Help! Everything is SO Cringy!

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Brato Ganibe, modified 4 Months ago at 1/20/22 11:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/20/22 11:47 AM

Help! Everything is SO Cringy!

Posts: 66 Join Date: 8/30/16 Recent Posts
For a while my practice has felt like it was on a pleasant plateau where things weren't really changing much, but everything was manageable and had a quality of okayness. Over the past week or so, everything has taken on a quality of cringiness and subtle anxiety that is beginning to be super irritating.

My formal concentration practice (metta) is slightly less affected once I get the mindstate up and running, but it does take more effort and it seems to stall out somewhere in between 1st and 2nd jhana. When I switch to insight practice (noting/noticing), I soon get into a place where each sensation has a very subtle stickiness that tugs at the attention in an uncomfortable way that causes the mind to tense up and become edgy.

Daily life is really where the struggle is. Everything is super cringy and has a feeling of anxiety and restlessness. It reminds me of the feeling I've had before on a day after I've drank just a little too much alcohol...not enough for a raging hangover, but just enough that everything seems to take a little more effort than you have to give. Or maybe like the feeling you get when you're minding your own business and suddenly your mind brings up some awkward or embarrassing moment from your past and you just want to curl up into a ball and hide.

The problem is that almost everything feels this way, and I just can't seem to shake it or pull myself out of it.

​​​​​​​Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/20/22 1:14 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/20/22 1:01 PM

RE: Help! Everything is SO Cringy!

Posts: 2402 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
There's a few ways you can go with this kind of broadly dark night-ish stuff. Insight - you can investigate the quality of super irritating. What does that feel like in the body? Maybe there is some anger looking to be released or something. Stickiness, tugging at attention, tensing up, edgy ... all suggest a tight focus, which works well in (vipassana) jhanas 1-2 and nanans 1-4 but fails in vj3/n5-10. The key here is to relax the focus of attention, give up the expectation for things to be clear in the centre. Broaden the awareness out to the periphery, be ok with everything being a bit dim & murky and not being clear about what's going on. I remember a point when I started to actually relish the dark night vibe, like watching a spooky movie or being on a spooky trip. That applies just as much to the life stuff as meditation. Once control of the center is gone then all the suppressed stuff can come up! Try to welcome and embrace the feelings of awkward and embarrasing. Everything is welcome and it's all a valid part of your experience. You can't shake it off or pull yourself out of it - the only way out is through. The suffering comes from the habitual resistance and pushing away of sensations and feelings which are judged as being "unpleasant". The relief of suffering is to embrace the unpleasant and get really interested in what is actually going on.
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Brato Ganibe, modified 4 Months ago at 1/20/22 6:29 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/20/22 6:29 PM

RE: Help! Everything is SO Cringy!

Posts: 66 Join Date: 8/30/16 Recent Posts
Thank you so much! I think that is exactly what I needed to hear. 
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 6:38 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 6:37 AM

RE: Help! Everything is SO Cringy!

Posts: 1116 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts

The problem is that almost everything feels this way, and I just can't seem to shake it or pull myself out of it.

​​​​​​​Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Why do you think it is caused by meditation?

I suggest you try relaxation exercises.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/08/preparing-for-meditation-with.html
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Brato Ganibe, modified 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 10:30 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 10:30 AM

RE: Help! Everything is SO Cringy!

Posts: 66 Join Date: 8/30/16 Recent Posts
At this point I assume everything is related to meditation in some way. I intentionally left out any insight map language earlier, but this feels a lot like a previous time when I was pretty sure I was somewhere in the dukkha nanas. This time just feels especially terrible...and extra sticky. And just like the time before, my error has been trying to force clarity instead of relaxing into and accepting the murky, wide awareness. Maybe one day I'll learn my lesson!

Thanks for the link!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 3:23 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 3:23 PM

RE: Help! Everything is SO Cringy!

Posts: 6296 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
You sound like it might actually already be somewhat less cringy. emoticon 

Yes, there is no use trying to force it to stop. That kind of resistance just feeds it. Just be with it and see it for what it is, as much as you can stand that. There are so many pointers in basically everything in these nanas. The friction makes stuff come to the surface. And when it's too overwhelming and you notice that you risk bleedthrough that affects your relationships, then give yourself a break. It will pass soon anyway. These states are inherently unstable, after all, even if it doesn't feel like it. There is no balance in them, so they just have to tip over one way or another. 

Best wishes for your practice and wellbeing!