RE: Irritability

B C, modified 13 Days ago.

Irritability

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/2/21 Recent Posts
Hi Forum!

This is my first post here. After a few months just lurking and reading some of the meditation diaries I felt I needed to create an account to ask a couple of specific questions about my experience so far.

Firstly some context:

I have been meditating daily and in a focused way now for around 5 months (on and off for years however). My typical sit duration is anything from 30 minutes up to an hour. I now really enjoy these daily sits and having read Daniels book feel that my practice thus far conforms with the norm and I have had nothing exceptional/worrying going on.

Before finding meditation and in my daily life I am extremely wound up like a coil. I am not aggressive in society or anything I just have little to zero patience for anybody or anything. My mantra for years has always been embarrassingly "If I don't know you, you are nothing but in my way". This has obviously more than likely snubbed out many opportunities for me over the years. Again I must stress once I do "know" people I can maintain a healthy relationship with them. I just have incredibly high-strung expectations from strangers I guess.

Moving on...

This leads me to my pacing question, meditation seems to have exacerbated this "irritability" manifold. I am getting "triggered" now by even more trivial and minor things... For example; birds pooping on my car… (Yes I know) I find myself quite literally sitting for 20/30 mins plotting elaborate ways to prevent the most trivial things from happening. What makes this so much more difficult and why I come here for help is I can "catch" myself in these sinister daydreams now and seemingly consciously allow my self to continue with them where previously I would "realize" my stupidity muse on it for a moment and move on. This seems like progress on one hand that I "spot" my errors yet 2 steps backwards in "allowing" the development of the behaviour.

Is this in direct correlation to the meditation, it feels to coincidental that I have turned the dial way up on this expedition and now find myself a raging ball of anger? I must also add that I find it VERY hard to settle the monkey mind when sitting on the cushion.

To get into the "zone" where I can observe the arising and falling of thoughts (or at least "dull" their edge) can take me upwards of 25 minutes. I then find the "calm" states are very short-lived normally hitting my time limit before exploring further. 

Does this in any way resonate with anybody back in their early days? I am keen to develop and dedicate what time I have (in between family life) to bring some order back to my runaway train of a mind.

For my family and the wider community I truly believe I have more to offer if I can break my hard encoded stigmas and pre judgements. I know no other way to break down these walls than trying to understand the core of where these patterns arise?

Thanks in advance for any advice, even a gentle "man up" is appreciated. 
​​​​​​​BC
George S, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 1646 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
This sounds like it could be a repressed anger issue. At some point you might have had some legitimate anger which you weren't able to express/feel (e.g. growing up) so it got trapped in your body. The meditation opens up your awareness/emotions/body and it starts to leak out. The mind then creates stories around it (bird poop, strangers etc.) You can try to let it all out on a purely sensate level, but it's hard - just opening up to feeling the anger without getting caught up in stories and/or having it bleed through into daily life. It will probably help to do some exploration of your personal history (whether with a therapist or otherwise) and figure out where the original anger is coming from. I had/have a similar issue and understanding the source of the anger gives me more ability to experience it without judging it or creating new stories. If I didn't understand it then it would probably be a much slower process or overwhelming.
thumbnail
Stefan R, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 72 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
Sounds like you're seeing your patterns pretty clearly. One thing it sounds like is that you've "opened the floodgates". This is good. Your brain is an organ that metabolises sensory information via symbols/meaning/narrative. Some of these are postive and negative. Roughly put, we live such frantic lives before mindfulness that we only give our brains 10-15% of the normal time to properly digest these sensory inputs. Meditation gives the mind ample time to go back on its debt, so to speak. This is the first aspect of what's happening here (imho). Give it time, be radically honest, be gentle with yourself, and accept whatever is happening in the moment. If you're angry, great! You're meditating, it's a safe place to watch your mind being angry, compared to driving, for example.

Second, conceptually, do you know what anger is for? All our emotions serve extremely valuable purposes for our species' and inidivual survival. Anger, roughly put, is an emotion our body-mind expeirences when something wrong happens that needs correcting. Anger is a call to arms. Being angry when an injustice happens is why a lot of change happened in our history. However, it can be over or under expressed - to our detriment. With this knowledge, you can hopefully see a little more depth in your patterns. E.g. your bird poop planning. If there's strong anger there, it may be caused by a shallow narcissism (reality should conform to my expectations because I'm special AKA main character syndrome) or it may be due to previous conditioning where you were able to use anger to change things and now the mind believes it's a multipurpose emotion that can fix anything (spoilers: it can't)

​​​​​​​Regardless of the cause, it's important to simply watch the mind moving and let it play out what it needs to play out. The fantasies themselves peter out when given time to just unfold with no reaction. The mind feeds on the story-reaction loop in a way to justify itself. If you want to really get this shit out of the way, actively incline the mind to bring up these anger fantasies and just watch them play out. It may be rough, but it'll probably be the quicker way to seeing the problem for what it is (it's not an anger problem per se, it's a believing the anger - a transient state - is "mine" problem).
B C, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/2/21 Recent Posts
I truly appreciate these responses and the time you have taken to respond. emoticon 
thumbnail
Kaloyan Stefanov, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 4 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Supporting fully what Stefan R said. One thing to add is that depending on the depth of any repressed issues, it might take a relatively long time of peeling layer, after layer, after layer until you are able to handle the anger fully at a bare sensate level without spinning into stories. In my experience on a certain level I was meta-afraid of facing some of these rougher emotions like anger and pain, and had to patiently go through the layers of meta-afraidness first, if that makes sense.

Sometimes there is an actual event/story from your life that needs particular looking at as well, as suggested by George S. My exeprience with these is two-fold. Sometimes it is better to actively incline and examine said stories, and sometimes that wasn't the right way to approach. In that second case it was better to gently incline the mind towards opening up/surrender/let go on a meta-level. Resolutions such as "I will allow opening up/surrendering/healing" also helped in my case. Any stories/events/people etc. that were not fully resolved or clear eventually come up and resolve in a way that the body-mind knows best, as part of practice or also sometimes in daily life.

I hope this is helpful
Kaloyan 
thumbnail
Jim Smith, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 963 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I don't know how you meditate or whether this applies to you, but I find that irritability is caused by concentrating too hard during meditation and not letting emotions into consciousness but suppressing them instead. It has nothing to do with being advanced or being a beginner, being awakened or unawakened, it has to do with how you meditate.

Don't try to keep the mind intensely focused. Watch the mind. Watch thoughts come and go. Watch emotions come and go. Notice dukkha arising, notice dukkha ceasing.

That doesn't mean you let the mind wander. It means you meditate in a relaxed way. Try to guide the mind to be peaceful, but don't try to hard.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/10/easy-meditation.html

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/10/hacking-your-brain-part-ii.html

​​​​​​​http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/09/when-you-cant-find-tranquility.html


https://www.dharmaoverground.org/c/message_boards/find_message?p_l_id=10262&messageId=22688477

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/9570391#_com_liferay_message_boards_web_portlet_MBPortlet_message_21940187
B C, modified 6 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/2/21 Recent Posts
Jim, fantastic set of articles to read through thank you! 
thumbnail
Dream Walker, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 1330 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
B C
Hi Forum!

This is my first post here. After a few months just lurking and reading some of the meditation diaries I felt I needed to create an account to ask a couple of specific questions about my experience so far.

Firstly some context:


This leads me to my pacing question, meditation seems to have exacerbated this "irritability" manifold. I am getting "triggered" now by even more trivial and minor things... For example; birds pooping on my car… (Yes I know) I find myself quite literally sitting for 20/30 mins plotting elaborate ways to prevent the most trivial things from happening. What makes this so much more difficult and why I come here for help is I can "catch" myself in these sinister daydreams now and seemingly consciously allow my self to continue with them where previously I would "realize" my stupidity muse on it for a moment and move on. This seems like progress on one hand that I "spot" my errors yet 2 steps backwards in "allowing" the development of the behaviour.

Is this in direct correlation to the meditation, it feels to coincidental that I have turned the dial way up on this expedition and now find myself a raging ball of anger? I must also add that I find it VERY hard to settle the monkey mind when sitting on the cushion.

To get into the "zone" where I can observe the arising and falling of thoughts (or at least "dull" their edge) can take me upwards of 25 minutes. I then find the "calm" states are very short-lived normally hitting my time limit before exploring further. 

Does this in any way resonate with anybody back in their early days? I am keen to develop and dedicate what time I have (in between family life) to bring some order back to my runaway train of a mind.

For my family and the wider community I truly believe I have more to offer if I can break my hard encoded stigmas and pre judgements. I know no other way to break down these walls than trying to understand the core of where these patterns arise?

Thanks in advance for any advice, even a gentle "man up" is appreciated. 
​​​​​​​BC
What stage of the Progress of Insight are you? Do you know? Read Daniels book to find out and then work on moving on to the next thing with noting/noticing. Stop being stuck in this suckyness because there is a bunch more to experience.
Good Luck
~D
B C, modified 6 Days ago.

RE: Irritability

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/2/21 Recent Posts
A whole wealth on information in these responses I am humbled thank you. I am trying to looking back through my life to the point I feel I was "happy" unconditionally , and the events following that were responsible for triggering my suppressed anger.