Help, please

thumbnail
Oatmilk, modified 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 12:10 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 12:10 PM

Help, please

Posts: 142 Join Date: 7/30/20 Recent Posts
Dear all, it's been 4 years since my first encounter with the stages of insight. Since February 2020 I haven't practiced formal meditation anymore. The coming years were extremely destructive and despite being in therapy  now I don't think this life is worth living anymore. 



To give you a brief overview about my situation: I started meditating in 2018, I quickly got to know the mediation techniques of Theravada Buddhism and began to deepen my meditation practice over time. I went on retreats and meditated daily for several hours until a traumatic incident happened at the end of a mediation session in February 2020. For the next year I suffered from inexplicable physical symptoms. Despite efforts to recover, other debilitating events occurred over the next two years, which have forced me to interrupt my studies twice so far. Last year things seemed so absurd again that I started to dissociate more and more until I hit another psychological low in January of this year. I met a good psychologist in February of this year and since then my condition has stabilized with the help of Daniel P Brown's Ideal Parent Figure Protocol. I don't dissociate as much anymore and have become more resilient. Picture this situation, I'm 25 years old and were forced to interrupt my undergrad studies twice. In the beginning of therapy I thought things finally get better and now my nervous system is totally distabilized by no obvious reasons, I am stressed out although I don't have to deal with major obligations  like working or studying full time. 
For almost three weeks now I've been sitting in the dark again and I am feeling great despair. I haven't experienced a positive mindstate for so long now, just distress. 
A well respected meditation teacher mentioned this could be due to spirit posession as well. 

I seriously don't want to do this anymore. Help, please
shargrol, modified 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 1:03 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 1:03 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 2173 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Sounds pretty bad. If you've been in the dark and things aren't getting better, definitely get out of the dark for a while.

When you're in a rut and looking around, the only thing you see is the rut. You know what mean? When you're in a hole, the whole world looks like a hole and it can be tempting to believe the whole world IS a hole... but ultimately it isn't. 

What sort of help are you looking for? 

Hopefully you feel comfortable reaching out to your old therapist if things get really bad. And if things get suicidal, definitely reach out to the hotlines that are there to help (e.g. (1) hotlines - SuicideWatch (reddit.com) )

Be good to yourself Oatmilk!
thumbnail
Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 1:35 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 1:35 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 173 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Hey Oatmilk,

Sorry to hear you've been going through all that. I'm familiar with the dark myself.

Love and support. 
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 10:12 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 3:57 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 1048 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Start looking at everything to be exactly THE SAME. Past, present, future, here, there, you, everything else, good, bad, etc. all of this make it exactly the same - it is the so called single taste*. Just anything happens in your mind, outside, any thought, any sensual experience, anything whatsoever treat it as exactly the same thing. Treat all people and yourself as the same, all space as the same, all objects, all emotions, all potential actions, all things you do, all things you like or dislike, etc. Also see distances from anything to anything to be the same exact thing and this include distance to any supposed improvement.

Most important is for you to not seek experience of relief. I do not mean that eg. when you are eg. too hot you should not find cool shadow but you should not ever give in to idea of experience of relief. It actually only preoccupy mind and it then isn't capable of thinking straight. Once mind doesn't seek relief it will fix itself and its issues. Look at the potential relief as being the same as anything else and any experiences (both pleasant and unpleasant) pointing to relief as the same also.

If you take this practice to heart you will have moments where you will feel bad and it will at times feel like just one small action and you will experience relief. Do not give in and think of everything as the same exact thing and only act as if all things are the same. No aversion and not even dispassion* but just to be the same thing as everything else. Not like it but being it, everything being the same thing, the same moment, the same experience. If it doesn't seem like you are able to experience something as the same as everything else and thought arise that doing so would be relief then do not give in to this thought and just wait until you see everything as the same.

If something feels good, like when you experience happiness or other nice thing which do not feel like they are the same as everything else, like this single taste. Look at these experiences as being the same as everything else rather than using it as opportunity to again have relief. No relief chasing when your suffer and no relief chasing when you experience pleasure. No relief chasing when it is still chasing for and no relief chasing when it happens.

Then when everything starts feeling exactly the same, has the same taste and there is no past, no present and no future, just ethereal singular moment without there being possibility for anything else and anything else to be, anything else to do or anything else experience or anywhere else to be then and only then go back to your past experiences and analyze them with this new #singletaste eyes, not as they were but look for aspects it always been the same thing and in fact are the same thing.

If anything treat it as learning opportunity - same as you would otherwise have. You kinda do not have any choice. Chase relief instead and you might do something irreversibly stupid. What you have now you will laugh about and remember as best thing which happened to you if you get it right.

*) The single taste doesn't mean it is always the same. It means it is single taste of everything. You make everything the same by seeing it is the same. When you do it you will understand. At first it might feel like it would be better to chase relief and why most of this post is about relief. Be smarter this time than to chase relief again.
**) Dispassion is imho too confusing and dangerous imho to recommend in your case than single taste. It would work though, just resulting in different thing. If you feel more inclined to it just be sure the rules about relief stat exactly the same. If what you feel is the kind of dispassion which is aversion fueled by relief then do not do it and focus on single taste as it makes relief easier to see through.

A well respected meditation teacher mentioned this could be due to spirit posession as well.

EDIT:// More like your soul was broken to literal pieces having conflicts acting like posessions to each-other.
You overdid it there without right ideas what you wanted to accomplish and forcing things beyond your comprehension.
Not that they are easy to comprehend and at times some damage can happen when not knowing these things but it doesn't even look like you hurt yourself because you wanted to know yourself but more like "this something is the issue!" and you proceeded forcing oneself to destroy part of your being. Do not ever do that things!

Meditation is about being with oneself to integrate oneself in nice and pleasant atmosphere and not waging war on parts of your mind you think are the issue. More forbearance toward things which don't seem harmonious and things will become harmonious.


I seriously don't want to do this anymore.

This is relief talking.

Help, please

Method I provided just works.
Any damage caused by wrong actions caused by wrong views will take considerable time to heal even on the best day so be patient and hone right view.
When you have opportunity look at normal healthy people who do not have issues - what is their experience most likely like? What they instinctively avoid going fully in to? When they suffer?
Normal people are Buddhas. They will arrive to support you when you are ready receive support - not the same thing as getting relief.
Martin, modified 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 4:32 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/16/23 4:32 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 647 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Sorry to hear things are rough. I like your writing and have missed it. 

What has helped me with depression in the past is getting out of the house, sticking to routines, and talking to people. I also found that depression was worst in my 20s and got steadily better over time. I hope you feel a little better soon. 
thumbnail
Dream Walker, modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 7:11 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 7:11 AM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 1609 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Oatmilk
heya
Dear all, it's been 4 years since my first encounter with the stages of insight.
1) perhaps explain this encounter
Since February 2020 I haven't practiced formal meditation anymore.
2) What is Formal meditation?
The coming years were extremely destructive and despite being in therapy  now I don't think this life is worth living anymore. 
3)So not meditating was destructive in what way?
4) Are you being honest with your therapist so s/he knows?
To give you a brief overview about my situation: I started meditating in 2018, I quickly got to know the mediation techniques of Theravada Buddhism
5) meditating techniques in what way?
and began to deepen my meditation practice over time.
6) please explain
I went on retreats
7)what retreats?
and meditated daily for several hours
8) Doing what?
until a traumatic incident happened at the end of a mediation session in February 2020.
9) what traumatic incident happened?
For the next year I suffered from inexplicable physical symptoms.
10) What inexplicable physical symptoms? How are they physical if they are inexplicable?
Despite efforts to recover
11) What efforts?
other debilitating events occurred over the next two years, which have forced me to interrupt my studies twice so far.
12) What other debilitating events?
Last year things seemed so absurd again that I started to dissociate more and more until I hit another psychological low in January of this year.
13) What is it to dissociate in your experience?
I met a good psychologist in February of this year and since then my condition has stabilized with the help of Daniel P Brown's Ideal Parent Figure Protocol.
14) how has your condition stabilized?
15) Daniel P Brown attachment therapy guided by your therapist? 
16) How have you practiced this?
I don't dissociate as much anymore and have become more resilient.
17) please explain dissociate and resilient.
Picture this situation, I'm 25 years old and were forced to interrupt my undergrad studies twice.
ok
In the beginning of therapy I thought things finally get better and now my nervous system is totally distabilized by no obvious reasons, I am stressed out although I don't have to deal with major obligations  like working or studying full time. 
18) Are you working with your therapist on this?
19) how do you define your nervous system as totally destabilized?
For almost three weeks now I've been sitting in the dark again and I am feeling great despair.
20) Please explain - sitting in the dark again
21) Where is the despair?
I haven't experienced a positive mindstate for so long now, just distress. 
22) Explain the previous positive mindstate
A well respected meditation teacher mentioned this could be due to spirit possession as well. 
23) Who?
24) You have access to more advice?

I seriously don't want to do this anymore. Help, please
25) Do "this"? what is "this"?

I am going to assume that you might be going thru the Knowledges of Fear, Misery, Disgust.
​​​​​​​By not meditating in any way, I would expect from my own experience that the journey thru this area may be longer (my own personal opinion)
Be totally honest with your therapist and reach out to all the ones who love you and ask for support.
It is difficult to reach out but one person who you can trust and cares about you can make the difference.

Good luck Oatmilk,
~D
thumbnail
Aeon , modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 10:56 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 10:56 AM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 213 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Sorry for slight off-topic, promise I wont hijack thread:

Genuine compliment with zero sarcasm: This is what I mean @dreamwalker .
Your razor sharp observation and critical eye is a treasure for this community, and it makes me genuinely happy to see you use it for support.
I apologize for subjecting you to name-calling. I was a thoughtless idiot, and you didn't deserve that.
thumbnail
Oatmilk, modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 3:38 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 3:38 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 142 Join Date: 7/30/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Shargrol. My cognitions have been dragged through a lot of mud. I catastrophize a lot and it's a pattern that sits deep. I never had so much issues with attributing and seeing the causes for certain mind states. Things become so dreamy and I get so out of touch with the reality around me that it's almost like as if I cannot do something about my situation anymore. As if I need to spend the entire day regulating myself and as if this dark stuff is showing up to constantly ruin my life. I just don't want to even spend one more day like this. It also affects the people around me and that's definitely not good. My girlfriend has been taking care of me all these years. I don't want to be the burden of others. Seeing everyone else around me living their life and for me it's been the 6th time right now in which I seemingly have to drop everything that I like and value just to not hurt myself. 
thumbnail
Oatmilk, modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 3:40 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 3:40 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 142 Join Date: 7/30/20 Recent Posts
Thanks a lot for your understanding, Bahiya 
thumbnail
Oatmilk, modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 3:40 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 3:40 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 142 Join Date: 7/30/20 Recent Posts
Thank you for the support, Martin - I appreciate it
thumbnail
Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 5:54 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/17/23 5:54 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 173 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Hey Oatmilk, how are you feeling today? Any better?

If you feel up for it at all. I do recommend engaging with some of DreamWalkers questions. 

​​​​​​​Might be useful to do a little inquiry. 
thumbnail
J W, modified 5 Months ago at 6/21/23 4:16 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/21/23 4:16 PM

RE: Help, please

Posts: 631 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Hey Oatmilk,
Hope you're doing ok. Good to hear from you.
This may or may not resonate with you, and please disregard if it's not helpful.  I am no teacher and this is just stuff I'm kinda working out myself but maybe it will be helpful (?). 

I've seen a lot of talk online and irl around 'dissociation' recently and I think the word when used in a cultural context can mean various things.  Most often I've seen it used to describe a fearful/anxious state (think DPDR - de-realization, scary stuff).  But I've also heard it used in the less negative context of just kinda meaning 'zoning out' ... not really anxious or depressed.  What do you mean by disassociate?  Is it a cause of depression/anxiety for you and why do you think that would be the case?

From the Buddhist perspective (since this is a buddhist forum), I usually think of disassociation as having to do with disassociation from (or deattachment from) the permanent, centrally located self, which can be a good thing considering that it is this very attachment that causes a ton of our suffering. 
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression as a result of this disassociation -
Is it the disassociation that is the problem or is the negative emotion just a response to it?
Is it really disassociation, and if so, who is it that is experiencing that anxiety or depression?

Please, as others have mentioned, do be good to yourself, continue to work with mental health professionals, as this is just an online forum and you may get advice of mixed quality.  That said, I'm happy to talk anytime, if you feel it'd be helpful.

best wishes
JW