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I'm a novice meditator. I've completed perhaps 30-40 sessions in total, and I vary my practice and experiment with different kinds of focus. Despite my somewhat chaotic experimentation, I've noticed that it's getting easier to sit and be still for lengthier periods of time without feeling agitated, and I typically feel more at peace afterward. While I believe the benefits are real, sometimes I am confused about what it is that I'm experiencing during the sessions and afterward.
My goal with meditation is, to put it bluntly, be a better person. I routinely experience relentlessly negative thoughts and feelings. These perceptions are mostly about myself, and they impair my ability to form intimate relationships with people and thereby externalize the love that I feel, which is repressed and nearly impossible to demonstrate. In their worst manifestations, these perceptions take the form of fantastical death-wishes, fleeting thoughts suggesting that change is impossible, existence is meaningless, and that I might as well shoot myself in the head.
Meditation and mindfulness are two of the tools I'm using to try to change myself, along with therapy, abstinence from substance abuse, and cultivation of positive relationships. What I'm attempting to do with meditation and mindfulness is to stop identifying with the thoughts that arise, to treat them as phenomena outside my control and not me. I don't know if this is the right way to approach things, but that's the understanding I've gotten so far in my reading and contemplation.
Shoshin posted this, which resonated with me:
"All that a thought wants is to be acknowledge (given free undisturbed entry ), after which it will dissipate (exit) !"...
"If you give the thought the right of way, it will pass on through ...no need to stay....
but try to block it, it will attack, by pushing it away it will come right back !"
This makes total sense. I often find that I am physically unable to cry when I am sad or grieving. If I notice the emotion, then I repress it as soon as it appears, and it disappears like mice scurrying for the exits when you enter a dark kitchen and turn on the light. I am constantly controlling my emotions and thoughts. There is often a physical feeling of tension in my head in the forebrain when the emotion is particularly strong.
How do you stop this? How can you allow the feeling or thought to arise and be with them? Is it merely a matter of more practice, or is there a particular technique that can be helpful? My practice is just to sit and concentrate on my breathing, sometimes with the aid of binaural beats, sometimes not.
In the binaural beat sessions, when my thoughts are still, I sometimes begin to experience music that seems to be coming from me, synthesized melodies and rhythms I don't remember hearing anywhere. I don't know if that's normal.