Am I limited by my karma for going deeper?

Cathal Costello Costello, modified 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 8:02 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 8:02 AM

Am I limited by my karma for going deeper?

Post: 1 Join Date: 2/28/22 Recent Posts
It is harder to experience the levels of stillness I once did, it is incredibly rare, it is not something I am hoping to happen but I am just noting the patterns of meditation of late, it has become a rather dull process. I still do it but I have not much enjoyment in it because of how I feel emotionally.

I want to go deeper basically, yet I think not dealing with emotional issues is limiting me, is this true, is it better to go deeper into practice or is it pointless until more progress with detachment comes?
Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 9:00 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 9:00 AM

RE: Am I limited by my karma for going deeper?

Posts: 972 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
 The issue which people often have with meditation is that when they start meditating everything is new so they allow themselves experiencing new. This is what is needed in meditation, experiencing new stuff.

Now these experiences create all sorts of new connections in the brain pointing to these experiences. Then once there are connections made to these experiences people assume that when they meditate they will experience the same damn thing as before and expect it and trigger memories of these experiences and with that bother parts of brain which took part in meditative experiences in the past. Of course it aint't gonna work and all such triggering does is disrupts natural processes which would happen during meditation. There needs to be whole sequence of events preparing mind and if experience was to be the same 'quality' as in the past it needs to activate NEW parts of brain, or at least the same part but with the same setup which will prepare new connections between neurons, not the parts which were active and created some connections to waking consciousness.

It is the same with issues people have with emotions, sense of self, thinking, etc. It is all about trying to re-trigger the same parts of brain. Solution to it ALL is letting oneself experience NEW experiences. Not trying to re-experience old experiences. Mind is like a river, it doesn't go back to old stuff. In some limited capacity when things are really set in, connections are really strong and solid it is possible to trigger part of mind and make it do the same thing consistently. Not when you are beginner. And even if person has lots of solid connections but they trigger some part of brain consistently because of expectations of how things should work (again: because these connections point to experiences in the past) it will lead to issues.

BTW. If you talk "detachment" I hope you do not mean complete detachment. It is not the point to not experience any emotions. If you try to stop natural processes like emotion you will also disrupt brain in ways which might not be so good for you. What you need not do is trying to experience the same emotions. What I mean is jumping on to memory of emotion. Emotion in itself is natural process which has purpose and while there are ways to decrease dependence on emotions it is not the goal to not have emotions. The goal is to be able to have new experiences. Even the same type of experiences but new. If you are able to experience new emotions and know what is the mechanism which makes you miserable when experiencing emotions then it is one step away from not needing emotions as much because resolving your whole issue you have with experience is lack of new activity in your brain.

This activity has to be spread across your nervous system. Neurons cannot sit idle while other neurons are used too much. In meditation just as in normal life activity should happen where it needs to happen and mind should not cling to specific experiences at specific parts of the brain.

In practice it looks like moment to moment everything feels new. New mind, new sense of self, any emotions is new, when meditating everything is also new. Any jhana is new, any act of noticing is new. Even when noticing and trying to mentally refer to what was noticed - this something should also be new let alone what feels as the mind which notices things. If you can do it like that you won't have issues with meditation or with emotions. Heck, if you can do that you won't have much need for emotions, it will all be almost always ok. I say 'almost' because when you are physically/mentally tired it will be harder and past certain threshold it will be very hard up to the point where not hitting dukkha will be impossible. But that only means other than proper way of driving nervous system it also needs enough rest and good diet. In other words healthy life style emoticon
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 9:21 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 9:21 AM

RE: Am I limited by my karma for going deeper?

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
The way to go deeper is to go deeper into your karma! That means exploring these unenjoyable old emotional issues, which means opening yourself up to experiencing the emotions as patterns of physical sensations without getting so caught up in the old story loops. Some kind of somatic based therapy in conjunction with meditation can be really effective for this, or you can try do do it yourself with books such as Focusing by Eugene Gendlin. Detachment is only a temporary reprieve, lasting peace comes from digging into the uncomfortable emotional stuff.
Michael Taylor, modified 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 11:21 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 10:46 AM

RE: Am I limited by my karma for going deeper?

Posts: 10 Join Date: 1/31/22 Recent Posts
Mahasi Sayadaw...
"If a meditator has been practicing for a long time and not making any progress, he or she may become lazy. Note that as 'lazy, lazy.' "

Seems to me the practice would be to note whatever's happening for you in this moment. Seems like right now it's "wondering", "doubting ," "hoping," or whatever. It'll change.

It'd be like someone coming on here and saying "there's a pain in my leg, is that my karma?" Just note "pain" and observe and it'll change. No one here can change the sensation, just your relationship to it.

EDIT: another Mahasi quote for you... "If you make continuing to note a higher priority then engaging in reflection, you will spend less time reflecting, and your practice will develop faster."
This may be good reminder for many of us here

Good luck, and Happy Fat Tuesday
Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 4:25 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/1/22 4:25 PM

RE: Am I limited by my karma for going deeper?

Posts: 972 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Often reflection is just mind struggling to formulate thought. The more it tries the more tired it gets and the harder it gets.
By noting the need of nervous system to do something with things is satisfied and it is easier to just drop it and continue being receptive. Eventually mind can work out through what it needs to process without 'formulating thoughts' and it can formulate answers to any question without formulating first the question, both can arise together as a kind of act of noting.

That is why following advice "shut up and note" is working so well emoticon