Need help understanding my experience

James Woods, modified 2 Months ago at 9/16/22 11:54 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 9/16/22 11:54 AM

Need help understanding my experience

Post: 1 Join Date: 9/16/22 Recent Posts
Hey all,I think I need some help and I hope it's ok to ask for advice here. Since I went on a Goenka retreat 2 years ago I’ve been practising meditation every day with a lot of dedication. I have had moments of extreme euphoria, but right now I’m struggling.I want to try to describe what my experience is like clearly. I often experience a lot of fear, being on-edge, and a sense of dread. Sometimes this can be quite overwhelming - even having a lot of nightmares - as well as a painful feeling of something like depression that’s there almost all the time. The world has this sort of dreamlike quality to it - but it’s quite unpleasant, I feel very detached, or like things are meaningless. My appetite has decreased, and sometimes I’m more emotionally reactive - getting angry faster and so on - maybe because I’m not sleeping as much? I also notice myself worrying that I’ll feel this way forever. I feel very frustrated with myself for feeling this way, as I am meditating because I want to escape suffering, not feel more of it! But I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.I’m hoping that somebody will be able to give me some advice to understand what I’m experiencing. I don’t have a regular teacher and I live far away from any meditation group. Also some of my close relationships have suffered recently, so I really appreciate these online communities and any words of advice or support you can give me.
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Siavash ', modified 2 Months ago at 9/16/22 12:46 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 9/16/22 12:46 PM

RE: Need help understanding my experience

Posts: 1596 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Hello James, and welcome.

I hope you find the peace you are looking for.
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Kevin Andrew, modified 2 Months ago at 9/16/22 12:50 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 9/16/22 12:50 PM

RE: Need help understanding my experience

Posts: 32 Join Date: 5/6/10 Recent Posts
I also practise Goenka-style. The centre where you did your retreat should have a web-page with links to contact an AT for advice. They should have told you how to log in and message them. If you have lost this info, email the retreat centre and ask for assistance. They are your teachers.

Loss of motivation, changes in appetite, emotional turmoil (to a point) are part of my experience. My advice would be to focus on what is the immediate need, feed yourself, get some exercise, ensure you get to bed on time etc. Really focus on the things you need to do every day to sustain yourself bodily, like laser-beam focus. Aim for excellence at your job. Try not to dwell on the thoughts that randomly come up over the course of your day, they are just thoughts. Do rather than think. You are doing surgery on your psyche and it will have effects that you cannot predict. It is not all euphoria. It can be difficult. Everyones experience is different. They tell you to approach everything with equanimity for a reason, including these difficulties. That is the practise. Contact the ATs for advice.

With Metta
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streamsurfer, modified 2 Months ago at 9/17/22 3:35 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 9/17/22 3:35 PM

RE: Need help understanding my experience

Posts: 98 Join Date: 1/19/16 Recent Posts
Hello James,
sorry to hear that you are struggeling.
yes we are meditating to reduce suffering, but for that we have to directly look into it, and thats often times not easy. But nothing is wrong with you or the practice! Its a trick your mind plays on you: "The suffering is everywhere and you cant escape it" - but you will eventually. Thats the awakening process, to release the grip to all these nasty sensations you are experiencing right now.
Practicewise, what you are describing sounds a lot like fear stage (dont has to be though), and it is like a dog that barks a lot but can not bite actually. Try to tune in the sensations that make up your visions and also in the feeling of anxiety itself. Let it "get you", and you will see that its all made up. When equanimity gets stronger, it will be somewhat interesting to watch all the fear doing actually nothing bad.
For more info you can read about the insight stages, it helps to gain perspective. A teacher is really good to navigate these stages, but also here on DhO theres a looot about this stuff.

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