Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 12:49 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 12:49 AM

Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 12 Join Date: 4/19/22 Recent Posts
I have meditated for over 15 years and after reading MCTB five years ago I started to do intense Mahasi Sayadaw style Vipassana noticing as teached by Daniel. I have done Vipassana basically every day for many hours and on many days throughout the whole day in these five years.

After practicing Vipassana all emotions and feelings are very clearly and intensely experienced as opposed to before when there was much repression going on and in some sense it was lot easier to deal with negative emotions such as anger and rage.

Now, rage comes on immediately after some external cause and is extremely intense, fills the whole room seemingly, plus the body starts shaking and heart starts pounding so fast and strongly that I’m afraid that I’m going to have a heart attack. It also seems as if body is temporarily paralyzed somewhat and words won’t come out or at least if they would come out they wouldn’t make any sense. And of course all kinds of bad thoughts about what kind of action should I take start to appear in the mind. Luckily I haven’t taken any action in those cases so far. At least any action that I would have regretted after.

However, after doing Vipassana for years there seems like some kind of neutral observer is still present during all that madness but it doesn’t seem to help much as I’m so overwhelmed by the feelings. Also, I think Vipassana has made rage pass much faster which helps somewhat but the intensity of feelings and bodily sensations during rage is almost impossible to bear as there are almost no (protective) filters anymore and all its ugliness and rawness is on full display.

Any advice on how to deal with the intense feelings and bodily sensations during rage would be much appreciated.

Additional details: I don’t know if its important to this advice request but curiously there’s basically only one main trigger in recent years for my rage and that is loud neighbours. Approx. 20 years ago we used to battle for years with neighbours who had loud parties with music all the time and now every time a neighbour (we have moved since and it is a different neighbour) is listening music or being loud in other ways it triggers this huge rage in me. So this is an old trauma raising its head. Interestingly other triggers cause little or no rage at all and it usually passes in seconds.
thumbnail
Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 5:12 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 5:12 AM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Olav S
Hi
I have meditated for over 15 years
What was the first 10 years?
and after reading MCTB five years ago I started to do intense Mahasi Sayadaw style Vipassana noticing as teached by Daniel.
What exactly did you do? Mahasi or Daniels?
I have done Vipassana basically every day for many hours and on many days throughout the whole day in these five years.
Wow, thats great amount of time. Every day and many hours. For 5 years.
I never did that well. 
So where are you at regarding POI? How is your Jhana?

After practicing Vipassana all emotions and feelings are very clearly and intensely experienced as opposed to before when there was much repression going on and in some sense it was lot easier to deal with negative emotions such as anger and rage.
I would recommend counseling concerning repression of emotions and rage feelings. There are good therapy modalities to help with emotions.

Now, rage comes on immediately after some external cause and is extremely intense, fills the whole room seemingly, plus the body starts shaking and heart starts pounding so fast and strongly that I’m afraid that I’m going to have a heart attack. It also seems as if body is temporarily paralyzed somewhat and words won’t come out or at least if they would come out they wouldn’t make any sense. And of course all kinds of bad thoughts about what kind of action should I take start to appear in the mind. Luckily I haven’t taken any action in those cases so far. At least any action that I would have regretted after.
Good descriptions, besides rage, how do other emotions present? Similar or different? Fear, Sadness, Joy, etc?

However, after doing Vipassana for years there seems like some kind of neutral observer is still present during all that madness but it doesn’t seem to help much as I’m so overwhelmed by the feelings. Also, I think Vipassana has made rage pass much faster which helps somewhat but the intensity of feelings and bodily sensations during rage is almost impossible to bear as there are almost no (protective) filters anymore and all its ugliness and rawness is on full display.
I again would like to know more about your progress. What is a typical sit like?

Any advice on how to deal with the intense feelings and bodily sensations during rage would be much appreciated.
I would look to a qualified therapist to work with and incorporate meditation. 
My personal experience is that meditation does not cure everything, therapy with meditation works so very well.

Additional details: I don’t know if its important to this advice request but curiously there’s basically only one main trigger in recent years for my rage and that is loud neighbors. Approx. 20 years ago we used to battle for years with neighbours who had loud parties with music all the time and now every time a neighbor (we have moved since and it is a different neighbour) is listening music or being loud in other ways it triggers this huge rage in me. So this is an old trauma raising its head. Interestingly other triggers cause little or no rage at all and it usually passes in seconds.
I have also had anger arise, mostly in Knowledge of disgust. If you provide additional information, I would be able to answer better.
I wish you the best.
~D
Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 6:01 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 6:01 AM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 172 Join Date: 5/1/22 Recent Posts
One good thing ,is you don't act on your rage. I also think a qualified western therapist could assist you with dealing with this emotion.   As the other poster said,  do you have am idea as to where you might fall on the map? 
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 8:48 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 8:48 AM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 12 Join Date: 4/19/22 Recent Posts
Thank you! I really appreciate your help! I’ll try to answer your questions.

First ten years I did some basic mindfulness stuff like noticing breath, body sensations, thoughts to basically just feel calmer. I did it rarely (maybe few times per week) and for like 15 minutes per day max.

Last 5 years I did I guess what you can call Daniel’s style of Vipassana - namely six sense doors, three characteristics and trying to notice every sensation arising and passing and see the impermanance, suffering and no-self in them.

Regarding progress of insight if that’s what you mean by POI, I currently have no idea where I’m at on the Path and I hesitate to make a guess because I have misdiagnosed my progress so so many times as it is very easy to mistake all kinds of meditative experiences with higher attainments. It’s all so subjective - for example it seems to me subjectively that there has happened bunch of fruitions/cessations during those five years of vipassana but I might be absolutely deluded - how on earth can anybody objectively confirm that those were fruitions? Even mentioning that I maybe have had fruitions makes me uneasy because It might make some people think that I’m bragging or something lol, not to mention that I might be severely delusional about that. Also, it seems that I go through full insight cycles few times per day right now especially when I do vipassana whole day. It’s easy to get to A&P and then unpleasant dark night stages follow, which usually last for an hour or so, then on to equinimity and finally fruition with afterglow occurs or so it seems. I have thought that maybe I’m bipolar or something although before starting to do Vipassana these cycles didn’t occur.

Counseling - that’s a good idea. I have done it in past maybe I should try again.

Emotions. Other emotions present themselves similarly as in they are also very clear and intense but I’m not paralyzed by them and they don’t seem to be as much of a problem. They arise, they are perceived clearly and they fade away pretty quickly. Other emotions seem to be more benevolent because I’m not afraid that I might hurt somebody or myself. Rage on the other hand comes with a fear that I might act on it although it is unlikely.

Typical sit. Well, lately I’m not doing much sitting meditation emoticon but usually as I wake up I immediately start doing Vipassana while lying on bed and quickly reach that sweet A&P stage, then I continue doing Vipassana and continue noticing sensations that make up the reality while I do other things such as having breakfast, work, chores etc (this was extremely hard to do first few years but now it comes naturally). Then typically first dark night hits which is pretty tolerable after 5 years of practise. Then other stages follow as I continue my day and do Vipassana. Second cycle usually starts afternoon. Related to the topic of rage - usually slight anger arises in the disgust stage daily but it’s not caused by anything external and doesn’t cause any problems. Rage however caused by something external is much bigger of a problem but thankfully it’s rare.

Regarding Jhanas. I’m embarassed to say that I haven’t done Shamatha Jhana meditation almost at all. Well, maybe a few times tried fire kasina but that was it. I don’t even know exactly why I concentrated on Vipassana and neglected the Jhanas. I guess I felt (and still feel) the need and urgency to see through the illusion of self rather than just get into pleasant states. I certainly have experienced stable, peaceful and pleasant bliss states before but that was more of a side effect of Vipassana and maybe they were associated with A&P and Equinimity insight stages. Having written this and now that I think about it - maybe trying Jhana meditation might help with rage?

Thanks again! Will think about the therapy and maybe try Jhanas.
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 9:25 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 9:25 AM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 12 Join Date: 4/19/22 Recent Posts
Thanks! Yeah, acting on rage would cause immense problems - possible hospital visits, jail etc. Luckily the most I have done is some yelling and abundant cursingemoticon About the map thing - please read my answer to other poster. 
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 10:14 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 10:14 AM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 873 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I'm curious as to how long it lasts and what the mechanics of its dissipation/breakdown are? 

I'm asking because you seem to have developed very high level observational skills. If you can identify how it is that it resolves itself, you may be able to facilitate/accelerate/stabilize that mechanism. The doesn't tackle the question of why it occurs, but it may help with management. 
Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 11:48 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 11:48 AM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 172 Join Date: 5/1/22 Recent Posts
You said you where not sure where you are on the map. Then you said you reach a sweet AP Spot . That's kind of mapping your progress isn't it. correct me if I am wrong.   The  reason I am saying this is because  if you are reaching AP. You could be plunging into dark night territory.  Fear misery etc.    Men very often express fear and misery  as anger and rage.  Stay mindfull of the sensations. There might be fear sublimation into rage. You seem to have a good practice. Who knows maybe your on your way to equinimity
‎ ‎Nihila, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 1:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 1:06 PM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 351 Join Date: 1/19/23 Recent Posts
Matt Jon Rousseau
Men very often express fear and misery  as anger and rage.

My thoughts aswell. Could be underlying fear or sadness/powerlessness expressing as anger.
thumbnail
Geoffrey Gatekeeper of the Gateless Gate, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 2:45 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 2:45 PM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 396 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
For me I had a big problem with anxiety - in terms of how often it would happen and the magnitude. For me to get over it was a slow process, but the thing that helped a ton was walking meditation. One a specific retreat I was in, I started to get very into walking meditation and I started to get to these points where I felt meditation was perfect and I could feel everything, and then suddenly anxiety would pop up, a strong sense of self would come up, loads of suffering, and a sudden feeling like I was doing something wrong and had to fix it. Eventually I found that staying with my feet, let me have some spaciousness when emotions would come up, and the emotions would trigger more stuff happening (like a strong sense of self in the head, lots of aversion [again in the head], internal shouting, etc), but I found the longer I sat there with my difficult emotions in a spacious state of consciousness, then eventually the aversion decreased, the resistance decreased. Eventually I was able to really the different components of the emotions and how they all created suffering, but at a certain point my mind could see just the emotion and it realized it different have to make such a big deal out of it. Then ever since, anxiety hasnt been a problem.
thumbnail
finding-oneself ♤, modified 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 9:13 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/21/24 9:13 PM

RE: Any advice on how to deal with rage is much appreciated

Posts: 520 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
@oll

You're going to get meditation answers from qualified people. I am not one. I am newer. But I'll speak about exercise. 

Olav: "However, after doing Vipassana for years there seems like some kind of neutral observer is still present during all that madness but it doesn’t seem to help much as I’m so overwhelmed by the feelings"

When I read this it says your body needs some love too.

You could get on get agression out protocol. Im not agressive but ive learned it from listening to podcasts.

If this is too much please forgive me. Instead you could do basic exercise but I have this thing I heard before, so I want to pass it on if it helps. : )

This one guy is a good exampke. He cannot be still, without doing massive explosive exercise. 
It is needed to get the aggression out. You could to short bursts of sprinting. Pick a distance and run there in the shortest amounts of time possible.

Weight training, figure out the right amount of sets and reps to maximize your heart beat.

If you want to get aggression specific do punching bags or at most, take up a fighting hobby like ju jitsu. One thing this guy does is pretend that his family is being chased by a wolf and he has to run to catch them. He gets really pissed and runs faster. Like a mad man. Or punch the bags in a similar way.

I'm not a very aggressive person but I've listened to his show for decades now. I wish there was a summary of everything he said, but it's scattered over years of shows.

You don't have to get that extreme but the point is you could really help nourish what your body wants. Like a dog stuck inside that wants to move. The body wants to move and loves it 

Breadcrumb