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Hi guys

Post by NinjaBird » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:02 am

Hi guys,

What's up, I'm from southern California and I'm 18 years old. I go to school at Caltech where I'm a senior physics major. Looking forward to meeting everybody.

Here's the difficulty I've been having: I've been so overwhelmed by my ego my entire life that it's starting to become unbearable. I actually had to take this Fall semester off from school because I wound up in a mental hospital for almost a week. I didn't have anything clinically wrong with me; it's just that the negative feelings that built up my pain body erupted and overwhelmed me. Currently, I'm just staying at home and visiting a therapist once a week, but I don't feel like I'm getting much better. Therefore, I would like to ask you guys a few questions and see what you guys think.

Whenever I do any activity in life, I "should" be doing it just for the sake of enjoying it. However, in practice, my sense of self worth is strongly tied up with my successes and failures in my life endeavors, including studying physics, playing violin, doing sports, doing competitive video games, trying to hit on girls to get a girlfriend, and even doing meditation. I understand intellectually that you shouldn't let the things that happen in the material world define your identity. But emotionally, I get so attached to my successes and failures that it's becoming hard to live life. I hate myself when I can't play the violin exactly right. I hate myself when I loose at starcraft (a competitive video game). I hate myself when I try to hit on a girl and she rejects me. I've never had a girlfriend in my entire life, and I hate myself for that.

So what can I do to fix this problem? The conventional wisdom is that you can't think your way out of this problem, and you can only make progress through meditation. This makes sense to me. After all, I understand intellectually that I shouldn't let my ego dominate my experience of life, but it's impossible for me to put what I understand intellectually to actual practice. Now, I have done meditation in the past, but here's the problem: I get so wound up in the successes and failures in my meditation that it becomes too painful to do. When I have a good half hour of meditation, I think to myself: "Yes! I did a good job focusing on my breath for almost the entire time, and I achieved quite a good state of calmness and beauty! I did well!" But when I have a bad meditation, I think: "I'm so bad at focusing and meditating that I might as well kill myself, for I will never meditate well enough to become enlightened like Eckhart Tolle."

Even spiritual practices beyond standard meditation have been too stressful for me. For example, I've tried to practice mindfulness, where I try to be "in the present moment" as much as posible in my daily life. But that is even more stressful. I always get stressed out as I force myself to be as present as I can. I feel so angry at myself whenever I realize I haven't been present. So even practicing mindfulness has been too much for me.

Honestly, living life is too much for me to handle, and I often wish I were dead. If I were dead, everything would be so peaceful. But unfortunately, Eckhart Tolle tells us that we'll get reincarnated if we die without being enlightened, so the route of suicide won't work. And therefore I'm stuck in the material world, and this really scares me. The only way to transcend the ego and the attachment to the material world is to become enlightened, but let's be realistic here. Very few people in the world get enlightened, and even you guys on this forum who are all old dudes who have been practicing meditation for decades aren't enlightened and never will be in this lifetime. So I'm really discouraged and scared, because I know that I'm essentially doomed to hell for all eternity, where hell is living in this world with an ego.

Anyway, do you guys have any advice?

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Re: Hi guys

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:10 am

Welcome to the forum NinjaBird.

Consider this: there is no litmus tests for life other than those that are self-imposed. And those that are self-imposed are the problem. Winning or losing only matters to a sense of separate identity. But as most people (especially those yet 18 years old) are living in a separate identity focus or perspective, there is a lot of pain that results from the experiences we resist.

Meditation is mostly valuable as a vehicle to quite the mind. With the mind quiet, one becomes more open to insight from one's true self, or Source. However, cultivating an ability to quiet the mind with regularity throughout the day is even more useful and sustaining to a clear and peaceful experience - and to the openness to the insight that is always available. You, the separate feeling you, are never alone. You, the greater you, is always closer than breath to align with.

The reality is is that all experience is valuable in a greater context. Pain or pleasure, clarity or confusion, anger or acceptance. All have great value as experience to and eternal perspective. So don't get overly concerned about self-imposed painful experience. A recent NDEr wrote of the primary message he got from his experience in the non-physical:

"You are loved and cherished beyond measure.
You have nothing to fear.
You can't do anything wrong."

This is a powerful remembrance to live by.

When it is clearly recognized that what we are here in this human experience is but a limited fraction of our whole beingness, come voluntarily for the pure experience of a unique physical environment, it is possible to live in an embracing of all that we encounter simply because everything has value. There is nothing in our experience to fear. There is nothing that we can do that is wrong. And we are worthy of love beyond measure. At 18 years of age, it may be yet a bit of a stretch to find the truth in this, but it is what awaits your understanding if you choose to explore it.


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Re: Hi guys

Post by NinjaBird » Fri May 17, 2013 8:27 pm

Hi everyone!

I know it's been several months since I've posted my introduction so I thought I'd say hi again. Thankfully, I feel a lot better and don't think I'll have suicidal thoughts ever again. During my break from school, I've had a lot of time to reflect.

It seems, Mr. W, that it doesn't even seem necessary to even ask the question: "Am I worthy?" In fact, "Am I worthy" isn't even a valid question. One's "worth" isn't important because it doesn't change the quality of one's life experience. Also, the idea of "worth" seems like an artificial and contrived concept anyway.

I guess the most important thing is to experience life. By this, I mean: feel the mysterious and complex energy that surrounds us in the world we live in. Sometimes, there are happy, positive emotions, and other times, there are negative emotions. Either way, the only necessary thing is to experience these emotions like a musical symphony.

And now meditation just seems like something enjoyable to do. I just enjoy getting into a relaxed space.

I'm not saying everything's perfect, as I still get angry and frustrated sometimes when interacting with others. But I'm working on that.

Thanks Mr. W for your post!

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Re: Hi guys

Post by Onceler » Sat May 18, 2013 12:37 pm

Nice to see the change, ninja bird. As an old dude who is not enlightened, as least in the often conventional bliss sense, your second post describes my own experience well. Everything is perfectly imperfect and I'm easy with that. You will continue to evolve and mature, go up and down, as your sensibilities move towards awareness. I call it the rock tumbler of life. It's quite the ride and we are here to experience every nuance and bump. When I get impatient and want more realization, more bliss, I have to remind myself of what I already know, THIS IS IT!
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Hi guys

Post by rideforever » Sat May 18, 2013 2:32 pm

It is important to have a girlfriend, to experience love and sex. Beautiful things.

You are a bit young to become a celibate monk.

One thing you can do is to take some risks. And then when all the negativity comes, just sit down and watch it - try to remain so present with the negativity that all its secrets are revealed and you burn through it. Over time it can permanently remove the negativity.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

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