Mindfulness... looking for a way out

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emcconnell
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by emcconnell » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:18 pm

Like I said... these methods/techniques are not new to me (and I really have given them a try).

Following techniques like the above mention video:
I bring my focus to the breath (I understand this) thoughts arise, I bring my focus back to the breath while counting the breaths.
With great effort I bring my focus back to the breath (for short times)

I bring my focus to the sensation of my tongue in my mouth (again, I understand this) thoughts arise, I bring my focus back to the sensation of my tongue in my mouth.
With great effort I bring my focus back to the sensation of my tongue in my mouth (for short times)

I am not able to sustain my focus on either for very long without thoughts/feeling/emotion seeping in.

Now this last part is where all of begins to make no sense to me.

Bringing my focus to the sensation of being "me" of what it has always been like to just be me... There is no sensation of "me" there is no recognition of me.
There are only the sensations/thoughts/emotions of fear, anxiety and depression. That is all I get. I get nothing else. This leaves me feeling more than ever that these sensations/thoughts/emotions ARE me.
That there is no deeper me. This leaves me more fearful, anxiety ridden and depressed than before. But now I'm also frustrated that I don't "get this". That I'm doing something "wrong". That "maybe this just isn't for you"

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rideforever
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by rideforever » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:29 pm

I was at the IMC (Internation Meditation Centre) in Chippenham in the UK a year or so ago.

It's a really good centre, they do a relaxed vipassana technique. Basically the breath instructions are just to bring your awareness back to the breath. As the instructor says : again and again, again and again, again and again.

It isn't easy. Really it's a struggle. But, you sit with maybe 40 men on one side, and on the other there are 40 women, who sit in a simple humble fashion, and try. We just try. Together. Everyone in the room knows it's very difficult. We all do our best. Accepting that it is difficult, is part of the whole situation. You hear someone next to you fidgeting or someone moving about anxiously. You know everyone is having difficulty. Everyone.

Sometimes these instructions, well they are maddening. Sometimes you feel relaxed and something good happens, and then you are disturbed again.

But you stay there, with everyone, in a simple good faith. It's like you are taking a journey together. It's a difficult journey.

At that centre they have really good food. They say that it has to be good, because what you are being asked to do is so difficult. The centre would like to help you as much as it can. So when you come out after the morning, maybe 3 hours of meditation, you have tried so hard. You have struggled, in a simple way to help yourself. And you sit at the table with the other people, quietly, and they make nice food for you. They too, the cooks, they do the meditation. They know.

So, this is one route for you.

There are other ones. Ones that involve loving yourself, they are very good to. Wherever you go, there are people who want you to be well. Who want you to be happy.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

emcconnell
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by emcconnell » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:01 pm

At that centre they have really good food. They say that it has to be good, because what you are being asked to do is so difficult. The centre would like to help you as much as it can. So when you come out after the morning, maybe 3 hours of meditation, you have tried so hard. You have struggled, in a simple way to help yourself. And you sit at the table with the other people, quietly, and they make nice food for you. They too, the cooks, they do the meditation. They know.
So, this is one route for you.
I wish that such a "retreat" were possible for me at this point in my life, but unfortunately it is not a possibility. There are just too many real life obligations that I can not ignore. It has been suggested (and tried) a few times in the past that these "real life obligations" are exactly what I need to give up in order to reach this state of "me". So a few times over these years I have tried this and wound up with nothing left in the material and interpersonal world (jobs/houses/relationships). I still found no sense of me. But I was brave (or foolish) enough to give it a try again a few yeas later, with the same result. The re-building process after these attempts was difficult to say the least.
There are other ones. Ones that involve loving yourself, they are very good to. Wherever you go, there are people who want you to be well. Who want you to be happy.
I do understan that there are people who want me to be well (and happy) and I am not discounting that in any way. I have always been (and continue to be) grateful for all of the people who have made the effort to assist along the way.

It's the "loving yourself" part that has always eluded me. If I have no feeling or understanding of "self" how do I love it?

Sistersamm
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by Sistersamm » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:35 pm

Emconnell: I hear your struggle so clearly, I too have been in a place where I saw nothing beyond mind and personality. I could not understand what was meant by "loving the inner being". I knew I loved my children, my family, friends, etc, but I had no love for myself. I had an understanding that there is a Cosmic Consciousness, a link between all of us that makes us more than just human beings, a spirit, a soul if you will. There is a greater Something that we are all a part of. And I saw the absolute value in every single person as a valuable part of that consciousness. But something within my mind set me apart from all of that, somehow. I could not believe that I too was that valuable, that precious. I felt I had some "fatal flaw" that kept me from being like everyone else. (Skipping the totally egotistic selfish aspect of that notion for brevity), I also knew that this belief was false. There was no way I could be the ONLY person in this vast universe who was "different". Didn't know what to do about this cognitive dissonance, but I was aware of it. I read every book I could get my hands on about the subject, about meditation, about gratitude, so many books, and not one of them could I finish because they all insisted that I AM a part of this cosmic consciousness, and my mind could not believe. I tried to meditate for years, only ever coming away with a sense that I'd just sat in a chair for 20 minutes doing nothing, or I fell asleep.

And like you, I seemed to never be able to make anyone understand where I was, they all had these "wonderful" ideas to get me where I wanted to be (which was a state of understanding myself in order to be happy). I don't want to see you give up on all of these wonderful people trying to help you. You (like I was) are trying to make them see what you see, and they don't. They think they do, but they don't understand that you do not have a Self foundation to stand on in order to move out from.

If you believe that there is more to LIFE ITSELF than our human experience, that we are all divine by nature, a part of the Oneness of the universe, then you must learn to believe in your own place within that Oneness. And I don't mean just "yeah, yeah, all that", I mean truly understand how precious and divine YOU are. It took me a very long time to accept my own true value, and I can only believe it came about because I allowed that possibility to rest within me, long before I believed it. I wondered if it were true, I wanted it to be true, but although I did not believe it, I allowed the possibility of its truth to just exist within me. Whenever I was feeling "different" and "outside", I would let that idea float through, "what if....I truly am valuable beyond measure? Wouldn't that be wonderful????" Of course, the belief didn't come just because I said this to myself, but gradually over time, it DID come to me that that idea IS true, and I can embrace it now.

This foundation is critical to growth in the spirit. You cannot build anything without a strong foundation. I had wanted to feel better, to have a happier life, but that was never possible when I believed I was "different, wrong, flawed". If this is where you are within, I want to help you find yourself. You are in there, you are of inestimable value, and you are totally worth whatever you desire in your life.

Don't give up. I am not a teacher, just one more soul on the path to a better way. Please let me know what you think, I care !

:D <3

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rideforever
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by rideforever » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:53 pm

emcconnell wrote:I wish that such a "retreat" were possible for me at this point in my life, but unfortunately it is not a possibility. There are just too many real life obligations that I can not ignore.
I did a few retreats (a few years back now). And they made a massive difference. I went in with all guns blazing, I sat and sat and sat ... and focussed, and was intense, and gave absolutely everything I had to it. And eventually the light cracked through.
I did those retreats on weekends etc... 3 days here, 5 days there ... kind of thing, whilst holding down a normal position in society.
Can you not do the same ?

Your current intensity can be very valuable, it can fuel your intensity.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

emcconnell
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by emcconnell » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:28 pm

Can you not do the same ?
I can not.

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rideforever
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by rideforever » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:52 pm

Why not ? What are your circumstances ?
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

emcconnell
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by emcconnell » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:23 pm

Work (generally 6 days a week 55 - 60 hours)
Family (a two year old daughter) who I get to spend precious little time with because of my work schedule
A marriage that I am hoping to salvage.
An elderly parent that needs assistance.
This does not leave a lot of time in my daily schedule to take off for a few days to work on "me".
This does not really leave much time for "me". Period.

emcconnell
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by emcconnell » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:48 pm

To Sistersamm>

Thank you for your post. And for the most part you pretty much nailed this.
I hear your struggle so clearly, I too have been in a place where I saw nothing beyond mind and personality. I could not understand what was meant by "loving the inner being". I knew I loved my children, my family, friends, etc, but I had no love for myself.
Exactly the way I feel

I had an understanding that there is a Cosmic Consciousness, a link between all of us that makes us more than just human beings, a spirit, a soul if you will. There is a greater Something that we are all a part of. And I saw the absolute value in every single person as a valuable part of that consciousness. But something within my mind set me apart from all of that, somehow. I could not believe that I too was that valuable, that precious. I felt I had some "fatal flaw" that kept me from being like everyone else. (Skipping the totally egotistic selfish aspect of that notion for brevity), I also knew that this belief was false. There was no way I could be the ONLY person in this vast universe who was "different". Didn't know what to do about this cognitive dissonance, but I was aware of it. I read every book I could get my hands on about the subject, about meditation, about gratitude, so many books, and not one of them could I finish because they all insisted that I AM a part of this cosmic consciousness, and my mind could not believe. I tried to meditate for years, only ever coming away with a sense that I'd just sat in a chair for 20 minutes doing nothing, or I fell asleep.
Quite accurate for the most part. Except I do not have an understanding that there IS a "Cosmic Consciousness". I have never understood this. I have tried to just maybe give this theory a "what if" approach and just allow the view that this may be true. I have tried to look at this for years with no more understanding than when I started. If I do not believe this to be true how can I build on beliefs that I do not believe?

I do not believe that I have a "fatal flaw" that stops me from understanding this. I don't think that there is something "wrong" with me. I don't think that I am the only person who is "different". I don't think I am different. So I don't have a belief that "I know is wrong". I do not believe that "I am part of a cosmic consciousness" I do not believe in a "soul". This just leads to more frustration each time I try some new method or technique because this is (generally) the basis.
And like you, I seemed to never be able to make anyone understand where I was, they all had these "wonderful" ideas to get me where I wanted to be (which was a state of understanding myself in order to be happy). I don't want to see you give up on all of these wonderful people trying to help you. You (like I was) are trying to make them see what you see, and they don't. They think they do, but they don't understand that you do not have a Self foundation to stand on in order to move out from.
BINGO! I have never been able to really get anyone to understand, It's as if this ""cosmic consciousness" is assumed to be in everyone. But what if not everyone has this ability? Again, how do you explain the color blue to a blind man?
If you believe that there is more to LIFE ITSELF than our human experience, that we are all divine by nature, a part of the Oneness of the universe, then you must learn to believe in your own place within that Oneness. And I don't mean just "yeah, yeah, all that", I mean truly understand how precious and divine YOU are. It took me a very long time to accept my own true value, and I can only believe it came about because I allowed that possibility to rest within me, long before I believed it. I wondered if it were true, I wanted it to be true, but although I did not believe it, I allowed the possibility of its truth to just exist within me. Whenever I was feeling "different" and "outside", I would let that idea float through, "what if....I truly am valuable beyond measure? Wouldn't that be wonderful????" Of course, the belief didn't come just because I said this to myself, but gradually over time, it DID come to me that that idea IS true, and I can embrace it now.
I do not believe that there is more to life itself than our human experience. I believe in making that experience as happy as possible for those that I love. That IS my place in this experience. I don't think that is wrong or flawed, I think if more people acted this way it would be a better planet.
This foundation is critical to growth in the spirit. You cannot build anything without a strong foundation. I had wanted to feel better, to have a happier life, but that was never possible when I believed I was "different, wrong, flawed". If this is where you are within, I want to help you find yourself. You are in there, you are of inestimable value, and you are totally worth whatever you desire in your life.
Again, I don't feel different, wrong or flawed. I think I'm right and that is the frustrating part. I hear a lot about "accepting" this concept of "oneness with the universe". But what if that belief is different, wrong or flawed? I do believe that I have value and that I'm worth what I desire in my life, but I do not see how this is part of a "cosmic consciousness"
Don't give up. I am not a teacher, just one more soul on the path to a better way. Please let me know what you think, I care !
Thank you very much, I do appreciate your reply and insight.

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rideforever
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by rideforever » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:44 pm

It seems that you have a full schedule and are very busy.

I wonder if really that's the problem. Instead of it a mindfulness problem ... it's just a stress problem. That would make more sense. Getting caught up in your mind one way or another is a totally understandable response to being very stressed.

I don't know to advise, I worked for 10 years in London with a lot of stress and very difficult family situation, and it was only when I approached suicide that ... I changed things. In the end, I just couldn't do it. I felt like I had failed, but actually there was no future in that situation for me. And many good things have happened since then, though I am poorer money-wise.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

Sistersamm
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by Sistersamm » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:48 pm

To Emcconnell:

In my experience, I understand that the practice and purpose of meditation, of mindfulness, spirituality, etc, is all about reaching the Inner Being, the "soul" experience, that fundamental "person" within that is the essence of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.
I do not believe that there is more to life itself than our human experience. I believe in making that experience as happy as possible for those that I love.
If your understanding of life is just what is in front of you, then I don't know how any of this "spiritual" work can help you at all. If you don't believe in the spirit of yourself, these practices will have no purpose. In my opinion, the only thing left for you is to do the common therapy route, and like Abraham Lincoln supposedly said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." And it's all up to your own sense of strength and determination. And your own decisions, right or wrong.

The acceptance of the existence of a "higher power", something more than this earthly experience is a necessary ingredient of spirituality. It appears that you don't have this, so none of the things you have tried in this spiritual pursuit have worked, because they can't.

I am not saying you are wrong in your beliefs, only that you appear to have a belief system that directly opposes the spiritual teachings, therefore, they will not serve you. You cannot 'quiet the mind" if you do not believe there is anything beyond it. Plain and simple.

Please correct me if I have misunderstood. Just want to help.

:D Peace

emcconnell
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by emcconnell » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:43 pm

In my opinion, the only thing left for you is to do the common therapy route
The "common therapy route" IS what brought me to all of these "spiritual" methods/techniques.
That is the problem. These methods have always been suggested to me by therapists over the years once "the common therapy route" does not work for me.
It gets to the point that they understand that this route is not helping and it's "maybe this isn't for you" or "have you tried any of the mindfulness or Zen techniques?"

So the therapy route has actually made things worse (dig up all those old feelings, challenge those automatic beliefs). I don't need to dig them up there are right here on the surface. I can tell them exactly what these feelings/thoughts are and exactly where they come from. When the beliefs are challenged they are not diminished they are proven to be true. This makes it more confusing, depressing and frustrating than ever. So they suggest Mindfulness or Zen techniques. Then when "just watching" my thoughts and emotions as the arise makes them stronger I'm even more confused, depressed and frustrated than before. When I just don't understand this whole belief of "higher powers" or the "true inner me" I get told "maybe this isn't for you" or "have you tried therapy?" All well meaning advice I'm sure, but where does it leave me?

It leaves me with all of my thoughts, emotions, fears and feelings right up on the surface and I am constantly "watching" them (which makes them stronger).
I have been though so many years of this that THIS is my normal, I can not get back to a time when these things were below the surface and causing problems in life. I can not "let them go" they are now not something that can be "let go" that ARE me.

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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:22 pm

emcconnell wrote:I do not believe that there is more to life itself than our human experience.

It seems to me that this closed door is in large part responsible for your fatalistic perspective on your current state of being. Until this is seen clearly it will likely persist - at least while you still reside so exclusively focused in your physical body. I suggest exploring this belief with a genuine willingness to let the truth be what it is. What is the evidence of consciousness beyond this human experience?

There are endless anecdotal stories of those who have experienced worlds more real than this one. NDE's. OBE's. Clairvoyance. Consider making a study of them. There are many who lived in complete denial of such a non-physical reality until they experienced it themselves and then became active advocates for the rest of their lives.

Then there is the emerging science of quantum physics, and the revelation of the Unified Field. A non-physical field that is pure consciousness from which the experience of all physical matter and life emerge.

There is a rich world of exploration available that completely negates the limiting ideology of materialism. If you don't know the breadth and depth of this evidence at heart, then you don't know what lies beyond the closed door. If you are not invested in a particular world view that makes itself right without a fair consideration of what evidence exists, then open the door and look around. What's there is the source of joy and happiness, because it makes sense of all the illusions that the egoic mind can create and lives beyond them.

WW

emcconnell
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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by emcconnell » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:43 pm

It seems to me that this closed door is in large part responsible for your fatalistic perspective on your current state of being. Until this is seen clearly it will likely persist - at least while you still reside so exclusively focused in your physical body. I suggest exploring this belief with a genuine willingness to let the truth be what it is.
I don't think my view is a "fatalistic perspective". I think it is a realistic perspective.
I have explored these beliefs with an open mind for years. I have gained no greater understanding of them.
What is the evidence of consciousness beyond this human experience?
I do not know, I have never personally found any evidence that I can point to and say "well that proves it".
The evidence may be true to you but it is not true to me, and telling myself that it is true does not make it so.
There are endless anecdotal stories of those who have experienced worlds more real than this one. NDE's. OBE's. Clairvoyance. Consider making a study of them. There are many who lived in complete denial of such a non-physical reality until they experienced it themselves and then became active advocates for the rest of their lives.
But that is all they are (to me) "anecdotal stories" I do not see them as proof. If asked, a Scientologist can recite anecdotal stories that prove their "truth" this does not make these truths mine.
This is also true for other organized religions. Is the belief in the "72 virgins" my truth? Is the belief in Immaculate Conception my truth? Again, I am not saying that these beliefs are not true I am open to the fact that they may be. But I have personally found no evidence to support these beliefs. And over the years I have explored various religious beliefs looking for one that I could get my head around and believe in. I have found nothing. Could I be wrong? Hell yeah I could be wrong.
Then there is the emerging science of quantum physics, and the revelation of the Unified Field. A non-physical field that is pure consciousness from which the experience of all physical matter and life emerge.
Emerging, yes. Theory, mostly. Evidence, on some things yes. Does this help me believe in consciousness beyond human form... no. Most of it is far beyond my understanding and the parts that are within my understanding are no help to me in my everyday life. Much the way the study (and understanding) of Aerodynamics and Physics does not help me throw a curve ball. I can understand it and study it until the cows come home but my curve ball is still crap.
There is a rich world of exploration available that completely negates the limiting ideology of materialism. If you don't know the breadth and depth of this evidence at heart, then you don't know what lies beyond the closed door. If you are not invested in a particular world view that makes itself right without a fair consideration of what evidence exists, then open the door and look around. What's there is the source of joy and happiness, because it makes sense of all the illusions that the egoic mind can create and lives beyond them.
I have looked around and given these views a chance. I did not go into all of this attempting to prove (to myself or others) that it is not true. I personally have found no "evidence that it exists". I do not say that "it does not exist" I am not trying to convince anyone that it does not. It simply does not exist for me. I do not say that my particular world view is right (or that other views are wrong) and I have always give other views fair consideration.

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Re: Mindfulness... looking for a way out

Post by treasuretheday » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:05 pm

Webwanderer wrote:There is a rich world of exploration available that completely negates the limiting ideology of materialism.
Beautifully said, WW!

It seems that recognizing the availability of "invisible forces," requires a great deal of overcoming conditioning & early training for many. But even with no previous experience, our desire, curiosity, receptivity, will open doors to Spirit.

Everything is energy, everything is vibrating at a certain frequency. By bringing the higher frequencies of Spirit to the lower frequencies of "problems," they disappear! Once we recognize that there is a formless, invisible source of life & sustenance, we can move to realize, to experience this power. This can not be accomplished intellectually. Our own unique experience can't be substituted.

The spiritual force is everywhere, in everything, in everyone.

Ha, yesterday I visited a well-known psychic in my area. She told me things about my life no one could possibly have "known!" I also learned that kitty cats reincarnate "very quickly, very fast" and that I have two (not one, but two!) angels around me. I realized after the reading, that nothing this woman said seemed outlandish to me. I realized that I believe in clarivoyance, reincarnation, & angels as well as in God & in Jesus & the Holy Spirit too.

I believe that life loves us, emc...in such a grand variety of ways.

Here's an invitation from Rumi:
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshiper,
Lover of leaving--it doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows
A hundred times, a thousand times.
Come, come again, come.

You are welcome into a place where Spirit awaits you in every moment, through every encounter of your life.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child

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