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Tryingtodobetter

How to deal with feelings of unreality?

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What is the best way to deal with persisting feelings of unreality?

 

Ever since i undertook an extended period of meditation years ago i have dealt with these feelings and perception, though it is only in recent time that i have realized just how long i have been experiencing this.

 

Im arriving on the other side of a tumultuous period where i was in and out of psychosis for the better part of the last 3 or 4 years, and in assessing what transpired during that time from a clearer perspective im finding that i have experienced profound feelings of unreality or derealization for almost a decade- every since i had begun serious meditation.

 

Now i know that a lot of this has to do with the illusory and malleable nature of reality itself, though i think its led me to some dark places in the past and is a large part of what is hindering me in certain arenas of life. 

 

Ive been trying to accept that i cant return to the way things were, the way things were before i started meditating and focusing on what is commonly held as the spiritual side of things- although im now of the opinion that that boundary between the mundane and spiritual life is nonexistent. In doing that ive been considering just giving myself to meditation completely because i dont see a way out of this at times unsettling perception, even though i am still unable to fully handle it with grace.

 

What can i do to deal with this?

 

I used to fetishize and consider the perception and some of its effects as special, as a kundalini something. I think part of it was a coping mechanism because my perception had suddenly shifted so drastically from what it was. 

 

I wish i had never ventured into the realm of meditative practice and just got on with my life in the best way i knew how at the time. It feels unneccessary and i havent found a use or application for many of the realizations ive arrived at since that time. I think the promise of peace and purity is what caused me to pursue meditation so seriously, a sort of escapist way of dealing with my problems at the time.

 

I dont think i am the only one dealing with something like this

 

Does it ever make you sad? It makes me feel sad and alienated from people i love and am close to, as if im living in a different realm- not even in a pretentious or arrogant way, in a way where i desperately want to go back and find myself unable to. I guess thats a big part of why im asking this question in the first place

Edited by Tryingtodobetter
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hi Try! My first guess maybe some kind of academic pursuits, engage a more concrete frame of mind as a counterbalance. Like just independently revisiting some basic mathematics or writing practices. Heck even get some coloring books and colored pencils. The repetition and pattern engagement will help solidify your perception. Don't just use digital materials, get the real paper and pigment, and get the different muscles moving to hold the pencils. If you have any family member you can read out loud to, that is also perfect. It's both good practice, and can help to reconnect on personal level. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is a fun book, and is in the public domain.

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I've honestly always viewed life as closer to a game than most people would care to agree with. Dealing with these feelings of reality being mistaken is something that you should be extremely careful with, as it can lead you down some rather dark paths. I will vouch that such a view is more true than not, but it is indeed something rather hard to get used to for most. I've personally found that there's no going back to the "normal" side of things after you've opened this door, so I believe that attempting to accept things as they are is probably the wisest course of action for you. As for methods of improving the emotions around such an existence, I would suggest looking into Buddhist compassion meditation. A simple one that I personally practice is as follows:

 

Relax and quiet the mind. Call up a memory of the feeling of compassion, and attempt to embody said memory. Try to focus on the compassion, eventually beginning to feel the emotion itself, without a memory. Once you begin feeling full compassion, focus on it for as long as possible. 

 

I don't quite remember where I learned this, but it has helped me stabilize myself after going too far in some metaphysical searches before. One other meditation to look into is "tree of life" meditation, but I do not have a good enough script for that for you. Best of luck in figuring this out!

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1 hour ago, Tryingtodobetter said:

What can i do to deal with this?


Get back to the body. Build the foundation.

 

In Daoism (and in other yogic paths as far as I’m aware) you generally don’t begin with meditative practice. You begin with working on your physical body... then your Qi... then your emotional/thinking mind - and only then do you practice meditation.

 

Working this way creates a deep reserve of inner strength, resilience, stability and a sense of well-being along with a clear, calm and powerful energy body.

 

This means that by the time you go and sit on the cushion, your mind is naturally still and at ease - anchored in the body and centred.

 

What you’ve experienced is a form of ‘meditation sickness’. My teacher used to treat a lot of meditators - particularly Chan Buddhist practitioners, and what you describe sounds quite familiar to me. 
 

My teacher used all sorts of approaches to treat people including acupuncture, Qi emission and other more esoteric methods. But the biggest thing he’d insist on is a change in daily habits.

 

The first thing he would recommend is stopping any form of meditation, introspection or energetic practice.

 

He would recommend for the patient to engage outwardly with the world in whatever way possible - working with people, volunteering at the local temple - getting hands dirty and the awareness drawn outside of oneself for as much of the day as possible.

 

The fundamental things like good sleep (not too much or too little) and diet would be important.

 

And the final part was to get the patient engaging in some physical training - stretching, body weight exercise, running and so on. The idea was to build up the intensity of the exercise routine little by little.

 

It usually takes at least a few months of consistent daily effort to begin to see a change... then it can take up to a few years to return to baseline.

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2 hours ago, Tryingtodobetter said:

What is the best way to deal with persisting feelings of unreality?

/... ... /

 

What can i do to deal with this?

So, since @freeform posted while I was writing, I could remove some from my post 😁.

Don't worry, he phrased it better... 

 

When doing meditation leading to emptiness, we train in dissociating some of our normal sensory signals, thus disrupting multisensory integration. 

 

Doing what @freeform stated above will try to fix that. 

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if a true guru has not started and guided a person into deeper forms of meditation then one could get into trouble much easier.  A simple observation/concentration/centering and relaxing session (for instance walking in nice outdoor setting) should be  fine by oneself for body and mind, but in going further it is suggested to have a guide.  Also karma yoga/service should keep us from depression or feelings of unreality which are really a lie or a twisting against the lifeforce which is in, all around and through us and everything else!

Edited by old3bob
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What if tis is just natural feeling and you will never go back?

 

What people forget when starting a serious meditative practice is to have a proper guide who could adress it all on the spot and prescribe grouding procedure according to aspirant’s prefferences.

 

 

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I'd personally stop cultivating and try to find a reputable teacher. I used to try and go it alone and with all the drips of information, it all went very wrong for me also.

 

Meanwhile, take the advice above that integrates as much ordinary activity that distracts you from this current thought process. Keep us posted!

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