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I made this back in 2013 based on listening to Ajahn Brahm a lot back then. It's paraphrasing obviously, but this quote / teaching as helped me a lot in the past, even though I forget about it from time to time
I'm just going to chip in my 2 cents @Kerome and maybe you may be able to take something away from it.
I'm 29 now but at around the age of 12 I started having hypochondria, literally convinced I was dying of a brain tumour or whatever it was from month to month, as it did change once I was cleared of any disease. It was torment actually, I don't wish that upon anybody.
Then when I was around 17 I started to get social anxiety, which at one point grew in intensity throughout the coming years, at one point I stayed inside my house for 4 months, only to go out to the ATM machine 3 times at night. I even flunked out of college because of it, I just couldn't hack it. I still had hypochondria at this stage too.
I tried covering this up with substances illegally and legally, and actually the legal substances did the worst damage (I abused them though)
However in the past 2 years I have almost lost my social anxiety completely, and I have weak cases of hypochondria. I started to observe my anxiety when I was outside, so for example if I was waiting in line at the store, I saw how my anxiety grew up to a 9 or a 10, but after time it would fall somewhat. Also if I made an effort to talk to the cashier a little, I would walk out with a smile feeling I had accomplished something. The key is to observe your thoughts, see how they can be irrational in nature, and to work on being rational step by step.
Your anxiety seems to be about the future, and mainly at night. Firstly you can only work on the future now, so whatever you do now will ripen in the future in some way. As long as you do your best with compassion and virtue, anything else that happens is beyond your power and thus not important right now. If you know what you want from your life, do what you need to do to get there, but be aware that it probably won't turn out exactly in the way you intend, that's not to say it won't work out, just very rarely things turn out like we intend perfectly.
Also maybe you can try melatonin supplements, melatonin being a hormone naturally occurring in our brains in the evening that makes us sleepy. If you combine the supplements with no phone, computer or TV an hour before you want to sleep, you may become very sleepy easily. Other natural helpers would be valerian root and lavender.
Lastly, do you exercise? Not only will it unleash energy during the day making you more sleepy in the evening, but if will make you feel productive and more content about yourself and life in general. Working out has actually been a huge part of why I no longer am anxious anymore.
Hope this helps in some way shape or form, and all the best
I don't think what the Buddha taught and meant about resistance had much to do with the ambition it takes to do what needs to be done to earn a living and that whole scenario you mentioned. I'm pretty sure it has mostly to do with acceptance of getting old, suffering diseases/conditions, and death.
Most people have some sort of cause(s) near and dear to their hearts and I don't think they're wrong for writing/blogging/talking/protesting, etc. about them. But it's been said before here - it's about what are practical things that can be done.
The whole career things was just an example. But yes in my own life recently I've observed certain situations and realised that me stewing over things, my mind trying to enter down various avenues to find a solution to a situation I had very little to no control over was futile. As soon as I realised this, things did get a lot easier there and then. From there on though, it's a task to keep reminding myself this simple yet helpful little gem of wisdom. It leads back to the teaching that enlightenment is there each and every moment, just that through ignorance we add layers of delusion over it, essentially masking it and causing suffering.
I didn't even know about his use of psychedelics and alcohol before making this thread, does that discount the positive, insightful and enlightening things I have taken from him? Of course it doesn't. When you listen to a teacher or a person, you should objectively listen to what they are saying, and then evaluate their words and see if you agree with it and if it can help you. I find it interesting that I didn't know this side of him prior to making this thread, and seeing responses there after.
Of course to each their own, I just find his way of teaching concepts to be ideal for whatever reason, and they have helped me get through some tough times and instil a more eager / clear intention of exploring the Buddha Dharma. It kind of feels like people may discount everything he says simply because of his habits, much like people may discredit anything an ex-con would say or do simply because they've been to prison. I've read above that someone even found Buddhism because of him, that's a very noteworthy turn of events in somebodies life.
Hmm. Interesting. I thought I was doing pretty well on the just-being front, and just not reaching the concentration levels required to get into the feeling based states of anapanasati.
I often fall into a state which is partway to falling asleep, I lose visual alertness but gain a kind of whole body awareness, and then a sort of body stillness. It’s not sleep though because when I get up I immediately feel awake and alert.
It seems that you may be falling into the trap of becoming too relaxed and not in cultivating actual awareness..?
How I approach formal sitting meditation is that I first make sure that it it the right time of the day for me to meditate. From there, I go through a full body scan, slowly passing through each part of my body, paying attention to any pains aches or discomfort. I forget which monk said this, but as an artist would prepare his or her canvas, prepare their paints etc, before making a masterpiece, you want to set your mind and body up before entering into meditation.
From there focusing on your breath as a means to relax your mind into a state fit for 'work' - this is when you can then head into cultivating awareness with a mind sharp and focused. I am by no means a great meditator lol, but this is the approach I have to it