Jordi's Blog - Going back to meditation

Jordi, modified 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 6:52 AM
Created 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 6:44 AM

Jordi's Blog - Going back to meditation

Posts: 84 Join Date: 9/17/17 Recent Posts
Hi everyone, I'm Jordi from Spain, 32 years old.

I used to visit this forum and have a solid practice, but I dropped fromal sitting practice like year and a half ago.

After that decision I think everything slowly start to fall apart. I dont know what I want to share exactly, but probably that Im not feeling OK for a long long time. I will use this frist post to share who I am and where I am right now, its hard for me to write and express myself and put my thoughts in order but I will try!

This last year has been one of the wierdest years of my life. I just feel bad and wierd almost all the time with a strong apathy around, very low energy, the more simple task needed a titanic effort. Is like I just want to be on bed and lying there doing nothing. The worst is that I didnt have a big drama or event/situation in my life that put me in that situation, quite the opposite I acomplished a lot of dreams I wanted in my life and I was suposed to feel good and great about it.

I tried to do sitting meditation again but I cant even sit for 10 minuts when in the past I could do 1h easy. When I try to meditate a mix of tension, nervousness, stress,physical pain and lack of concentration.

I used to be a lazy person, addicted to videogames and weed and tabaco, very isolated from everything, with a lot of ideas but without the energy and discipline to put on practice and do the work. Last years I start working myself to get disciplined, to improve myself and got clean, this is one of the main reason to I start to meditate. I start doing therapy, 12 step work, meditation, conect more with my hearth etc  Especially I went quite "hardcore" on meditation, doing 2 hours daily, sometimes 4-5h, going to retreats and do serious inner work. 

So, I had a big changes in my life. I started to acomplish my dreams one by one.

I start to be more open to life, be more social, generous and compasionate.
I travelled alone doing meditation retreats and knowing amazing people and had great expirences.
To working on fabrics and warehouse I start working as artist doing Children Illustrations for a company.
I felt I had a strong emotional cleaning, a lot of resentment, guilty, shame drop off, for frist time in my life I felt in peace with myself.
The realationship with my parents that it was bad in the past become very good and was obius that something was healed.
I started to have relationships, before that never had a girlfriend.

So, all the hardwork I put in the past years to change myself has started to disappear slowly going back to what I was before.

I tried again the old forumlas that worked in the past, trying to refix myself...I have gone again to a meditation retreat, do again 12 step,doing ayahuasca retreat but its not working. I feel lost, cast away, this deep apaty is quite strong and I have this feeling of sadness all day long. I dont feel depresed or clinical depression, I can be social etc, but I feel I put myself a mask to interact with the world. The sensation is a desire to just disappear into nothingness. Also I had relapses with my gaming addiction with mobile games, its dangerous becouse usually I spend money on it, also when I play these games, all these bad feelings I pointed gets stronger and Im not able to do anything I become quite useless, looks like a escape mechanism.

Some times I feel I have a wound inside me that will never heal, and all the work I did in the past was just put a patch on it.

Now I dont have a job and I had to go back to my parents home for a while, and this probably help to increse my emotional instability, Im looking to be freelance artist, but requires a lot of work and energy, this last months I worked hard to work on my portfolio as a children illustrator even I felt like shit, but feels like never ending effort and not seeing clear results. If you have curiosity you can check what I do here!

I just wanted to share where I am right now and be a very transpernt and honest. Exposing my miseries and suffering. Probably I needed to take this out. I need to fix a lot of stuff that is going on with me, I know everything starts in having a daily rutine but its quite hard, I have insomnia and I fall asleep at 2-3am and I wake up around 10-11 feeling like shit without energy.

I seriously think to go back to meditation and see if it helps with the whole thing.

These last days I thought that temporarly I need to "ignore" thoughts and feelings ( becouse they are not helping me ) and just go for action, even I feel bad, even I feel wierd, just go for concrete action.

Do you think you can separate feelings and thoughts from actions? They necesary go togheter? In a broader view I think everyone know what is need to be done, but when you face the present moment of taking action all these feelings and thoughts start to sabotage oneself. It's like walking through the jungle, you need a machete to cut everything that dont let you move forward.

So thats the presentation I will use this post to see my progress with all this shit is happening to me and see if there is light at the end of the tunnel also of course I will share my meditation reports and my personal changes.

Thanks for reading!
Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 6:54 AM
Created 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 6:54 AM

RE: Jordi's Blog - Going back to meditation

Posts: 2523 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I like your art! You certainly have the skill! Well done! 

I just want to say thank you for sharing and I think it's important to bring this out as a first step. Acknowledging the suffering, the struggle. It really does exist and all good stuff from our meditative experiences also seems to be subject to dukkha, anicca. 

I'm sure someone here will know what advice to give you. 

Best wishes to you! 
Jordi, modified 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 10:38 AM
Created 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 10:35 AM

RE: Jordi's Blog - Going back to meditation

Posts: 84 Join Date: 9/17/17 Recent Posts
Thanks Papa Che for the warm words!

I did my frist meditation and it when quite good. I wanted to start easy so I put my timer to 10 min I ended doing 40 minuts!

I think I understood something. In the past when I started that big change in my life, before starting I hit bottom. After that my desire, my intention to change was geniune, clean, "pure". I had nothing to lose, becouse I already had the feeling that already lost everything.

In this last time when I was feeling terrible my intention and desire to change was motivated by despair, to be able to gain again what I felt I was losing. Definitely I was not aware of it, and with that intention everything goes wrong...

Now I this last weeks I had this feeling again of lose everything, to hit bottom and when this happen I think you become more humble. 
And with this humbleness I tried to meditate again, trying to just being. Focus on the more basic thing that its breath, not focusing on the breath becouse is the basic instructions of meditation, focus on the breath becouse is the most basic thing you can do as human being.

And I had a beatiful expirence, a refreshing expirence, buff...I really need that.

So to be more technical...

I start the meditation and I dicided to put my intention on the breath in a very gentel way and slowly drop any mental and physical, being in touch with my body, gain soft awerness of my body while I observe the breath. I felt a little pain in my lowe back, if we use a scale 1-10 it will be like 4-5, nothing serious. I have tried to have a straight back but at the same time try to feel in comfortable position and being aware if I lose the straight. 

I just focus on the breathing, the mind was wandering, but the feeling I got from the breathing was good so was easy to stay with it. The thinking process was in the background. In the inhale I feel a pleasent sensation arround my nose and when I exale I feel the area of my brain relaxed, like if something drops off. I just enjoyed breathing, not overacting the fact of breathing, just breathing.

Before the end of the frist 10 min and the alarm sounded this little "nimatta?" appers in loops, I tried to recreate it with a image. This showed time to time in my meditations but I have 0 control of it, it just appers.

When the alarm sounded I turn it off, I felt good so I dicided to keep going, 

I became more relaxed, and these pleasant itching start to araise randomly throught the body appering and disapering.
At some point my back start to lend and I tried to become more straight, I changed softly my posture a little bit, then the tension go to the quadriceps area instead of the back. At first the tension was little uncomfortable but slowly start to relax. I keep feeling the tension but this tension felt good, I felt grounded. Progressively I have this sensation of stillness around my body and my mind and everything become very quite, very still, very slow. I just keep observing the breath and observing this sensation of stillness, its like you can feel and observe the "deepness" in a diferent layer that is just wraps you I dont know how to explain!

At some point I felt that It was OK, and I fnished the meditation and 30 min passed, very fast!

Now I felt a little bit exicted and motivated, a lot of ideas and thoughts came to my mind, like things I need to do. I still have this fresh sensation in my body, especially in my chest, is a good sensation is like a waves that flow throught the body.

I need to be carefull becouse I know myself and I usually go to 0% to 100% and then again 0%. Thats good, thats great, so lets use this mind state to do right decissions.

So as I pointed on my frist post I need to do some changes on my daily life. frist step fix insomnia.
For this today I will stop using any kind of device at 22pm.
Also I have two laptops, the new one I bought to work and the other one that now I use to watch movies or streams before sleep.
Im gona give the old laptop to my father so he can use it, and I will not stay with the laptop or my phone until late. I really need atechnological detox.

For today this, tomorrow I will post a daily rutine I expect to do it. Probably this frist days I will post daily my meditation reports and how Im doing in daily day basics to keep tracking myself.

Thanks for reading!
George S, modified 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 12:13 PM
Created 3 Years ago at 8/29/20 12:12 PM

RE: Jordi's Blog - Going back to meditation

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
That's great Jordi, you really turned that one around fast! I love the kids art by the way. I can empathize with the feeling of there being something fundamentally wrong with oneself. While programs to "fix oneself" can be great, it's important to acknowledge that it's just your behavior you are modifying and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with you. A lot of us are suffering from this in some way. You can even take the thought "there is something wrong with me" and just sit with that and really get a sense for what it feels like. I don't mean follow it with a bunch of other thoughts about exactly what's wrong with you, I just mean try to get a sense of where in your body and what it actually feels like to have this sense of something being wrong with you which needs to be fixed. You can develop some compassion and self-acceptance around it that way. I'm still working on it myself!

Good luck, I look forward to reading more from you
Jordi, modified 2 Years ago at 10/13/20 2:47 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/13/20 2:36 PM

RE: Jordi's Blog - Going back to meditation

Posts: 84 Join Date: 9/17/17 Recent Posts
 Hi Agnostic, I like what you say about "it's important to acknowledge that it's just your behavior you are modifying and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with you". really true, thanks!

Here I am again! emoticon
Personal report.
I kept having ups and downs with my emotions and moods. Feeling quite low and without energy and strong apathy, basically I spend all day on my bed. Playing games on my phone, watching videos etc, It was very compulsive I was not able to stay away even a bit.
When I am like this I don't feel like doing anything, not even meditating, it is entering a black hole that absorbs you and does not let you out. A month ago I sent about thirty emails with my portfolio to various illustration agencies, they all rejected me. It was a very strong blow. Psychologically I think I have a low tolerance for rejection, it was an emotional blow that knocked me out.
At the level of sensations, it feels like a big sadness in the chest, headache, stress, anxiety, unpleasant and wierd sensations around the body and as I have already mentioned, quite large general apathy and low energy I have lost all desire to draw. So I went back to compulsively taking refuge in the only thing that relieved me, gaming, but ironically, getting into that dynamic of isolating and locking myself in my bed makes all those feelings described above even worse.
"Luckily" I have a friend with a similar situation to mine. We met in the mornings and went on walks and routes in nature. This has helped me to have a reason to get up early in the morning and this daily contact with nature has helped me little by little to get out of that hole in which I was trapped.
I finally decided to take drastic measures, I needed an internet and gaming detox. So, I took off internet on my laptop and bought a time lock box called kSafe, you put your smartphone in it, you have a timer and it won't open until the time is up. I been doing 8h to 16h locking with good results.
I only use the other laptot that I gave to my father in case I need to do a specific task. He set a password and I need to ask permission to use it, I use it always in the living room, never in my bedroom alone.
So I've basically been doing a dopamine detox. The first days were hard and I had some withdrawals, I needed to sleep a lot, but day by day I start to have more energy, all the sadness and weird sensations begin to slowly fade away. I felt more active and wanting to move ahead and do stuff.
I also start going to therapy and start reading books again (for about a year and a half that I didn’t encourage myself to read anything). I mean without the option to use my smartphone or use internet you are like: "And...what Im going to do now?" As I said the frist day I felt this void and I didnt know what to do with me and my time, I was very nervous and I just want to the lock open to check my phone etc. I need to take it easy but at the same time put some will to keep going with the process. Now I feel more in contact with myself and I start getting busy with diferent hobbys, mostly reading books and writting, going to gym and keep going to walk nature. I still not feel to draw, but I will try to draw soon.
Meditation helped a lot in that change in mentality and behavior. When I started going to nature with my friend I started to meditate daily, it is strange because I did not feel quite right every day but my meditation was another story.
Meditation report
My meditiation is quite simple.
I start focusing on the breath as a main object and I observe the impermanence of it. We could say that I have two objects of meditation the breath and impermanence.
I don't do classic noting, I mean labeling words internally, instead I just see. I use noting as a tool. When things get really tricky and hard to deal I start labeling for a while as a support.
My breath is my anchor is what feeds and builds concentration in a organic way, I don’t try to do any tricks or any intentionally hard focus on it, just natural breath as it is. I’m always keep an eye on it but at the same times I let the attention move on the different sensations that appear in the body, observing how they fade, being very open to feeling whatever is present.
As my main object of meditation is breathing, I see all the little sensations that form what we call breathing and how they appear and disappear. Even when breathing is not fluid, that means, feeling some kind of tension or block on the breath, watching them fade brings a certain peace and tranquility. It feels a very smooth process, letting things happen at their own. I let the attention move looking for the most relevant sensation that occurs in consciousness.
Even some sensations that looks more solid and lasting, such as a small tension or some occasional pain in the back, if the attention is focused on that area, it begins to be seen how that sensation that looked solid and constant begins to fragment into small sensations that all together form that solid feeling.
Coming back to meditation I think is one of the best decisions I made this last months.
One of the things I like the most about meditating is entering this state of just being. As I enter more and more into the meditation, and relaxation and concentration I feel this state of unity, of being here and now. I do not know how to explain it. There is only the body and the breath. You enter intimacy in that moment and all the worries everything that you are supposed to do or be vanishes, there is only that constant flow of sensations. I feel uplifted, connected, as if something were enveloping me and hugging me, this state has arisen over and over again on the sittings with a certain naturalness.

thanks for reading!