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Dealing with the Dark Night

Really struggling here...

Really struggling here...
Answer
4/30/15 8:43 AM
Hi there. I've been meditating on/off for about 7 years now. Mostly I was doing really basic zazen or mindfullness for 10-20 mins here and there. Never built too much consistency until last summer after i got the Insight Timer app (after reading 10% happier). That has helped enormously because i like following numbers and stats, they seem to motivate me. There have been times when i "quit" and remove the app but for one reason or another, i always get back on the horse. 

It seems the worse my life gets, and the less i get pleasure from everything, the more hope i have that this meditation thing will work and liberate me somehow. Like Leonard Cohen said, you gotta suffer greatly to even be interested in this stuff. That certainly applies to me.

I guess i still have the hope that meditation and buddhism can help but these dark days hit me harder and harder and i'm afraid what will happen when there is no more hope left. Perhaps removing all this baggage and these layers is a way to prepare myself for the focus that is necessary to truly pursue this path diligently. It is certainly not for the faint of heart. 

About a month ago just as i started reading MCTB which i found through a reddit discussion, i met a vipassana teacher and since then have started practising vipassana (for the first time). It was a very strange occurence of events especially considering that my teacher knew the book and even guessed that i'm reading it after i told him my story and that i am reading this crazy book. 

I decided to quit my current life. Sell all my stuff and move to thailand. Already have my tickets. I live in northern europe (cold climate) and my social life is dead. I can't function in this society anymore. I've struggled with depression ever since i can remember. Been to many therapists and doctors and tried all kinds of pills, potions, meds, drugs, yoga, zen, self help programs, you name it. Been diagnosed with bipolar, depression, BPD, NPD, OCD, etc. But at some point i stopped believing any of that crap and stopped following any instructions from doctors and last autumn i quit therapy, quit drinking, quit smoking and even became a vegan. I seem to be obsessed with quitting things. I just want to do the right thing. Live right. Minimize harm caused to others and mysef. 

But the last few days have been worse than ever before. There's only so many tv shows to kill time with. Or movies to watch about human dramas. I'm a musician and i cancelled all my shows. I'm trying to feed my mind more positive things. Just feel so god damned alone. Like nobody understands me. Like no matter what i do or how i live, these dark feelings take over. The worst thing is that these moods are temporary. And by the time i do find some answers or get help, i'm already in a different mood. It really sucks. I might read this later tonight and feel inspired and wonder what the hell is wrong with me for thinking such dark thoughts. And suddenly become this wise man with all the answers, feeling good. This pattern persists... 2-3 days feeling awesome and then misery. Dukkha. 

I still have a girlfriend who i love very much (thank god) but i've disassociated myself from everyone else in my life including friends and family. I think they are living in zombieland and its a complete waste of time to even talk to them. I'm 32 and feel like a child because i'm essentially an anti-thesis of a model citizen. I even stopped paying my bills because i dont care what happens anymore if i dont. There are days where i hate everyone and want the universe to explode. Yet I know that this is the "war" i create in my own head and thus project to others. This is not the path of kindness. Without kindness, we're as good as dead.

I just thought i'd sign up here and get some feedback from fellow practioners as well (i've been scavenging the forums a lot but didnt' feel inclined to sign up until i had something to offer the community). 

I can't help but wonder if i'm beyond hope. Just a failed human being. Failed model. I mean, surely there's a point where even the laws of impermanence just dont apply anymore. You know, the point of no return. 

Yet here i am, writing on a forum full of strangers. 

Thoughts?

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 4:51 AM as a reply to Markus.
Well thanks Gordo but  I haven't moved there yet. My flight leaves at the end of may. 

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 6:15 AM as a reply to Markus.
Hi Markus,

Sounds like you're having a pretty rough time! Hope it will get better soon! 

It sounds like you have already found a vipassana teacher that knows about the stages of insight, so this is a good first step. First to figure out whether you have crossed the so-called Arising and Passing away event or not. Do the descriptions in MCTB match any of your experiences? If so part of your current struggle is likely Dark Night related. However given your background of depressions and various diagnosis, figuring out what is Dark Night and what is basic psychological baggage can be quite tricky. Stopping medication and stopping seeing your therapists can be quite risky in this situation. Although on the one hand working with the working assumption that all of your current struggle is Dark Night related can be quite liberating and empowering (meaning you don't have to "fix" anything in your life, your life is fine, you simply need to finish this cycle), on the other hand it can be dangerous if it means you're neglecting other potential causes in your life (such as a pre-existing psychiatric conditions, etc). So I advice you to discuss this in detail with both your teacher and your therapists that you've seen in the past.

Also, as you can read in MCTB, going on a renunciation trip, moving to Asia, leaving everything behind, can be very tempting but beware that you don't burn too many bridges behind you. When you finish this path, you will want to have a life you can return to! I think it is quite possible with the right teacher and support to finish this path at home without renouncing everything and heading off to Asia, but if you have the finances and personal situation to do it, it might be worth a try. 

If you are going to Thailand I can recommend the 10-day retreat on Wat Kow Tahm (www.kowtahm.com), as it is lead by a young but very experienced western teacher, which might be easier to work with than some monks that barely speak english and don't understand your background in some remote monastery somewhere. 

Good luck and practice well!

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 6:16 AM as a reply to Markus.
Hey Markus,

I have the utmost respect for you and your decisions. From an outsiders perspective, you are clearly on the right track whether it feels like it to you or not. Seems like you are going through an intense spiritual awakening and taking the steps to heal yourself and see where this awakening leads.

Good luck!

Jake

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 6:22 AM as a reply to Markus.
Maybe there is certain definite number of things one needs to go through.

When you see something many times you get bored from it, but after a while you get interested again so you need to get "interested again" also certain number of times and if thats done something else triggers and you are again interested in that something etc.

aaa triggers bbb then bbb triggers ccc and ccc triggers aaa..

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 8:08 AM as a reply to Markus.
Hi Markus,
Your story pains me because I have been going through something resembling it since I was sixteen.  I have been blessed with a lot of support and structure and there may be ways in which these things have given me an advantage.  That being said, I have been in and out of school many, many times, never sure if I was going to graduate.  I have been very depressed and very manic countless times (and continue to be).

Here are the things that have worked for me:
-Taking the right meds (after experimenting for a really long time to find the right cocktail) while not drinking for long periods of time.
-Doing super-aggressive forms of psychotherapy such as EMDR and Internal Family Systems that force you to understand, on a non-dual, but psychoanalytic level, how your mind is actually protecting itself by being depressed (or showing other symptoms).
-Doing A LOT of grounding things (Chi-gong in the form of horse stance/twists/lower dan tien stirring, AYP energy work in the form of diaphragmatic breathing and keeping the mind in the 3rd chakra).
-Doing A LOT of vipassana, with the help of a teacher.
-Doing A LOT of prayer/positive visualization/magick-intentionality in the direction of perfect health and well-being.

Finally, I have found that in particularly bad times the goal for me was to "wade through the water" or just "tread water", meaning, you only have so much control.  Think stability.  Think becoming like a mountain, building a mountain within yourself, one day at a time.  Every thing you do that is grounding, balancing, harmonizing is money in the bank.

With Metta,
Noah

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 8:56 AM as a reply to Markus.
Hi Mark, 

Further to the understanding already expressed here, I hope you keep trying. Not for me, but because, to me, it is like your mind is already doing a form of intensifying noting: rejection, rejection, rejection, mood change, rejection, rejection, rejection-- meaning, the mind is just perceiving everything in an aversive and negative way. And yet your mind is forwarding fundamentally wholesome/skillful action in this (ending drinking, ending smoking, care for who/what you eat, gratitude for your girlrfriend, awareness of your retreat from social and societal conditions at the moment...).

I may not be right, but I speculate that things could get more intensely rejecting when you travel at the end of May. The mind will have new experiences to witness and be strongly aversive, too.

So if you can make an intention now to get to your retreat center  as soon as possible and just sit with mind; walk when needed (do not harm your body... after several days sitting will become natural). 

I think you will have no problem with the not eating after noon rules. When we feel this aversive, we often don't want to eat, just eliminate. I often think that Siddhartha Gautama Buddha must have been also going through a very painful mindstate before his mahaniddana awakening... because he was rejecting food completely and willingly at that point. We could construe that event any way we want, but I leave room for the possiblity that he was strongly averse and in do-or-die try mode, willing to starve if there was no reliable answer to his suffering.

Even if you are perfect on retreat, difficult things can happen. People may speak of you tauntingly, make disturbing eye contact, make rumors, snicker. Ridiculous things. Do not expect monastic practitioners to be different than lay pracitioners: Do not be provoked; know that like you cited with Leonard Cohen: "You gotta suffer greatly to even be interested in this stuff." So your comrades there are there due to some suffering, even if their families obliged them to be there for tradition.

Respond to all provokation and aggitation with sitting meditation. Hear any yells in your mind, look at that provocation there. And if you do yell out loud, it's okay: Compassion for all beings who are suffering so much they yell and lash out loud.

And then no matter*: Please try to sit again, kindly and compassionately with your animal, like you are caring for an animal who is a mess of bones and no fur --- they need very silent, gentle care for weeks before they rebound with weight and light in their eyes, then springy joy.

If one retreat place is truly intolerable, find a quieter one. Good teachers will become noticeable in some time if not right away.  

Also, do pack some things for diarrhea and malaria: After several days I think your mind may settle down and be open to some practical help/support. You are worth the care completely, like any living being.

Markus, best wishes.

_______________
*edit:  Also "doubt" is a huge deterrant in meditation, both an intense impulse and sometimes a sustained drain, the thought and intensely restless feeling, "What am I doing here??? Even the squirrels are wiser than this!"

But if you are safe and able to sit with own mind, just respect doubting mind, even speaking to it: "Thank you. I see your point; it's a good point. Yet we are safe and we are still sitting this week(s). This is the project for a while."

Sometimes there is a huge fatigue, a thought, "Just quit." This is useful to sit in. If you feel "quit" mind, "I give up", be with that wherever you are for as many days as needed. Take in some food and water, but then be with that.

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 8:46 AM as a reply to Markus.
Markus:
Hi there. I've been meditating on/off for about 7 years now. Mostly I was doing really basic zazen or mindfullness for 10-20 mins here and there. Never built too much consistency until last summer after i got the Insight Timer app (after reading 10% happier). That has helped enormously because i like following numbers and stats, they seem to motivate me. There have been times when i "quit" and remove the app but for one reason or another, i always get back on the horse. 

It seems the worse my life gets, and the less i get pleasure from everything, the more hope i have that this meditation thing will work and liberate me somehow. Like Leonard Cohen said, you gotta suffer greatly to even be interested in this stuff. That certainly applies to me.

I guess i still have the hope that meditation and buddhims can help but these dark days hit me harder and harder and i'm afraid what will happen when there is no more hope left. Perhaps removing all this baggage and these layers is a way to prepare myself for the focus that is necessary to truly pursue this path diligently. It is certainly not for the faint of heart. 

About a month ago just as i started reading MCTB which i found through a reddit discussion, i met a vipassana teacher and since then have started practising vipassana (for the first time). It was a very strange occurence of events especially considering that my teacher knew the book and even guessed that i'm reading it after i told him my story and that i am reading this crazy book. 

I decided to quit my current life. Sell all my stuff and move to thailand. Already have my tickets. I live in northern europe (cold climate) and my social life is dead. I can't function in this society anymore. I've struggled with depression ever since i can remember. Been to many therapists and doctors and tried all kinds of pills, potions, meds, drugs, yoga, zen, self help programs, you name it. Been diagnosed with bipolar, depression, BPD, NPD, OCD, etc. But at some point i stopped believing any of that crap and stopped following any instructions from doctors and last autumn i quit therapy, quit drinking, quit smoking and even became a vegan. I seem to be obsessed with quitting things. I just want to do the right thing. Live right. Minimize harm caused to others and mysef. 

But the last few days have been worse than ever before. There's only so many tv shows to kill time with. Or movies to watch about human dramas. I'm a musician and i cancelled all my shows. I'm trying to feed my mind more positive things. Just feel so god damned alone. Like nobody understands me. Like no matter what i do or how i live, these dark feelings take over. The worst thing is that these moods are temporary. And by the time i do find some answers or get help, i'm already in a different mood. It really sucks. I might read this later tonight and feel inspired and wonder what the hell is wrong with me for thinking such dark thoughts. And suddenly become this wise man with all the answers, feeling good. This pattern persists... 2-3 days feeling awesome and then misery. Dukkha. 

I still have a girlfriend who i love very much (thank god) but i've disassociated myself from everyone else in my life including friends and family. I think they are living in zombieland and its a complete waste of time to even talk to them. I'm 32 and feel like a child because i'm essentially an anti-thesis of a model citizen. I even stopped paying my bills because i dont care what happens anymore if i dont. There are days where i hate everyone and want the universe to explode. Yet I know that this is the "war" i create in my own head and thus project to others. This is not the path of kindness. Without kindness, we're as good as dead.

I just thought i'd sign up here and get some feedback from fellow practioners as well (i've been scavenging the forums a lot but didnt' feel inclined to sign up until i had something to offer the community). 

I can't help but wonder if i'm beyond hope. Just a failed human being. Failed model. I mean, surely there's a point where even the laws of impermanence just dont apply anymore. You know, the point of no return. 

Yet here i am, writing on a forum full of strangers. 

Thoughts?

I think you are partially on the right track, but still making some mistakes that won't help. Paying your bills and keeping responsibilities can actually reduce your stress because you have less things to worry about.

I think Right Effort (which isn't an excess striving) is what helped me when my practice wasn't going so well. In fact without Right Effort I don't think any practice will do well because the mindfulness is not consistent enough.

Right Effort:

1. Let go of unskillfulness.
2. Prevent unskillfulness from arising.
3. Cultivate skillfulness.
4. Sustain skillfulness.

One of the quick ways to understand impermanence in your meditation practice (you're going to need to learn this sooner or later) is what you said above about changing moods. If you don't wrestle with the old mental patterns and just let them fall away (because you are not adding any more stories) you get a better relief than with trying to stop things. Again harshness is not what is prescribed. Look at the 4 foundations and try to note moods and just get to know how they feel but get to know HOW it feels when they drop off naturally.

This helps to disidentify internal monologues, stories, thoughts from being a self but having the same nature of the 3 characteristics as everything else. The goal is to decondition ruminating. Ruminating is the only problem. Everything else (including emotions and negative ones as well) are not a problem.

Learn concentration practices as a tool. When you are really upset they often work better than mindfulness. The 8 fold path may seem like a boring list but there are many tools in there that stabalize your concentration which aids in clarity for insight. Metta practices (Brahmaviharas especially) are good practices that can condition a well-wishing which banishes a lot of thoughts about enemies which can live in your mind rent free. "What you resist persists". As long as you are letting go of rumination you are on the right track.

Of course eat well and exercise which benefits your energy levels.

Be your own psychologist. Study schemas and you'll see that they are just old beliefs that repeated so many times they are very wired together in the brain. By not ruminating on those schemas the wiring naturally deconditions (like a forgetting) and the conditionings you are developing elsewhere take the place. It can be slow but you should notice some improvements after a few months of good practice and I don't need to tell you that after 5 years it'll be a lot better.

Visualization has come up in Il Matto's post and it can work but I would understand that visualization conditions, so be careful what you visualize so that it is what you want to condition for yourself. It can also be a powerful practice because if you are busy conditioning something else the old conditionings can start going into atrophy from a lack of use.

Good luck!

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/29/15 5:30 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
@Katy- Wow katy, this left me speechless.  Where were you during my darkest of nights?

@Richard- I cannot second 'be your own psychologist' enough.  The only way formal talk therapy ever works is after one has an embodied understanding, which is the same thing anyone (smart enough and motivated enought to be posting on here) can create for themselves.

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/30/15 6:12 AM as a reply to Markus.
Thanks for all the comments everyone. Really helpful stuff. Lots to chew on! I feel wiser. Also in higher spirits today. Met with my teacher (Ron Crouch) and he gave me a lot of helpful instructions also. He's an exceptionally great teacher. 

In case you're interested, my marching orders for now are the following:
  • read Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond by Ajahn Brahm
  • constant self-monitoring of thoughts and asking myself "is this wholesome or unwholesome" (ie. mindfullness)
  • focus more on concentration for now and cutback on the insight (until a more happier state is reached)
  • goal: happiness (and then go for deeper insight practise when in a more conducive state)
So i decided i will start doing 60min concentration meditation every morning instead of combining everything. And in the evening do a little insight + meta (loving kindness). I would also like to start integrating some yoga practises into my day. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I know there's been some talk of AYP over here which i am a little familiar with. And of course implementing all the wisdom you have given me on this thread. Again, i'm grateful for all the help. Isn't it cool that we have the possibility for such a domain to even exist? 

I will update my progress here so its all in one place. 

Feel free to discuss or comment further. I would also like to reply to some of the individual posts made but now i'm hungry. Just thought i'd check in. 

Time to eat some pancakes!

in friendship, 
markus

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
4/30/15 8:44 AM as a reply to Markus.
Never forget that it's the amount of time that you spend on practices that will make the biggest difference. Any periods with rough patches that you are practicing through really help the brain. They aren't failures like some people think. The emotions don't have to be eliminated, just the length and unskillfulness of the emotions.

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/8/15 2:52 PM as a reply to Markus.
How do you think some of the sages of India, for example, would be diagnosed if they submitted themselves to a psychiatric evaluation? And what about the shamans all over the world? Schizophrenia would be my guess for the shamans at least...

You wrote something about suffering... In my view it is necessary up until we realize there is something else than the unfulfilling dreamworld that we have been taken to be real. Whenever we fall into old patterns and beliefs (dreaming) the suffering is necessary to break the trance. Unless there is a wise person/guru we deeply trust who can point out that we've fallen under that is. Trust is the most important thing btw. Whatever we trust in. We can trust the suffering too. We can start seeing that suffering is life, or our own heart, showing us that we've abandoned our integrity and sincerity. We can be grateful for apparent adversity etc., it can keep us humble, and humility is what opens us up for the beauty of truth, or the heart, awareness or whatever you want to call it... But suffering is not necessary beyond a certain point. And a specific attitude is what defines whether we suffer or not. You might suffer a certain (perceived-) situation, and someone else does not because of a different attitude and trust. The seeking and striving ends in the realization that it all is and was about Love. And since love (freedom, peace, happiness, compassion for the self that is the love/goodness that is all the perceived things as one self beyond the separate self) is our actual self, it's the attitude that counts in all this. Shine out, don't try to suck in (happines, love or whatever you're seemingly after). The more you shine, by actions and by seeing things with care and compassion, the more the love is felt. Your nature is to flow out (in situations etc.) not to try to get something, anything, for yourself. When you try to be happy or try to get something for yourself you're actually denying your truth, your real nature. Not to say that the body doesn't need food, money and relative comfort in this world though.

edit:

Oh yeah, forgot to say that reading Rumi somehow awoke this living and dancing knowing in me. I didn't understand half of the poems I read but I kept reading anyway and somehow I (I is just a concession for the apparent separate self who is reading this) became aware of the tenderness in the chest which radiates as everything. Beyond beautiful... Along with the practices you do you might want to engage in the passion -part which doesn't have to do with rational inquiry. All this doesn't end up being rational at all you know. Total abandonment and leaving the separate self behind has nothing to do with rationality whatsoever. And the "selfless self" or the "real self", awareness, cannot really be abandoned. It is there even with the abandonment and the darkest of moments, having no problem even with those things.

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/8/15 2:59 PM as a reply to Robert.
Hi Robert. I just read your message after going through the most hellish 1hour meditation i've experienced. Its really difficult to understand what you are talking about at least when i'm in my current state of mind. Rumi, love, suffering, freedom, total abandonment, reality, etc, etc. These words mean nothing to me when my mind is complete chaos. It amazes me that i am even able to write these words. It also amazes me that people seem to describe this world beyond language and the senses (ie. spirituality) yet to comprehend this stuff they use those very things. Its like we cannot avoid reductionism or sensual experience whatever the thing is. Was buddha just full of shit? Perhaps the awakened one was just a way to describe something that is self-evident and trivial. Perhaps we should really be focusing on things like world poverty, nuclear weapons, violence and ending this disaster of a species known as humanity. Permanent extinction. Mass suicide. The final ritual. Maybe thats what Buddha was talking about.  

The last week has gone quite smoothly after i wrote last. I have been implementing the instructions from Ajan Brahm's book "Minfullness, Bliss & Beyond" and I've been working on stage 4 (following the whole breath). I've been doing this for an hour each day. No insight or metta, just haven't done those at all. The hour feels like enough for me. But then again, i dont know how long i'm supposed to be doing this. There's no clear instruction on this anywhere. In fact, the instructions regarding this whole endeavour are quite terrible as far as i can tell. I'm starting to be skeptical that anybody really knows what they are talking about. Asking myself why i even bother. With anything, for that matter. 

I've also been trying to keep my gatekeepers attentive and mostly they've been doing a good job. Until today. An intruder got in. And its wreaking havoc in my head. There's a great battle raging on. 

I'm confused about everything. I dont know who i am anymore. I type these words but its as if its not me typing. Just some unknown force doing it on my behalf. I'm 32 and i have nothing to do all day but sit around playing online chess, reading my kindle, and waiting for my plane to leave to thailand on the 25th of this month. And sleep and eat and shit. I dont drink or do drugs or eat animal products. I try to keep my sexual drives under control but this is an area i haven't quite mastered yet (porn, masturbation, orgasm, etc). Working on it. I dont have a job. I quit my previous career as a musician and have no idea what i'm supposed to do next. I workout throughout the week doing bodyweight stuff and running and some light stretching/yoga. It's funny how motivated and pumped up for working out i can be but then the next day i have no interest or energy to do it whatsoever and just want to quit everything. 

Watching Breaking Bad seems to be the only thing that makes sense these days (third time seeing it) but i'm only watching the episodes this time around with my girlfriend and it kinda drives me crazy that i cant just binge on it like i would if i was watching it solo. I still love my girlfriend and will be travelling with her but she's mostly at work and when she's not, i seem to feel much better. Luckily i've saved some cash for our travels. And i dont plan to come back to wherever it is i'm from (finland, estonia, etc). When we do have problems its mostly because i'm acting like a stubborn child who wants attention and who wants to be a billionaire druglord and kill everyone who doesnt obey me. 

Today's meditation was very difficult. The first 30 minutes i sat in my chair with eyes closed and tried to follow the breath but the thought stream was overwhelming and i couldnt help but want it all to just end. My phone has an interval bell halfway through my 1hour meditation and i thought that i will try some noting to hopefully help me get through this session. That was a disaster also so i got out of my chair and lied down in the dark room. Tried to note, tried to follow breath but the thoughts were relentless and telling me things i dont want to even hear. Nothing seemed to be working. 

So then i got up and paced around the room like a lion in a cage. I checked the time repeatedly on my phone (which i normally dont allow myself to do). Stared out the window. Walked to the kitchen. Refusing to give up. Sat back in the chair. 6 more minutes. Counted my breathing. Looked at the clock again. Pure hell. Thought about how i want to delete myself online and everywhere. Few more minutes left. Why is this suddenly so difficult i asked myself. I insisted that i get through the hour no matter what, who cares how i do it. And i did. 

The thing is, i feel like nobody understands my depression (if that is even the right word, it seems something much darker and worse) when it really strikes. It is a state beyond comprehension. Beyond words or senses or even enlightenment. This is the prison i live in. And no matter how much i practise this stuff or tell myself i'm happy, eat healthy, practise veganism/kindness/nonharm, read and educate myself and study the teachings of wise men like buddha or laugh and play and take care of myself, etc, etc,  it comes from nowhere and strikes me down. It becomes me. It's frightening. It makes me want to not live anymore. It makes me see everything as one big blur where nothing is even there anymore. Its like i am already dead. And the universe is already in a blackhole. 

So thats the condition i write from now. These words are straight from the blackhole that is my current existence. This is as honest as i am able to convey this state. 

In this state i am unable to even eat because no food is appealing and cooking feels like a process that is way too complex. And drinking water feels like climbing mount everest. I just do what i have to. Usually this lasts for 1-2 days. Right now i feel strangely joyous in this miserable state... it's like i am home. And more real than reality. 

If you haven't been in this kind of state, i doubt you really know what i'm talking about. I dont care what your qualifications are. That's a big problem because all the doctors and teachers and gurus and authors and experts and masters cannot do a god damned thing for me. Nor do they understand. Its all just words and theory. Like a dog barking. 

All i can do is just live and breathe and wait it out. I know the storm will pass but i also secretly hope that it doesn't and things get even worse so i can get more motivation to destroy myself completely. Once and for all. Then again, i still care. Otherwise i wouldnt be sitting here writing this. I have hope. I care about feeling better. Desire. Dukkha. Thats what keeps us alive. 

Thats all i got for now. 

I'll report back again when i feel like the words are dying to get out as they are now.

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/8/15 2:48 PM as a reply to Markus.
For some reason this doc came to mind. Why not check it out. It's really helpful in showing us how that Love/TheWay expresses in everyday life. Go beyond the ideas about how life should or shouldn't be. Leave your ideas about life in general and just feel this. That's all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tLB1lU-H0M

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/8/15 4:10 PM as a reply to Markus.
I wrote that doc recommendation reply before seeing your last reply. Wasn't probably the most appropriate reply from me regarding the last post.

I do know what you're writing about. Racing thoughts way beyond the norm, self hate, suicidal thoughts, self blame, victimhood, total irritability all at once. I don't know if there is anything one can do when that shitstorm is on. Just to wait it out like you say. But there is a reason why that stuff occurs; It's like the mind/ego is somehow sensing that it is losing its grip and it needs to use all its energy to divert the attention. It needs to keep up the activity and reactivity, otherwise its game is up. So that is actually an indicator that what you are doing is making a difference, otherwise the mind would not be reacting like that. But understand that it gets its fuel from your reactivity to it. You assign meaning to that thing and that is what keeps it going. When you stop drawing any further conclusions about that whole thing it starts to die down in time. You can't prevent it from happening but you can refrain from assigning any negative meaning to it or drawing any fixed conclusions about it.

That thing happening means nothing. And it is actually pretty common, believe it or not. And its power will start to decrease when you let it be when it's on (it also doesn't have a power over you apart from distraction). It's unpleasant for sure but it is nothing to worry about. You don't have to figure it out, it can't be figured out. It wants to be figured out, a habit which only keeps it going. There's no need to give it what it seems to be demanding (attention).

It won't cease right away. It has formed in time so it also takes time for it to fade. It's good to understand this too.

edit:

Quote: "Tried to note, tried to follow breath but the thoughts were relentless and telling me things i dont want to even hear."

The thoughts aren't the problem no matter how offensive or taboo. We can't do much about that anyway. The real illusion is that (which I put in bolds) which arises right after the initial thoughts, saying/feeling that they should not arise. That's where the identity is. Just start noticing whenever that arises. It's the secondary response. The "gate keeper", the one who tries to be aware and keeps track of the progress etc.

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/8/15 8:58 PM as a reply to Robert.
Hi Markus, and all

Markus, try listening to some buddhist basics for westerners;
Try Robina Courtin .. listen carefully to her, and read a bit about her, you might find yourself in what she says. She speaks ahell of fast emoticon

Start with this one, she might explain a bit what "the Buddha" was saying or not saying , just enough 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nasIq4E9nNg

and then maybe this one after
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h99rLc7j9Io

and then some more, try one of her numerous complete full week retreat video series around the world, mostly in the US and Australia

Best wishes

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/9/15 2:59 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
I looked into her and read her bio. Its hard to relate to her story since she is a woman and i never really got the whole monk/nun thing. How can people who escaped the real world offer us any advice and understand what its like to have to make money and pretend to give a fuck about people and so called family and so called friends (who are these people anyway who have no IDEA who i am or want to be) and do everyday things + the immense psychological stresses that come with that. The same can be said for most of the buddhist teachings. The practical value of it all is starting to seem very miniscule. Especially when i consider the results thus far. This leads me to think that everyone who claims otherwise is just deluded. 

Why can't we just approach this from a rational point of view and rebuild a new form of spirituality. 

I think all these maps and traditions and lineages, etc, etc are useless. People like Kornfield and Dalai Lama are just blabbering away about human obsessed new age fluff talk without a willingness to practise practical truth and kindness on a holistic level. What about the billion people starving and the BILLIONS of animals dying just so we can all sit out in meditation on x path and study how to find our belly buttons. I say disrobe mr. Dalai Lama if you want to be taken seriously. Forget about tibet, nobody cares. Europeans took over america just like china took over tibet. Welcome to modernity where science, reason and democrasy are trying to give a new kind of environment where people are actually allowed to think freely. Until you are wearing your robe and playing dictator, your "art of happiness" means shit. 

I feel quite discouraged with this whole thing after spending the whole morning reading through threads on this forum. 

Perhaps this just isn't the path for me. I prefer reason. Science. Whatever that means. 

Buddhism = chronically self-obsessed? What the hell could someone living thousands years ago understand about modern life? 

Radical kindness. 

Now there's a concept for you all to digest. 

What about putting that into practise? 

It begins on our plates. In how we treat animals. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHfVajDbyJk&spfreload=10

I think you are all hypocrites. 

WHEN WILL YOU PUT YOUR WISDOM INTO PRACTISE?

I'm all ears. 

If you are feeling comfortable and happy, you are deluded. Good luck with your "maps of enlightenment". 

How am i feeling? 
Angry. 

But my anger and failures as a human being are irrelevant once we open our eyes and ears to the real holocaust thats going on out there. Its everywhere. All restaurants and dinner tables support it who eat animals. Stop kidding yourselves.

Please, just stop. 

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/9/15 5:15 AM as a reply to Markus.
Markus:

Why can't we just approach this from a rational point of view
You should ask that of yourself. Give a good look at yourself before blaming the outside world.

You're doing that shit to yourself if anyone, not others. Snap out of the hypocritical victim role, including the animal thing. Talk to someone face to face (even a therapist) but it's you who needs to start listening, not them.

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/9/15 5:35 AM as a reply to Robert.
You're calling me a hypocrite?

Hmmm...

Lets think about that for a second. 

I believe in kindness and love and compassion. I practise it. Not just talk about it or quote the sayings of some guy thousands of years ago. I practise it when nobody is looking. 

You pretend to give a shit and proclaim to understand the buddha's teachings and preach about Rumi and love and other nonsense. Yet you don't even practise it. You come here and link me to some stupid videos and claim to know something that i'm missing. 

And i'm the hypocrite. Right. 

“In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.”
- Isaac Bashevis Singer

This buddhism thing is fucking joke. 

I mean, i respect some of the teachings but you guys are all a bunch of navel gazers who dont really believe in anything but your selves. I'm finally starting to see that clearly. 

I live because I care. I believe that we don't have a right to intrude on other creature's well being and their interests. I support a new kind of living where we are actually in harmony with the circle of life. 

What do you believe and value? 

Nonsense. Nihilism. Death and destruction and violence and rape. 

Do us all a favor and kill yourselves. 

RE: Really struggling here...
Answer
5/9/15 5:36 AM as a reply to Markus.
Pawel, I have no idea what you're blabbering on about. Please come back when you learn some english and how to structure a sentence. Start here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMlDHQ5hAGk