Confusion and Delusion

Pete Ben, modified 11 Years ago at 3/24/12 12:31 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/24/12 12:31 PM

Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 3 Join Date: 3/9/12 Recent Posts
I'm still suffering from the past. I can't seem to get past it. It seems like the only thing present in my experience is past and future events. Nothing at all is present about it. I don't know how to remain present, how to forget my past how to forget the future how to forget it all and just live in the present. It's like everything I experience is with a thick glossing of the past, and contains a hankering of a future expectation. I'm tired of living with sad expectations and sad memories that make me bitter and frustrated. I'm tired of living with limitations. I don't know what to do. I've learned about the part of the brain responsible for these emotional difficulties but nothing can be done to remove them, it's like I am damned if i do and damned if i don't. I just want to live in peace that's all. I just want to experience life with friends and family and my partner and not have to worry about whether I will be screwed by someone or my partner or myself. I despise my society as it is, women, the men their beliefs, their disbeliefs, the economy, certain family members, certain friends, poverty. I feel like life has pretty much just been a lifelong hazing and somehow you'd think there'd be an end to it but there isn't, theres just more crap. All of this wouldn't even be an issue if I could just stamp out all my emotions, my self, my imaginations, my desires....if i could just eliminate myself somehow then there would be no one to attack, hurt, hate, despise, mistreat, deceive, control. Why can't I do this? Why is this so hard in this day and age? You would think there would be a way by now where one could just pop a pill and disintegrate the very malady that is the amygdala, the powerhouse of the self and live in that perfection lauded by the few who have achieved it. Instead one is left with a ridiculous option of failing to implement a method deemed simple such as "how am i experiencing this moment of being alive" and resisting the method either out of blindness from a lack of previous experience of what it is to have a pure consciousness experience, or out of the desire to continue to exist in some form. Hope is left at the door
Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 11 Years ago at 3/24/12 3:16 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/24/12 3:16 PM

RE: Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
The key is to observe all this stuff and just watch it--the unhappiness, the memories, the projections into the future, the desire to eliminate the amygdala, all of it. These are stories you're telling yourself. A liberating insight is that you don't have to believe them. You don't have to make huge efforts at disbelieving them either. All you have to do is observe them. If you fight against them, they get stronger. If you get upset thinking about them, observe the physical sensations of being upset: tension in the gut, an accelerated heartbeat, heavy breathing, a choking sensation. Be very specific. Watch these sensations as they arise and pass away. You may have to touch them very lightly, but as you observe them you will begin to gain insight into the truth: that they are not you. None of it is you. While you're at it, you'll notice other stuff arising and passing away--the sound of a car going by, an itch in your right big toe, a sensation of coolness. Treat all sensations equally as you let your attention move from one to another.

You will never get past what has come before to the extent that your memory will be wiped out. You don't need to. All you need to do is watch, watch, watch. Good luck.
Felipe C, modified 11 Years ago at 3/24/12 3:55 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/24/12 3:33 PM

RE: Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Hey Pete,

What methods are you using and how?

How long have you been practicing?

It's pretty common to fall in the trap of seeing the impermanent as permanent, one of the major causes of suffering according to the Buddha. If you are beginning, I can assure you that it gets better. Try to stop assuming that there are fixed experiencing modes on you, because you'll see with time that everything is pretty malleable and therefore workable. Even your most profound and difficult obsessions can get softened. The way I can explain it with my own practice is that emotions are not only less frequent but also they manifest in lower volume. So you will be progressing qualitatively and quantitatively, but you need to have discipline, perseverance, confidence and patience.

EDIT. Also, by your words, I can see you are pretty disappointed by life as it is right now, but that you say so is good because you are aware of the problem. Now remember that everything is energy, so, instead of canalizing that energy to unskillful ways {pessimism, cynicism}, try instead skillful ones {pure intent, a strong desire to get rid of any trace of suffering}

Keep it up.
wacky jacky, modified 11 Years ago at 3/25/12 7:41 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/25/12 7:41 AM

RE: Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 46 Join Date: 2/18/12 Recent Posts
hi ben. i think that place of desperate suffering, of despair, is a great place to start. the desire to stamp yourself out is the right place to start. because with enough practise, you will stamp yourself out, your emotions as you currently feel them, your desires. there will be no one to feel the suffering you've been feeling.

you're in the right place. you've found this website and this is where you start. jacki.
Shashank Dixit, modified 11 Years ago at 3/27/12 12:03 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/27/12 12:03 AM

RE: Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
Where there is no self , who suffers ?
and how do you see that there is no-self ? Just as Jane says , observe the hell out of everything as if there is nothing else that
will work. Do it non-stop at every waking moment. There are always excellent people out here to help you. Perseverance will
do it !
Pete Ben, modified 11 Years ago at 3/27/12 3:24 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/27/12 3:24 PM

RE: Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 3 Join Date: 3/9/12 Recent Posts
Can someone contact me about this practice? I have no one that I can talk to about this and this is more important then any other thing in my life. My email is
Andrew , modified 11 Years ago at 3/28/12 8:41 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/28/12 8:41 AM

RE: Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
I can hear alot of desperation in your post Pete Ben, also alot of very well formed ideas about how to solve it; essentially you have your 'self' in the cross hairs and want to pull the trigger. 2 problems with that, there is no self that can be found, and there is no-one to pull such a trigger.

there is just a person.

Relax all of these ideas and say 'i don't know' and try, as best you can, to be OK with that. You are allowed to feel happy, you are allowed to be calm. It is OK to feel fine about not knowing what is going on. You need to realise whatever it is you are currently doing isn't working, so stop. re-group.

remember why you thought all of this was a good idea. You were not happy before, you tried this technique and you are not happy now. something in the idea is not working



this has become just another rod for your back.

calm down.

try for just 5 mins to calm down as best you can.

If you only manage a minute, fine.

calm down. it is what you are missing in all of this, learning to be gentle on yourself long enough to notice something you haven't before; you can change.

It is so common to feel the way you do and at the same time think you have the key to undoing it. It is a common mistake.

you only truly have this moment, for good or bad, what you are doing now is all you have, so don't despise it. breath, relax, give yourself a break (even if no one else will), just that.

just that.

perhaps you could do with a little testimonial? -i was thinking what you are thinking, that there is something I could be free of, if only i could find the switches, I could control it. But then someone told me to relax, to sit, breath relax and a year later,, despite being the worlds least dedicated meditator, I can actually feel bad without getting depressed, I can relax in the face of distress to some degree.

there are no miracles, and the quick fix you have in mind, fixes nothing.

sit, breath, relax. give yourself permission to fail at that over and over again, and in time some of it will stick. One day you will have a bit more space inside where you can get more out of each moment, and closer to what you imagine could happen now "if you could just...."

in the mean time, have a close look at the actual feeling of frustration and discontent and decide now whether it, in and of itself, can really harm you. you may be pleasantly surprised.

after that; sit breath, relax.
Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 11 Years ago at 3/28/12 8:56 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/28/12 8:56 AM

RE: Confusion and Delusion

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
I've taken this from the Kenneth Folk Dharma website. It describes noting practice. The point is, if you can note something, you can disembed from it--meaning you can stop identifying it with "you" as a solid object. The website itself is at Here's the relevant passage:

"When doing noting practice, preferably aloud, you have to decide whether to do a very detailed noting or a more sparse or skeletal noting. A skeletal noting technique, for example, would be to just choose from these six notes: seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, and thinking.

"Detailed noting, however, is better than skeletal noting. That's because detailed noting "uses up" the available processing power of your mind, and that is exactly what you want to do. If you are noting in a way that requires all of your attention, your mind will not wander and you will not suffer. It's that simple. If, on the other hand, you use a noting technique that only requires 30% of the processing power of your mind, what are you going to do with the other 70%? You're going to suffer! Try it and see! :-)

"Here is a systematic way to use your own mind to best advantage in waking up:

"1) Note body sensations, e.g., pressure, coolness, warmth, tightness, stretching.

"2) Note "pairs" (body sensations + feeling tone), e.g., "pressure-neutral, coolness-pleasant, itching-unpleasant."

"3) Note "triplets" (body sensations + feeling tone + mind-state), e.g., "pressure-neutral-investigation; coolness-pleasant-contentment; itching-unpleasant-aversion."

"If doubt arises, note "doubt." If speculation arises, note "speculation." If comparing arises, note "comparing." Everything goes in the hopper. There is no such thing as a hindrance. Whatever arises, including distraction, agitation, anger, doubt, etc. can be noted. Co-opt your enemies. You will find that that scariest monsters in your mind can be allies in your own awakening as soon as you note them.

"You do not have to be concentrated to note. Note "agitation, dullness, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, doubt, anger, distrust, frustration, exasperation, confusion, fear, self-loathing, judging."

"You don't have to figure this out in advance. Every moment that you spend making love to ideas is a moment you could have been noting. Imagine a surfer who thinks he has to understand wave theory before he gets in the water. Just get in there and surf!"

All the best to you. Feel free to send me a message here.