Message Boards Message Boards

Insight and Wisdom

Struggling with the content. Seeking advice

Toggle
Hey Dharmies. I’m here because I need help. Badly. I’ll start at the start.

3 Years ago I was on Phi Phi island partying very hard, drinking a lot, for a few days or maybe a week. I was going through some depression at the time and was using alcohol to escape it. I felt dull and tired at the time until one afternoon I was having lunch with another traveller and whilst I was talking about my life - telling him about my family - I started to feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious. I later realised this was a panic attack. I felt like running out of the room and I couldn’t make eye contact with the guy. My throat closed up and I could barely speak. This started happening on loop for a few days. I continued partying, when i was drinking the clarity of the fear become abated. I was fully aware that I was going deeper into an abyss. But I enjoyed it as I had been scrounging for so long for any endorphins. I remember one night staring into the mirror and wondering who I was, the anxiety was so battering that I depersonalised. In the mirror I decided to either have myself prescribed some heavy SSRIS, kill myself, or become a buddhist monk.
I ended up leaving the island and contacting a German Psychologist in a tranquil region of Thailand. It was the low season and she essentially allocated 5 days with me solely. She embraced me and I detailed years of self hatred and pain to her. She had me meditate, which I didn’t know how to at the time, perfomed Reiki on me and generally nursed me to a point where I could eat, breathe properly and think clearly again, which took about 5 days.

I didn’t drink for about six months after this and I started doing anapana and some metta/reiki visualisation every day. I was still panicky and started to develop rather strong social anxiety triggers. Which are still plaguing me today. Meditation became my only real viable sanctuary from this reality. Anxiety rose and fell over time and I noted this. It has everything to do with speech. I am afraid of talking, one on one… Groups I’m fine, I’m even often a showoff. I went to a Goenka retreat and landed in some strong jhanic equanimity states. I have sometimes been able to watch my anxiety equanimously  and had a strange period of about 5 months where I felt zero anxiety and almost felt superhuman only to accidentally pull myself back into an anxious mess. The trigger happened during a radio interview, they always have something to do with performance. One on one conversations I get intense anxiety, especially when someone asks me about my life.

Heres the rub; I am very aware than i am caught up in the content of all of these feeling and I have created a very big story. I have been seeing a Psychologist at home here who has helped me generate more self love for myself and I can see that my anxiety is all caught up in some personal insecurity. The reason that I am asking help from this community is because as my meditation practise has developed over the past three years I have become acutely aware of these intense electric feeling vibrations and run up through my hands and feet. I’m very aware of the cells in my body shaking, heat running, my face twitching in discomfort. Whenever I am talking to someone these feeling come up very strongly. To the point where I feel disconnected to the entire human community. I try to accept the feeling but they are so strong I can’t imagine seeing them any other way. The deeper I practise the deeper the aversion and the more acutely aware I am of the vibrations.

I have chosen this path and I am committed to it. I am not here for sympathy. I am here to discuss technique. I need some help to pin down a technique. But I don’t have a teacher, a mentor. Can anyone help me navigate this mess I have gotten myself into. I know that it’s obvious I’m caught in the content. But what is the best road to take from here on? I have been doing a practise of watching physical sensations that I reckon as anxiety ones and then flip to the mental reactions and observe the dialogue between the two, this seems to work. Metta seems to work. I am experiencing a fair level of hopelessness at this point because no matter the equanimity I develop fear seems to flood back as soon as I enter a discussion with someone or have any social interaction.

I am asking for some advice on how to start to view these intense sensations independant from my obvious aversion and dislike toward them. How can I stop hating these feelings? What stage is this? Should I be
noting or just doing metta? Should I just do anapana or keep trying to go into observance of the three characteristics? I have developed some strong aversion. I sense I am in tricky territory.


RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/12/18 12:47 PM as a reply to will john brain.
Hello will john brain,
sorry to hear you are having a bad time.
I can't recommend you any specific technique, you have to see if one is good for you. I suggest you though to stick with one for a longer time and look for a good teacher you feel relatable to.
I have the impression you are looking for structure and direction, and it's probably best to have that not only in meditation practice but in other fields of life as well. Fear, hopelessness and misery are feelings that can come from where your life is not arranged like you would like it to be. Maybe it's worth it to sort some of that out first?

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/12/18 10:35 PM as a reply to will john brain.
will john brain:
I have been doing a practise of watching physical sensations that I reckon as anxiety ones and then flip to the mental reactions and observe the dialogue between the two, this seems to work. Metta seems to work. I am experiencing a fair level of hopelessness at this point because no matter the equanimity I develop fear seems to flood back as soon as I enter a discussion with someone or have any social interaction.

Would it help to elaborate on your experience with social interaction, if it's with family, close friends, acquaintances, people with shared interests/goals, complete strangers, all of the above, etc? You might have a nice head start with all of your experience, meditation and equanimity practice that has been developed to work through the fear, calm yourself down and get back into equanimity; it also helps if the people involved know what you're going through and are compassionate and caring of your well-being to help you process and feel accepted.

Sometimes all it takes is one exposure and it's done, especially if you can be allowed the time to get back into equanimity, but if you do this enough times you can make it the new default. It's also helpful to parse this out as a ptsd experience to work through to stabilize equanimity rather than hopelessness that equanimity isn't working. If it's worth mentioning, panic-attacks for me seemed to be compounded by iron anemia and was completely resolved through exposure therapy and iron supplements.

I recently attending a uu service for the first time and afterwards visited a room full of talking people; it helped to just exist and listen to everyone simultaneously, people would occasionally approach and start talking, responding helped keep the conversation going a little but it would often dissipate because my mind is currently geared to listen deeply rather than generate small-talk. If that sounds like you, it might help to approach social interaction with that in mind or position yourself with two or more other people so as to share the pressure of conversation and meaning-making; philosophical meditation and cultivating self-compassion can also help reduce latent fears.

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/13/18 1:54 AM as a reply to will john brain.
Your issue starts with 1. Fear with 2. aversion making it worse and that has been looping. You need to resolve to overcome Fear, knowing it is internal and that you need to face it and come to terms with it, understand it for what it is, surrendering to it, be fine with loss of control and dropping all resistance so that the aversion loop ends.

Resolve before each sit to experience the Stage of Fear in gentle increments for you to deal with gradually. You can choose to work with smaller sections or slow-mo and repeat as much as you like to gain the micro-lessons. Remember this is a simulation - you cannot be hurt by it, so use the meditation sessions to gain comprehension and thus transcendence. This may sound funny, but you are more powerful than you think you are, especially with high concentration - which is what you could choose to develop (confidence through concentration) before facing your fears. BUT that means that concentration (suggested below - great advice to achieve calmness before embarking on the inevitable task of facing the fears with as little influences as possible) will bite harder too. So I'd go with the former suggestion as soon as you are ready. 

Are you really a machine controlled by accidental shocks from outside?

All the Best! emoticon

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/12/18 10:24 PM as a reply to will john brain.
Hi Will.
Is it coming into the feet and hands or going out or both or not moving. Can you feel the heat at the feet and hands or only in the body or both. What about the  head. Any lights or flashing when you close your eyes. Does the body shake at all, or just the cells. Any internal sounds. How longs it been happening???????
Don't do the 3Cs do the other. Calm and pacify body and mind. 

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/13/18 2:03 AM as a reply to Mettavore.
Francis:
"Would it help to elaborate on your experience with social interaction, if it's with family, close friends, acquaintances, people with shared interests/goals, complete strangers, all of the above, etc?

"It also helps if the people involved know what you're going through and are compassionate and caring of your well-being to help you process and feel accepted.

"Sometimes all it takes is one exposure and it's done, especially if you can be allowed the time to get back into equanimity, but if you do this enough times you can make it the new default. It's also helpful to parse this out as a ptsd experience to work through to stabilize equanimity rather than hopelessness that equanimity isn't working. If it's worth mentioning, panic-attacks for me seemed to be compounded by iron anemia and was completely resolved through exposure therapy and iron supplements.


Yes It's with family and friends. Its whenever I have to spend time with anyone one on one. My biggest fear is dinner with someone in a room that has no sound or fresh air. I feel a feeling of too much focus and concentration on me. I feel like I need to do exposure therapy by having dinner with people. I have noticed I have subconsciously avoided this for years and years. It feels so strange even writing this to be honest. I have a new girlfriend and I have told her about the initial breadown I had, that it cused anxiety and that I am on a road to recovery chiefly with Buddhism. This made me feel very comfortable with her (interesting, I shouldnt hide it as much...). What I havent told her is the crippling feeling I have daily; as I dont want to scare her. My Fear is that if other people know I might drag them into it and thus make the whole thing worse. How much sharing is too much? How much is enough to feel close? These are personal questions but I'm saying all of this to give an understanding of the fear.

Another interesting thing... I was harrowingly Anaemic twice in my teens, early twenties. To the point of hallucinating. I will go check my iron levels. I also am taking a few differnt Nootropic suppliments that  activiate dopamine, ones that are anti stressors ect.

I have a few days free and I am walking around town trying to have conversations with people to work on this exposure therapy idea. When I was talking to this guy just before I posted this I noticed I was struggling not to fidget, breathe deeply and my hands and feet and face start vibrating at a very high frequency. Like the way my breath does in what I think is the second Samatha Jhana where a solidified sensation starts to crumble into molecular vibrations. It is very distracting for this reason as It feels like reality is falling apart whilst Im trying to concentrate. My main fear is that they will find out I have noticed.

streamsurfer:
I have the impression you are looking for structure and direction, and it's probably best to have that not only in meditation practice but in other fields of life as well. Fear, hopelessness and misery are feelings that can come from where your life is not arranged like you would like it to be. Maybe it's worth it to sort some of that out first?
I work as a Furniture maker. I love it but I have deep creative desires that arent met. Writing and drumming. I beat myself up for not pursuing these more and I am actively trying to change this. I have so many dreams sometimes I get daunted by the sheer ammount of things I want to do. Over the years I have done things to push me outside of my confort zone (sales jobs, stand up comedy, solo travel ect) but I always come back to this feeling where I am constantly needing to acheive approval of myself. I dont want to give up pushing myself (which I have actually done lately and things have become worse) but I dont to seek self appoval all the time. Can I just be happy with myself and do scary things from that starting point?


Bigbird:
Hi Will.
Is it coming into the feet and hands or going out or both or not moving. Can you feel the heat at the feet and hands or only in the body or both. What about the  head. Any lights or flashing when you close your eyes. Does the body shake at all, or just the cells. Any internal sounds. How longs it been happening???????
Don't do the 3Cs do the other. Calm and pacify body and mind.
 The sensations are coming into the hands and feet. Rising up like small bubbles in a simmering pot. It is also in the body but most sensitive in the hands. The head also vibrates and get very hot. At this point things go two ways during a converation with someone: I have to sit through it for 10 minutes before i can relax. Or; I start to freak out at the sheer ammount of uneasy sensations and totally lose my equanimity.

I get these sensations just thinking about future interactions. Today I made a pact with myself to be conscious of every future based fear thought with a positive thought based on the same future scenario. This worked suprisingly well in giving me a general sense of equanimity. Maybe if I follow all negative thoughts with a positive perspective, half of my thoughts would be positive? Ambitious goal as you all know thoughts can tumble in like a raging torrent sometimes. I think Metta is extremely helpful in my case as all of the issues seems to be around judgement/self loathing.

The feeling is the crumbling feeling of what I think is the second Smatha Jhana. Has anyone got any tips for moving through this point as at this point my reality, sense of self, vibrates intensely like this as a constant. Have I broken down on a point in the path where a tumult is common?

I want to thank everyone for their comments, reccomendations. I am here to work hard and I don't want to slip into hopelessness further. I want to accept the fire and be at peace with my fear. You all might not have any idea how much this all means to me. Metta, Will

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/13/18 3:01 AM as a reply to will john brain.
Hi Will,
many things came to my mind whilst reading your initial post and all the replies...

You seemed to be able to articulate quite nicely and have a viewpoint on your situation that basically recognizes what's wrong (going about with the stories etc), this is a very good starting point. Also the fact that you say that metta and noticing sensation clearly seem to be working. That's good, I'd stick with the stuff that is working! I wonder, though, could you be trying to take too much control of situation? Trying to actively DO stuff and FIX your emotions. I can't be sure from the text alone, and it might also be diffucult to recognize for you what exactly would be "too much" since I am not an advocate of not active pursuing certain things and not applying effort, either. It's a difficult thing to explain... Somebody mentioned surrendering in their response. I've personally always like the word surrender and I have understood reasonably well how to apply it. I realize that for somepeople this seems like something negative, mindless idol wortship and slavery,  or some new age thing. What I'm going for here is that I have a sense that maybe you could benefit from a dose of loving surrendering type of approaches. I'm not exactly sure how to give proper instructions for this, so I would like to intoroduce a guided meditation that I used to do quite a lot instead. Because it is guided, it is easy to sit and listen and apply. If the method strikes a chord with you, then maybe what I mentioned above might apply to you. If you don't feel like it's working for you, feel free to disregard it. Here's the guided session of guru yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IZAkAVeIbs

Also, I'm not an expert on the rather extreme physical sensations you are axperiencing. However, I've watched and heard that many people recommend doing physical exercises to help allevieate the intense physical discomfort that's arising (actually now that I think about it, it's maybe mostly recommended for mental problems, not being grounded, but for some reasons it makes sense to me to also recommend this for you to get more in touch and accepting with the psysical aspect your going through!). What I have in mind is some physical exercie that allow your to do it mindfully, noting your bodily and mental sensation while you are doing it. It could be tai chi, yoga, dancing or just simply moving freestyle for 10 minutes alone in your house while watching all the sensation that arise, and moving in the way that comes naturally. Just allowing the body move how it wishes. I think this is sometimes called rushen. I think this is the physical aspect of the surrendering I mentioned above. If you don't try to control your movement but rather let them occur freely, without a doer, just experiencing free flow.

All the best to you Will!

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/13/18 2:07 PM as a reply to will john brain.
Hi Will.

Having the energy rising up and pooling in the head is of no use. The heat needs to come down and out the feet. So stop meditating!

Look at getting a teacher, before you go further into practice.

I will private message my gmail address if you wish. Then you can talk to me on Google Hangouts.

I can get you started with some meditation and exercise practices to help get a downward flow. Maybe recommend some teachings and teachers that maybe suited to your situation. Obviously talking maybe difficult for you-however i am reluctant to give you any advice until i am sure that i understand you correctly.

Let me know if you want to talk?


EDIT

The head also vibrates and get very hot.

face twitching in discomfort.



This is why your having problems. This experience is reserved for the feet or hands (neutral vents), but not the head. Having chronic pooling of heat in the head, will cause symptoms of mental illness, or aggravate existing ones. Im not saying all your mental health problems are due to this-but im not saying there not. Remove the heat, and see what problems remain. 
The throat may be stopping the downward flow-the trigger.
This is a standard stop all practice symptom. This is not just a build up of energy causing pressure in the head. Its the fire element, and is unhealthy.


RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/13/18 11:01 AM as a reply to will john brain.
will john brain:
I also am taking a few differnt Nootropic suppliments that activiate dopamine, ones that are anti stressors ect.
Long term activation of dopamine can be associated with increased cortisol levels out of context, so it might help to use that particular nootropic sparingly if not already, and exercise regularly to retrain and reduce the patterns of increased cortisol levels that might be overactive out of context. Laughing (meditation) might also be an aid to defuse the alarm bells according to v.s. ramachandran.

This video is kind of a funny example of finding the silly humour in doing things out of our comfort zone, but I'm also reminded of an episode talking to siri as a way of normalizing one on one communication even if it's something silly like narrow-ai. I feel a tiny amount of hesitance doing this in my experience, so I probably need this as well.

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/14/18 1:20 AM as a reply to Bigbird.
Bigbird:
Hi Will.

Having the energy rising up and pooling in the head is of no use. The heat needs to come down and out the feet. So stop meditating!


The head also vibrates and get very hot.

face twitching in discomfort.



This is why your having problems.This experience is reserved for the feet or hands (neutral vents), but not the head. Having chronic pooling of heat in the head, will cause symptoms of mental illness, or aggravate existing ones. Im not saying all your mental health problems are due to this-but im not saying there not. Remove the heat, and see what problems remain. 
The throat may be stopping the downward flow-the trigger.
This is a standard stop all practice symptom. This is not just a build up of energy causing pressure in the head. Its the fire element, and is unhealthy.

Bigbird, Where is the dharma in all of that? I see these comments in Kundalini forums and can only see them doing damage to people. I have not met any monk who told me stopping meditation is the answer and have only found relief through:

1. Face the fear in the quest for knowing, NOT CONTROL. Drop all wish/need to control. You aren't in control. Forget about control.
2. Drop resistance and aversion. KEEP CHECKING THIS!!!! This is key to Suffering = Pain x Resistance/Aversion/Fear = 0
3. See it for what it is.
4. Accept it. It is part of you. You can run but you cannot hide.
5. Complete the acceptance process by staying with it. Letting go prematurely will cause it to come back. 
6. It may take a couple of sits but resolve to face it and ask for it to show you the issue so that you can deal with it.
7. Surrendering and giving up control in exchange for the power to understand and complete the letting go process.
8. Let go - it will when it is done. There is nothing to do.

Will, You can go run around in circles by grounding it, by doing samatha, by not meditating, etc. But guess what, this thing is you and you cannot run from yourself. Sorry to be harsh, the best way is to balls up and get it over and done with.

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/14/18 11:02 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Jehanne S PeacockHi Will,
many things came to my mind whilst reading your initial post and all the replies...

"You seemed to be able to articulate quite nicely and have a viewpoint on your situation that basically recognizes what's wrong (going about with the stories etc), this is a very good starting point. Also the fact that you say that metta and noticing sensation clearly seem to be working. That's good, I'd stick with the stuff that is working! I wonder, though, could you be trying to take too much control of situation? Trying to actively DO stuff and FIX your emotions. I can't be sure from the text alone, and it might also be diffucult to recognize for you what exactly would be "too much" since I am not an advocate of not active pursuing certain things and not applying effort, either. 

 "I'm not exactly sure how to give proper instructions for this, so I would like to intoroduce a guided meditation that I used to do quite a lot instead. Because it is guided, it is easy to sit and listen and apply. If the method strikes a chord with you, then maybe what I mentioned above might apply to you. If you don't feel like it's working for you, feel free to disregard it. Here's the guided session of guru yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IZAkAVeIbs

"Also, I'm not an expert on the rather extreme physical sensations you are axperiencing. However, I've watched and heard that many people recommend doing physical exercises to help allevieate the intense physical discomfort that's arising (actually now that I think about it, it's maybe mostly recommended for mental problems, not being grounded, but for some reasons it makes sense to me to also recommend this for you to get more in touch and accepting with the psysical aspect your going through!). What I have in mind is some physical exercie that allow your to do it mindfully, noting your bodily and mental sensation while you are doing it. It could be tai chi, yoga, dancing or just simply moving freestyle for 10 minutes alone in your house while watching all the sensation that arise, and moving in the way that comes naturally. Just allowing the body move how it wishes. I think this is sometimes called rushen. I think this is the physical aspect of the surrendering I mentioned above. If you don't try to control your movement but rather let them occur freely, without a doer, just experiencing free flow.

All the best to you Will!


Yes So to give a larger picture of what is going on. What I am trying to do is watch the physical sensations - the thousands of fizzling bubble feelings -  and wait for a mental reaction. Normally (when the meditation routine has lasped) this is a negative reaction, obviously because they're such overwhelming sensations.

Now ( the past two days) when I experience a 'negative' mental sensation as a reaction I gently place a positive mental sensation behind it. This allows the negative mental sensation to exist on its own, give distance from the reaction, and also generate a modicum of equanimity. 

Francis this relates to what you said. I had a though yesterday about to much EFFORT and I feel this is a good experiment in being more gentle in my nursing of sensations, ill see how this goes .

So this is some kind of watching/metta practise I have come up with out of sheer desperation and it has seemed to work.

BigBird, thank you for your offer for help. I am open to any advice but I am a little wary of your suggestion to stop practise. I might not have been clear. When I have an anxiety trigger (eg. talking to another human being, haha how strange) I get this intense feeling of head in the head and the bubbling feeling. This trigger is very strong, its a few years old. I have come back to meditation to try to make peace with this feeling somehow. So yeah, I'm reluctant to stop as it a day to day feeling that doesnt seem to go away.

When I am meditating I dont get the intense heat in the facial region. I'm basically observing bubbling and fizzling throughout most of my body.  Where ever I look! It has been like this for over a year. It similar to whats described in the second samatha jhana. It is all of the time though. If I look at my hands whilst I type write now I feel bubbling and vibrating. So I dont think by stoping this metta/observance thing is going to settle down this feeling,  it feels like the opposite. Stopping medidating feels like aversion to me. Still, I'm open to anything, the reason I started this thread is because I need help! (haha).

I will also start doing cardio, running, 30 mins a day. I am a carpenter so I felt I didnt need to do this as I work a lot. I do struggle with shortness of breath when not equnimous so I think running will be good to open the lungs. 



Yilun Ong
Hi Will.

I see these comments in Kundalini forums and can only see them doing damage to people. I have not met any monk who told me stopping meditation is the answer and have only found relief through:

1. Face the fear in the quest for knowing, NOT CONTROL. Drop all wish/need to control. You aren't in control. Forget about control.
2. Drop resistance and aversion. KEEP CHECKING THIS!!!! This is key to Suffering = Pain x Resistance/Aversion/Fear = 0
3. See it for what it is.
4. Accept it. It is part of you. You can run but you cannot hide.
5. Complete the acceptance process by staying with it. Letting go prematurely will cause it to come back. 
6. It may take a couple of sits but resolve to face it and ask for it to show you the issue so that you can deal with it.
7. Surrendering and giving up control in exchange for the power to understand and complete the letting go process.
8. Let go - it will when it is done. There is nothing to do.

Will, You can go run around in circles by grounding it, by doing samatha, by not meditating, etc. But guess what, this thing is you and you cannot run from yourself. Sorry to be harsh, the best way is to balls up and get it over and done with.

THANK YOU! I came here for honesty and you've dealt it.

So I had an interesting day of meditaion today. I actually read this just before arriving at a meditation centre. So I went into my session with this all as my intention. 

Basically what I did was try as hard as I could to visualise all of the things I am afraid of with the intention of provoking a fear anxeity response. I watched this fear and anxiety and tried to ask myself why is it so scary. What came to me next was that  I actually put a tonne of effort into trying to hide this anxiety. For years. 

I was watching physical sensations this time and somehow floating questions or intentions above them. What if I chose to not hide anxiety? What if i told people about it? What is it?? At this point I began to weep. I told myself that its ok to be afraid. Why am I hiding myself? What am I actually afraid of people seeing? I coudlnt even find an answer to this question. I dont even know what I am hiding...

SO, acceptance. I realised that it is far more beneficial for me, my girlfriend and everyone I know to love me for who I am, not for who I pretend to be. That I should somehow not shield my fears from people as I am talking to them. 

Acceptance, mentally, for me right now looks like this: Intense vibrations and heat that come as a physical sensation. I have a mental fear response to it. I look at this fear and note a small note about either a) a positive thought or b) how comical or funny it is that I am afraid and c) how it is OK to be afraid.

This way of thinking feels very bizzare. There is fear about my lack of fear, how hilarious.. As the day has passed I have watched fear and not fallen in and then for other moments I have fallen in. The pull to fear is extremely strong and to remain equanimous seems like walking a constant tightrope. I am very commited to deepen this as habitual, oft used mental channel in my Psyche but would love some tips on how to stay on path with this. I have been reading Jack Kornfields A Path With Heart and he was tlaking about the healing of the damaged fearful self as part of the spiritual journey. Of opening up to kindness instead of fear of others. How can I gain more momentum in this direction????

Thank you so much everyone. Sorry I havent had time to address you all but I am struggling already not to make an epic tome of a reply. Metta, Will

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/14/18 3:04 PM as a reply to will john brain.
Well this kind of social anxiety is not easy, maybe will be a slowly process but if you are determinated I'm sure you will sucess emoticon !


So take it easy and love yourself in the proces, the change is not going to happen day to night so its important to have this in mind. Also at some points you will think that you finally overcome that issues and next you have the impresion to fall back, is not falling back is just a loop in the proces of healing.

So, i dont know if you are doing loving kindness meditation. For me this type of meditation helped me a lot! Helped me to heal a lot of neurotic-psychological stuff I will tell you what works for me and you can try if you want.

At frist was really hard to connect with the feelings of love and compassion, I needed to learn to smile, I was always sad and serious, very focused on my rigid structure. Learning to smile conected with the other side of life that I was missing. Love and kindess slow everything down in a gentle and soft way. I dont need to break the wheel of the karma i just need to flow in it emoticon..

The technique is really easy, connect with some word that can inspire you and help you to conect with this feelings of love and compassion.
for exemple :
"May I always be full of love and kindess"
"May I always be calm and relaxed without any fear"
"May I always be full of love and kindness"
"May I always be happy content and free"

You can recite this words, but the most important part is to conect with the feelings of love, for me I start feeling something warm and good in my chest. Keep up this practice you can do both vippasana o samatha and this.

The thing is: when you are feeling this ansiety try to connect, feel it but also have compassion and love for what are you feeling. We dont know exactly what this happening to you, maybe a child trauma, maybe an other life trauma, you dont know, but you are here right now to take care of this feelings, to be able to hold them in your arms and embrace it with love and compassion.

Every time this feelings arise you are there to heal and embrace. Sometimes you will be able, sometimes not, they will overcome you, its ok, we are not perfect and we learn by doing. be kind with yourself to allowed this feelings arrasing, its a process, you are creating a beatiful consciousness. Remember that in a deepest level there are just thoguts, emotions, ideas, concepts, belifs reacting to others thoguts, emotions, ideas, concepts, belifs. So, now, you are free to set up your reallity, but old patterns take time to rebuild. So you know take it easy!

Another thing you can do is try to imagine a human representation of this anxiety, how it is? how he moves? is you? or is other person? how old is he/you? what's wearing? what's his expresion? Let your imagination make a movie, just observe, now you are conecting with your subconscious mind, its talking to you. Can you be someone supportive to this representation, someone who can trust, motivate, give courage and tell him that everything is ok, that he/she is perfect and you will be at his/her side for whatever you need?

So that's my tips...I hope that helps you and you can achive what are you looking for, hugs and hakuna matata ;)

RE: Struggling with the content. Seeking advice
Answer
3/14/18 4:55 PM as a reply to will john brain.
 Of opening up to kindness instead of fear of others. How can I gain more momentum in this direction????

Hi Will,

Congratulations. You've just learned a most powerful survival skill emoticon Watch and learn from your own fear - may not be true but it will lead you to the truth!

First thing to keep checking for is self-judgement. Are you habitually harbouring ill-will towards self? Watch ill-will henceforth towards all parties, from the smallest irritations onwards to full-blown madness, keep the fire in your sight. Not to find fault but to give love.

Metta - keep practicing: http://visuteoh.net/teachings/metta-meditation-instructions.html

Use this time to be in touch with yourself, love yourself and let loved ones love you...

Love,
Monk