mYTHmAKER

Meditation Problem

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A friend of mine who is very outgoing, social and loves being with and talking to friends.

He likes meditating but has the following experiences when he does.

 

From his email

"Oh and I started meditating again and then stopped again. On the days I meditated, I would get angry more easily, agitated more quickly, and be generally more impatient on the day I do it. I really enjoy it while I'm in it, but it has this effect on me as I go about my life that feels unhealthy"

 

and

 

"last year I just watched my breath. this year i just sit. either think about nothing or just do some "calm abiding." VERY recently (as in, last time i meditated) and wished for the ability to give and receive love to specific people. Same results each time: a disconnect with other people i interact with the next day."

 

Any ideas, help would be appreciated.

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Long time ago I have read an Indian story about washing .

It talked about how when you put dirty clothes in the water and start cleaning it with the soap which is another kind of dirt ,there will be a lot of dirt arising in the water.

Same with mind(mental/emotional states) and meditation.Everything that would be much nicer stored in the mental box comes out and spills all over the place causing confusion and havoc.

Keep on washing and rinsing well.

There is loads of stuff in everyone and all around that is unhealthy,that is nature.There is a saint and a killer in everyone.It is the matter of reprograming habits and learning to choose to have harmonious life. Being ones own parent in that way of inner education.

Good luck to your friend and crossing the fire!

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Suninmyeyes is spot on in my opinion. One of the first things many find when they begin to meditate is that they pay attention to the painful bits more than they do the non-painful. As he stated, when you start to wash, expect to find some dirt. The important thing is to be able to get rid of the water, so that when you wash again, you aren't simply causing everything you've just cleaned to become dirty again.

 

Perhaps the best thing for your friend to do is to try to address what's causing him to become angry and irritable. Once he can identify this, I think he will begin to move past it.

 

Aaron

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I agree with both of the above. Meditation caused me to become more sensitive to many things.

I became more intolerant of some things (people's behavior, particularly unkind behavior or words).

I could no longer derive any pleasure from the suffering of anything so I gave up on of my favorite hobbies - fly fishing.

I'd much sooner catch a fish to eat it than for entertainment.

I stopped eating meat for a few years, and so on...

So I think that these challenges come up for us, not only when we begin meditating, but continually as we approach different insights and levels.

I think this is why having an experienced teacher or guide is so valuable in the beginning.

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I'm in general agreement with what's been said before. One other thing I've found useful in circumstances of difficulty that seems to be habitual like this. Suggest to your friend that when he first starts to think about meditating, he notes carefully what happens in both his mind/thinking and his body/feeling. Don't try to change anything, or analyze causes, just observe them. It was mentioned that he becomes angry when he prepares, ask him to identify where in his body he feels the anger--chest, bely, hands, arms, wherever. He should then focus on the physical feeling exclusively (not the mental) and sense what that physical feeling wants his body to do--e.g. to tense his shoulders, clench his fists, pull his torso forward or sideways, bend his head or whatever. Then slowly allow that movement to take place--tensing, stretching etc. until it has completed itself. Repeat as required until the body business is done. After some number of trials, he will find a change in his experience.

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Excellent stull, perhaps also reframe it back to him as a positive

 

"I really enjoy it while I'm in it"

cool

 

"On the days I meditated, I would get angry more easily, agitated more quickly, and be generally more impatient on the day I do it"

noticing changed behavior in daily life, more aware of actions - cool

 

"VERY recently (as in, last time i meditated) and wished for the ability to give and receive love to specific people"

changing "practice" spontaneously (or after research) to "work on" issues - very cool

 

 

I use to think; I'm cool, I'm relaxed, I'm a Taoist, your actions don't make me angry.....

when in really I was just repressing my anger and pretending I didn't care (I still do that quite a lot too :lol:) I did a lot of loving kindness meditation that I feel has helped me connect more with my anger and feelings in general.

 

I also find I do crave "quite time" to just get away from people for a break, especially at work. It can be quite difficult for me to accept that most people just like to sit and chat about anything, when I'd just rather stand there in silence.

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Basically, I agree with what other people have said here. Going from the serene tranquility of meditative bliss, anger has been detached, then when we step out into the real world, Bam!, one might forget how to use balanced strength, even a slight aggressiveness, and become emotionally reactive to defend their hard-earned inner state.

 

Another possibility, is that sometimes if we're feeling really nice and generous and wanting everyone to love each other, we are setting our expectations up for quick disappointment when we enter a place that doesn't have the same mind. The phrase "being in the world but not of the world" comes to mind. We have to accept that we have put ourselves in a state that others cannot be expected to be in, since that is not the way of the world. It is part of the journey to learn how to be the "stillness within the movement."

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like everyone else who has responded, i agree with most of what has already been stated. what i have to say is mostly just a re-ordering or an extension of the same ideas.

 

what your friend is experiencing is actually the POINT of meditation, particularly for beginners. beginners who lack the benefit of a teacher tend to abandon their practice right when the real healing & development process begins. meditation is internal discipline and work, not a daily vacation from the world. anapana, vipassana, and zen are designed to agitate the nervous system, push the neurological conditioning into a mild state of overwhelm, and then stimulate a deeper, more complex reorganization that allows the system to take on more with greater and greater serenity. but before that deeper calm is achieved, the practitioner has to get through that middle passage.

 

your friend should read a meditation book like Breath By Breath or Turning The Mind Into An Ally. or better yet, discuss it with an in-person teacher. but what your friend is experiencing is EXACTLY appropriate. it's not unhealthy; it's just unpleasant. the job is to recognize what is unfolding and allowing it to run its course, neither chasing after the good feelings, nor running away from the bad ones. there's a deeper peace that exists beyond drama of the ups and downs, and THAT'S what we begin to cultivate by simply noticing and allowing the process to take place.

 

some people crawl the walls at zen and vipassana retreats. some people have even made websites calling vipassana a CULT because of all the negative emotions they went through, yet they abandoned the process before it reached completion, so they remained in a somewhat "shell-shocked" state, and they took that to be proof of the evil intent of vipassana. and some people simply don't have the mental/emotional fortitude to endure the necessary work. it's not for everybody.

 

but most often it's just a misunderstanding about what meditation does and what a healthy developmental process looks like. your friend is doing fine, but they've gotta stop jumping ship when the work begins. all that nervous system baggage needs to clear out, but in order for that to happen they need to stay the course.

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like everyone else who has responded, i agree with most of what has already been stated. what i have to say is mostly just a re-ordering or an extension of the same ideas.

 

what your friend is experiencing is actually the POINT of meditation, particularly for beginners. beginners who lack the benefit of a teacher tend to abandon their practice right when the real healing & development process begins. meditation is internal discipline and work, not a daily vacation from the world. anapana, vipassana, and zen are designed to agitate the nervous system, push the neurological conditioning into a mild state of overwhelm, and then stimulate a deeper, more complex reorganization that allows the system to take on more with greater and greater serenity. but before that deeper calm is achieved, the practitioner has to get through that middle passage.

 

your friend should read a meditation book like Breath By Breath or Turning The Mind Into An Ally. or better yet, discuss it with an in-person teacher. but what your friend is experiencing is EXACTLY appropriate. it's not unhealthy; it's just unpleasant. the job is to recognize what is unfolding and allowing it to run its course, neither chasing after the good feelings, nor running away from the bad ones. there's a deeper peace that exists beyond drama of the ups and downs, and THAT'S what we begin to cultivate by simply noticing and allowing the process to take place.

 

some people crawl the walls at zen and vipassana retreats. some people have even made websites calling vipassana a CULT because of all the negative emotions they went through, yet they abandoned the process before it reached completion, so they remained in a somewhat "shell-shocked" state, and they took that to be proof of the evil intent of vipassana. and some people simply don't have the mental/emotional fortitude to endure the necessary work. it's not for everybody.

 

but most often it's just a misunderstanding about what meditation does and what a healthy developmental process looks like. your friend is doing fine, but they've gotta stop jumping ship when the work begins. all that nervous system baggage needs to clear out, but in order for that to happen they need to stay the course.

 

Excellent post Mr Hundun!

Yes, and who said meditation is for wusses :lol:

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Meditation often brings things out of your subconscious. It makes you deal with things you try to cover up. At least that's what I'm parroting from B.K. Frantzis.

:blush:

 

I personally have not noticed anything like that in myself, but maybe I'm just not paying enough attention. Everyone is different.

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like everyone else who has responded, i agree with most of what has already been stated. what i have to say is mostly just a re-ordering or an extension of the same ideas.

 

what your friend is experiencing is actually the POINT of meditation, particularly for beginners. beginners who lack the benefit of a teacher tend to abandon their practice right when the real healing & development process begins. meditation is internal discipline and work, not a daily vacation from the world. anapana, vipassana, and zen are designed to agitate the nervous system, push the neurological conditioning into a mild state of overwhelm, and then stimulate a deeper, more complex reorganization that allows the system to take on more with greater and greater serenity. but before that deeper calm is achieved, the practitioner has to get through that middle passage.

 

your friend should read a meditation book like Breath By Breath or Turning The Mind Into An Ally. or better yet, discuss it with an in-person teacher. but what your friend is experiencing is EXACTLY appropriate. it's not unhealthy; it's just unpleasant. the job is to recognize what is unfolding and allowing it to run its course, neither chasing after the good feelings, nor running away from the bad ones. there's a deeper peace that exists beyond drama of the ups and downs, and THAT'S what we begin to cultivate by simply noticing and allowing the process to take place.

 

some people crawl the walls at zen and vipassana retreats. some people have even made websites calling vipassana a CULT because of all the negative emotions they went through, yet they abandoned the process before it reached completion, so they remained in a somewhat "shell-shocked" state, and they took that to be proof of the evil intent of vipassana. and some people simply don't have the mental/emotional fortitude to endure the necessary work. it's not for everybody.

 

but most often it's just a misunderstanding about what meditation does and what a healthy developmental process looks like. your friend is doing fine, but they've gotta stop jumping ship when the work begins. all that nervous system baggage needs to clear out, but in order for that to happen they need to stay the course.

 

Fantastic response

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I second most of what is written here.

 

I have much of the same experience as the friend in question.

 

Pretty social and outgoing, positive and maybe abit shallow at times -_-

 

Yet during sittings, and many of the static standing positions during practice I go through a kind of hellish nightmare at times. Or it may erupt after a nice mellow practice of peace and space: Suddenly what is supposed to reflect my years of practice instead becomes a scene where one strong emotion or sentiment overtakes the other. I become quite difficult to be around.

 

Most would see this as I am doing something wrong. Intuitively, I feel I'm paying the price for truth. Its something very different than what we believe or think. And its not very "spiritual".

 

Best thing is to make a choice: Either you are following this wherever it takes you or better not start at all.

 

h

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A friend of mine who is very outgoing, social and loves being with and talking to friends.

He likes meditating but has the following experiences when he does.

 

From his email

"Oh and I started meditating again and then stopped again. On the days I meditated, I would get angry more easily, agitated more quickly, and be generally more impatient on the day I do it. I really enjoy it while I'm in it, but it has this effect on me as I go about my life that feels unhealthy"

 

and

 

"last year I just watched my breath. this year i just sit. either think about nothing or just do some "calm abiding." VERY recently (as in, last time i meditated) and wished for the ability to give and receive love to specific people. Same results each time: a disconnect with other people i interact with the next day."

 

Any ideas, help would be appreciated.

 

Sorry, based on the presented facts, your friend did not perform any meditation at all. He was either didn't know how or somebody taught him incorrectly. In his heart, he was full of desire and wished to accomplish something that he is not capable of. As a result, he was frustrated and cannot have a peace of mind.

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Sorry, based on the presented facts, your friend did not perform any meditation at all. He was either didn't know how or somebody taught him incorrectly. In his heart, he was full of desire and wished to accomplish something that he is not capable of. As a result, he was frustrated and cannot have a peace of mind.

 

ya know everyone has to start somewhere - and he not as yet as perfect as you.

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Meditation can leave you ungrounded so he could try doing a closing, just doing something simple like finishing by focusing on the dan tien for a few minutes then brushing down your body with your hands moving any stuck energy and coming back to the body.

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Meditation can leave you ungrounded so he could try doing a closing, just doing something simple like finishing by focusing on the dan tien for a few minutes then brushing down your body with your hands moving any stuck energy and coming back to the body.

 

Excellent suggestion - will pass it on :)

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Meditation can leave you ungrounded so he could try doing a closing, just doing something simple like finishing by focusing on the dan tien for a few minutes then brushing down your body with your hands moving any stuck energy and coming back to the body.

 

I was thinking of maybe some push-ups and tricep lifts (reverse push-ups) to bring him back into the "real world."

 

This video might be helpful too...

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1572962536605659291#

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Fantastic responses, everyone!

 

I wanted to re-post this one, because I think it's worthy of another look:

One other thing I've found useful in circumstances of difficulty that seems to be habitual like this. Suggest to your friend that when he first starts to think about meditating, he notes carefully what happens in both his mind/thinking and his body/feeling. Don't try to change anything, or analyze causes, just observe them. It was mentioned that he becomes angry when he prepares, ask him to identify where in his body he feels the anger--chest, bely, hands, arms, wherever. He should then focus on the physical feeling exclusively (not the mental) and sense what that physical feeling wants his body to do--e.g. to tense his shoulders, clench his fists, pull his torso forward or sideways, bend his head or whatever. Then slowly allow that movement to take place--tensing, stretching etc. until it has completed itself. Repeat as required until the body business is done. After some number of trials, he will find a change in his experience.

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Honest self-evaluation of the precise source of this unease might be very helpful. This eradicates unnecessary trial-and-error experimentations.

 

If the real cause is not identified, then a lot of potentially useful practices, generously recommended by others here, might well go to waste. Upon identification, maybe just a little tweak thereafter will resolve the conflict, thereby saving a lot of time and energy expansion in the process.

 

My practice have been very simple over the years, so i do not know enough to offer any splendid cure for his condition. As i am only familiar with meditation based on the the ways taught by the Buddha, i can recommend that your friend make some effort to reflect on the words of realized Buddhist teachers who have gone before us, and have experienced similar discomforts. Here is one i found that might be of help - http://www.vipassanadhura.com/WayfaringGuideMeditators.html

 

He or she may well be disinterested in Buddhist meditation and the associated means prescribed to strengthen one's meditative efforts, and if so, then kindly disregard this post.

 

Nevertheless, i do wish your friend a smooth transition in finding a way forward.

Edited by CowTao

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Hello there,

 

The movement into silence stirs the chi. So as previous posters noted, many dynamics may arise. It need not be a meditation 'problem' but instead an opportunity.

 

The backlash or reversal of energy following the positive intention has some interesting potential and implication.

 

First I would encourage reversing the meditation. Meaning, he could consider meditating on anger and see if it doesn't bring about peace. This is the principle of yin and yang. By deepening his understanding of the primordial force of anger, he may in turn elicit greater peace in his outward circumstances. I would suggest trying this 1-3 times, in a very contained and regulated/self-aware manner and observing what results it produces. Obviously, if it worsens the condition, I wouldn't advise continuing. But if it starts to alleviate interpersonal symptoms following his meditation, then it may signal that there is a merging in his polarities of anger and peace- unify them into greater equinimity and understanding.

 

My second thought is about the cultivation of 'yi' which is the spirit of the spleen. There appears to be some kind of perversity or friction of his 'mental' intention versus his energetic flow. It may not be his doing or choice, it may be other energies or influences causing this, but in any case, strengthening the yi would assist. One very simple way, is to change the placement of subtle energetic focus in every day life- not with the eyes and mind, so much as the sensory awareness via the water element in the body. This concept makes more sense if you have a background in 5 Phase theory or through guidance with a practitioner.

 

Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, these symptoms or outcomes indicate that before such subtle cultivations like meditation or yi spiritual developments are undertaken, a good look at more physical and lifestyle shifts would be of benefit in preparing his system for the abstract- simple things like exercises or movement to shift energies, dietary habits to purify the system (in his case, something like reduction of hot meats, eliminating caffeine or alcohol are some examples), and more psychological balancing would be useful.

 

This is a quick and very generalized overview by short email that does not express the totality and depth of what is needed and could be done with appropriate understanding and guidance. But I hope it helps to hint toward a momentum that is beneficial to your friend.

 

Best regards to you and your friend, Mila

Edited by Small Fur
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