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Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:01 am
by Placebo
So I know that awareness isin't supposed to be strained attention but when I completely let go of everything to relax then I end up getting stuck in the pain body (trying to fight it) without even realizing it.

A good example would be that I get a strong emotion, so I go into my body to watch and feel it without labeling it. But if I take my attention off of the feeling before it has ran its course then the mind comes and swallows me up in a hurry. I tend to get very strong emotions sometimes in purges that can last all day and it leaves me feeling strained and exhausted. Is this normal?


Basically, I get pulled in the mind very easily if there is no focus on my body and sometimes it feels like I need to strain to do it. I don't know if it is because of exhaustion or what. There are times where I'm relaxed and can see my thoughts and let them go but many times I cannot.

How can I be as relaxed awareness without getting stuck in the mind? And when a thought comes with tension or a strong contraction do I just let myself tense? It seems that if I try to not tense then I would be "resisting resistance" is that right?

Thanks.

Re: Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:19 am
by Loffe
We start from the perspective of the mind and the mind doesn't know anything about presence. Feeling the inner body is one way that leads to recognizing presence/awareness so we could choose presence without directing attention anywhere. It means that how frequently we come back to body is more important than how long we staying in the body with attention.

Resistance is straining. Allowing can be tricky because we are used to opposing everything - that's how the ego works. If we imagine this like a simplified diagram it would be like this:

I - RESISTANCE(EGO) - FEELING

When we are mostly stuck in an egoic mind then it is obvious why allowing is tricky. The ego doesn't know what allowing is, it comes from presence. So while you are in the inner body try to explore.
Find where is suffering? Is suffering there or is it only feeling? How it feels in the body. Can you locate this feeling in the body? Can you say it's good or bad or is it only vibration? Hold attention in that area for some time and then try to feel the whole energy field. If it is uncomfortable let it be and feel just the whole body.
Then try to alternate. Come out from inner body shortly and be alert. Try to catch resistance. See how feeling itself is just vibration and suffering is caused by resistance not by feeling. Then back to body and almost invite feeling.

When that is too much stick just with going back to the inner body as much you remember.

Re: Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:46 pm
by Placebo
Thanks for the response. I see what you're saying. For the last 12 hours I think that I've been more where I'm supposed to be. im spotting resistance that comes in the form of tension, strain and I've been able to let go of it. I think sometimes when my mind gains a huge momentum again is where presence feels exhausting. Like a trying instead of just being. But obviously that means I'm still in the mind.

I think I was trying to resist the initial mind resistance that pops up thinking I shouldn't be resisting in the first place. And this gets me confused. I also think that sometimes my mind tricks me into thinking that I have to force presence when all I need to do is let go.

I think I'm getting closer to fully understanding this after two years of not making much progress.

When I feel the energies of anger and fear, they just feel like strong energy moving through me but I feel like I do have to be very present for them.

Re: Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:42 am
by Loffe
...im spotting resistance that comes in the form of tension, strain and I've been able to let go of it.
What letting go means to you? Is there an element of wanting to get rid of something? If the answer is yes then it is still ego.

As I understand you are pretty skillful with directing attention to the inner body energy field. You could try to sort of speak deepen this feeling.
For example when you feel resistance in your energy field first imagine space around it, borderless space and in it this feeling. Then follow imagination with feeling/knowing this space and what is in it. Now drop imagination just feel/know space and what's in it.
You could also do this with the whole inner body feeling.

Re: Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:56 am
by Placebo
Sounds good. I will practice this.

I would say half the the I am totally allowing and the other half I am deep down trying to get rid of very strong and distressing obsessions. It feels like I'm trying to accept the unacceptable sometimes. What do you do when something is so massively painful that you can't allow it?

My mind has all kinds of tricks to make me stumble. I suffer immensely on a daily basis. To the point of constant suicidal ideation. There is always so much tension in my body that it feels like concrete.

Any additional suggestions to build more stable presence I can also try? Thanks very much for your help.

Re: Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:01 am
by Loffe
It feels like I'm trying to accept the unacceptable sometimes.
When you catch yourself unable to accept, ask a question: "Who is this I who doesn't want to accept?"
What do you do when something is so massively painful that you can't allow it?
I recognize though that I can't allow and drop it. But if I was you I would direct attention to the inner body and find that what you are afraid of because something you can't allow is perceived as so painful you want to go away from it. Do the opposite, go directly into this vibration. It is really only a vibration. At first, it feels uncomfortable but hold attention in it and see if that vibration is going to harm you. It doesn't. Then you realize that there was nothing to fear. Investigate that feeling with genuine interest. And if it feels too uncomfortable feel the space around it.
My mind has all kinds of tricks to make me stumble. I suffer immensely on a daily basis. To the point of constant suicidal ideation. There is always so much tension in my body that it feels like concrete.

Any additional suggestions to build more stable presence I can also try? Thanks very much for your help.
Journaling was one thing that helped me. I would just write down what was on my mind and that helped to see recurring patterns.
Some discipline is good. For example morning and evening rituals. It helps to clear the mind. Also long walks in nature.

edit:
When you go into feeling painbody drop all mental images and thoughts. Feel only that tingling sensation or vibration.

Re: Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:51 am
by Loffe
Placebo wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:56 am
... I suffer immensely on a daily basis. To the point of constant suicidal ideation.
If you are unable to solve your situation with presence practice I suggest to try more traditional ways for a while. Like therapy and medication. That gives you the possibility to see bad habits which contribute to the suffering and you are able to change them on a mind level. That itself frees some attention from the mind and you can continue presence practice.

Re: Questioning if I'm being present "correctly"

Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:50 am
by Placebo
Ya I'm on many medications actually, including zoloft, diazepam, gabapentin and propanolol. No therapists have been able to help me so far. Many of my current obsessions have to do with wanting to be present. Which traditional therapists don't have a clear understanding of.
I have been diagnosed with Pure O OCD (which is comprised of mental obsessions but without compulsions) My ego driving me crazy. For example.

After being able to allow for a while (sometimes a couple days) my mind just reverts back to its old ways of resisting absolutely everything.

Then when I try not to resist it actually causes me to resist. Or if I'm worried that I'm going to resist then I do.

I can't sit quietly and meditate because there will be a song playing over and over (or just a thought) and drives me nuts.

I get disgusting images popping up in my head constantly that make me cringe and I don't even feel like I'm trying to resist them.

I obsess over breathing correctly, as well as other physical functions.

The more I try to not resist things, the more I resist them. So I will say ok let myself resist then and it will sometimes disarm it. But then my mind will start resisting things without me trying not to so I get confused as hell and get completely stuck in a mind storm for hours or even days.

My body always feels ill and like concrete from so much tension. I'm always completely exhausted.


Sorry to sound so dramatic. But this is my life. Regular therapists have no idea how to help me with these things. They just advise me to stay busy, think about something else, replacing a negative thought with a positive one etc. Which we know doesn't work. I obsess about many other things as well. It just feels like my ego is way too powerful with way too much momentum (and many tricks)