There will be a lot more to it.
Or here: Phassa and the cessation of phassa? - search.php?keywords=&terms=all&author=T ... mit=Search
In this world with its ..., Māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Re: Uncovered Misery

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:39 am

Greetings ToVincent,

By all means critique "bare attention", but there's no need to label it or its adherents "fraudulent".

In this regard, please remain mindful of the Terms of Service.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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