Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Meditation experience and letting go

RefugeeRefugee San Francisco New

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.

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I'm a novice meditator.

    Who isn't ... ;)
    Your goal to be a better person is worthwhile. This is meditation as polishing AND that is fine.

    @karasti and @Shoshin inspire us. I value their input and everyones genuine intention and sharing. Ultimately we find our way.

    Meditation is not the only requirement. We have to change our behavour loops. That takes sila, focus and continual effort.

    • start a journal/blog
    • change your body/mind with diet and spiritulised exercise (eg. yoga/tai chi)
    • meditate/chant/practice
    • allow encouragement/positivity

    As for normal? That is just a red herring. Everything we experience is normal for us. We are heading towards a new normal ...

    RefugeeyagrHozan
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Refugee said:> 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?

    What can be helpful is recognising that feelings and thoughts are transient, and that they rise and fall in dependence on conditions. You can watch them come and go, like waves breaking on the shore.

    Another option is reframing how you view thoughts and feelings, making them less personal, eg "thoughts" rather than "my thoughts".

    Refugee
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Refugee said:
    relentlessly negative thoughts

    So it sounds like you might have a problem with your self-image. These things are built up below the conscious, and forcing a breakthrough there with meditation so that you can start an argument with yourself "no I'm not such-and-such!" Is actually quite dangerous. There are checks and balances on how it operates and digging in is often counter productive after meditation has brought something to the surface.

    Accept your thoughts about yourself, embrace them, and assure them that they and their source too are allowed to exist. Then perhaps you can find some affirmations on a YouTube video or such which obliquely support your self image - so not necessarily directly contradicting the negative thoughts, but coming at it from another angle.

    So if you have negative thoughts about being a bad father or son, then you could find something spiritual to listen to which reinforces your innate goodness. I quite like these for example...

    Refugee
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    @Refugee. Forget about letting go and being with. When you are observing the mental flow be like a scientist. Dispassionately observe and identify. If you do then eventually you won't can caught up in subtle discursiveness. Which the untrained mind uses to escape being trained. By our own efforts through countless lives we have become enslaved. By our own efforts we will become free.

    Refugee
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Refugee said:

    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.

    @Refugee
    "This" short youtube clip may provide some food for thought to chew over :)

    Refugee
  • RefugeeRefugee San Francisco New

    Thank you all for these extremely helpful and valuable insights. As I continue to practice, I will keep in mind what I have read (and watched!) here.

    Shoshin
Sign In or Register to comment.