Negative emotions in middle paths

Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 5:03 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 3:05 PM

Negative emotions in middle paths

Posts: 64 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
I can't say exactly where I am on this path, but in the middle somewhere (and definately past stream entry). 

I had an experience recently where someone crossed my trust and boundaries.

Before SE (and for good reason) I'd feel the emotions of a lot of anger and probably jealousy/envy too. Now I can feel nothing except but sadness. My body has responded in an unusual way and I've had a massive amount of stress hormones pumping through me for about a week after the incident.

​​​​​​​It feels as if my body understands the trauma and is sending more stress hormones through my body that usual to compensate for the lack of negative emotions (anger etc). Has anyone experienced this elevated somatic response post 1st/2nd path? I'd be interested to hear peoples experiences. 
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Oatmilk, modified 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 3:35 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 3:35 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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No matter on what kind of path you are, you'll always have negative emotions. 
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 4:13 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 4:12 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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My post isn't about having negative emotions, it's about the lack of them in situations where I historically have had them and the somatic experience overriding emotion. 
Chrollo X, modified 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 4:51 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 4:51 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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How are you working with this somatic overriding? How are you calming the citta?
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 5:06 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 5:05 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Hi Chrollo, 

Breathwork and hard qigong. 
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 5:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 5:53 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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hard qigong

seriously? Even doing soft qigong in an obsessive way may pull you into troubled waters.

Have you tried changing your routine every know and then?
Dragon Slayer of Mordor, modified 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 6:33 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/15/22 6:33 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Freya .
I can't say exactly where I am on this path, but in the middle somewhere (and definately past stream entry). 

I had an experience recently where someone crossed my trust and boundaries.

Before SE (and for good reason) I'd feel the emotions of a lot of anger and probably jealousy/envy too. Now I can feel nothing except but sadness. My body has responded in an unusual way and I've had a massive amount of stress hormones pumping through me for about a week after the incident.

​​​​​​​It feels as if my body understands the trauma and is sending more stress hormones through my body that usual to compensate for the lack of negative emotions (anger etc). Has anyone experienced this elevated somatic response post 1st/2nd path? I'd be interested to hear peoples experiences. 
I have had something similar happen, with a romantic partner. The way I dealt with the stress hormones was to use a somatic approach- focusing on the body and use countering techniques such as lower belly breathing, natural ways of releasing endorphins such as excercise and sex/orgasm, and cuddling, things like that. Petting cats, calling a family member and asking how they are, things like that are all natural ways of releasing the balancing hormones that have not been pumping through you since the incident. Forgiveness and communication are also useful in relationships. I hope you are able to recover from this difficult situation. 
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 2:22 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 2:19 AM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Freya .
... I'd be interested to hear peoples experiences. 


I have found this to be extremely helpful: You can learn to get some level of control over your somatic response by practicing relaxing-meditation-exercises. 

https://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/08/preparing-for-meditation-with.html
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-parasympathetic-nervous-system-and.html

For me the most important aspects to mental well-being come from (most effective listed first) diet, relaxation, mindfulness.

I find that when I do the exercises in the first link, any dukkha I might have been feeling dissipates ie letting go = relaxation. The more I do those practices the better my skill at letting go of attachments and aversions during meditation and in daily life (ie staying relaxed).
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 5:45 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 5:42 AM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

Posts: 2563 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Freya .

I had an experience recently where someone crossed my trust and boundaries. ... I'd feel the emotions of a lot of anger and probably jealousy/envy too. Now I can feel nothing except but sadness. My body has responded in an unusual way and I've had a massive amount of stress hormones pumping through me for about a week after the incident.

​​​​​​​It feels as if my body understands the trauma and is sending more stress hormones through my body that usual to compensate for the lack of negative emotions (anger etc).



I suspect there could be a few possible things going on...

1) One thing that could be going on is that you are noticing a more direct and visceral response instead of an emotional or intellectual one. A way to think about it is that thoughts are abstracted experiences, emotions are a blend of thoughts and bundles of sensations, but the raw sensations themselves are the direct experience. It can happen that the feelings/sensations of a potentially traumatic experience are felt very strongly without as much thought/emotions around it. The power of a situation is felt directly.

2) There could be some suppression of the material going on. That could explain why sadness is replacing anger. That doesn't sound quite right in this situation, but that can happen.

3) My hunch is that, more likely that #2 above, you are also evolving your understanding of the situation. Anger is often a secondary level response. Most anger, if it is investigated and peeled back, surrounds a more core reaction of feeling hurt. The sadness that you are feeling is probably due to a realization about this issue/pattern, the history of having boundaries crossed, your past experiences of it... and it's starting to point to something more deep, a deeper and more historical wound that wants healing. The first sign of that is often sadness.

4) The last thing that could be going on is the whole "reacting less, noticing/feeling it more" aspect of progress in meditation. On one hand, there is a lot less unconscious reactivity that happens as we're solidly on the path of meditation. On the other hand, our sensitivity to our own reactivity is heightened, so it _feels_ like were even more reactive than we ever were (even though our friends see us as more calm/present/relaxed than we used to be). So there could be that paradox of reacting less, noticing/feeling it more" going on. 

​​​​​​​Just some ideas to consider, hope it helps in some way...


Oh, one other thing... This article is a great discussion of the tantric idea of "complete experience of emotions": Aro - Embracing Emotions as the Path (arobuddhism.org)

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Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 3:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 3:06 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

Posts: 64 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Pepe · hard qigong seriously? Even doing soft qigong in an obsessive way may pull you into troubled waters. Have you tried changing your routine every know and then?
 

Hi what is your experience of qigong?

​​​​​​​My message doesn't mention an obsessive way of practicing qigong, hard qigong mean a yang form of qigong where one physically exerting themselves. Excercise like this is well known for taking one into the parasympathetic nervous system.  Breathwork is a change in my routine and so is hard qigong as I often practice a more yin style. 
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 3:19 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 3:19 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

Posts: 64 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts

I have had something similar happen, with a romantic partner. The way I dealt with the stress hormones was to use a somatic approach- focusing on the body and use countering techniques such as lower belly breathing, natural ways of releasing endorphins such as excercise and sex/orgasm, and cuddling, things like that. Petting cats, calling a family member and asking how they are, things like that are all natural ways of releasing the balancing hormones that have not been pumping through you since the incident. Forgiveness and communication are also useful in relationships. I hope you are able to recover from this difficult situation. 
Thank you, this is a very sweet list, I've certainly been giving my cat lots of cuddles. 
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 3:37 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/16/22 3:37 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

Posts: 64 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
shargrol
Freya .

I had an experience recently where someone crossed my trust and boundaries. ... I'd feel the emotions of a lot of anger and probably jealousy/envy too. Now I can feel nothing except but sadness. My body has responded in an unusual way and I've had a massive amount of stress hormones pumping through me for about a week after the incident.

​​​​​​​It feels as if my body understands the trauma and is sending more stress hormones through my body that usual to compensate for the lack of negative emotions (anger etc).


I suspect there could be a few possible things going on...

1) One thing that could be going on is that you are noticing a more direct and visceral response instead of an emotional or intellectual one. A way to think about it is that thoughts are abstracted experiences, emotions are a blend of thoughts and bundles of sensations, but the raw sensations themselves are the direct experience. It can happen that the feelings/sensations of a potentially traumatic experience are felt very strongly without as much thought/emotions around it. The power of a situation is felt directly.

2) There could be some suppression of the material going on. That could explain why sadness is replacing anger. That doesn't sound quite right in this situation, but that can happen.

3) My hunch is that, more likely that #2 above, you are also evolving your understanding of the situation. Anger is often a secondary level response. Most anger, if it is investigated and peeled back, surrounds a more core reaction of feeling hurt. The sadness that you are feeling is probably due to a realization about this issue/pattern, the history of having boundaries crossed, your past experiences of it... and it's starting to point to something more deep, a deeper and more historical wound that wants healing. The first sign of that is often sadness.

4) The last thing that could be going on is the whole "reacting less, noticing/feeling it more" aspect of progress in meditation. On one hand, there is a lot less unconscious reactivity that happens as we're solidly on the path of meditation. On the other hand, our sensitivity to our own reactivity is heightened, so it _feels_ like were even more reactive than we ever were (even though our friends see us as more calm/present/relaxed than we used to be). So there could be that paradox of reacting less, noticing/feeling it more" going on. 

​​​​​​​Just some ideas to consider, hope it helps in some way... 

Oh, one other thing... This article is a great discussion of the tantric idea of "complete experience of emotions": Aro - Embracing Emotions as the Path (arobuddhism.org) 



​​​​​
Thank you for your detailed response, aside from point 2, which I don't think is right either, it seems you've acurately described whats going on. It seems the emotional processing dynamic is different, the heart is relating to events differently, with a huge sensitivity and vulnerability and the mind is less attached to fabrication.  

Somewhere in the mix the sympathetic nervous system has decided it's a good idea to go into complete overdrive. However if you've read my previous posts on energetic experiences/Kundalini then you'll see how wild my heart can go and how I can experience adrenaline dumps in my body just from sitting in a meditation hall.  These chemical reactions are not unusual for me. 
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 11:43 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 11:43 AM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Hi,

My case is ~20 years of qigong and taiji, but no master or whatsoever. I did mess it up by practicing intensively, that's why I wrote that above. The hard (and physical) qigong I know of is worse still: hanging weight around the scrotum to build up the floor of the pelvic area, iron palm, iron shirt packing & strikes receiving, breath retention over 60+ seconds, qigong coupled with emboding animals spirits, forceful microcosmic orbit, etc. Really not my cup of tea 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 1:04 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 1:04 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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I've had similar things happen, both with negative and positive emotions. 
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 5:36 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 5:33 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

Posts: 64 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Pepe ·
Hi,

My case is ~20 years of qigong and taiji, but no master or whatsoever. I did mess it up by practicing intensively, that's why I wrote that above. The hard (and physical) qigong I know of is worse still: hanging weight around the scrotum to build up the floor of the pelvic area, iron palm, iron shirt packing & strikes receiving, breath retention over 60+ seconds, qigong coupled with emboding animals spirits, forceful microcosmic orbit, etc. Really not my cup of tea 

How did you mess things up - what did you experience? Sound like you practiced Shaolin Qigong, it's pretty hardcore.  Shaolin Qigong is the basis of my training, later came Taijiwuxigong (spontaneous movement) and also a more yin style qigong.

 I'm sorry you've experienced difficulty in your practice, do you think it may be from not having a teacher rather than practicing obsessively? Or perhaps both? I have had good teachers and still have had problems. However if those problems didn't arise I may not have practiced the Dharma last year and got to where I got to (although both shifts have happened when I was doing qigong). 

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Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 5:38 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 5:37 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
I've had similar things happen, both with negative and positive emotions. 

Thanks Linda, I do resonate with so many of your experiences.  
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 10:29 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 10:29 AM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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How did you mess things up - what did you experience? Sound like you practiced Shaolin Qigong, it's pretty hardcore.  Shaolin Qigong is the basis of my training, later came Taijiwuxigong (spontaneous movement) and also a more yin style qigong.  I'm sorry you've experienced difficulty in your practice, do you think it may be from not having a teacher rather than practicing obsessively? Or perhaps both? I have had good teachers and still have had problems. However if those problems didn't arise I may not have practiced the Dharma last year and got to where I got to (although both shifts have happened when I was doing qigong). 

Didn't practice Shaolin Qigong, but yes: those that I mentioned above usually are in Shaolin's curriculum. Know friends who have done many of those, others were just online peers. I actually practiced Chen's and Yang's Taijiquan Qigong, both soft qigongs, nothing particularly strenuous, but practiced for 4+ hours daily with just 4-5 hours of sleep. I did have a taiji teacher who had practice breath retentions and forceful microcosmic orbit, but had problems because of it and so didn't teach me those. So I picked up those qigongs routines elsewhere.

Interesting that you had achieved some paths because of qigong. You're the first one I hear that from! In my case and of few friends, all have had some non-dual experiences, none of cessations. But I guess that could eventually happen too, as qigong can be practiced similarly to body sweeping. 

​​​​​​​Cheers!
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 4:09 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 4:07 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Interesting that you had achieved some paths because of qigong. You're the first one I hear that from! In my case and of few friends, all have had some non-dual experiences, none of cessations. But I guess that could eventually happen too, as qigong can be practiced similarly to body sweeping. 
I may have misled you there a little. First shift (SE) happened last day of an 8 day silent Buddhist meditation retreat, particuarly focusing on pleasure in the body (3rd Jhana). I'd had a cessation late at night and then in the morning after being awake for around 4 hrs mainly in meditation, I did a little qigong and then went straight into a non dual perceptial shift while working with Tara, contemplating emptiness, looking out into the beautiful countryside. 
2nd shift (3 months later) started happening on the way to a qigong workshop and was kind of born fully throughout the workshop which was  Taijiwuxigong. I had been doing often 4 hours of meditation a day, although not on retreat at the time.  
Qigong has undoubtedly deepened the shifts and really helped with intergration. 
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 5:48 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 5:48 PM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Nice!! I have a love-hate relationship with qigong, good to here that it work for you. Inspiring! Non-dual experiences through  qigong right after SE should have been mind blowing!
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 4:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 4:44 AM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Pepe ·:
Nice!! I have a love-hate relationship with qigong, good to here that it work for you. Inspiring! Non-dual experiences through  qigong right after SE should have been mind blowing!


​​​​​​​I assumed thats how everyone experienced SE. 
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streamsurfer, modified 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 9:22 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 9:22 AM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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Hey Freya,
yes I feel you... middle path is also weird in my eyes because there's a certain amount of liberation, but on the other hand motivation can be lacking as gross negative emotions were my biggest drive to practice. So also the question comes up: Is it always gonna stay half-baked like this? Luckiliy, as far I can tell, no emoticon And I can relate to your experience of going through these emotional layers. In the beginning of my practice it was only liberation of mind, mind here, mind there, leaving my body and emotions (for the most part) untouched. Also a weird thing, because mind feels so awakened and free, but body and psyche annoy one with so much samsara garbage (aka human existence 101 ;) ). Now I have been so lucky to get to work through many difficult emotional imprints, for which there was a big resistance originally. Often linked in a chain, like frustration --> anger --> sadness --> shame ... really stirring up some core beliefs. Especially the stress/survival realm was reeeaally convincing me to NOT let it go. But also this is not self, maya in a spiritual sense. Sure, we all have to work and pay bills but one can do it without stressing constantly about basic survival. So yeah, it feels like layer after layer is peeled of from the spiritual onions we all are, and there are always new and sometimes unexpected ones. Good thing is, it doesn't get boring that way at least...
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 10:11 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 10:11 AM

RE: Negative emotions in middle paths

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And I can relate to this. So much! I think the order has been somewhat different for me, but the half-baked situation - totally!