Need Some Anxiety "Pointers"

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

Need Some Anxiety "Pointers"

Postby dune » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:56 pm

Hi,

I have been rereading the "you are not You Mind" section in the PON. Last night I was awakened twice in pretty intense panic. I focused on my breathing was able to"work" my way out of them.

This brought me to the idea of the "watcher" of emotions as well as the "watcher"of thoughts that Tolle describes.

Many days (most of my life) I seemed to be plagued by an undercurrent of anxiety that builds until I have a catharsis of tears and then it builds again. Most days it is there immediately when I wake up.

I have "tried" to be the "watcher" of the emotion as I have no conscious thoughts associated with it, but soon get sucked into it and my watcher trans forms to a thinker and round and round I go with very few instances of victory.

Can anyone out there relate to this type of life situation and provide any anecdotes or pointers that might help in stopping the madness?

Thanks Much,
Dane
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Postby eseward » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:00 pm

The only thing that has ever worked for me is disidentification as described by Vernon Howard. Of course, other folks may have other suggestions.
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Postby eseward » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:45 pm

I would like to add that as long as you are identified with this anxiety (aka identified with the conditioned mind), you will naturally believe that this anxiety represents a problem that you must solve. Since there is no logical, mental solution to anxiety, this approach will only serve to increase anxiety.

Once you have disidentified with this anxiety and the thoughts that cause it, you will find yourself standing aside from the anxiety, observing it, and eventually watching it fade away by itself for lack of feeding (identifying). And you will soon see that no solution was ever necessary except to stop believing untrue things about Life and your real nature. You will see clearly, which always solves every problem.
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Re: Need Some Anxiety "Pointers"

Postby eseward » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:49 pm

dune wrote:I have "tried" to be the "watcher" of the emotion as I have no conscious thoughts associated with it, but soon get sucked into it and my watcher trans forms to a thinker and round and round I go with very few instances of victory.


Just noticed this line.

Just because the thoughts aren't conscious does not meant they don't exist. Put words to the feeling in order to focus the thought, to make it conscious. Then disidentify with the thought(s).

Every negative feeling has as its source a past (believed) conclusion.
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Postby JD » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:58 pm

eseward's advice is spot-on, and I wrote a bit about how I dealt with same problem here:

http://tinyurl.com/26ocnf

Second post from the top.

Hope it helps. :)
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Postby Agnieszka » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:31 pm

Dane, don't wait for the "undercurrent" of anxiety to build up. But as soon as you notice something going on, something rising - sit down with it, feel it and watch it calmly. Watch it as something that exists in you but is not the whole of you, as just one of your "parts" (I tell myself - ok, I know it well, this is my machine, my automatic). The important thing is to really watch the emotion from all angles. And as you watch it, you do not become the emotion, yoy do not go INTO it, but some space, a gap, a perspective is created (automatically, through watching). Do it always whenever an emotion arises, time after time, and you will notice that it becomes weaker, smaller and smaller.
:) :) :)
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Postby weichen » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:47 pm

dune wrote:.....Most days it is there immediately when I wake up.


I can relate to that. Long time ago, I also had serious anxiety. I will add to above quote and say that it is there immediately after watching a movie or a ballgame, a delicious meal, playing with a baby, etc. I can feel the immediate transition from lightness to heaviness (also darkness). Everyday life is a few tiny islands (comfortable moments) surrounded by vast ocean of anxiety and depression. I can have big islands of comfort (addiction such as playing computer game), which only make things worse.

I bet that you have chronic fatigue if not serious chronic illness, because precious life energy is leaking out so much everyday. I will also bet that you are not intimately connected with people at work or at home, because several dominant unresolved issues have possessed you, and you are blind to the needs (and synergistic opportunity) around you.

In PON, Eckhart asked the famous question: have you found the off button ? Mind is like a great machine (washing machine, refrigerator, air conditioner, car, ...), you can turn it on, but you don't know how to turn it off. Anxiety can be seen as the inability to turn off a powerful machine. There is nothing wrong with this machine once you found various off buttons.

Every sentence inside PON (many threads inside this forum) helps you to
a. make you more aware of the two distinct state, not only notice the turning on of anxiety as soon as wake up, but also notice how anxiety turn off under vaious circumstances.
b. make you appreciate the "off state" more and more, so that you are more motivated to use the off button more ofen
c. find many hundreds of new off buttons, practice them and get more skilled at using them, let them go if they become obsolete
d. make existing off button more powerful (turn it down more, or even completely off)
e. make existing off button work in broader situations


Some sentences may resonate with you immediately and lead to greater progress than some other sentences. Different people thus have different pathways. Some pick up the off button (ok to die now, I am not this little me) through near death experience, which may not be available to you immediately. Other pick up the off button (it is so peaceful to enjoy being a nobody) through total career failure (imprisonment etc) or total career success (and see the emptiness of it), which may not be available to you. No need to compete with other spiritual seeker, your pathway is unique, these two core off buttons will come at some point, what is really unique is the timing.
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For Dane

Postby innerhike » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:31 am

"Many days (most of my life) I seemed to be plagued by an undercurrent of anxiety that builds until I have a catharsis of tears and then it builds again. Most days it is there immediately when I wake up.

I have "tried" to be the "watcher" of the emotion as I have no conscious thoughts associated with it, but soon get sucked into it and my watcher trans forms to a thinker and round and round I go with very few instances of victory.

Can anyone out there relate to this type of life situation and provide any anecdotes or pointers that might help in stopping the madness?"


---

Dear Dane,

In regards to the above, I can tell you that you are describing something very similar to what I faced for years almost 12-15 years ago.

It took a tremendous amount of dedicated practice to re-work the mind to where no longer depression/anxiety/panic was the order of the day.

The practice you are describing is exactly what I engaged in: just watching everything arise, but not reacting to it. I would sit for hours and let things arise. I still do. Now I have a more formal and regular meditation practice.

I would encourage you to have a formal meditation practice whereby you are exhausting the reserves of junk clogging your sub-conscious in a more pro-active way instead of being blindsided by it day and night.

There are many techniques available, various teachers, various paths. But the key to me is to have a burning desire for freedom from such suffering. If you are clear that you no longer wish to suffer, then it is simply a matter of coming back to your center over and over, and in time this junk will recede. If you hold to a certain vibration, then all that remains is that vibration. Don't leave your center, and this will take practice and patience.

Sometimes having a teacher, practice or group can be helpful, though in my case I retreated from all of these to duel with my mind on my own. This type of extreme warrior pose is not suitable for all beings in great inner difficulty. And nor is it necessary.

Also journaling helps me now, and has in the past. It came to me intuitively to simply write down everything that was troubling me, and then I would jump into meditation having let go of the baggage and the meditation would be much more successful.

Keep going, don't give up, you are on the cusp of real growth and freedom. Connect with the Higher Power in whatever way feels right to you and ask for help, support and guidance. You are not alone, never were, never will be. It is a matter of learning to take down the walls that keep us from Peace.

We are creatures of habit. What you are encountering now may be a habit of just this life, or of lifetimes even before this one. Anxiety, panic (and depression being a more advanced form of anxiety) are simply a symptom of a mind that is not aware of the real source of strength. When we are not connected to peace, to our source of power/energy, then these phenonmena arise. Many people encounter this but try to address it with addictions and consumption of things, people, relationships, media, etc.

Just BE with this pain, with this suffering. Have infinite patience with yourself and what is arising. Don't be in a rush to fix anything. Just be with all of this. In just being you may discover real freedom for the first time. The only way to stabilize in this freedom is practice. That I know of.

If I can be of any more help, do not hesitate to let me know.

Best wishes,

Ash
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Postby kiki » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:53 pm

Good answer, innerhike. I especially like the following quote from you:
Just BE with this pain, with this suffering. Have infinite patience with yourself and what is arising. Don't be in a rush to fix anything. Just be with all of this. In just being you may discover real freedom for the first time.
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Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:49 pm

Keep it simple. Be clear and know the difference between the "pointer" and the "pointed".

Pointer: = "Be Here Now"

Pointed: = The actuality, the clear present awareness, of Being Here Now.

One is words describing concepts of truth, one is wordless Truth expressing. The latter is Home, it is the Natural State.

I agree, as pointed out by innerhike, that keeping a journal is exceedingly valuable. The effort to clearly identify ones current experience in honest and concise terms, has the effect of returning observation to the perspective of the Essential observer.

This is not always the case, as the ego can always play a role by justifying and adopting a victim mentality, so caution is advised. However, if desire for truth is genuine and a willingness to see things as they are is prevalent, an alignment between words expressed, and Essential Being may be enhanced.

It is important to see that, while writing out ones experience of suffering is useful, also writing ones clearest understanding of Truth and Being is how that alignment is enhanced which leads to greater realization.

That is one of the primary benefits of a forum such as ours, as it provides an opportunity to express that exposure and clarity in an atmosphere of acceptance from those who have similar trials and goals.

Keep writing.
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Postby Annie » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:59 am

Hullo Dane,
So there is an anxious guest in your guest-house. (Rumi's poem of how to deal with this is posted on this site.)

Acceptance of any negative emotion is the first step for me.
If the suffering persists, I know my acceptance is incomplete, as the wonderful paradox here is that when suffering is truly accepted, it ceases to be suffering. It may still be there, but I do not suffer from it.
I often have to be grateful to it and welcome it, as it increases my motivation to work.
Acceptance - saying yes - also opens and relaxes.
Once accepted, the emotional identification lessens, and it can be observed impartially.
There are times when this doesn't work. Then I remind myself to float rather than fight, and try again the next time. Be kind to yourself.
And, as Web has already said, keep writing.

Best wishes,
Annie.
'There is no greater miracle than being present. Everything begins and never ends from this.'
Robert Burton.
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Postby dune » Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:02 am

Thanks to all.

You all and this form are truly a blessing to me.

I now feel I have some tools and good "vibrational frequencies" with which to proceed.

The books are great, but the "real people" stories and helps are wonderful adjuncts.

Humbly Thanks Again.

Dane
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Postby Webwanderer » Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:14 am

dune wrote:I now feel I have some tools and good "vibrational frequencies" with which to proceed.


Write on!

(Sorry, I couldn't resist) :)
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Postby eseward » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:19 pm

:)
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Postby aanwezigheid » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:45 pm

Be curious during your investigation!!! It improves the quality of it :). Trying to stay patient didn't help me, because it implied resistance (for me). When you try to stay patient, you resist something, just like you try to resist your stress. Just be curious, you are then patient at the same moment and you just let things be like they are... Notice when the false self uses "the being-curious technique" as a sham thing to resist thoughts and fears. Then be curious about that. The curiousity must be honest and must spring from a deep will to release the suffering, otherwise it won't help. Being curious helps with improving "full attention = full acceptance". The funny thing is that after a while you discover that there was not really a problem, the problem was your resistance... But heck, just start with this, don't expect too many results and if you notice when you do, you know what to do :wink:
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