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Having trouble focusing on mindfulness

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  • Having trouble focusing on mindfulness

    Bhante,

    I am used to a life of abuse of suffering and my mind has be trained to work and focus best when I am afraid. However, I suffer when I am constantly afraid. When I begin to meditate and take refuge in the Dharma it was easy to find peace in meditation and focus on my fears, anger, and attachments but now they are going away and I feel so out of control. I have all these wants and cravings that I indulge before I realize I've run away with them. I can see suffering arising in me and I meditate now for an hour but the rest of the day my mind wants me to do something. It's not afraid and it's just - it's a like child or a puppy running around touching everything and I feel cruel telling it to stop because I'm afraid I'm controlling my emotions and thoughts, which was also something I would do while abused but not with right effort. I almost wish I was back under abuse, it felt so understandable and comfortable but I know that's wrong thinking AND wrong remembering.

    I don't want this to get out of hand but I'm not sure where to focus. I'm keeping myself away from people for the most part but I've been posting random things like mad on the social networks (so many funny cat photos after all).

    Please guide me.

    Thank you with metta in my heart,
    Amanda

  • #2
    Dear Amanda,

    It sounds to me that you are doing very well. If your fears and anger are diminishing, you are clearly on the right track. Fear and anger are such destructive emotions that any reduction in their intensity is a wonderful thing.

    It is quite natural that when some defilements diminish others will become more prominent. The most obvious one to arise is craving. Don't try to control your cravings too much. Keep your precepts, of course, but otherwise allow your mind a bit of playtime. Too much control usually leads to the mind becoming rebellious and then it's even more out of control! So be kind to yourself. Remember that you are a conditioned being, just like the rest of us. This means that you cannot force change to occur, and that you will just have to gradually develop the mind over the long term. As you learn kindness and compassion - towards yourself and others - your mind will become more peaceful and craving will abate. A mind that is happy within itself doesn't need to search elsewhere for happiness.

    I hope this helps a little bit.
    With metta.

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    • #3
      Thank you, Ajahn Brahmali.

      I've been trying to meditate on death, Green Tara, non-self and training the mind. I will continue with these meditations and mindfulness with the goal of cultivating compassion for myself as well as others, realizing that my current situation isn't likely to last.

      Thank you again. Sadhu.

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