Anxiety when present

Topics related to physical, emotional and psychological forms of pain and suffering

Anxiety when present

Postby zack » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:47 am

Hi, I really like this forum and learnt alot here.

I have been reading and listening to Tolle alot and been meditating daily for a long time. Presence has
pretty much been my number one focus. This has had a huge impact on me and my life has become much more enjoyable.

However, the last couple of weeks I have been experiencing some heavy anxiety when being present. My ego has diminshed greatly (or changed) this year and

I am a new person. Infact, I am not sure who I am any longer. I know this is suppose to be a good thing if you are feeling comfortable about
it. My problem is that I found it very difficult to be comfortable with not knowing (my ego speaking).

I would really appreciate some input here. My cheast hearts and I have a feeling of dread in my stomach.
Being present is not enjoyable any longer (I want to get that incredible feeling of graditude and beeing in the body back).
Is this a way for my ego/painbody to hang on to me and creating a new unhappy story?
Is this a common stage of upheaval in the path to become more present or do you think I should seek help?
How do I overcome this? I know it is my resistance that cause me pain so how do I stop resisting?
I have no record of anxiety disorders.

Many thanks :)


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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby kiki » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:28 pm

Hello zack, and welcome to the board.

Is this a way for my ego/painbody to hang on to me and creating a new unhappy story?


Yes. More than anything ego wants to survive, and it will use whatever is available to do so. Being uncomfortable "not knowing" is a good excuse to create anxiety and thus keep the story going.

Is this a common stage of upheaval in the path to become more present or do you think I should seek help?


It's not uncommon. Give yourself some time to observe what's actually going on.

How do I overcome this? I know it is my resistance that cause me pain so how do I stop resisting?


Rather than turning "resistance" into an adversary by trying to stop it accept its presence instead - observe it when it arises, simply feel it fully without labeling it in any way, and without judging it or yourself for having it. Return to its physical components when you realize you are stuck in some story about it. Watch how it changes and eventually dissolves when nonjudgmental awareness is shining on it. When you fully accept it by allowing it to be present you are giving it the space to exist; in effect, you are giving it permission to be here. That is important - since it is present and part of "what is" then accepting it will allow it to discharge its energy and then leave. By resisting it and creating a story around it you are cementing it in place. It's the story about it that keeps it active and the threads of that story are the many ways you are resisting. See if you can spot those ways.

Now, the most fundamental thing is discovering the nature of the one who is resisting. If you can discover the illusory nature of "me" then the opportunity arises for a shift away from that "me" to occur. When that shift happens resistance no longer become troublesome. To discover this ask yourself, "What am I really?" and then look. See what is transitory and what is permanent. What's transitory is what is described by the mind; what's permanent is what those thoughts arise within, awareness. Discover this permanent, unchanging, peaceful and still awareness - when you have done this a shift away from the mind created "me" will happen all on its own.

Once again, welcome to the board.

kiki
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby eputkonen » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:47 pm

Kiki really said it all, but I’ll add a couple things.

zack wrote:My cheast hearts and I have a feeling of dread in my stomach.


Experience it fully and deeply. Dive into it...is there anything underneath it?
The only way out of pain and suffering is through - resisting, denying, repressing, running away, etc. does not work. We store emotions in the body...you may just have hit upon a deeper stuck emotion. But just being aware (shining the light of awareness on it) understanding comes and it loosens up by itself.

zack wrote:Being present is not enjoyable any longer (I want to get that incredible feeling of graditude and beeing in the body back).


Being present is not always pleasurable. There is pain in the present (not usually, but it will happen). Don’t expect or desire that being present should be pleasurable. What you want is a denying or resisting ‘what is’ at the present moment.

Accept totally the present moment and surrender to it. The present moment is not determined by what we want. Furthermore, when what we want is sufficiently astray from ‘what is’ at the present moment - we suffer. Accept ‘what is’ as it is for as long as it is.

It is possible to always find being present enjoyable...regardless if it is pleasurable or painful. For there is joy in the present moment...for whatever is at the moment.
Namaste,

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby zack » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:24 pm

Thanks alot! I really needed some other persons perspective on the situation. This will help me.
The dreadful feeling is an old one (showing up for the first time in 15 years) and has an enormous pull. It seems to take me 15 years back in time when I am not extremly alert. Its almost painful to watch the walls when the feeling is here.
Well, I guess this is a very good spiritual practise. The saying "What stands in the way is the way." is truly wise.

Thanks again

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby domokato » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:12 pm

eputkonen wrote:Experience it fully and deeply. Dive into it...is there anything underneath it?
The only way out of pain and suffering is through - resisting, denying, repressing, running away, etc. does not work. We store emotions in the body...you may just have hit upon a deeper stuck emotion. But just being aware (shining the light of awareness on it) understanding comes and it loosens up by itself.

I have found this to be very true. Becoming aware of an emotion and understanding that it is just a part of your body allows you to step back from it. It also allows you to relax into it, even though you may still feel the emotion strongly. Then the emotion subsides in due time since you are no longer holding on to it with your mind or ego. Doing this consistently will cause your body to recondition itself.
~housecat
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby kiki » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:46 pm

The following point make by eputkonen is worth repeating:

Being present is not always pleasurable. There is pain in the present (not usually, but it will happen). Don’t expect or desire that being present should be pleasurable.


It's my experience that even in the midst of great physical pain there still exists a deep peace because "you", as awareness, are always present. Your nature is peace itself. When that nature is clouded over by a story about pain or discomfort that peace seems to be missing, but it isn't - it's still there beneath everything just waiting for it to be noticed.
"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
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby the key master » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:53 pm

"Resist not what comes uninvited." Invite the uninvited.

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Sighclone » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:21 am

Yikes, most of the big guns in one thread! :D And such lovely clear comments. How can I add anything? Well, I can't add much, agreeing with everything above, so I'll just suggest that you use one of the several Portal techniques in "Gateways to Now" (and also in ETs other works) which is resting quietly and becoming aware of your breathing. You mentioned a pleasurable sense of body awareness...your breathing is surely part of that...it is certainly linked to the inner body. It will give you a platform in presence to accept the feelings, particularly really old unpleasant feelings, and an alternative place for your attention while you are clearing out the shrubbery...to find the moon. :)

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby zack » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:10 pm

Hi again

Thanks again for your great answers. They kept me on the right track from the beginning. The windows of normality seem to get longer and longer now and I am starting to feel like a human being again :) . Im really proud of my self for accepting the long process and not taking medicine. Although, I understand people who make that choice, panic attacks are scary before you get used to them.

I have another question about intrusive thoughts.
Days when I have been in a really anxious state, intrusive thoughts get in my head. They are totally pointless but they are affecting my mood and it has been torture some days.
There seems to be two conflicting “teachings” about this. The first one recommend you to put your focus on something else when the unwanted thought knocks on the door, and in due time it will fade away. The other teaching seems to advocate that you simply welcome the thought and surrender to it, and in due time it will lose its power over you.
What is your opinion on this?
Thanks!!

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby kiki » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:15 am

Days when I have been in a really anxious state, intrusive thoughts get in my head. They are totally pointless but they are affecting my mood and it has been torture some days.
There seems to be two conflicting “teachings” about this. The first one recommend you to put your focus on something else when the unwanted thought knocks on the door, and in due time it will fade away. The other teaching seems to advocate that you simply welcome the thought and surrender to it, and in due time it will lose its power over you.

To "whom" are they intrusive? Isn't that a judgment made by an ego, a "someone" who would prefer they not come? Can you find that ego, have you looked for it? If not, then look and see if it can be found. If you can find an ego, the "author"/composer of thoughts, then it would just be a matter of thinking only those thoughts that are pleasing or comfortable for you - you would always know what your next thought would be, so you could choose what to think and what not to think and intrusive thoughts would never come; you would always be "in control". So, look to see if you can find the ego entity, the one that prefers certain thoughts not arise.

Upon looking, is there such a thing as an ego outside of "ideas of me"? Can "you" be an idea? In the failure to find ego, then, there can be no such thing as an "intrusive" thought - there are only thoughts arising and dissolving all on their own. When labels like "intrusive" come you know that ego seems to be active again, so when that happens look to find that ego. In other words, because you will never find an ego, turn attention to the natural state of awareness in which thoughts arise.

Not being a separate entity that is responsible for thoughts implies that whatever thought does arise is to be accepted; since it is presently "here" then there can be but one response: acceptance. That acceptance is the natural response of what you are, awareness. Awareness automatically allows and accepts whatever arises. What doesn't accept any particular thing is solely a function of the ego, but that ego will never be found when sought. So a formula for turmoil is to resist anything that is here, including thoughts of any kind, because that's what egos do. See clearly that "you" are not the ego, but are in fact the awareness in which ego and thoughts arise. Seeing/realizing this will resolve the "problem" with intrusive thoughts.

------------

I wouldn't worry about what seems to be conflicting teachings on how to deal with thought. What works for one will not be as effective for someone else. What matters most is seeing/realizing that "you" are not some thought based entity. If it helps to put attention on the inner body then great. But a fundamental maxim in awakening is acceptance of whatever arises. There is no controlling of anything that arises, so it naturally follows that there is to be acceptance of what comes forth. This isn't a contrived acceptance created by ego, but it is the natural response of awareness as form arises and dissolves.
"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
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Sighclone » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:17 pm

From ANE, p. 259:
Awakening is a shift in consciousness in which thinking and awareness separate. For most people it is not an event, but a process they undergo.


Meditation can help that process, as can yoga. I recommend you buy "Happiness Beyond Thought" by Gary Weber and "True Meditation" by Adyashanti. There are techniques in both of these books for separating from the thought-engine of the mind, naturally and smoothly. I recall an interesting "test" in Weber's book. Can you close your eyes and sit quietly and count your exhales? Get to ten and start over.

Yes, that sounds like some kind of egoic "test." (Can I achieve this, then be enlightened? Oboy, oboy!!!)

What it actually is is a measure of how much you are dominated by thoughts of any kind. You can count exhales forever and not wake up. Somewhere in my readings, ET mentions he can sit for an hour or so without having a single thought. Weber refers to them as "seeing a few birds far away in a clear sky."

Namaste,

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby zack » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:20 pm

Thanks, I see your point. Thoughts are not an issue now when I am peaceful again. I dont care so much about meditating and awakening anymore. It only gave my ego something new to identify with. Now, my number one priority is to feel good. And feeling my inner body and listening to jazz makes me feel good, so thats what I am going to do now :D

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Onceler » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:18 pm

I hear what your saying, Zack. I have been more present and aware since I made it my number one priority to feel whatever I am feeling without messing with it. Just to let it be. I couldn't always do this, and still can't always do it, but I have found that "feeling good" is a by-product of accepting what you're feeling bad or good and really feeling it.

I guess what I am saying is don't shy away from bad feelings. They are your entrance to peace.

(agreed on jazz--it is a portal to somewhere....)
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby kiki » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:31 pm

I have been more present and aware since I made it my number one priority to feel whatever I am feeling without messing with it. Just to let it be. I couldn't always do this, and still can't always do it, but I have found that "feeling good" is a by-product of accepting what you're feeling bad or good and really feeling it.

I guess what I am saying is don't shy away from bad feelings. They are your entrance to peace.


This is such an important point, and you said it with great clarity and brevity. Even when you don't "feel good" you can feel peaceful, stillness, and silence.
"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
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby karmarider » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:30 am

For anxiety try the EFT or the Sedona Method. The Sedona method is actually very similar to what kiki said: it's about fully accepting and experiencing the emotion, and this helps us release it.

For intrusive thoughts, or recurring thoughts, here's an interesting experiment. Ever had a song playing through your head that you can't get rid of? You can get rid of it instantly if you fully accept it and look it hard, in awareness. The same works for recurring thoughts. Thoughts just happen, and it's no use trying to stop them. Observe them, with full attention, without participating, and this usually does the trick.
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