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I know dealing with past is very difficult, because our mind is not ready to let it go that easily.
But remember that any thought that arise in your mind is temporary, basically life time of any thought is less than fraction of second. If such unwanted thought about your past experience arise in your mind, just think that this thought is not going to live on forever at all, and it came just to displease you for just fraction of second. If we keep on reacting to the unpleasant experience, then we create a cycle of constant action and reaction. i.e. a thought arises,we react to it; when we react , another unpleasant experience arises which will be related to first thought; then we feel uncomfortable and again react to it; thus this sequence of action-reaction keep on going till we become demoralised and feel hopeless. Therefore, simply break the cycle, by not reacting to the thought related to past experience at any cost. Just look at your breath and come to present moment. Because past is past, it’s gone, it was just one nightmare, now you have present moment to cherish.
Few years back you would not have never imagined that your hate for humanity would have turned into love some day. In the same way in next few years you will have changed in such a positive manner that you will be surprised that you used to think about all absurd thing in the past, when you have already wonderful present and future ahead of you.
All the things and events in universe are constantly changing and impermanent. Similarly, all mental phenomenon are also impermanent, they simply arise and vanish, if you don’t react to it. Therefore, just look for today, you will become wonderful doctor, because you have already experienced sufferings in the past, hence you will do your best to alleviate sufferings of others, and for that you have to let go of your past.
PS: If possible take a course on mindfullness meditation or vipassana insight meditation, that will help you certainly in dealing with the psychological block that you’ve created inside your mind. Find out about them on internet, you will find loads of useful information and videos on them.
I’m going to write a long post and hence read it with some patience, I hope you will find something very meaningful.
I think that there are three kinds of people. There are people who have good hardware i.e. these are the people who are naturally gifted with good brain , and hence they have very sharp memory and grasping skills by default. Then there are those who don’t have good hardware, but they have really fine tuned software i.e. Mind. (Yes I believe in the duality of mind and brain i.e mind and brain are different). These people who have good ‘mind’, somehow make very best use of the capacity of their physical brain.
Now there are third kind of people, who don’t have good hardware and software both, i.e. they don’t have sharp brain and fine tuned mind, and these people face many problems.
I think that we can’t make much changes in physical hardware i.e brain, but it is almost “possible for every person to fine tune his mind”. I believe that ‘mind’ of every person has similar potential, irrespective of their physical hardware. And I think that by fine tuning our mind, we can also bring changes in brain (Scientists call this phenomenon as Brain Plasticity) , which in turn can improve our performance substantially.
Now the thing is how to fine tune our software i.e. Mind? And it’s answer is meditation. Actually there are thousands of variety of meditation techniques which can sharpen our mind. But I’ve experience in Aanapan and Vipassana Meditation. Hence I’ll write about these two only. As you are student, I’ll recommend you Aanapan meditation, because it’s foundation of Vipassana meditation and normally students prefer it all over the world.
Once you’ll become mature in Aanapan meditation, your performance will certainly improve, and you’ll certainly experience it on your own after practicing it for one month atleast. But don’t try this on your own. First you’ll have to attend either 1-day or 3-day Aanapan course, whrere you will be taught this meditation under qualified teacher. These courses are held all over the world. Just find out suitable course location from site “http://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index”. And these courses are taught free of cost completely.
This meditation will increase your mindfullness and awareness and in the process will increase your concentration. With proper fine tuned mind, one can have very well organised thought pattern, which is must for anyone who wants to succeed in their respective field. Some people have these well organised thought pattern by default, while some peole develope these with the help of good schools and teachers, and there are some who develope organised thoughts with the help of meditation.
Many time we hear words such as “Hard Work” and “Smart Work”, what exactly is meant by “Smart Work”? Actually smart work means tuning our mind and then doing our work, so that we won’t have to put unnecessary extra labour doing the same thing.
There is no doubt that hard work is required and essential for every success, but without proper ‘mind’, one might not get desired result even after putting every bit of their strength.
Therefore I think you should give Aanapan meditation a try. If practiced properly, it can be a big asset for rest of your life.
Once you will have clear and calm mind, your decision making power will increase and you will devise best study plan for yourself as per your needs.
I hope you will take proper decision after reading above information.
All the best!!
PS: Take a look at small documentary on Aanapan meditation, which is also available free of cost for either download or streaming: “http://store.pariyatti.org/Seeds-of-Awareness–DVD_p_2574.html”
From what you’ve said in your last post, I feel that you’ve very difficult time remaining in present moment. And that’s why you are experiencing forgetfullness and anxiety about future. But in order to live in present, one needs to tame one’s own mind, for which meditation can be very useful. Therefore, if possible I’ll ask you to look into Vipassana Insight Meditation. I’ve written a very long reply about Vipassana in the post
In that post I’ve also listed some documentaries on Vipassana, which you should watch, in order to understand about the technique.
As you are planning to attend university from this September, I think, you must attend atleast one 10-day Vipassana course before joining the university. These courses are held all over the world, just find out the one nearest to your locality as given in their official website “http://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index”. And yes these courses are completely free of cost and no hidden charges.
This meditation technique is 2500 years old, and believed to have been invented by Buddha himself.
Sometimes we think that, when we think too much then we can find out solution to our problems. But actually sometimes it’s very necessary to shut off our mind from all the thoughts. And this Vipassana meditation technique will teach you how to empty mind and only observe the things as they are without thinking.
This meditation technique will certainly help you deal with not only anxiety but it can change complete attitude of individual towards life in a positive manner, provided you sincerely practice it regularly in your daily life after 10-day Vipassana course.
As you are 19, I think you can certainly go for 10-day Vipassana course, because minimum age to attend these courses is 18.
If you feel that, you are not ready for full fledge 10-day meditation course, then there are also 3-day courses organised for individuals below 18 years. You can ask special permission for attending 3-day course.
I hope above information will help you in taking correct course of action.
It’s really great to hear that you have already attended Vipassana courses, and you really seem to like it. It means that you are already one step closer to the solution of your problems. Only thing is that one has to keep on practising it daily for two hours. It’s just like giving daily dose of medicine to our mind. In everyday normally we meet variety of people, and by interacting with them we create both positive and negative thoughts. But if we do Vipassana daily then we automatically develope some kind of resistance to these negative thoughts. And this resistance power to negative thoughts increases as we become more and more mature in Vipassana.
If you haven’t practised Vipassana at home since long time, then I will advice you to go for one more 10-day course again and after that start practising at home regularly twice a day. Because, if one will start doing Vipassana after a long gap at home, then there is high probabilty that one might be flooded with all sorts of thoughts and for some people it may be very troublesome. Therefore, after a long gap, I think it’s necessary to charge our batteries by attending one 10-day Vipassana course, after that we should continue our practice at home atleast for 3-4 months regularly to see the observable changes to our mind.
And Yes , There is one more thing which is often neglected by beginner meditators and that thing is ‘motivation’. One also needs some motivation periodically to do meditation regularly. For that you can read books or have talk with fellow meditators in your locality. Here is a link to one book on Vipassna – “http://store.pariyatti.org/Karma-and-Chaos–PDF-eBook_p_2565.html”. At “http://www.pariyatti.org/” you can find mutiple resources that can boost your confidence in Vipassana. There is also one blog – “http://livingvipassana.com/”, where meditators share their experiences about Vipassana regularly, and it also helps fellow meditators in maintaining continuity of practice in Vipassana.
I hope this will help you in restarting practice of Vipssana.
I know you are going to get out of your problems very soon.
My Best Wishes To You!!
you have your own personality. Don’t try to change youself just for the sake of other people. Many times we try to change ourselves in order to get accepted in social surrounding, but in the process we lose our individuality and as a result we feel confused day by day. Therefore I think you need to accept and love yourself first. Accepting our own self does not mean that we should stop improving as a person. One should always strive to become a good person and should try to inculcate good habits. But we should not try to become what other people want us to become. i.e. our definition of good person should not depend upon perception of other people. I know it is very difficult at this stage for you to accept yourself as it is, because it seems that you are always looking at yourself through the eyes of other people. But you have to start working on it as early as possible, because it is the key to solve your problems, and for that you have to completely change your mindset and thinking process. And changing mindset and thinking process is the most difficult thing, but it certainly not an impossible one.
In order to change mindset, first start reading some inspirational and motivational books. Above @perfectweathertofly has mentioned a book by Eckhart Tolle, which could be a good starting point. You can also take a look at Works of Swami Vivekanand, such as “http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_1/Karma-Yoga”. You can get complete works of Swami Vivekanand on the internet free of cost, because it is in public domain. Once you’ve completed reading these books, you have to move on to meditation. Because changing thought patterns is very difficult, and simply reading books won’t suffice many times, because our old behaviour pattern keep coming back to us from time to time. Hence we need meditation also in order to break this cycle of destructive thoughts. But first start reading books.
Now about antidepressant, I think you should avoid it as much as possible. Because You are not depressed at all, it’s just negative thought patterns that you have accumulated over the years is creating all sorts of problem for you. And in order to get out of these negative thought patterns one needs to have a strong will, which can come through reading and meditation, and not by medicines.
Apart from these, I will suggest you to develope some good hobby that will keep you busy in free time. Because in many cases, our personality is shaped by what we do in our free time. And I think a good hobby along with reading and meditation can do wonders in your case.
Just have a faith in youself and your abilities, you are going to be fine very soon!!
My Best Wishes
I think, over the years you have created very complicated thought patterns about youself and the world surrounding you. Why not take a break and look at the things as the way they are without forming any judgement or opinion about them. I think you need to practice to look at youself and the external world in a non-judgemental manner without forming any pre-conceived notion about them.
You should engage with surrounding people, but at the same time you should not attach any mental image to them. Just think that you are a good-natured person who is interacting with this external world with all his/her capacity. Don’t create your own image in your mind about what other person might be thinking about you. Because we can’t read other people’s mind. Only thing that we can do is try to be a good person to everyone (including our own self), because We don’t have much control over what other person might think about us.
And I think you are already a good person but you are trying really very hard to change youself and build new habits. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and just take it step by step as you’ve mentioned in your first paragraph, but without forming any opinion about yourself and others.
If possible take a look at “Vipassana” Insight meditation. This meditation technique can break any complicated thought patterns if practised with perseverance and patience, and has ability to change behaviour of a person in a positive manner, and hence you don’t have to force anything upon yourself. Just find out about it on the internet. There are centres all over the world conducting courses in “Vipassana” meditation. You can easily find out the centre nearest to your locality.
My Good Wishes are with you!!
If you are thinking that there is more to life than these repeatitive parties and boring conversations, then I think you are clearly on the right track. It’s a good thing that you have realised this thing at such a younger age, this is really commendable.
But I still think that you should not isolate youself from your friend circle,because man is a social animal and he/she can’t remain isolated from his social circle for a long time, otherwise one certainly might feel depressed after certain time. You should enjoy your time with friends, and should go to parties but at the same time I think you also need some good hobby also that can keep your mind engaged in some constructive work. Just find out some hobby like reading,writing,painting,cycling,gardening,bird watching or anything that can make you happy. You can engage youself with some community work, and I think person of your mindset feel much better when they help other people. You can also try learning some form of meditation, that can help you cope with your emotions in much better fashion. Currently I think there is so much un-decisiveness in your nature. With meditation your mind can settle down, and then you can chart out your future course of action with clear and firm mindset. If possible take a look at “anapan” , “vipassana” or “mindfullness” meditation techniques. Search about them on internet. You’ll get plenty of information about them and the centres where they are conducted.
I know you will come out of your situation very soon.
My best wishes to you.March 19, 2015 at 6:09 am in reply to: Major life anxiety at 21, and have never experienced it before, help! #74141
You are really at crucial moment of your life. And it is natural that you might feel very anxious about your future. If you are thinking about meaning and purpose of life then it is certain that you might feel much more depressed, because answer to this question varies from person to person and it also changes with time. Therefore, I will ask you to stop thinking about it, because it is possible that with your current level of knowledge you might not get required answer. But it is also possible that if you will keep on moving then one day you might realise your own definition of life.
But I also know that it’s very difficult to tame the mind if it doesn’t get any satisfactory answer. Therefore we need a practical tool also along with theory to deal with this situation. Therfore I will advise you to look into “Vipassana” Insight meditation for your present problems. Only problem about Vipassana is that it’s very difficult and intense form of meditation in which we practice mindfullness of breath and bodily sensations in order to understand true nature of mind. Modern medical science really don’t understand true nature of mind and hence it’s solutions to psychological problems are far from perfect and produce many side-effects on the body.
I will certainly ask you to give this technique a try.
These courses are scheduled all around the year and have centres all around the world. Just find a suitable vipassana meditation course nearby your locality. You can get cenre info from website : “http://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index” . It’s the main website for course registration and they are completely free of cost with no hidden charges. The courses are purely run on donations by the volunteers and old vipassana meditators who have been benefited by the meditations.
Following are some other important websites and links about Vipassana Meditation.
1. http://livingvipassana.com/ (Blog on Vipassana by some vipassana meditators about their personal experience)
2. http://www.pariyatti.org/ (You can find lots of resources and free ebooks about Vipassana here)
Following are talks and documentaries on Vipassana
I’m certain that with Vipassana you can have much better control over your mind and one day you might get answers to your questions about life and it’s meaning. Because it will clear your mind and will make your mind calm. And with calm, clear and equanimous mind you can handle all the situations in your life in a much better controlled manner.
If you want any more info about vipassana then just search the web. You can also read my reply in the following post where I’ve again discussed about vipassana: “http://tinybuddha.com/topic/what-the-hell-am-i-supposed-to-do/”
My Best Wishes to you.
Please don’t do anything rash. Bad time will not remain forever. Bad time will certainly be followed by good time. You just have to keep on finding alternative ways of getting out of your situation. You should keep on trying irrepective of your difficulties.
I think most of your problems are basically psychological in nature. But getting rid of this psychological block is the most difficult thing. Because I’ve also went through many psychological problems and I know how difficult it is to get out of it.
But you know there is a solution to get out of these problems. And name of that solution is “Vipassana” Insight meditation.
I tried this technique as a last resort for my problems. And now I can’t tell you enough how much I owe to this technique. I really don’t have words to express gratitude for Vipassana. If I could have got this technique much earlier, I might have saved six years of my life. But I’m still happy that atleast I was able to get vipassana instead of wandering aimlessly all my life trying to find out cure.
There is TEDx Talk on Vipassana
Following is a documentary on Vipassana:
1. Doing Time Doing Vipassana
Following is official website for Vipassana Course registration
These Courses are available all over the world and are free of cost.
But only thing is that this meditation course is extremely tough.
It’s 10-day course in which you will be completely isolated from world and will do meditation for 12 hours a day.
But proper hardwork in this course really pays off.
It’s a technique to cleanse of all the impurities of your mind.
You will certainly see that you will have much better control over your emotions once you will sincerely practise this meditation in your daily life.
Following is a good blog on vipassana written by some Vipassana Meditators. You can get idea about personal experience of some meditators.
There is another website with lots of resources on vipassana
In this website you can find many good free ebooks on Vipassana Meditation.
Before coming into contact with this meditation I also used to read lot of books on motivation and self-help. But effect of these books used to fade away with time. Because changing mental attitude requires much more than simply reading books and watching some video. We need some practical tool also along with theory to change our mind. And Vipassana is that practical tool that can certainly bring good changes in our psychological state.
I think you should take 10 day break from your current activities and give this technique a try. It can change your life and might be watershed event in your life.
Actually when I read problems of many people at tinybuddha website, I feel more and more that all these troubled souls require only vipassana. Medicines for psychological problems won’t do us any good and in the long run they produce only sideeffects on the body. Because modern science don’t understand the nature of mind and they try to treat problems of mind with their incomplete or partial knowledge. And we all know incomplete or half knowldge is far more dangerous when treating any disease.
I hope you will take wise decision and change course of your life.
If you want any more info regading vipassana then just search the web, you will get many reviews and plenty of information.
My Best Wishes to you and I know very soon you will come out of your present situation successfully and leave your troubled past behind.