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Doubt vs Trust in Mindfulness

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  • Doubt vs Trust in Mindfulness

    Hi Monastics,

    And thank you for this wonderful opportunity you are giving us here with this community, so that the lay far and away without easy access to Teachers, have the chance to ask questions directly to you. Thank you.

    My name is Jamie,

    I started Meditation 1 year ago and I got hooked due to the magnificent results I gained, and due mindfulness in daily life I had massive decreases of anxiety and develop a sense of calmness in most situation, this was particularly helpful for my social anxiety issues, which a been a horrible burden of mine from my early 20's onwards, as before these problems I was very social and easy going character. I was overjoyed to have finally found a method that would allow me to reacquaint with the more familiar "me"

    However after a while when mindfulness, stop becoming so easy and didn't work all the time I became frustrated. I knew that without mindfulness working and easy meditation. my anxieties would return. It was like a homeless man receiving a lump of gold only then for him to loose it and then become desperate to get it back.

    I obviously became quite desperate and clingy to my practice, forcing meditation, forcing mindfulness. "Be Mindful" "Be Mindful""Be Mindful", Which only caused frustration. This went on for quite a while, and because of my anxieties, particularly my social anxiety, because of the big impact it had on my life, such as loosing touch with all my closest friends whom I still loved but was unable to communicate with, and finding it difficult to communicate with family. Even that taste I had at the start of my practice, showed me what meditation can do for people if done right, was enough make me determined to carry on with my practice and learn all the different types of methods.

    Now I have learned to use meditation to let go, let go of my craving for good experiences in meditation, let go of my expectations of meditation, let go of the doing mind, let go of control. This should be mostly credited to Ajahn Brahm and Ajahm Brahmali and the talks they have given.

    Since this I have been achieving great blissful states within my meditation. :-)

    However this is where my question begins (excuse the long intro) :-)

    Now that I have re-established a good stable practice of formal Mindfulness practice, I would like to bring mindfulness it into my daily life but I am unsure of how to best to do that without forcing.

    Ajahn Brahmali spoke in one of his talks, about a monk who said it was tiring trying to be mindful all the time. Ajahm Brahmali said that he later realised that this isn't the right type of mindfulness, which suggests one that this monk was forcing his mindfullness.

    For me now. post meditation is very easy for me to be mindful. However when I go to work, or start the day going, talking to my boss etc. it doesn't last long, and I end up away in thought. I'm not trying to be mindful at this stage because I am afraid that when I do will I be forcing it, and going back into the bad habits of the past.

    I do know that is possible to stay mindful for longer throughout the day after formal practice, because I did at the start of my practice, and there are plenty of well regarding teachers out there who teach it, such as Thich Naht Han and plenty others. This is not something that just spontaneously arises for me outside of meditation to often. It makes me think that there must be a Middle way between, not practising daily Mindfulness and Forcing daily Mindfulness.

    I am mostly curious about how the Order members here go about practising their Mindfulness in daily life, and what suggestions you could have for me practising it?

    I thank you so much for spending the time to read this. And I am so grateful for all the help your order has given me.

    With Metta and Gratitude
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