your daily Dharma realization

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Vajradhara, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    namaste friends :)

    it's been a while since i've had a chance to make a post so thank you for taking the time to read it.

    one of the things which is advocated in a Buddhist praxis is a daily mediation and reflection period, usually more than one if it can be managed. my own situation has lent itself to a more sustained meditation praxis than i have been able to have in quite some time...years maybe. i'm very happy about that!

    one of the things, of course, is that this will allow ones character flaws and traits to come into focus... sometimes uncomfortably so. perhaps you know what i'm speaking about? sometimes people can turn away from that if they are not ready to deal with the changes and the consequences of those changes and, i fear, that i've turned away from those things far too often.

    the past few weeks i've had a chance to have a particular issue brought to my attention and the pattern which it follows. it can be hard to see the pattern when you are immersed in it, yes? the perspective of someone else can be just the tool needed to effect change. that change still requires a great deal of courage and will power to make happen and we all come to those things in our own time (if you're struggling with these things in your own practice please be patient with yourself).

    i've been working on my anger and though i'm loathe to go into the details of how this aspect of my anger gets invoked suffice it to say that it's more common than i would like and it often embarrasses me when i realize that i've been reacting with so much anger. that embarrassment can make working on the anger bit of it more difficult than it needs be and i'd like to feel that i'm making progress in being able to acknowledge the anger response and deal with the emotions involved.

    it's hard to say that i've turned a corner on this difficult issue... though i feel i have that may not be an accurate view. it is, i think, also the sort of thing that requires a bit of a third party perspective to see the fullness of. in any event, there have been two incidents in the past week that would normally have provoked my anger response and though it was very difficult i managed to change my response pattern and, i hope, that change will continue.

    i dislike being angry. anger is, as the Buddha talked about, one of the three poisons which destroys our mental well-being. we can do so many things which we would normally find unethical and immoral when we are angry. it really is like they say an angry human is a being drunk on demonic delusion.

    as i confront my anger i often feel quite vulnerable and unable to really grasp it all and come to terms with it. when i'm feeling particularly vulnerable i find comfort in reading the stories of other Buddhists whom have overcome anger issues in their own lives and see if i can find some nuggets of wisdom i can mine and incorporate into my own practice.

    what do you all do when you're confronting your anger and what ideas, techniques or strategies do you employ to deal with it?

    metta,

    ~v
     
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  2. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Well-Known Member

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    I've learned that my anger cannot be controlled in the normal way through force of will, or repression. As a Buddhist, I've learned that emotions come and go, especially because of mental illness. I'm bipolar, ADHD, and suffer from complex PTSD. It would be foolish to think the anger that arises can be controlled or dismissed. This realization brought me comfort because for most of my life I felt like a failure, like a bad person who cannot control their emotions. Suicidal ideation was my constant companion because I felt alone and unloved. After I received my diagnosis, I realized that these emotions cannot be controlled but they can me managed. HH Dali Lama said that our minds can change through meditation practice and mindfulness, and I believed it so I began to meditate in a different way than I had previously. When anger arises, I recognize the energy and also am mindful that it is an energy and not to take seriously the story that the anger wished to tell me. If I don't buy into the story completely it has less effect on me, even when I'm in a flashback. During those times depression, anxiety, fear and anger can feel overwhelming, and sometimes I do get caught up in them. I've learned to forgive myself for things I cannot repress or dismiss from my being, and continue to practice mindfulness being aware and taking good care of my anger. Over the past year I've noticed a striking reduction in flashbacks and panic attacks. And because of my practice, I had an insight into the fact that I don't exist in the way I previously thought. There is the conventional role I play as a human being, and there is the pure awareness that is always present as the "self" changes and has all kinds of adventures.
     
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  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Nasruddin,

    thank you for the reply.

    would you say that the technique which was advocated by HHDL was a different one than you had been using previously?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  4. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Well-Known Member

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    I think I'd been using mindfulness meditation mostly on the surface. Because of the CPTSD, I often didn't understand my own feelings or what was happening with me. Also, there was a lot of avoiding when I should have been facing things head on, and sometimes I cling to something when I really need to let it go. So, yes, there was a difference. As I learned more about my mental illness, the thing that plagued me for over half a century, I began to look at those issues with the bare attention of mindfulness. I guess I just got better at using a tool I'd had all along, and now it is my "tether" to reality when all about me seems to be coming unglued. Just breathing and coming back to center away from the story I'd been telling myself about whatever is plaguing me.
    By the way, you and I have met before. They used to call me Paladin.
     
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  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Nasruddin,

    thank you for the reply.

    i can relate very strongly to the sentiments you are relating here. i spent some time in a trauma unit working on my CPTSD issues, fortunately, to some success. i can also relate very strongly to the idea of using a tool more skillfully even though you've had that tool for a long time. i think, for me at least, i can get impatient with myself when i have a strong idea of how i wish to behave and see that i'm often not able to live up to my ideals. it has been important in my own growth to remind myself to be patient and compassionate with myself.

    it appears that you've recently rejoined the site! welcome back Paladin! i've been gone for several years and even before that had seen my own participating severely curtailed. i'm trying to be here more frequently. i've missed this level of discourse on these subjects.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  6. Elfiet

    Elfiet Comme je fus

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    Greetings V, Yes, I can relate. I, myself, had turn away from 'things' for many years... and then came a time I could hide no longer. It took me years, to say the least, to find a method of dealing with my emotions. My strategy is a combination of practicing QiGong and Tai Chi and harnessing my faith. The art of QiGong and Tai Chi has managed to teach me how to be calm. Tai Chi is often referred to as "Meditation in Motion". With a calm spirit, I can connect and harness my faith in finding resolutions to my conflict. May I offer back your own advice.... be patient with yourself. ;) As it is often said, it not about the destination, but the journey we travel. All challenges present an opportunity to learn. The challenges I experienced brought Tai Chi in my life - and I am thankful for that.
     
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  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I love the awareness and dedication to practice, the decision to make a change...

    All incredible...
     
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  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Elfiet,

    thank you for the post. indeed :) i should listen to myself more often :) many of the good things in my life have arisen in the ashes of tragedies. life is curiously queer :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    my daily Dharma realization for today is how fragile my emotional state can be when i'm not mindful and grounded. it's easy to lose myself in negative thoughts... more easy than i'd care for honestly. it's been somewhat of a challenge to stay consistent with my meditation practice due to some physical issues i've been having. i've worked out some strategies to deal with it yet i still feel quite limited.

    do any of you deal with physical issues which hamper your ability to meditate? if so, what strategies have you found effective in overcoming those difficulties?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Well I can offer no advice to your question. I don't know why, but just reading your post elicited a level of Peace for me. Your dedication to your practice, and finding ways to improve it, is admirable, I know you will find a solution.
     
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  11. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Due to an irregular heartbeat, I lack the necessary stamina to do a lot of things I once enjoyed. For me though, meditation and prayer helps me to better cope with those physical limitations. Afterward, I always find that I can push myself just a little further to accomplish my goals.
     
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  12. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how to answer. Physical issues covers a wide range. If it is physical limitations such as you can't sit a certain way for long there is nothing wrong with finding a position in which you can be comfortable. I'm sure you know this already. If it is more serious types of issues, such as being in constant pain, that's a tougher nut. I've been susceptible to bad headaches my entire life, and migraines in my older years. I have accepted them as part of my life experience and simply go on about doing whatever I was going to do if I didn't have the pain. Pain cannot always be ignored; it can be accepted though.

    A great many people want to fight against pain. Like it is a battle within yourself. It isn't though. Pain is a bodily function life everything else and it is usually there for a reason (even if the doctors and neurologists cannot explain why this is so). Don't fight it. Acknowledge it. And move forward. Accept it as part of yourself. Doesn't make pain any less pleasant, but it does save you wasting your energy trying to fight it. If that makes sense.
     
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  13. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    I can relate and definitely agree. I've lived with near constant back pain as the result of an auto accident since 1986. Through prayer and mediation I've come to accept it though and these days, I think I notice it more when it subsides. It does flares up from time to time, but a few expletives directed satan's way quickly takes care of that.:D
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    See....now thats funny!
     
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  15. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Well-Known Member

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    I treat it as Zazen practice. I acknowledge it, don't fight it and allow it to go and dissipate like passing clouds.
     
  16. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    thank you all for the thoughtful responses. it's not so much that my relationship with my pain is poor (though i always struggle when there is significant break through sort of pain) rather my spinal issues make sitting or anything really... difficult. i can sit for a while and then have to stand and then have to lay down and then have to sit and around and around. i try to view it all with a certain degree of equanimity though i do get frustrated at this body quite often. i've developed a habit of a walking meditation that is really helpful yet i wonder if i'm missing out on the benefits of a more traditional practice.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  17. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Nothing wrong with that. The Aboriginal folks down here do it that way all the time.
    Take heart. This body is but temporary. A more perfect one awaits....
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I have had sciatica and back pain that made me cry and not sleep for days... But had is the operative word and thankfully all is well now... I so feel for you. There is a community acupuncture in college park that was able to put me pain free and let me sleep for hours while they were open... The healing I got in uninterrupted sleep did wonders.
     

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