Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Here you can introduce yourself to the rest of the members and visitors.

Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby emcconnell » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:55 pm

I have tried various methods of mindfulness, and when I try to “Look at with attention, without thinking about it or participating in it. Contain it whole in your attention. Look at it hard, and it goes away.” The compulsive thinking does NOT go away it gets MUCH worse. It just leads to more and more layers of compulsive thinking. I have read numerous books on “mindfulness” with the same result. The more I try and grasp mindfulness the stronger the compulsive thoughts become. It seems to have the opposite effect. The more I “Look at the thoughts/emotions with attention” the more fuel they have and they burn that much brighter.

I have been trying to get a grip on this for a very long time and I must say that I REALLY am much worse off now than I was when I began this process. It’s to the point where almost all thought is compulsive and this is causing incredible difficulty in my daily existence. I’m at my wits end with all of this and now I can not even see (or believe in) a way out. Admittedly things were not great before I started down this path of mindfulness (or I wouldn’t have sought out the path to begin with), but now they are SO much worse.

This “mindfulness” seems (to me) like I’m being asked to “just watch” my thoughts/beliefs/reactions and accept them without judging them. I understand that the old thoughts/beliefs/reactions are not working, I am NOT defending that. But, my mind created these thoughts & beliefs, so why would I trust it to see alternatives? As I understand it the “watching” is intended to bring clarity and to see the thoughts/beliefs/reactions as they arise. It seems to me it’s an exercise in futility. What my mind has created is pain and unhappiness so why would my mind be trusted to destroy what it has created. It does not want to destroy it. It wants to perpetuate the cycle. It is essential for my mind to perpetuate this cycle in order for it to survive. My mind perceives this as a death threat and acts accordingly. So to me trusting my mind to fix the situation that it created is like leaving the fox to guard the hen house.

The more I try to be “the watcher” the stronger the thoughts/beliefs/reactions become. When I started looking into mindfulness I went in with an open mind with the understanding that some of these thoughts/beliefs/reactions may not fit the situation that I am applying them to in “the now”. But the more I “watch” them as they arise the more convinced I am than ever that my thoughts/beliefs/reactions are correct. So this process has not made any of these “go away” it has pretty much cast them in stone as absolutes which should never be questioned.

It all reminds me of years ago when I went to a Hypnotists to quit smoking. It was three sessions and there were five people in the group. I attended the first session (again with an open mind). When the group went back for the second session were were asked three questions:
1. Who is smoking less (2 people raised their hands)
2. Who is smoking the same amount (2 people raised their hands).
3. Who is smoking more (I raised my hand).

At this point I was told that “there is nothing I can do for you, and that my money would be refunded”. So my good intentions of quitting smoking made me go from a pack a day to 2 packs a day. It’s the same with mindfulness (for me) and my compulsive thinking habit is now at about 10 packs a day.

At this point I am wishing that I had never ventured down this path, because unfortunately I neglected to leave a trail of bread crumbs to follow so that I could get back to where I started.
emcconnell
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby rideforever » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:05 pm

Yes, you seem to be wrapped up in mind and more mind.

Luckily for you and for us there are answers, so hang in there.

It seems that at this point you are not quite ready to do what you are attempting to do. You need to do another exercise first to give you a foundation. The traditional one is to "watch the breath". Meaning that you retreat to the body, and your very breathing, and relax into the breathing pattern. I will post some links below.

Now what we are trying to do, is to calm the whole situation down. So that the clouds will lift, and that you have some space to see what is going on. And if you do this exercise of "watching the breathing" then after some time, and with this new space, you will be able to do those practices with mindfulness of thoughts.

Perhaps right now, your mind is saying : "oh this is B*S*, this all a load of Cr*p".

Well, please see that for what it is ... your mind doing everything to avoid you coming out of it ! Perhaps you can have a sense of humour about it's ridiculous games.

Life is just simple, it's just one breath, and then another breath, and then another.

So, try these links :


Kim Eng - Guided Breathing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67SeR3LxtdI

Tara Brach - Sacred Pause
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-yF9EMkE88&list=PLa0lW66R3ziBmB7_-uwvwG1gk9cwCiVS0
.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small
User avatar
rideforever
 
Posts: 1513
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Location: Hove

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby rachMiel » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:45 am

Sounds to me like you need a happy little rumspringa from all this mindfulness stuff. :-)

Can you "give yourself the permission" to drop it? For as long as it takes for you to be back in balance ... at which point you can re-evaluate your relationship with mindfulness.

During your rumspringa relax, have fun, indulge yourself, BE yourself. Tread softly and gently with yourself. Brain needs to be healthy and calm in order for spirituality to flower.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2419
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby kiki » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:25 am

Yeah, take a break for a while and when you feel like it take up a different practice. rideforever has given some good suggestions. Another idea is to take a physical activity and totally immerse yourself in it, focusing solely on the mechanics of it and the how the body feels as you are doing it. Each time you find yourself thinking about something dive back into the felt sensations of performing your activity. This could be something as simple as washing the dishes, vacuuming the rug, riding a bike, swimming, walking - anything where you are physically engaged.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---
Your donation will help keep us online.
User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4363
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby Onceler » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:13 pm

Absolutely know this anxiety intimately. It makes you feel that you are going crazy.... I spent months, maybe years in this state and it is hell. I would agree with the others, move your focus to the external. Forget mindfulness (internal focus) for awhile and get lost in the environment outside you. Mindfulness can be an external focus as much as an internal focus.....

There is nothing wrong with you that a shift of attention can't address. Exercise is very good, keep moving. I guess the bigger question is why are you so keen on mindfulness when it causes so much pain? Question that.....one technique I found to work powerfully in the long run, 3-4 months, is John Sherman's looking technique. It is more psychological than spiritual. Simply look at yourself and get a sense of what it feels like to be you.....a quick fraction of a second look, don't stay there and obsess! Do this whenever you think of it, then return your attention to the wonderful external world around you. I found that my fear and anxiety went away completely in several months. The habituated conditioning takes longer to dismantle, but the fear goes.
Be present, be pleasant.
User avatar
Onceler
 
Posts: 2198
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:42 pm

emcconnell wrote:I have tried various methods of mindfulness, and when I try to “Look at with attention, without thinking about it or participating in it. Contain it whole in your attention. Look at it hard, and it goes away.” The compulsive thinking does NOT go away it gets MUCH worse. It just leads to more and more layers of compulsive thinking. I have read numerous books on “mindfulness” with the same result.

This is a problem with simple mindfulness. It can suck you in deeper to the problem thinking when not seen in the intended context. The point in mindfulness is only to recognize that you are not what you are thinking. It's a running tape of thought. When you see that clearly you can start a new tape of your choosing. It's the critical second step that will effectively influence a change in experience.

It's a matter of entrainment. Much of our thinking is a result of thinking the same thoughts so frequently that they become automatic. Emotions are a primary driver to what we think about. While this can be a big problem, as you have discovered, it can also be a life line. Rather than focusing on what you don't want, focus on what you do want. Interest is also a powerful driver to thought and can stimulate strong emotions as well. Put a preferred thought together with emotion/feeling and you re-entrain your automatic thought processes. Where once there was automatic focus on the negative, reconditioning can just as automatically trigger a positive refocus.

Energy follows your focus of attention. Brain processes are holographic in nature and are strengthened by consistent and/or intense focus. It sees and responds to internal pictures by making them real in our perception. This is why focusing on problem thinking beyond the initial recognition that it's active is counterproductive. It simply reinforces the mental picture which reinforces the direction of experience.

So begin a process of refocusing your attention and emotionally charge a new preferred direction in your thought picturing. In time you will re-entrain your overall thought hologram and different, more preferred, thought will begin to emerge out of it. It is a matter of reconditioning. You are conditioned in one way now. Recognize the conditioned thought as simply historical conditioning and set a new course with your focus of attention. See and feel your way to a preferred perception of reality. Redo the mind hologram and your life experience will change accordingly.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6278
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby emcconnell » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:45 pm

"The point in mindfulness is only to recognize that you are not what you are thinking. It's a running tape of thought. When you see that clearly you can start a new tape of your choosing. It's the critical second step that will effectively influence a change in experience."

I fully understand that I am "not what I am thinking" but my mind created this tape. I have tried a million times to "start a new tape of my choosing" but my mind is also creating this new tape (the same way it created the old one).
How can a mind that has created a tape that causes so much unhappiness be trusted to create a new one? And for the most part when I attempt this I am met with numerous examples (every day) that just solidify that fact that original tape was better. But now I'm so caught up in "watching" my thoughts/feeling/emotions that I can't get the old tape to play anymore.

"Rather than focusing on what you don't want, focus on what you do want."
Isn't this suggesting that I get out of the "now" and focus on a future that is perceived to be better than what I have now?

I thought that this was all about focusing on and accepting what is going on "now".
And focusing on the "now" creates more compulsive thinking about what is happening "now". I'm not dwelling on the past or hoping for a better future (I hold no hope for that, nor do I think I should).
I don't dwell in the past or have compulsive thoughts about the future. I have compulsive thinking regarding the "now". Past or future don't really figure into the equation for me other than to color my perception of events.

It has been suggested that I "evaluate all experiences independent of memories or preconceived notions". I totally understand this on an intellectual basis... But to actually do it?
I do not believe that this is possible for anyone to do. As nice as it sounds I believe that this can not be done. All of our experiences are looked at through our own (unique) set of lenses and they color what we see (no matter how hard we try to not let them). And if you keep sticking you hand in the fire you will continue to get burned, this is not preconceived notion, this is a fact. So if the same responses keep arising over and over again in everyday life after a while you learn what these responses will be. After years and years of this are they really preconceived notions or are they fact? I believe that they are fact (so to me they are fact). I have had various therapists have me do exercises over the years that challenge my "preconceived notions" and every time I have done this the outcome that I said would happen did indeed happen. So every time this happens it just solidifies my "tape" as the truth. This hurts more and more each time. This leaves me a little more confused and unwilling to challenge these beliefs each time. It's to the point where I'm pretty much out of beliefs that they would like me to challenge. Therapy (like mindfulness) has left me more unhappy than I was when I started.

"So begin a process of refocusing your attention and emotionally charge a new preferred direction in your thought picturing. In time you will re-entrain your overall thought hologram and different, more preferred, thought will begin to emerge out of it. It is a matter of reconditioning. You are conditioned in one way now. Recognize the conditioned thought as simply historical conditioning and set a new course with your focus of attention. See and feel your way to a preferred perception of reality. Redo the mind hologram and your life experience will change accordingly".

Again, my mind created the direction that it is in now and has always been in, how can it be trusted to create a "preferred direction". How can it be trusted to be objective?
Is a "preferred perception of reality" actually reality. I don't believe that it is. Reality is reality, it is not what I would "prefer" it to be. I can not change reality. Isn't focusing on a preferred perception of what I would like reality to be just the mind's way of avoiding reality?
emcconnell
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:11 pm

emcconnell wrote:How can a mind that has created a tape that causes so much unhappiness be trusted to create a new one?

That's like saying 'how can a shovel that dug me into a hole be trusted to dig a path back out?'. It's not the shovel nor the mind. It's you that is beyond shovel and mind. Yes, you're in a hole of negative experience, but the same tool that got you into it is capable of getting you out. It's your willful and consistent focus of attention.

Do you ever feel good? What got you there? Keep that in mind whenever possible. When you fall back in the old thought habits, make less of it. If it doesn't matter so much unless you make it so. It will become material in your experience less often and with less intensity as you see it as unimportant. Well established patterns can take some time to reset. Commit to the end result of a better life experience, or stay where you're at and complain. Complaining however, will only serve to reinforce your present experience.

I recommend spending lots of time in nature, or with beautiful music. Anything that uplifts you. Pay close attention when you feel good. Don't think so much about it, just know the feel of it, bask in it - 'breathe' deeply into it. When you do this your brain/mind stores the experience as information holographically. In time, whatever you perceive as important enough to focus on, will replace that which you discount as a primary perspective.

Isn't this suggesting that I get out of the "now" and focus on a future that is perceived to be better than what I have now?

No. It's not about the future. It's about a present preference. The mind makes little distinction on what is deemed 'real' and what is envisioned when it comes to storing information to draw upon. All of it is just energy vibrating across a holographic spectrum. Focus on what you prefer in this now, not for some future. It may be that the experience of this moment is too intense to imagine something enjoyable. But you can discount the negative while it's happening and look for opportunities to focus on the enjoyable when conditions are more conducive.

I thought that this was all about focusing on and accepting what is going on "now"

It is about accepting what is, but it's not 'all'. Accepting is an important beginning. It is the space in which the negatives of experience and thought can be discounted and/or placed in a manageable perspective.

(I hold no hope for that, nor do I think I should).

Why not? Why not enjoy some hope if it's a step up from despair,(so long as you don't overly invest in it, and you're okay with however life unfolds), and why do you think you shouldn't? I'm not suggesting you should stay there, but if it offers an improvement and a step toward greater clarity, out of the morass of negativity, why not make use of it?

Consider the matter of consciousness vibration. There is a spectrum, or range, all along the experience of consciousness vibration. The painful end vibrates one way, the joyful end vibrates another. There are many possibilities all along the spectrum. Our job is to manage our conscious vibration in exploring the life experiences we choose. We are choosing anyway, consciously or by default, so why not get more directive if it's possible?

I have compulsive thinking regarding the "now".

Consider that compulsive thoughts are the result of past conditioning on how one perceives the now. That's why they seem automatic. They are entrenched. Begin to discount them and consider them irrelevant whenever they arise. Whatever you believe about the now is just that - a belief. It doesn't even matter if it is true, it's still a belief that it matters in this way or that. Change the belief and the experience of the 'now' changes with it. Whatever comes out the other side of a new belief will seem just as true if not more so. In some ways we are believing machines - machines that are programmable.

It has been suggested that I "evaluate all experiences independent of memories or preconceived notions". I totally understand this on an intellectual basis... But to actually do it?
I do not believe that this is possible for anyone to do. As nice as it sounds I believe that this can not be done.

So long as you hold this belief, it will continue to appear to be so. There are those however, who 're-conceived' preconceived notions, and went on to totally different experiences of life. Tolle was one who did so in a single experience. Others have taken considerable time and process. Both are possible and well worth the exploration.

All of our experiences are looked at through our own (unique) set of lenses and they color what we see... So if the same responses keep arising over and over again in everyday life after a while you learn what these responses will be. After years and years of this are they really preconceived notions or are they fact? I believe that they are fact (so to me they are fact).

If they were truly facts, would they not be the same for everyone. Yet your first sentence here recognizes that we each see through our own lens. Maybe it's not the conditions at hand we should be looking at, but the lenses through which we perceive.

Again, my mind created the direction that it is in now and has always been in, how can it be trusted to create a "preferred direction". How can it be trusted to be objective?

Your mind may have created the direction that it is now in but it likely did so by default. I don't think you would intentionally choose ongoing pain. And yes, it may be deeply entrenched, but it is not a separate entity. It is acting as the fearful master when its true position in life is responsive servant. Let go of the belief that it is separate and acting on its own. It's acting according to its programming. There is no need for judgment right or wrong. It's just doing what it does. But you are its master. It may be a little out of control at this moment, but it will respond to a strong and consistent hand.

For your own well being, and access to reestablishing control, stop arguing for how it can't be done. That is its main fuel for giving it its own perceived autonomy. It may well be your entire life's work. If so, so be it. There will be many successes and setbacks all along the way, but however it comes out, the effort alone to see clearly and enjoy life will be well worth it. Never give up. Life experience is the only game in town and it awaits your guiding hand.

Is a "preferred perception of reality" actually reality. I don't believe that it is. Reality is reality, it is not what I would "prefer" it to be. I can not change reality

The only thing that is 'real' is experience. Even modern science is bearing this out. Explore the science of quantum mechanics. In spite of the 'facts' that the life we see appears solid and material, there is no such thing as 'matter'. There is only the 'appearance' of matter. At its fundamental base, everything we see and experience is but 'waves' of vibration. The only time something appears as matter is when it is observed. Don't take my word for it, do you own investigation. Look up and explore 'The Holographic Universe'. Particles of matter only seem to exist while being observed. The rest of the time there are only waves in the form of vibration. So what is real? Only our experience is real. The only facts are facts of experience, and they are as much related to the lenses through which we view life as they are the conditions of our experience.

Isn't focusing on a preferred perception of what I would like reality to be just the mind's way of avoiding reality?

To an extent, yes. More fully, it is our way of avoiding one perceived reality and creating the experience of a preferred one. This is my own experience and therefore my 'reality'. Again, the only reality is what we experience. Everything else is appearance - or illusion. There were years when I lived in degrees of depression. 'Now' I discount (not deny) those experiences that don't serve my preferred interests, and then refocus my attention when conditions allow on what I do prefer. I find it quite effective. Life still has its challenges, but it's a lot more enjoyable. It can be for you too, unless you hold on to "can't".

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6278
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby emcconnell » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:14 pm

"That's like saying 'how can a shovel that dug me into a hole be trusted to dig a path back out?'. It's not the shovel nor the mind. It's you that is beyond shovel and mind. Yes, you're in a hole of negative experience, but the same tool that got you into it is capable of getting you out. It's your willful and consistent focus of attention".


But the shovel is obviously flawed and does not dig in a straight line. The shovel is not to be trusted.
I read a lot about the "me that is beyond the mind". But beyond the mind I find nothing

"Do you ever feel good? What got you there? Keep that in mind whenever possible. When you fall back in the old thought habits, make less of it. If it doesn't matter so much unless you make it so. It will become material in your experience less often and with less intensity as you see it as unimportant. Well established patterns can take some time to reset. Commit to the end result of a better life experience, or stay where you're at and complain. Complaining however, will only serve to reinforce your present experience"


No, I never feel good. I do not know how to get to that state and I never have. I do not complain about my life (or anything else for that matter) I do not believe in the whole "woah is me" mindset. And have very little tolerance for those who do.. I am just trying to understand my life and perhaps find a better way. This is what leased me to mindfulness.

"I recommend spending lots of time in nature, or with beautiful music. Anything that uplifts you. Pay close attention when you feel good. Don't think so much about it, just know the feel of it, bask in it - 'breathe' deeply into it. When you do this your brain/mind stores the experience as information holographically. In time, whatever you perceive as important enough to focus on, will replace that which you discount as a primary perspective".

Again, I do not have anything that "uplifts me". I run every morning along a path through the woods and have been a musician and artist for all of my adult life.
None of these things uplifts me or makes me happy. They are just what I do to 1. stay healthy and 2. Pay the bills.



Isn't this suggesting that I get out of the "now" and focus on a future that is perceived to be better than what I have now?

"No. It's not about the future. It's about a present preference. The mind makes little distinction on what is deemed 'real' and what is envisioned when it comes to storing information to draw upon. All of it is just energy vibrating across a holographic spectrum. Focus on what you prefer in this now, not for some future. It may be that the experience of this moment is too intense to imagine something enjoyable. But you can discount the negative while it's happening and look for opportunities to focus on the enjoyable when conditions are more conducive."


But what I am saying is that I can not imagine something enjoyable. I am not discounting "enjoyable" events and clouding them with negative thoughts. There are no enjoyable events.

I thought that this was all about focusing on and accepting what is going on "now"

"It is about accepting what is, but it's not 'all'. Accepting is an important beginning. It is the space in which the negatives of experience and thought can be discounted and/or placed in a manageable perspective."

I do accept what is. That does not mean that I have to like it or agree with it or endorse it.
I have never found this "space" where the negative can be discounted. What if negative really is "what is".

(I hold no hope for that, nor do I think I should).

Why not? Why not enjoy some hope if it's a step up from despair,(so long as you don't overly invest in it, and you're okay with however life unfolds), and why do you think you shouldn't? I'm not suggesting you should stay there, but if it offers an improvement and a step toward greater clarity, out of the morass of negativity, why not make use of it?


Because it has never materialized ion any way shape or form. So "hope" just gives the false expectation that things will be better. Once that hope has been dashed enough time you pretty much stop hoping. It's a LOT less painful.

"Consider the matter of consciousness vibration. There is a spectrum, or range, all along the experience of consciousness vibration. The painful end vibrates one way, the joyful end vibrates another. There are many possibilities all along the spectrum. Our job is to manage our conscious vibration in exploring the life experiences we choose. We are choosing anyway, consciously or by default, so why not get more directive if it's possible?"


I have never experienced a "joyful vibration". I am not choosing the painful vibration over the joyful vibration. There is no choice to make.



I have compulsive thinking regarding the "now".

"Consider that compulsive thoughts are the result of past conditioning on how one perceives the now. That's why they seem automatic. They are entrenched. Begin to discount them and consider them irrelevant whenever they arise. Whatever you believe about the now is just that - a belief. It doesn't even matter if it is true, it's still a belief that it matters in this way or that. Change the belief and the experience of the 'now' changes with it. Whatever comes out the other side of a new belief will seem just as true if not more so. In some ways we are believing machines - machines that are programmable.


As I said I have systematically attempted to "discount" these beliefs for years in therapy (with horrible results)
They are now more entrenched as absolute truth more than ever before.

It has been suggested that I "evaluate all experiences independent of memories or preconceived notions". I totally understand this on an intellectual basis... But to actually do it?
I do not believe that this is possible for anyone to do. As nice as it sounds I believe that this can not be done.

"So long as you hold this belief, it will continue to appear to be so. There are those however, who 're-conceived' preconceived notions, and went on to totally different experiences of life. Tolle was one who did so in a single experience. Others have taken considerable time and process. Both are possible and well worth the exploration".


Again, I believe that this is just the mind convincing you that you are seeing each experience without regard to past or future. I do not believe this is actually happening.

All of our experiences are looked at through our own (unique) set of lenses and they color what we see... So if the same responses keep arising over and over again in everyday life after a while you learn what these responses will be. After years and years of this are they really preconceived notions or are they fact? I believe that they are fact (so to me they are fact).

"If they were truly facts, would they not be the same for everyone. Yet your first sentence here recognizes that we each see through our own lens. Maybe it's not the conditions at hand we should be looking at, but the lenses through which we perceive."

Facts are not the same for everyone because everyone has not had the exact same set of life experiences.
The lenses are formed by our life experiences and will always be our lenses. You can pretend that they are not there but they are you just don't realize it or you'e convinced yourself that they are not there. You can not un-ring a bell.


Again, my mind created the direction that it is in now and has always been in, how can it be trusted to create a "preferred direction". How can it be trusted to be objective?

"Your mind may have created the direction that it is now in but it likely did so by default. I don't think you would intentionally choose ongoing pain. And yes, it may be deeply entrenched, but it is not a separate entity. It is acting as the fearful master when its true position in life is responsive servant. Let go of the belief that it is separate and acting on its own. It's acting according to its programming. There is no need for judgment right or wrong. It's just doing what it does. But you are its master. It may be a little out of control at this moment, but it will respond to a strong and consistent hand".


Separate and acting on its own, a separate entity? In no way shape or form do I believe this. It IS me.
There is no separate being.


"For your own well being, and access to reestablishing control, stop arguing for how it can't be done. That is its main fuel for giving it its own perceived autonomy. It may well be your entire life's work. If so, so be it. There will be many successes and setbacks all along the way, but however it comes out, the effort alone to see clearly and enjoy life will be well worth it. Never give up. Life experience is the only game in town and it awaits your guiding hand."


I am not arguing that it can not be done (or I would have given up a long time ago). And it has been my life's work for 15 years. The issue that I am trying to deal with here is there there have been no successes only setbacks. And I was seeing more clearly before I started on the path of mindfulness, but now there is no way back.

Is a "preferred perception of reality" actually reality. I don't believe that it is. Reality is reality, it is not what I would "prefer" it to be. I can not change reality

The only thing that is 'real' is experience. Even modern science is bearing this out. Explore the science of quantum mechanics. In spite of the 'facts' that the life we see appears solid and material, there is no such thing as 'matter'. There is only the 'appearance' of matter. At its fundamental base, everything we see and experience is but 'waves' of vibration. The only time something appears as matter is when it is observed. Don't take my word for it, do you own investigation. Look up and explore 'The Holographic Universe'. Particles of matter only seem to exist while being observed. The rest of the time there are only waves in the form of vibration. So what is real? Only our experience is real. The only facts are facts of experience, and they are as much related to the lenses through which we view life as they are the conditions of our experience.

I totally understand The Holographic Universe (as well as any layman can) and I have no problem with that, but this does nothing to stop compulsive thinking.

Isn't focusing on a preferred perception of what I would like reality to be just the mind's way of avoiding reality?

"To an extent, yes. More fully, it is our way of avoiding one perceived reality and creating the experience of a preferred one. This is my own experience and therefore my 'reality'. Again, the only reality is what we experience. Everything else is appearance - or illusion. There were years when I lived in degrees of depression. 'Now' I discount (not deny) those experiences that don't serve my preferred interests, and then refocus my attention when conditions allow on what I do prefer. I find it quite effective. Life still has its challenges, but it's a lot more enjoyable. It can be for you too, unless you hold on to "can't"."


Then this "preferred reality" is not reality any more than the "perceived unhappy" reality is actually reality.
Calling it an "illusion" does not make it so.

I don't think we can ever totally "discount" any of our life experiences. I think if we try they just manifest themselves in different ways.
And what if I do not have a vision of "what I do prefer"/
emcconnell
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:03 pm

With no more time than you took to consider this it's no wonder you're having such a tough time perceiving a way out. Exploration of possibilities could take a bit more time in the chair than the hour it took you to respond so negatively. You argue much harder for your rightness in your pain than you do in exploring ways to clarity and empowerment. No one can force clarity and understanding upon you. It's solely your responsibility. Others can offer pointers, but it is you who must set foot upon the path.

No, I never feel good. I do not know how to get to that state and I never have. I do not complain about my life (or anything else for that matter) I do not believe in the whole "woah is me" mindset. And have very little tolerance for those who do.. I am just trying to understand my life and perhaps find a better way. This is what leased me to mindfulness.

I don't believe for a minute that you've never smiled and honest smile. There's simply too much over the course of a lifetime that is beautiful - sunrises, flowers, music, newborns, fresh air, resting in a comfortable bed, a delicious meal, insight, inspiration, understanding, opportunities for light heartedness are endless.

If indeed you 'never' feel good at present, what do you imagine might bring a measure of happiness to your experience? Indulge me. What can you imagine might be even one step better than the pain you feel? What could you appreciate if you experienced it? Make a list and post it here - if your serious about finding a better experience.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6278
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby emcconnell » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:27 pm

With no more time than you took to consider this it's no wonder you're having such a tough time perceiving a way out. Exploration of possibilities could take a bit more time in the chair than the hour it took you to respond so negatively. You argue much harder for your rightness in your pain than you do in exploring ways to clarity and empowerment. No one can force clarity and understanding upon you. It's solely your responsibility. Others can offer pointers, but it is you who must set foot upon the path.


Is this supposed to be funny?
You seems to be assuming that I have just started this process.
The hour that I took?
I have been struggling with this my whole life (yes my whole life 52 years) that's just a little more that an hour.
I have been attempting to practice mindfulness for 15 years. Again just slightly more than an hour.
I am in no way arguing, I am just stating the facts (as I see and feel them) I am sorry if you perceived this as arguing. That is not my intent.
Your above reply seems more of an argument than my post (again as i see it).

I am not arguing for the rightness of my pain, I am just attempting to explain it to the best of my limited ability.
I am not looking for anyone to "force" clarity on me and I fully understand that it is my responsibility (did I indicate otherwise?).
The "path" is what I am seeking pointers on, I set foot on this path 15 years ago and I can quite honestly say that I am in worse shape for having been on this path. Again, not complaining or defending my right to be in pain just stating a fact.

No, I never feel good. I do not know how to get to that state and I never have. I do not complain about my life (or anything else for that matter) I do not believe in the whole "woah is me" mindset. And have very little tolerance for those who do.. I am just trying to understand my life and perhaps find a better way. This is what leased me to mindfulness.

I don't believe for a minute that you've never smiled and honest smile. There's simply too much over the course of a lifetime that is beautiful - sunrises, flowers, music, newborns, fresh air, resting in a comfortable bed, a delicious meal, insight, inspiration, understanding, opportunities for light heartedness are endless.


I am sorry if you do not believe this. Why is it so hard to believe?
From my point of view I have a hard time believing that a state of calm and happiness can be achieved, but I do not feel that I don't believe for a minute that it can be achieved.
I do believe it can be achieved that's why I'm still trying.
Perhaps there are other mind sets and points of view than your own, is that so hard to believe. Hell. If I can believe it anyone can
That is your opinion, you do not know me or my life experiences. I assure you that this is my truth, you can "not believe it for a minute" if you so choose.

If indeed you 'never' feel good at present, what do you imagine might bring a measure of happiness to your experience? Indulge me. What can you imagine might be even one step better than the pain you feel? What could you appreciate if you experienced it? Make a list and post it here - if your serious about finding a better experience.

THAT my friend IS the problem... I do not have a list. I do not even know where to look.
It would be like trying to describe the color blue to a blind man.
emcconnell
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:00 am

If you like facts, I'll share some with you. I'm years older than you. I've been exploring life consciously for much longer than you. And unlike you, I've gotten excellent results from my efforts. Life for me is mostly a joy. It wasn't always easy. It's not always easy. I know what it's like to be in a pit, and I know how I climbed out of it. My apologies if I've offended you in attempting to point out some of what was effective in my own experience and share some of my own insights.

As it seems I have nothing of value to offer you, I'll simply wish you well. In the greater reality you are an extension of Source energy regardless of how you currently view life. We all are. Our experience in this physical form, whether painful or joyful, matters not to the truth of our being. You and I and all life are Love expressed. Seeing it or not is irrelevant to being true. In that, I know it will be, and is, all valuable in the greater reality.

It's clear to me that you don't recognize your true nature (Love) at present. You couldn't and be in the pain that you are in. That said, I also know that that recognition is yet available, awaiting the right opening to shine into your consciousness. My suggestions in this thread are an effort to answer your request for help. Maybe they are not right for you in these circumstances. Hopefully, something else is. Kiki may have the best recommendation in setting it all aside for awhile. Months or maybe years, and just be with life without trying to figure anything out. Maybe in a quiet moment an insight will come that opens the doors.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6278
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby ashley72 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:38 am

emconnell wrote:At this point I am wishing that I had never ventured down this path, because unfortunately I neglected to leave a trail of bread crumbs to follow so that I could get back to where I started.


It's all about utter acceptance to everything. Your post gives me insight into your resistance to "What is".

When your thinking is not aligned with the reality around you... suffering arises.

Stop wishing you never ventured down this path and turn it around 180 degrees... to just laughing about it all... That will align you with reality and the suffering will disappear.

The fact is you've become obsessive and compulsive about all this "spirituality" stuff and that is now your new reality. Utter acceptance is the key. Just accept it all and the grip will release... and the compulsive thinking will subside.

All your thoughts are constantly arguing with your reality... can you see this?

emconnell wrote:The compulsive thinking does NOT go away it gets MUCH worse.


You wish this wasn't happening...but it is... Your fighting it all...it's insane.

Just accept, accept, accept... Nothing more to do. As the thoughts start aligning more with reality the suffering will disappear.

I agree with Kiki and others go do something external to this compulsive self-monitoring. Shift your attention to activities like gardening, cooking etc that turn your thoughts away from the self in a natural way... it can't be forced otherwise the self-monitoring will still be present.

On a personal note.... I've spent the past few months landscaping my backyard with landscape steps and retaining wall. I don't do any self-monitoring when attending to these activities, several hours can past with not a single thought about self. I don't suffer at all during these intervals... join the dots!
User avatar
ashley72
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby emcconnell » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:30 pm

It's clear to me that you don't recognize your true nature (Love) at present.

This always seems to be one of the key points to all of this.

I have absolutely no understanding of what that even is. I keep reading about "true nature", "inner self" or my "being, beyond physical form and thought"... but I find nothing there.
(For me) there is nothing beyond physical form and thought.

Reminds me of an old Bill Cosby joke:
Back in the 80's when all of Hollywood was into Cocaine Bill asked someone "I've heard a lot about Coke, can you tell me what it's like?"
The person replied: "It's great, it intensifier your personality"
To which Cosby replied: What if you're an a@@hole?


Kiki may have the best recommendation in setting it all aside for awhile. Months or maybe years, and just be with life without trying to figure anything out. Maybe in a quiet moment an insight will come that opens the doors.


I have looked and looked and tried various methods/techniques over the years. All this has done is focus my compulsive thinking more and more and give it more strength.
I have tried to "put it down" for awhile over the years but that has become impossible. That is why my original post was titled "looking for a way out". Being the watcher of my compulsive thinking has itself turned into a monster that is much worse that the original compulsive thinking that I was trying to ease. This monster gained so much strength that it became the norm. Try as I may to "put it down" I can not. It's not like I'm compulsively reading every scrap of information that I can find about this (I'm not) but it the way my mind functions now and I can not stop it (the same way I could not stop the original compulsive thinking). I am a compulsive thinker, that is what lead me to this path in the first place. I had no idea how to stop this compulsive thinking. Now that the compulsive thoughts are that much stronger I REALLY don't have a way to stop them.
emcconnell
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Postby emcconnell » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:33 pm

Kiki may have the best recommendation in setting it all aside for awhile.


Who is Kiki? I can not see any posts to this thread form Kiki?
emcconnell
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Next

Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest