Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Badges

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.

BoatS Explorer

About

Username
BoatS
Joined
Visits
110
Last Active
Roles
Member
Points
50
Badges
10
  • Is meditation alone enough to obtain peace?

    Over the past 5 years, I've desired inner peace more than anything. I've been performing meditation (mainly counting of breaths to ten for at least 15 minutes per day) for 6+ years. While I can admit that I am noticeably calmer, I still greatly suffer internally (self-judgement, lack of self-compassion, etc.) as well as from external situations (getting mad at other's opinions, people "judging" me, anger at people being "weak" and unable to follow diets, etc.).

    From a logical stand point, there is no need to hold onto these thoughts and while in meditation, I don't. However, once I begin daily life with common stressors, these thought dominate my life. In addition, even while in meditation, I get negative and judgmental thoughts but I am able to let go of them more often than not.

    It feels like I can't escape from stress and internal negativity.

    I hear wonderful stories regarding how meditation alone can help harbor a calmer, more peaceful mind. While I partly agree with that, I feel like it may not be enough on its own.

    What I really want is to be able to: a) have naturally compassionate thoughts arise naturally (less negativity and judgement) or simply less judgement in general and b) a mind that naturally is calm opposed to a mind that is always racing and burning me out.

    While this post is somewhat sporadic (like my mind =)) I imagine that someone has been in a similar situation. Any retrospection or thoughts welcome.

    Snakeskin
  • Re: My mind keeps on chattering in meditation

    Hi All,

    It seems to me that the level of conditioning of my mind is too much. Leave my body, even on little things my mind becomes agitated. For example, in our rented house, in one room we have kept many articles, so that our little daughter(1 year old) does not start to mishandle those articles. so we try that our daughter does not go to that room. i am observing(after the incident happens) the moment i notice that my daughter is trying to go in that room, my mind becomes agitated and instantly i try to react by either getting slightly angry on her - or - trying to forcefully take her away in another room.

    another example - my daughter tries to press some key of my laptop, while i am working, then also my mind becomes agitated and reacts to it.

    I cannot imagine how deep my mind is conditioned.

    After the incident is over and then i think about it, i can recollect anicca, dukkha, anatta - But the question is how to decrease the level of conditioning of my mind, so that at least when such small things occur, my mind does not react immediately. Any suggestions please. Thanks in advance.
    You cannot "stop" your mind from reacting the way it does. What you need to do is realize that you are angry, and let that emotion be present and feel it. Sit there with it, don't push it away, and before you know it it will disappear. The more you practice this, the less power the emotion will have over you.

    Also, I would suggest performing metta, or loving-kindness meditation. This, as a whole, will allow your emotions to shift towards a more positive outlook. It will grace you with further understanding of why you are getting angry, and perhaps you can replace these thoughts with compassionate ones towards yourself.
    Sabre
  • Re: I struggle with letting go of thoughts...

    @BoatS

    Hi BoatS

    Your welcome, and when you have time might you tell me your conversion story. I'm interested too :)

    Thanks
    Well, I was born into a family that did not encourage religion at all. As a family, we never attended church or really discussed religion. My mother is religious, but mostly kept it to herself. Throughout the majority of my early years (12-18) I felt that there was something out there, perhaps the "God" that all religions speak of and would pray on my own time. However, I never read much of the Bible because there were certain aspects of it that I just couldn't get myself to believe. I had my own opinion of what I felt (inside) that God was, and what his actions would be. I felt/feel that God does truly want good for everyone, therefore having to be baptized to be "saved" did not sit well for me.

    So naturally, I created my own opinion of what God is and stands for based on my intuition and how I felt. I was this way for a long period of time, and found myself praying nearly every night seeking guidance in life. Eventually, I moved into college when I was 18. Here, I encountered several experiences that began to modify how I view the world. For one, I was in a relationship with a girl that I considered very important to me, and ended up getting devastated after we broke up. For months I was completely off and felt that I was unlovable and ended up creating so much self-hatred that I was overwhelmed. I felt that there must have been a reason that she fell out of love with me and ended up saying the things she did. I ended up analyzing myself and all of my actions and hated the person I was. I feel/felt that the way I am is not good enough and that I can always improve myself. This produced the trail of self-improvement spirituality conflict that I have entered into over the past 5+ years. I still struggle with self-love to this day to be honest.

    I eventually got to such a deep point of depression that I knew I had to do something. I went through medications, therapy, etc. all in attempts to feel "whole" like I once did, and love the person I was. I would have days were I felt okay about myself, and then others were I despised my actions and characters. My mind was relentlessly criticizing everything I do to the point were I couldn't deal with it. I had to find something that could bring relief to me, even if it was brief.

    After a lot of research and inner seeking, I finally came upon meditation. It had promises of releasing yourself from your worries, ideals, and suffering. This sounded like a miracle to me, especially since it did not involve medication to assist me. So thus began my exploration of myself through meditation. It was something that I began to rely on to get by; for moments in my life I was free from all the worry that I produced.

    After a while, I began to look further into concepts of meditation, which led me to Buddhism. I read the Four Noble Truths, the Eight Precepts, and other material; all of which seemed very logical and appealed to me. Rather than placing some mystical, undefined power on my life, I could actually comprehend why my life, thoughts, and actions were as they were. So thus I began to follow many Buddhist concepts, meditation, ideology, and loving-kindness.

    I don't follow all of scripture necessarily word for word, but use the idea of Buddhism as a stepping to stone to explore more about myself and where I want to be. To be honest, Buddhism/meditation has been both a blessing and curse for me. It taught me that I am able to let go of thoughts, but also has forced me into questioning so many other factors that I never considered before (who do I want to be if I can truly choose my actions, what am I, etc.). All of these ideas have caused me even more confusion in life, but once I started, I don't think I could ever go back to not being aware and letting life just "pass me by." If you have seen The Matrix, it feels a lot like that. I have been opened to a new way of viewing life, and now I'm on journey that I'll have to explore.

    Can I honestly say I'm more satisfied or happy now, than I was before? Perhaps I'm a bit less worried in general and have more self control, but I'm also more confused than ever about "who" I am and how I should be now that I'm always aware of my actions and words. I still struggle with my self-perception and how people view me more than ever, but now I am aware of it (not sure if that has really helped, but I try). What really led me on this path was just seeking happiness and peace with myself and who I am. I really just want to love and accept myself and others, exactly as we are. I know that when I don't accept myself, I also find it difficult to accept some people - and again, I'm aware of that and I don't like having to feel animosity towards anyone since it is not fair.

    I want to feel whole, peaceful, happy, and just love life and the experiences. I want to feel that what I do is correct. I don't want to worry anymore about "who" I am and just be able live. I know there will be portions of life that are less than optimal and will include suffering, but I want to live those as well. I'm not sure that I am any closer to that goal, but Buddhism has opened my mind to many ideas that I hope can draw me closer well being. It's definitely been a stepping stone, and I'm hoping that I am getting closer to accepting myself and everything in life. The jury is out on that conclusion now :)

    Note: Also, I figured I'd write a quick bit on my belief of God in case you are curious. I've had several parts in my life where I have "felt" God's presence in some terrible situations. A sense of calm and serenity has come over me, unlike anything I am able to express. I asked God to assist me, and to the best of my knowledge and feelings, he did. However, I do not know how to get closer to him since I can't get myself to read the Bible. There is just too much that I don't agree with, and thus it is difficult to pick what I like and disregard the rest. That seems contradicting to me.

    Anyways, that is my spiritual life journey. Sorry on the length, I just couldn't encompass everything in a shorter post.

    BoatS
    RebeccaS