Just feel them...

It Really Does You, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 3:52 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 3:52 AM

Just feel them...

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/5/12 Recent Posts
Hello everyone.

I have been having quite a lot of trouble with the actualism method.Basically every time i asked the question i experienced resistance,recoil->failure.And for a while now i have been having the suspicion that i repressed,denied the existence of,swept under the carpet... my emotions.The vast majority of the affective experience for me was from the head(like a virtual repressionemoticon 99.999% of the time).The "I" was in the head and the instruction for locating the sweet spot didn't make any sense to me because I was in the head and i had no clear recollection of having been in/from any other part of the body.
So today while eating breakfast,for the first time with that stability i felt a subtle anxiety in the gut only and booy was that different.It is quite lighter to feel emotions that way.Even if it is some bad feeling.Kind of like just before waking up,when you still feel your emotions but they just seem to not be such a big problem at all.That's the nicest thing about feeling just in the body(in the chest,solar plexus,gut etc... just like described in the instruction for finding the sweet spot) it doesn't seem like a big deal at all,if feeling from the body only any judgement of the emotion is not present and with that the problem is a lot tinier.
So with some effort,preferably while not doing something else i can now feel like that and sometimes go from there to feeling felicity of noticeable degree.

My question is is this interpretation correct:
If i am feeling the emotion in my head,than that is the reaction of the thinker to the emotions of the feeler(ergo the complicating of emotions Tarin talks about in the Hurricane Ranch podcast),or have i found a more skillful way of arm-locking my emotions into lesser versions of themselves.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 8:33 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 8:33 AM

RE: Just feel them...

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
I think that is a useful practice, feeling them wherever they are in the body can makes them far more manageable and is useful when you are going through a rough emotional experience. In fact I tried to just practice like this for a couple months and I think it benefitted me greatly.
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Martin M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 9:35 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 9:35 AM

RE: Just feel them... (Answer)

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Hi,

Happy and Harmless:
Hello everyone.

I have been having quite a lot of trouble with the actualism method.Basically every time i asked the question i experienced resistance,recoil->failure.And for a while now i have been having the suspicion that i repressed,denied the existence of,swept under the carpet... my emotions.


In regards to supression, I´ve had some success with sitting down and calmly adressing the "outer layer", i.e. the most accessible emotion that presents itself.

E.g.: When asking HAIETMOBA triggers resistance, I ask myself along the lines of "Can I allow myself to feel this resistance? What does this feel like? (phenomenologically)" etc
This might then open up the next layer of a feeling of sadness... and another under that of fear.

This is actually the most common sequence I´ve found: anger->sadness->fear.

So with the direct experience of the underlying feeling, I can begin to investigate what I fear and why. That investigation (into the causes) might again trigger above mentioned resistance chain, so the steps are simply repeated as neccessary.
Felipe C, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:05 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:05 AM

RE: Just feel them... (Answer)

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Hi,

Happy and Harmless:
And for a while now i have been having the suspicion that i repressed,denied the existence of,swept under the carpet... my emotions.


I'll paste something I wrote in my thread a couple of months ago:

(Repressing is) not being honest with the inputs. When a feeling arises sometimes there is a tendency to deny it. This tendency is a product of the 'I' clinging to something. For example, there are two modes that I've noted that this denial can come:

1. In the form of 'oh, man, here comes this guy to disrupt my peace', then making a 'LALALALALA' sound in order to not acknowledge the problem, to become distracted from the fact that there is affective noise that needs to be investigated or skilfully let go. The cause seems to be an identity that clings to {the feeling of} peace and calm.

2. In the form of 'you are beyond this, you are better than this feeling, so it's not possible that you let this happen again'. The cause seems to be an identity that clings to pride and actualist calenture.

This leads to question the sincerity of my practice and aim... what I am doing is blocking the raw material that will set me actually free in the long run, in order to conserve an artificial and unsubstantial sense of peace and calm in the short run. What do I really want? Am I doing what is needed to go there?


The key is to be sincere in two ways: 1) willing to acknowledge the existence of whatever feeling that manifests, and 2) actually do the work of investigation: see how it feels, why is triggered, how silly it is, etc. If you find yourself incapable of being completely sincere, then investigate the beliefs behind that "complication": those related to shame, fear and pride are some common barriers that can stop you and your sincere intent.

Good luck!
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Martin M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:24 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:24 AM

RE: Just feel them... (Answer)

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Felipe C.:

The key is to be sincere ...

Right on... here´s a (regularly quoted) nice post from Trent regarding sincerity:

Hi,

Here are some miscellaneous ideas regarding sincerity. If any of them make more sense to you than the others, please let me know. Also, I talk about sincerity consistently in my other posts; if you haven’t read them, you might consider doing so (even if the thread / topic name seems unrelated). 

Being sincere is to be transparent to yourself and others. Because of this, it is also to be intimate with oneself and others, as there is no duplicity, no hiding of yourself out of a fear of rejection. 

Being sincere is to approach one’s self and others in a way which is harmonious and cooperative, rather than competitive. If you have nothing to gain or lose, then there’s no reason to hide anything. 

Part of being naive means asking/receiving questions sincerely to which honest answers are then proposed as replies. No question asked sincerely is every worthy of shame, guilt, ridicule, etc. from you or others; nor should it elicit fear or pride, etc from one’s self. A question viewed naively is only felt to be for the sake of eliciting an answer (and it will become more and more apparent when a question is not asked sincerely). Similarly, one must be honest with one’s self to be sincere, else one is not going to notice one’s own duplicity in action (and one cannot stop being insincere if one doesn’t know one is being insincere). 

Sincerity in action: do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Naivete in action: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me

Here’s one reason it’s safe to be sincere: one does not need to be insecure about changing out of consideration of other people’s opinions and/or the perceptions you think they may have of you. That’s because they never knew you anyway, just like you’ve never actually known them. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you change, because no one ever knew either “person.” This means you’re free to behave however you want; it’s okay to change radically. 

Something said sincerely is rarely embellished or over exaggerated. There are exceptions, such as remarks made facetiously(for fun). 

Practicing sincerity: Let’s say an identification is found, say…something that elicits a fear response in you (it could be any feeling). Perhaps you are finding it now because you’re ready to be honest about it, whereas before you weren’t quite ready to inspect that side of yourself. So you give it a good looking over… you ponder what it’s like to feel fear as you think about whatever it is causing the fear. Maybe you wonder what it would be like to let go of it, and so on. You eventually decide that it is necessary to let go of it now for whatever reason or non-reason[1] you decide upon. Then you might say to yourself “ok…well… now I’m going to do it…” and then you try (to let go of it). Then there will be an experience of a nonverbal cognitive event—the feeling of trying whatever you intended to try—in this case, to stop being afraid of something you’re afraid of. Two outcomes can come from this. Either you recoil into yourself (the feeling of aversion) and begin an odd dialogue about the situation, or you side-track yourself on some tangential thought, or you become confused, or whatever. The other outcome is that you gain a relative clarity for a moment, like the world opens a bit wider, or your head or soul feels a bit lighter, or you suddenly feel better (no more fear, in this case), or you have a sense of relief, etc. The latter is sincerity, and the former is just an instance of not being able to be sincere during that attempt to let go of the identification (so just try again immediately after you realize that). Knowing these two outcomes also allows you to know whether you actually let go of the identification, and also how to avoid deluding yourself into hiding an issue as “case closed” when it actually is not. That is a very cunning way the self holds onto its existence. In case that has happened accidentally, you want to watch closely – monitoring your thoughts and behaviors—for projections. If you discard something in that way, you will end up projecting it all over the place (typically onto other people). Watch your judgments of others and see if they are actually true about 'you'. Note that a delusion of this nature (one of repression) tends to manifest as a thought/feeling/image that quickly arises for a moment and then disappears a moment later with some insincere phrase or implication such as “ah that’s not important, I get it, yeah I understand, no duh,” etc. It carries a sense of a feeling (sometimes very vaguely) which gilds over the obviousness of the lie being told. 

[Edit: addition] A way to catch yourself being insincere is if you say one thing and think/feel another. So if you tell a colleague at work "have a nice evening" while smiling and then walk away while thinking/feeling "I hate you" or "I hope you choke on your dinner tonight," that's not very sincere! This is not to imply that one should sincerely express hate, either; pure intent (the intent to be happy and harmless) will keep one from any such thing. 

Trent

[1] I use to tell myself, as a catch-all reason to let go of something: “look, I have to end suffering; this isn’t an option. I can either do it now, or later, but I have to do it now sometime… so let’s just do it now so that I can feel better about this”


http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1432496#_19_message_1449006
It Really Does You, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:48 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:48 AM

RE: Just feel them...

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/5/12 Recent Posts
Hello Martin.
Yes,thanks for the reminder to do what is really pretty much the most sensible thing i.e. investigate what bars the way to investigating further(no sarcasm). I think what is most commonly the cause though is the bad feeling(bear with me for an explanation) because an emotion is after all a message from the fast-acting primitive brain that something has gone awry.If one doesn't acknowledge the existence of the unpleasant emotion and get back to feeling well any psychologising and philosophising (to borrow a phrase from Ricky) is worthless.So how does one get back to feeling better if one doesn't clearly remember what got him in the trap.How about the times when you felt bad for some time and the memory of what it is to feel good is not clear and accessible.
It Really Does You, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:59 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 10:53 AM

RE: Just feel them...

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/5/12 Recent Posts
Hey Felipe,

About that :
(Repressing is) not being honest with the inputs.

Well,spot on,you have hit the nail upon it's head man.Thanks.
I definitely do both kinds of repressing.There was a time when i thought that calming yourself down involves willing your emotions into submission.He he.Good to see that categorized in a useful way.

And Martin,

thanks for Trent's post, i will study it the first time i have time.I expect nothing less than perfection from Trent,so he better deliveremoticon.

Live long and prosperemoticon!
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Martin M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 12:07 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 12:07 PM

RE: Just feel them...

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Happy and Harmless:

I think what is most commonly the cause though is the bad feeling(bear with me for an explanation) because an emotion is after all a message from the fast-acting primitive brain that something has gone awry.


Yes and to be precise: it is the (sub-conscious) conviction/belief/perception that something is awry, not a fact.

Happy and Harmless:

So how does one get back to feeling better if one doesn't clearly remember what got him in the trap.How about the times when you felt bad for some time and the memory of what it is to feel good is not clear and accessible.


In the case of sadness, in my experience, it is not neccessary to clearly remember the cause of it in order to feel better. When I fully experience/acknowledge it, which may or may not involve crying, the energy is released and I feel immediately lighter. This might vary of course according to the amount 'I' have / had invested in the situation.

In the case of anger, right now I can´t recall an instance where I wasn´t able to trace it back to its origin, i.e. the point where something didn´t work out the way I expected it to / where I felt violated etc. Realising that it is only in your own best interest to let go of that anger, independently if someone did 'wrong' by you, is the way to go and - as all of this - might take multiple attempts. If you can´t let go, try to see what purpose this anger fulfills. Am I getting angry to protect myself from something?

If I am unable to clearly define what it is I am feeling, it is usually an instance of insincerity, i.e.repression(->Trent´s post). It is important to point out, that there is no underlying moralistic tone to recognizing and acknowleding that one has been insincere. It is more a matter of being unable to be sincere (due to feeling bad/afraid) than being 'a bad person that doesn´t want to change'.
"What is it in my life that I´m not happy about?" "What would I like to change if I had a magic wand?" Again, to allow yourself to be vulnerable and recognize and acknowledge e.g. "ah, yes, I´m sad that I have no money / work is so stressfull / I´m all alone" etc is enough to allow for that feeling / pain to be fully felt and released. No further investigation involved until that point. It indeed can be helpful to get to at least a neutral state of feeling before deeper investigation into the roots of the problem is possible because the better I feel the more I am willing to look closely and objectively.
If neccessary, as sometimes in my case, take a timeout, some mundane distraction like a (comedy) movie, food, sports or something else that you feel is satisfying in order to build that willingness to do some earnest looking.

And to add something else, which I had to learn time and time again: There is a certain relief that comes from simply reading forum posts / aft articles about my problems, making 'me' (temporarily) feel better, but at some point (how about now?) you have to get down to doing it, otherwise it just turns into a fantasy / hope which keeps you going in circles.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 3:18 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 3:18 PM

RE: Just feel them...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hi Happy & Harmless, welcome to the DhO!

thanks for Trent's post, i will study it the first time i have time.I expect nothing less than perfection from Trent,so he better deliver

Trent's advice has proven to be accurate, not to mention impeccably phrased, in theory and practice in my experience.
It Really Does You, modified 10 Years ago at 6/30/12 2:35 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/30/12 2:32 AM

RE: Just feel them...

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/5/12 Recent Posts
Hey,Tommy

Trent's post is indeed excellent .I experienced a bit of a recoil while reading it though because it is mostly descriptive.That made me realize that this type of practice doesn't have much in the way of instructions of what to do(as in a complex methodology) .You just know where to aim,you try and it either happens or it doesn't and this is where intent comes in which is where i have a weakness,meaning that i am just beginning to realize experientially that indeed I am the problem and this judgement of my own emotions[1] that i do is something that is desirable not because i respect you guys and you say that it is but because i see in my own experience that if 'I' was not present to spoil the experience there would be no problem.For now this is my source of intent of whatever purity....

On to the matter of my original post.After a bit of tinkering i still find that if in a particular moment i am doing something but just feeling whatever i am feeling in that moment the majority of the "signal" comes from the head,which in practicality is very often a tension experienced in the frontal lobe and/or temple area.The moment i sincerely admit that yes, i am indeed doing that(worrying that i am going to make a mistake while typing for an example) the experience(and the experiencer to variable extent) shifts in the torso(chest,solar plexus,gut...).What i changed is that i am not trying to shift it willfully but that happens if i am sincere in my acknowledgement of the reaction to the feeling.

Now the problem seems to be that if i didn't feel good enough(as in a minimal amount of general well-being) before i experienced some undesirable emotion my chances of sincerely handling the situation are slim.And that happens a lot.If i felt well on the other hand,dropping the emotion(for real,without pretense) maybe from relatively easy to trivial depending on my previous state.That is where momentum is pretty useful,and patience probably.And i welcome any input although its probably a matter of just:trying enough times to realize that it is much nicer when you succeed than when you don't.

[1]repelling or holding on to feelings.Also there is a second third,...,n-th later of that meaning i sometimes judge myself for judging myself and judge the judging of the judging,ad infinitum.This is a feedback loop and may be part of the reason emotions are so sticky for the not enlightened people.It is like the "Feeler" is your friend(if you,like me are experiencing life as the thinker of your thoughts) and sends messengers with good/bad news and the default human reaction is to either keep the messengers at your doorstep,pretending that they are not there or invite them in and to savor the good news.Either way your friend doesn't know what happens to the messengers and frenetically keeps sending them to let you know what his opinion of the situation is.

Excuse me for a somewhat long post but i realized that condensing my thoughts(and probably opinions) in a post is helpful and thanks to anyone who read the whole thing.