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Do you sometimes feel so much goodness and then it freaks you out all the bad

JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
edited November 2013 in Buddhism Basics
I was feeling peaceful and seeing all the good in everyone. The feeling is confidence and security.

But all the sudden I read the news and all the terrible things like Wallstreet slum lords http://www.salon.com/2013/11/06/wall_street_slumlords_outrageous_new_scheme_how_they_could_wreck_economy_again/

And I see the negative side of all things such as people. I feel angry and irritable and have lost my peace.

I read a student teacher question session where the student asked why sometimes she felt so wonderful to have found truths. And then other times she felt like such a basket case who couldn't handle the world. The teacher said 'that's why they call it confusion.. it's because it's all mixed up'

And then theres the fact that all of my worst experiences made me a stronger wiser person.
anataman

Comments

  • howhow Veteran

    The path simply asks for your acceptance of whatever phenomena arises. Attributing a it with positive or negative values is beside the point.
    Vastmindanataman
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 2013
    Yes but it is un-nerving to feel bad for other hurt people. And you know awful things will happen to you eventually.

    I do the serenity prayer and take refuge.

    May I not worry about that which I can change
    And may I be confident to change that which I can even if I make mistakes

    A third way is to be kind to someone.
    VastmindKundo
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited November 2013
    Remember the song...?

    You take the good, you take the bad
    You take 'em both, and there you
    have.... the Facts of Life.

    Like @how says...It's about accepting...... the facts/truths.
    Learning to accept..... can be an SOB at times.
    It sure leaves me irritable at moments...

    EDIT: I'm paraphrasing @how...he says accept..the rest
    is my quote, haha
  • Jeffrey said:

    And then theres the fact that all of my worst experiences made me a stronger wiser person.

    Indeed.
    It is the very real source of wisdom and compassion . . .
    . . . may sound a little arrogant . . . but wisdom is enabled as we create a distance or space in ourselves and the external experiences that trigger our responses.

    Each person can get caught in their negative karma or their developing virtue/wisdom/merit. Initially we must, especially in Tantra, develop and strengthen our positive confidence, dharma pride, practice, faith in the good company of developed practitioners and teachers etc.

    Drop it prematurely and we end up rogue, a pope heading troops into battle or a street based Dalia Lama . . .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsangyang_Gyatso,_6th_Dalai_Lama

    Even though you tie a thousand knots -- the string remains one.
    Rumi
    http://www.lightwinnipeg.org/Meditations of Rumi.htm

    . . . or we might ask, 'do we get knotted
    or untied?'

    :wave:
  • Jeffrey said:

    I was feeling peaceful and seeing all the good in everyone. The feeling is confidence and security.

    But all the sudden I read the news and all the terrible things like Wallstreet slum lords http://www.salon.com/2013/11/06/wall_street_slumlords_outrageous_new_scheme_how_they_could_wreck_economy_again/

    And I see the negative side of all things such as people. I feel angry and irritable and have lost my peace.

    I read a student teacher question session where the student asked why sometimes she felt so wonderful to have found truths. And then other times she felt like such a basket case who couldn't handle the world. The teacher said 'that's why they call it confusion.. it's because it's all mixed up'

    And then theres the fact that all of my worst experiences made me a stronger wiser person.

    That's the up and down of life and the reason for this search for Nirvana. That's when you don't get affected unnecessarily.
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited November 2013
    I found that over the coarse of practice some emotions can at times seem to get stronger - also the negative ones. On a retreat I had one day I was angry and annoyed with everything and everyone while I'm normally really not that kind of a person. But I was told by a monk that if there are no struggles, you aren't doing the practice right. In my eyes I can explain it in two ways: first I think the mind is trying to hold onto its capacity to angry in a way. So it makes anger stronger just to try and it gets angry for stupid reasons. It's a bit like a kid crying because it is not given what it wants. But also, mindfulness is stronger because we've practiced it, so the emotions seem closer, they seem zoomed in and therefore are noticed sooner and seem stronger.

    Compare it to a mind/body that is deprived of sensual stimulation for a longer time. It will try with all kinds of seductions and images to get that back. Especially with sex I find this can be terribly strong. It's just the mind trying harder, screaming for attention. The same with anger. We are actually addicted to anger, so if we don't get it the mind will try nonetheless.

    But luckily when there is this mindfulness there is also the recognition that these emotions are not helpful, that we shouldn't feed them. @Jeffrey just because you posted here asking about anger points out that very thing to me. You realized anger is not helping you. I think that's what it's mainly about. Getting angry and not realizing the downsides is dragging people down, but getting angry and realizing it is actually part of the path towards being able to lessen our tendencies to anger. It takes practice and patience to learn to work with it and I think for most of us it's an entire lifetime's work, so take it easy. :) (< this I'm also saying to myself)


    Metta!
    Sabre
    lobsterJeffreymfranzdorfanataman
  • Sabre said:

    I found that over the coarse of practice some emotions can at times seem to get stronger - also the negative ones. On a retreat I had one day I was angry and annoyed with everything and everyone while I'm normally really not that kind of a person. But I was told by a monk that if there are no struggles, you aren't doing the practice right. In my eyes I can explain it in two ways: first I think the mind is trying to hold onto its capacity to angry in a way. So it makes anger stronger just to try and it gets angry for stupid reasons. It's a bit like a kid crying because it is not given what it wants. But also, mindfulness is stronger because we've practiced it, so the emotions seem closer, they seem zoomed in and therefore are noticed sooner and seem stronger.

    Compare it to a mind/body that is deprived of sensual stimulation for a longer time. It will try with all kinds of seductions and images to get that back. Especially with sex I find this can be terribly strong. It's just the mind trying harder, screaming for attention. The same with anger. We are actually addicted to anger, so if we don't get it the mind will try nonetheless.

    But luckily when there is this mindfulness there is also the recognition that these emotions are not helpful, that we shouldn't feed them. @Jeffrey just because you posted here asking about anger points out that very thing to me. You realized anger is not helping you. I think that's what it's mainly about. Getting angry and not realizing the downsides is dragging people down, but getting angry and realizing it is actually part of the path towards being able to lessen our tendencies to anger. It takes practice and patience to learn to work with it and I think for most of us it's an entire lifetime's work, so take it easy. :) (< this I'm also saying to myself)


    Metta!
    Sabre

    Thank you Sabre. With everything in me. Your insight always teaches me. @Jeffrey, I've been dealing with this very question for a while now also (without even realizing it if that makes any sense)
    anatamanSabre
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    Great thread @Jeffrey

    Just the other morning I was feeling really great about my practice - it was going forward, I was learning to be mindful.

    However, I stopped at the end of an empty one-way street to sit in my car and eat a hasty breakfast. I was not obstructing anybody who was using the road correctly. Then an older woman tried coming up the street the wrong way. I had missed breakfast at home and saw myself feeling hungry and watched as I was satisfied that hunger, but peacefully and mindfully. The woman started flashing her lights at me, and gestured for me to get out of the way. That really started to rattle my cage as I really didn't understand what was going on, but guessed she wanted to go the wrong way down a one-way street… And I was the problem.

    I thought 'no'. The buddha said you are not meant to be walked over and right now I am rightfully able to say 'I am right' and 'you are wrong to ask me to move - you need to go around the block and enter the street the proper way'. So I sat and watched her as I continued to mindfully eat my breakfast for another 30 seconds or so. Then I saw and realised the anger on her face, but I remained calm and peaceful continuing to eat my breakfast, and then I saw her pick up the phone and to talk to someone. So I thought again 'what's really going on here! What should I be doing'

    So I climbed out of my car and checked the one-way street signs were still there and they were. I went over to her car and after she popped down the window a fraction asked her what was going on, she was trying to enter a one way street incorrectly. She said I'm calling the police because you're stopping me from entering my street I live here you know'.

    'Well go around the block and enter the street the correct way' I said - 'you are really going to appear quite foolish if the police do arrive and move me on in your favour' - I'm English and do talk like that sometimes, especially when I want to be polite but authoritative'.

    I went back to my car and started getting really riled. 'Who is this woman' I thought. 'I am following all the rules correctly and she thinks she can over-rule me! No way I am not having this, I'm not moving'. But I saw I was angry but let it come and go, and I was ok with it, but she obviously was not, and slowly I was becoming less so.

    She had by that time started to become an obstruction to other traffic going the correct way but was refusing to move and pointed at me as the problem and people started honking their horns and also were visibly getting angry. This is really wrong I thought. So I started my car and moved just around the corner to a spot where I was now illegally parked. The other cars that were obstructed left the road and she went down the street the wrong way, shaking her fist at me, and then everything was fine.

    After that I felt really bad. I knew I was right to stand my ground but had caused so much stress to a number of people, and all I had to do was move. But that only made me even more angry at myself for not seeing the consequences.

    @sabre says: 'But luckily when there is this mindfulness there is also the recognition that these emotions are not helpful, that we shouldn't feed them.'

    The point is I was being measured and mindful with my anger but my mindfulness was only feeding other peoples anger.

    Help me out with with that one if you can?
  • @anatman, those people made themselves angry. They had the choice to get angry or not. ;)
    anataman
  • What I'm wrestling with right now is that the more I try to develop compassion, the more it hurts to see all the suffering. Some days I think I can't stand it, and I wonder how I can make it all stop.
    JeffreyEvenThird
  • The near enemy of compassion of the brahmaviras/apramanas is overwhelm. If that happens mudita (seeing the joy and goodness of people) can help. You can do a mudita meditation just like a metta. You just imagine all the beauty in others. You can even see something beautiful in people who are your enemies. Then craving a spot of beauty can make you have the near enemy of mudita, the addiction to positive thinking. Then the antidote is equanimity. When equanimity fails you and turns into indifference (near enemy) then you can practice metta/kindness. And then when metta goes wrong (forgot the near enemy but the far enemy is animosity I think) you can practice compassion.

    The aprimanas go in a virtuous wheel.
    JainarayanEvenThird
  • Yes, overwhelming is the word. I just looked up near enemy http://buddhism.about.com/b/2012/08/22/recognizing-near-enemies.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmavihara#Exegesis and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudita I can see now how pity can be mistaken for compassion. There are some good articles on the buddhism.about.com site. I think these would be good subjects for me to meditate on.
    Jeffrey
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    What I'm wrestling with right now is that the more I try to develop compassion, the more it hurts to see all the suffering. Some days I think I can't stand it, and I wonder how I can make it all stop.

    Namaste,

    I too feel that way. I have decided not to read the news online and limit my online time on social media. I have also made my meditation space "sacred" and do not allow anyone else to go there. It's the only way I can give myself some peace these days. As we are often reminded, wishing metta and happiness to all sentient beings includes ourselves.

    In metta,
    Raven
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited November 2013
    anataman said:



    @sabre says: 'But luckily when there is this mindfulness there is also the recognition that these emotions are not helpful, that we shouldn't feed them.'

    The point is I was being measured and mindful with my anger but my mindfulness was only feeding other peoples anger.

    Help me out with with that one if you can?

    Hi @anataman,

    It is difficult to respond to very specific situations, so I may be wrong, but it sounds to me you let your anger build up to a point where it got too strong. You noticed it, but too late. Or you noticed it arise, but you realized the downsides too late and acted too late. With acting I mean things like what @Jeffrey says: to generate compassion and kindness instead of the anger.

    The job of mindfulness is not only to notice things, but also to notice them before they get out of hand, to catch them when they are small. When emotions are small, they are easy to stop. In this case you have an entire situation lasting some minutes in which it seems you allowed anger to slowly build up. Then it is hard to stop, if not impossible. And if one person gets angry, others usually follow. ;)

    It's ok though. This happens. The important thing is you recognized it in the end. The more we recognize anger arising, the easier it will become to see it earlier. Slowly but surely we will see it earlier and earlier and we will stop it more easily as well. Sitting meditation practice also helps with this a lot because we get a lot closer to our emotions and learn to see how they arise - starting as a tiny bubble that we can easily pinch.

    Hope this helps.

    All of this is only a reflection of my own experience, but if you read suttas such as MN19 and MN20 you can see the Buddha was talking about these things also.

    With mucha metta to all ya!
    Sabre
    betaboy
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    Thanks, @sabre that was helpful.
    Sabre
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