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Meditation stopped working

Legate Lanius

Try not to kill yourself 2020 challenge.
#1
Failing to calm myself down. Really angry. Want to kill myself. Can't express myself freely on here. No where else to go. Meditation for 1:20 didn't do anything. No future that I want to experience. Best outcome is neutral by way of meditation. Need to die.
 
#3
Hi @Legate Lanius. I'm sorry you're feeling so bad at the moment.

I'm sorry you feel like you can't express yourself. You can express yourself here, and this is a safe place to do so, where you won't be judged or insulted. The forum does have some rules and guidelines to keep others comfortable and safe on the forum. If you don't understand why a staff member did something, you can write a letter to the staff, in that section of the forum.

I hope you've calmed down a little bit now. If not, maybe you should consider calling a suicide hotline in your country. It might be worth a try.

I hope you can feel a bit better soon. Stay safe. Sending hugs *brohug.
 

Legate Lanius

Try not to kill yourself 2020 challenge.
#5
I read your post. I hope you can find something to ease the pain a little bit.
Hi @Legate Lanius. I'm sorry you're feeling so bad at the moment.

I'm sorry you feel like you can't express yourself. You can express yourself here, and this is a safe place to do so, where you won't be judged or insulted. The forum does have some rules and guidelines to keep others comfortable and safe on the forum. If you don't understand why a staff member did something, you can write a letter to the staff, in that section of the forum.

I hope you've calmed down a little bit now. If not, maybe you should consider calling a suicide hotline in your country. It might be worth a try.

I hope you can feel a bit better soon. Stay safe. Sending hugs *brohug.
Feel free to inbox me if you can't express yourself on the forum for some reason, @Legate Lanius .
Take good care.
Thanks guys, I am trying to not give a fuck about anything since that reduces my anxiety. Eating garbage sugar and carbs rn, maybe I'll pick up smoking again. Really trying to act my way into not giving a fuck since thinking doesn't work. I will try more meditation later.
 

Witty⭐️Sarcasm ⭐️

§ Eclectic nutbag ©
SF Supporter
#6
Thanks guys, I am trying to not give a fuck about anything since that reduces my anxiety. Eating garbage sugar and carbs rn, maybe I'll pick up smoking again. Really trying to act my way into not giving a fuck since thinking doesn't work. I will try more meditation later.
That's what helps me (minus the smoking), so I hope things are calmer for you now.
 

Quietus

Well-Known Member
#7
Failing to calm myself down. Really angry. Want to kill myself. Can't express myself freely on here. No where else to go. Meditation for 1:20 didn't do anything. No future that I want to experience. Best outcome is neutral by way of meditation. Need to die.
Actually, my first post back here after being gone for a few years was basically "it doesn't get better".

I had some decent feedback, and as far I know, the thread didn't get locked, and I didn't get a warning or anything.

Perhaps things are more lax now than they were before.

People should be able to voice those kinds of sentiments, even if they are cynical.

They are just as realistic and valid as someone happening to find their way out of the gutter and improve.

But the fact of the matter is, not everyone does.

Or we go through ups and downs.

And sometimes we're just not in a place to hear advice, sometimes we just want to scream.
 
#8
I don't know your situation or what your experience with meditation is, so the only thing I can do is talk about my own thoughts on meditation and the few things I've learned.

Here's a quote from the book The Three Pillars of Zen (the little knowledge I have about meditation comes from Zen Buddhism, so, sorry if I'm far off from the type of meditation you use), which clarifies a common misundetstanding about the nature Buddhism:

"The first of the three essentials of Zen practice is strong faith (daishinkon). This is more than mere belief. The ideogram for kon means “root,” and that for shin, “faith.” Hence the phrase implies a faith that is firmly and deeply rooted, immovable, like an immense tree or a huge boulder. It is a faith, moreover, untainted by belief in the supernatural or the superstitious. Buddhism has often been described as both a rational religion and a religion of wisdom. But a religion it is, and what makes it one is this element of faith, without which it is merely philosophy. Buddhism starts with the Buddha’s supreme enlightenment, which he attained after strenuous effort. Our deep faith, therefore, is in his enlightenment, the substance of which he proclaimed to be that human nature, all existence, is intrinsically whole, flawless, omnipotent—in a word, perfect. Without unwavering faith in this the heart of the Buddha’s teaching, it is impossible to progress far in one’s practice."

Letting aside the technicalities, the basic point is that meditation doesn't work without some sort of strong faith in the nature and purpose of what you are practicing and the vision of reality which it is trying to form in you. Meditation is a way to get you to a certain state of mind, but it's useless unless you believe wholeheartedly in the possibility of such a state and convince yourself that it is good. So if you, let's say, are suffering because of your material problems and that's all you can think of, meditation is gonna be hard because it is likely that, as you do it -trying to achieve "inner peace"-, you will start feeling like, "This is pointless; no matter how much I fool myself, the truth is my life is ruined unless I solve those problems". And the instant that claim clings to your mind and becomes an article of faith, the process is doomed to fail. It's a little bit paradoxical, but you need to firmly believe that the world is in harmony and that you have a valuable place in such worldview, in order to be able to *feel it* through meditation. If you are meditating and you hear the birds sing, and you concentrate on it, that in itself won't make it nurturing. You rather have to frame the thing in a way that gives it meaning, in terms of your faith and desires. You can, for instance, see the birds as manifestations of the laws of nature, or God, or be conscious of how you share the experience of hearing the birds with other human beings; you associate things back to whatever trascendental notion you are able to hold to with all your strenght. Meditation is, as I understand it, writing poetry around your faith using your body, sensations and feelings. But you first need to find the theme of the poem, the faith you will try to actualize.

Now, this doesn't mean that you need to be secure and happy in order to meditate. I remember hearing something about christian prayer which is very wise: it doesn't matter if you have doubts and you feel that God is silent, praying wanting to connect with God is enough (though not less hard). I think that also applies to meditation in general. Of course you will have doubts about the purpose of your life or how you can fit in the world, but nevertheless you have desires, powerfull and deep-rooted in yourself, about who you wanna be and what reality you want to live in, spiritually speaking. Think of all the dreams you have had since you were a child, and all the people who however briefly have made you feel loved, and all the stories which have made you feel as if you belonged, and take all those emotions and worldviews and discern what emerges from them as for who do you want to be, and what matters to you about reality. And if you meditate using that compass as your guide, and hold to it as if your life depended on it (and it does), you will be able to avoid the voices who throw off the path. In a sense, it doesn't matter what you believe in as long as it is one clear thing; the real danger is believing in different things which point to different directions.

Sometimes "hitting rock-bottom" is a useful experience because it reminds you of what is important. When you are in the darkest place, the lights that shine upon you are always the truest ones. They may come in the form of a song, or a person, or a place, or an event, or an idea, but you must look for the things that make you say, "When everything else fails, this I want to believe in."

I'm sorry if all I said was convoluted and incoherent. Talking about and communicating this kind of matters is very difficult, but I tried as best as I could to explain what I've learned and how I sincerely feel.
 

Sunspots

Pffffeckn amazin
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#9
Eating garbage sugar and carbs rn, maybe I'll pick up smoking again.
Garbage, sugar and carbs always help. But don't pick up smoking again, I bet you worked hard to quit *hug

Really trying to act my way into not giving a fuck
There's a very good book called "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck" by Mark Manson. I highly recommend it.
 

Legate Lanius

Try not to kill yourself 2020 challenge.
#10
Garbage, sugar and carbs always help. But don't pick up smoking again, I bet you worked hard to quit *hug
Nope, just didn't go outside for a couple of weeks, barely any withdrawals. Apparently I can just quit smoking (and coffee) with very little physical withdrawal symptoms, the psych stuff e.g I want a cup of coffee whilst gaming or I want to take a walk and have a cig is what keeps me drinking coffee/kept me smoking.
Garbage, sugar and carbs always help. But don't pick up smoking again, I bet you worked hard to quit *hug


There's a very good book called "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck" by Mark Manson. I highly recommend it.
I can't read.

I don't know your situation or what your experience with meditation is, so the only thing I can do is talk about my own thoughts on meditation and the few things I've learned.

Here's a quote from the book The Three Pillars of Zen (the little knowledge I have about meditation comes from Zen Buddhism, so, sorry if I'm far off from the type of meditation you use), which clarifies a common misundetstanding about the nature Buddhism:

"The first of the three essentials of Zen practice is strong faith (daishinkon). This is more than mere belief. The ideogram for kon means “root,” and that for shin, “faith.” Hence the phrase implies a faith that is firmly and deeply rooted, immovable, like an immense tree or a huge boulder. It is a faith, moreover, untainted by belief in the supernatural or the superstitious. Buddhism has often been described as both a rational religion and a religion of wisdom. But a religion it is, and what makes it one is this element of faith, without which it is merely philosophy. Buddhism starts with the Buddha’s supreme enlightenment, which he attained after strenuous effort. Our deep faith, therefore, is in his enlightenment, the substance of which he proclaimed to be that human nature, all existence, is intrinsically whole, flawless, omnipotent—in a word, perfect. Without unwavering faith in this the heart of the Buddha’s teaching, it is impossible to progress far in one’s practice."

Letting aside the technicalities, the basic point is that meditation doesn't work without some sort of strong faith in the nature and purpose of what you are practicing and the vision of reality which it is trying to form in you. Meditation is a way to get you to a certain state of mind, but it's useless unless you believe wholeheartedly in the possibility of such a state and convince yourself that it is good. So if you, let's say, are suffering because of your material problems and that's all you can think of, meditation is gonna be hard because it is likely that, as you do it -trying to achieve "inner peace"-, you will start feeling like, "This is pointless; no matter how much I fool myself, the truth is my life is ruined unless I solve those problems". And the instant that claim clings to your mind and becomes an article of faith, the process is doomed to fail. It's a little bit paradoxical, but you need to firmly believe that the world is in harmony and that you have a valuable place in such worldview, in order to be able to *feel it* through meditation. If you are meditating and you hear the birds sing, and you concentrate on it, that in itself won't make it nurturing. You rather have to frame the thing in a way that gives it meaning, in terms of your faith and desires. You can, for instance, see the birds as manifestations of the laws of nature, or God, or be conscious of how you share the experience of hearing the birds with other human beings; you associate things back to whatever trascendental notion you are able to hold to with all your strenght. Meditation is, as I understand it, writing poetry around your faith using your body, sensations and feelings. But you first need to find the theme of the poem, the faith you will try to actualize.

Now, this doesn't mean that you need to be secure and happy in order to meditate. I remember hearing something about christian prayer which is very wise: it doesn't matter if you have doubts and you feel that God is silent, praying wanting to connect with God is enough (though not less hard). I think that also applies to meditation in general. Of course you will have doubts about the purpose of your life or how you can fit in the world, but nevertheless you have desires, powerfull and deep-rooted in yourself, about who you wanna be and what reality you want to live in, spiritually speaking. Think of all the dreams you have had since you were a child, and all the people who however briefly have made you feel loved, and all the stories which have made you feel as if you belonged, and take all those emotions and worldviews and discern what emerges from them as for who do you want to be, and what matters to you about reality. And if you meditate using that compass as your guide, and hold to it as if your life depended on it (and it does), you will be able to avoid the voices who throw off the path. In a sense, it doesn't matter what you believe in as long as it is one clear thing; the real danger is believing in different things which point to different directions.

Sometimes "hitting rock-bottom" is a useful experience because it reminds you of what is important. When you are in the darkest place, the lights that shine upon you are always the truest ones. They may come in the form of a song, or a person, or a place, or an event, or an idea, but you must look for the things that make you say, "When everything else fails, this I want to believe in."

I'm sorry if all I said was convoluted and incoherent. Talking about and communicating this kind of matters is very difficult, but I tried as best as I could to explain what I've learned and how I sincerely feel.
I don't believe in anything and the practice that I follow makes it clear that you should not add anything to what is; but to simply observe reality. This would, in theory, lead to clearly seeing and achieving peace of mind, even as everything else may fall. Turns out that I was wrong about meditation "not helping", as a beginner practitioner it's my job to see the suffering clearly without adding hopes of it going away. I think...
 

justrob

Keep on keeping on.
#11
There's a very good book called "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck" by Mark Manson. I highly recommend it.
I haven't read it but I was going to mention it.

I don't believe in anything and the practice that I follow makes it clear that you should not add anything to what is; but to simply observe reality. This would, in theory, lead to clearly seeing and achieving peace of mind, even as everything else may fall. Turns out that I was wrong about meditation "not helping", as a beginner practitioner it's my job to see the suffering clearly without adding hopes of it going away. I think...
Become the witness/observer. Nice.
 
#12
So, this is a very off-topic, technical discussion, but I can't resist responding to what you say. This is the issue for me: you say you don't believe in anything, and at the same time you say that the right way to achieve peace of mind is to observe reality without judging it (which is "mindful meditation"). The problem is that such view is full of assumptions and, yes, beliefs and faith. The idea that you are not your thoughts, and that you can (and must) separate from them, is in no way an evident one. Indeed, certain traditions, like psychoanalysis, would argue that you really are the sum of your thoughts, and that achieving peace of mind is only the result of an active struggle with them. And on the other hand, traditions like christianity would argue that finding peace in the present moment ia a very dangerous assumptions, for to them the duty towards others is paramaount over subjective well-being.

I'm not saying one view is correct and the other one isn't, but I'm simply pointing out the fact that there's not such thing as a lack of belief. Terry Eagleton once said something to the effect of, "People who don't believe in theories are living under a theory they are not aware of." There's indeed a great deal of theory behind the concept of mindful meditation, though, granted, it's not very obvious due to the practice being popularized as some sort of neutral, universal technique. There are the undeniable buddhist roots, where desire is the source of suffering. There's also the, let's say "middle-class ethos" where happiness is to be found inside rather than in the external actions, relationships and responsabilities of the individual.

Again, my purpose is not to say what you should believe, but I'm saying that you better think carefully about what you believe because you are believing something even if you are not aware if it. Faith is not only for religious matters, but also logical, moral, cultural, personal, etc. And I think is better to have a strong, conscious set of beliefs rather than a lukewarm, unconscious one.
 

Legate Lanius

Try not to kill yourself 2020 challenge.
#13
So, this is a very off-topic, technical discussion, but I can't resist responding to what you say. This is the issue for me: you say you don't believe in anything, and at the same time you say that the right way to achieve peace of mind is to observe reality without judging it (which is "mindful meditation"). The problem is that such view is full of assumptions and, yes, beliefs and faith. The idea that you are not your thoughts, and that you can (and must) separate from them, is in no way an evident one. Indeed, certain traditions, like psychoanalysis, would argue that you really are the sum of your thoughts, and that achieving peace of mind is only the result of an active struggle with them. And on the other hand, traditions like christianity would argue that finding peace in the present moment ia a very dangerous assumptions, for to them the duty towards others is paramaount over subjective well-being.

I'm not saying one view is correct and the other one isn't, but I'm simply pointing out the fact that there's not such thing as a lack of belief. Terry Eagleton once said something to the effect of, "People who don't believe in theories are living under a theory they are not aware of." There's indeed a great deal of theory behind the concept of mindful meditation, though, granted, it's not very obvious due to the practice being popularized as some sort of neutral, universal technique. There are the undeniable buddhist roots, where desire is the source of suffering. There's also the, let's say "middle-class ethos" where happiness is to be found inside rather than in the external actions, relationships and responsabilities of the individual.

Again, my purpose is not to say what you should believe, but I'm saying that you better think carefully about what you believe because you are believing something even if you are not aware if it. Faith is not only for religious matters, but also logical, moral, cultural, personal, etc. And I think is better to have a strong, conscious set of beliefs rather than a lukewarm, unconscious one.
I had that retort in the back of my mind whilst typing that I didn't believe in anything, decided to think "fuck it" and posted my lazy thought anyways, haha, guess I couldn't slip that past you. You're right, I do believe (I prefer the word educated guess, in this context) in some things.

I believe that meditation can make me peaceful without changing the content of my thoughts or sensations. This belief I get from memory of previous mediation practice. I also believe that meditation can induce a state of accepting and "loving" my surroundings, this is also retrieved from memory. I believe that memories are an accurate-enough representation of a small perspective of reality in regards to a certain context, and can be relied on until proven unreliable (context-specific).

I do not yet believe in any specific form of life after death, whether it be Buddhist, Abrahamic or otherwise. I also believe myself to have no way of assigning probabilities to these beliefs.

I do believe in modern biology, evolution, DNA and so forth. Without having enough proof of them in my mind to win a debate against a very educated opponent of those theories. I'm guessing that with enough resources and time that I could defeat opposing views, providing that epistemological nukes are not used (e.g we are evolved monkeys that can only percieve a small amount of data, logic might not be applicable in this and that case, quantum physics, and so on).

I believe that I have basically no way of knowing a lot of things that I need/really want to know. Life after death, morality, and so on.

Previously I would disregard those kinds of things as hogwash and go for the atheistic materialistic model but my foundations on that are regularly "shook" by some stuff I come into contact with online (combined with my own intellectual laziness).

I feel fucking bad thinking about this stuff, same as thinking about getting an education or a job. It's like I care about finding an answer, but not enough to find one or make the effort needed.

I would have to guess that there is no life after death since the brain creates/receives/interacts with consciousness. Take the brain out and we're gone or changed into something that is not human, or perhaps another human with no or little memory of the "previous" (time is another annoying thing here) human. I would also guess that there is no objective morality since it's obviously only an evolutionary adaptive trait for group-selective gene propagation.

Really enjoying this conversation, you really seem to have quite the brain on you.
 
Last edited:
#14
Also enjoying the conversation :D

It appears that the things you seem to have more certainty on are relegated to "objective" issues, to establishing the causality between events. And the problem, I think, is that the "subjective" issues, the immaterial, the unknowable, the irrational, is what matters emotionally and spiritually. And it's not only a matter of having just any belief about, say, relationships or morality, but it has to be personal and make you feel passionate. In my case, the things which have helped me the most with my depression have been "passions". A desire for a particulsr type of beauty, an unjustified love for certain things and people, having a side in moral conflicts, finding meaning in the commonplace, believing in the importance of my actions in the story of the world...

It seems to me that no matter how much science you throw at the world, reality remains chaotic, uncertain, lonely, untrustworthy, and therefore the only place where you can find safety is in ideology and faith. Every person is, from certain "objective" point of view, full of faults, cruelty, stupidity, selfishness, etc., so, unless you want to live in a hostile world, you need to have the faith necessary to see beauty in them; bring kindness out of them through the power of love.

I'm sorry if I keep bringing back religion, but I'm a religious person so this is the language I know. There's a passage in the Bible which I think expresses wonderfully how this kind of idealism has primacy over anything else, including knowledge and works. I'm just gonna quote the entire chapter (1 Corinthians 13); if nothing else, it's a beautiful piece of poetry:

" 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal resounding in the wind. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have faith, that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love has no fear; it does not worry; love keeps no records of wrongs; never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
 

Legate Lanius

Try not to kill yourself 2020 challenge.
#15
Also enjoying the conversation :D

It appears that the things you seem to have more certainty on are relegated to "objective" issues, to establishing the causality between events. And the problem, I think, is that the "subjective" issues, the immaterial, the unknowable, the irrational, is what matters emotionally and spiritually. And it's not only a matter of having just any belief about, say, relationships or morality, but it has to be personal and make you feel passionate. In my case, the things which have helped me the most with my depression have been "passions". A desire for a particulsr type of beauty, an unjustified love for certain things and people, having a side in moral conflicts, finding meaning in the commonplace, believing in the importance of my actions in the story of the world...

It seems to me that no matter how much science you throw at the world, reality remains chaotic, uncertain, lonely, untrustworthy, and therefore the only place where you can find safety is in ideology and faith. Every person is, from certain "objective" point of view, full of faults, cruelty, stupidity, selfishness, etc., so, unless you want to live in a hostile world, you need to have the faith necessary to see beauty in them; bring kindness out of them through the power of love.

I'm sorry if I keep bringing back religion, but I'm a religious person so this is the language I know. There's a passage in the Bible which I think expresses wonderfully how this kind of idealism has primacy over anything else, including knowledge and works. I'm just gonna quote the entire chapter (1 Corinthians 13); if nothing else, it's a beautiful piece of poetry:

" 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal resounding in the wind. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have faith, that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love has no fear; it does not worry; love keeps no records of wrongs; never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Thanks for the quote, it is beautiful indeed. I guess faith is one of those things that some have more of and some have less of. For me the degree fluctuates between weak and non-existent. But I do believe in hope and love as better than depravity and cruelty at least. But only when I am not mentally unstable and in the grip of lack. We need more people like you, glad to have you on this planet.
 

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