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Dark Night of the (Not) Soul.

Parayana

Parayana

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So when I am sitting in meditation it is bringing up my addictions. I've read this can happen, as the mind starts to return to it's pure state buried karmic tendencies will arise and mine are never very far below the surface. I sat and with in about a minute and a half strong cravings for drugs and alcohol arose. The only reason I didn't get pissed or try to score (not that I know anywhere but I'm street wise enough to connect if I reallly tried) is that I was at my ex's and she was out and I didn't have a key to the door. Trust me if I could have got my hands on some amphet I would have done it despite the best part of seventeen years clean from that shit.

On the night of the Shakyamuni's he faced Mara's armies and the temptation of his beguiling daughters (I don't reallly think the Buddha battled a demon lord but these things are metaphors for his overcoming of the forces of fear and desire in his own mind). I've realised that I am not strong enough to face my demons. I've heard of combat vets curing their PTSD through mediation but they had to face their flashbacks many times full force before they went away. So it looks like after eight years I have to give up on the only thing that has ever meant any thing really in my life - my meditaion and walking the path.

Faced with the prospect of spending the next 25 years in my poky little studio plugged into ESO or whatever the next good MMORPG brings seems so pointless right now. I've seen so much, I know how everything is interconnected, how it's the impure minds grasping at the chaos of the void to try and make somethign stable out of that shifting change that causes birth and how fundamentally deep down the mind is already Buddha but we just don't see it because of the illusion of the defilements, but the asava are just to strong in me in this life to break. After all that a life chasing after the next temporary sensual pleasure seems so pointless.

Right now, however, I just feel like liquidating my remaining assets and going on one last drug and booze fuelled hoboing bender and taking it to it's inevitable conclusion. Roll the dice and hope the next rebirth is better. It just seems so meaningless. After all when the karmic wave of your life dissolves you are still the ocean.

Maybe I would have been better posting this on a Buddhist forum, but the understanding of mental health on most of those sites is limited so I dunno. Not that I'm expecting the Dalai Lama to miraculously join and sort out my spiritual problems, just expressing the way I feel atm.
 
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dewey

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" how it's the impure minds grasping at the chaos of the void to try and make somethign stable out of that shifting change that causes birth "
Can you explain this a bit more please
 
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dewey

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It sounds like you invested a lot of time and energy into your meditation. Speaking as someone quite ignorant of these things, but maybe you can have an awareness of the temptations without giving in?
 
Parayana

Parayana

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@dewey, thanks for taking the time to reply, I've tried that and it doesn't work, meditation is not for everyone and can be destabilising for some people, I was warned by my old Zen teacher that it may bring up my addictions, trust me today if I could have scored I would have.

In answer to your first question the difference between Samsara and Nirvarna isn't much in Samsara the mind is turned outwards, llst in it's own projection, in this case the illusion of birth and death and it is the minds grasping - seeking to make something stable out of what isn't stable that causes birth, in Nirvarna the mind is turned inwards resting in it's own inherently pure nature, mindful, peaceful awareness.
 
Parayana

Parayana

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Oh well, crisis over, the despair has passed, the Buddha didn't advocate meditation for everyone. Many years ago a Tibetan guy told me I had a sincere desire to understand the Dharma and I woluld create the circumstances for that to happen. Looks like it's a life of living by the precepts and doing good works to create merit for the next life. You live and learn.
 
Parayana

Parayana

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Wish I'd not factory reset my laptop to sell to go on one last burn out bender, oh well I've got the xbox and fibre so I can re-download everything. Also the extra Sertraline I took for the depression made me puke and has given me a terminal case of the farts!
 
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dewey

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Oh well, crisis over, the despair has passed, the Buddha didn't advocate meditation for everyone. Many years ago a Tibetan guy told me I had a sincere desire to understand the Dharma and I woluld create the circumstances for that to happen. Looks like it's a life of living by the precepts and doing good works to create merit for the next life. You live and learn.
Glad you're over the despair.

from the sounds of things doing meditation still has benefited you in some way, even though that way may not be obvious right now.

The idea of a 'next life' is so bizarre for me. So you believe in reincarnation?
 
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dewey

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@dewey, thanks for taking the time to reply, I've tried that and it doesn't work, meditation is not for everyone and can be destabilising for some people, I was warned by my old Zen teacher that it may bring up my addictions, trust me today if I could have scored I would have.

In answer to your first question the difference between Samsara and Nirvarna isn't much in Samsara the mind is turned outwards, llst in it's own projection, in this case the illusion of birth and death and it is the minds grasping - seeking to make something stable out of what isn't stable that causes birth, in Nirvarna the mind is turned inwards resting in it's own inherently pure nature, mindful, peaceful awareness.
Kind of interesting the idea that birth and death are just illusions
 
Parayana

Parayana

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@dewey, I don't believe in reincarnation as that refers to an abiding self or soul that transmigrates from life to life, I believe in rebirth in which the mind emanates into a life as the central teaching of Buddhism is no self. Some of the underlying karmic tendencies can stay but may only be triggered under the correct karmic circumstances. When the mind is Buddha it is pure, mindful, limitless awareness beyond all concepts and boundaries as evven an infinte self is still bound by the concept of a self. If everything is without limits then it has the potential to be anything. If there is no self, what is born? Hence the illusion of birth and death.
 
Parayana

Parayana

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Tried Pure Land chanting tonight as a form of meditation and my mind went into a very calm mindful state with no addictions coming up so I think I will stick with that.
 
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dewey

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@dewey, I don't believe in reincarnation as that refers to an abiding self or soul that transmigrates from life to life, I believe in rebirth in which the mind emanates into a life as the central teaching of Buddhism is no self.
I don't really understand the distinction between the two, because it seems to me, if the mind moves into a new life, then the self must be also. To me, the mind and the self are linked.

Also, do you believe that emotion is an illusion?
 
Parayana

Parayana

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If you can see your thoughts and feelings they are not you, the part of you that is aware of your thoughts and feelings doesn't think or feel, it is calm, peaceful, luminous awareness, you have BPD, I have Schizophrenia can either of us control what we think or feel. The sense of self changes from moment to moment if we owned our thoughts and emotions we would be able to control them. I was having a lot of paranoid thoughts yesterday and could see them arsing in my mind, the tendency to believe they were mine and grasp at them and run with them kept arising but I was able to let go of them and prevent my mind getting out of control by being aware of them and rest in that awareness. As for emotion and other things being an illusion that's a topic for advanced study, let's establish a few basics first. Is the you you are with a boyfriend the same you you are with your mum? The self and the mind isn't fixed its a constantly shifting phenomenon.
 
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dewey

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If you can see your thoughts and feelings they are not you, the part of you that is aware of your thoughts and feelings doesn't think or feel, it is calm, peaceful, luminous awareness, you have BPD, I have Schizophrenia can either of us control what we think or feel. The sense of self changes from moment to moment if we owned our thoughts and emotions we would be able to control them. I was having a lot of paranoid thoughts yesterday and could see them arsing in my mind, the tendency to believe they were mine and grasp at them and run with them kept arising but I was able to let go of them and prevent my mind getting out of control by being aware of them and rest in that awareness. As for emotion and other things being an illusion that's a topic for advanced study, let's establish a few basics first. Is the you you are with a boyfriend the same you you are with your mum? The self and the mind isn't fixed its a constantly shifting phenomenon.
I think it is really impressive you were able to let those thoughts go and it is a testament to your self growth and your self development.

I really struggle with this 'being aware' of emotion thing and how it can help.
For example, when I am feeling like I have no strength, no more energy left to do life, I feel it in all of me and my body shuts down. It is extremely hard to rationalise away that feeling away by 'being aware of it'. I can take no distance from my emotions in those moments because the feeling is too strong. So I never get to that calm peaceful luminous awareness.

Or even if I know I am extremely depressed and feel there is no point to anything, the emotion overtakes and I can't like just get rid of it.
I think that yeah, part of my problem is I identify these emotions with myself or with my "Self". I have felt them for so long, as long as I can remember, these emotions have been part of me. So when they happen, I can never say to myself 'oh they will just pass' because I know they keep on returning and I know they are almost part of who I am. It is very hard to get rid of the thought pattern you have always known.
 
Parayana

Parayana

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Anatta (Pali - Not Self) is a very hard one to get your head around as it goes against everything you've been conditioned to believe @dewey. You've been conditioned to believe since birth that you have a seperate self that abides in the body and owns the bodies thoughts and feelings. I couldn't get my head around it for years and almost rejected Buddhism a couple of times because of it until I was meditating, had a moment of Vipassana and saw I was connected to everything and nothing has an existence that is seperate from everything else and everything is interdependent. The point is not to try and get rid of the emotion as rejecting and supressing it just makes it come back stronger the same as indulging it. Vibhava Tanha and Bhava Tanha (desire for something not to be and for something to be) - they are both a form of desire. The point is to be aware of it and accept it and it will go away on it's own. Emotional reactions are conditioned reflexes what Thich Nhat Hanh calls habit energies. But because they are conditioned responses they can be changed. But only you can do the work. Big Hugs honey, I hope you find some relief from your depression, I've been there in the depths of my SZ and it's not a good place.
 
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dewey

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Anatta (Pali - Not Self) is a very hard one to get your head around as it goes against everything you've been conditioned to believe @dewey. You've been conditioned to believe since birth that you have a seperate self that abides in the body and owns the bodies thoughts and feelings. I couldn't get my head around it for years and almost rejected Buddhism a couple of times because of it until I was meditating, had a moment of Vipassana and saw I was connected to everything and nothing has an existence that is seperate from everything else and everything is interdependent. The point is not to try and get rid of the emotion as rejecting and supressing it just makes it come back stronger the same as indulging it. Vibhava Tanha and Bhava Tanha (desire for something not to be and for something to be) - they are both a form of desire. The point is to be aware of it and accept it and it will go away on it's own. Emotional reactions are conditioned reflexes what Thich Nhat Hanh calls habit energies. But because they are conditioned responses they can be changed. But only you can do the work. Big Hugs honey, I hope you find some relief from your depression, I've been there in the depths of my SZ and it's not a good place.
Sounds like you have had quite a journey. Sorry to hear of your mental illness and I am truly glad to hear you are in a better place.

Yeah, I don't know, could I ever really change these 'conditioned responses'... they feel so automatic. Particularly if something is triggering. I guess that is really something I would aspire to do but part of depression is completely lack of motivation, which I feel a lot, just complete lack of motivation so for me, recovering is a road paved with good intentions.

When I'm at my worst, my emotions seem ragingly strong - typical BPD. I don't know how I will get through this because there are so many peaks and troughs. Yeah, it's pretty shit.

I have definitely had moments in the past of strongly feeling that 'we are all connected thing', I have had even times where I completely felt there was no barrier at all between me and others, but in those 'spiritual moments' I always feel quite crazy or out of control. I'm not sure if these moments are just like manic highs for me. In any case, the bad thing is despite these openings, the depression seems to return with a vengeance. I wish I could banish it from my life.

Thanks for listening, on what was a thread that was supposed to be about you.
 
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