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Thread: Growing pains

  1. #1

    Growing pains

    Hi All,

    I've been at Treeleaf for about a month, posting occasionally, but really just trying to observe and take in everything. I hadn't been doing a very good job at sitting although I have done better the last few days. Some guidance from Jundo and carving out time for it has helped a lot, so much so that I'm actually surprised at how I've been able to let things go while sitting. However, it's the rest of the time that I find difficult. It's as if all the thoughts that I let pass through my head go into a waiting room and are there waiting for me about 30 minutes after I'm done sitting.

    My best guess is that I'm going into a kind of withdrawl, at least that's the best metaphor I can come up with, because I'm seeing all the ways I used to distract myself from what I feared. A lot of you have talked about what comes up during sitting, but so far it's been not much of anything which I find helpful. But I'm often irritable when not sitting. I can't think I'm the first person to have this happen. Any advice? It's very unsettling; like turning upstream into a current that used to seem gentle when I was going down.

    I feel overwhelmed.


  2. #2

    Re: Growing pains

    Hi, Scott,

    I appreciate your post.

    I, too, find sometimes that I get irritable and even very hyper after sitting and I've been sitting for quite a while now. Advice that was given to me was to not get up from sitting too fast, take a few minutes to acclimatize to the "real world" and to drink some water and maybe even eat something. The main thing was for me to try to stay in the moment and not act on any moods or whatever came up. I kind of look at it as a mental, spiritual, and emotional house-cleaning. I also had to realize that what took years to accumulate will not dissipate in a snap (at least not in my case). There's the metaphor of dropping one drop of clean water into a bucket filled with dirty water, eventually, it WILL get clean.
    The most important thing is to be kind, and to practice patience with myself, at least as kind as I would be to someone else and as patient as I would be with my kids.
    A monk once told me that we're all baby Buddhas with poopy pants!
    Hang in there, it gets better. I hope this helps a little.

    Many blessings,

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Redding California USA

    Re: Growing pains

    I've had the same kind of thing happen to me also. I used to get mad when someone would make noise while I was trying to sit or if something would come up to prevent me from sitting. Eventually, I just realized that the noise is part of sitting, not being able to sit because of obligations is part of sitting. Angry thoughts are all part of sitting also.

    My problem was I would have expectations about what sitting was "supposed" to be like instead of just letting it be what it was. All of it is your life.

    Your mind has had your entire lifetime to do things its way, so it is not going to change quickly or easily. Just keep on keeping on.


  4. #4

    Re: Growing pains

    Hey Scott, Hope You are doing alright.

    i cant really give you much of an advice since it must look obvious to you.
    but i think you are afraid of letting go, it is one thing to let go on the cushion but its not the same off it.
    the only thing i could suggest is to keep sitting. we all have different reasons for feeling what we feel, but usually they are pretty much the same. it is the our interpretations that differ, what we perceive and analysis by the mind is pretty much what it is. yet the context and meaning we give to it differ for each of us. even if someone gave a step by step guide to most of us. we could understand or do it unless it was our experience. i guess what im saying is that it will come to you.
    with time you might realized how your mind works and what makes you irritable, its not to say that suddenly a light bulb will flash over your head and you will run in the streets covered only by a towel shouting " YURIKA " but it will gradually dawn on you. it might happen without you even noticing but your practice will move from the cushion to your life and back. each day and each moment is different.
    even after years of sitting you will suddenly find problems that you didnt notice before. or that might present themselves as your practice and life progress ( no real difference ).

    i can only suggest sitting and keep going, accepting what is as what is. and with time as you see the reason and solution to what bothers you, strive to fix it.

  5. #5

    Re: Growing pains

    Hi everybody.

    on or off, it makes no difference.
    When you realize this, you'll understand.

    In the meanwhile, the best advice probably is "go with the flow".

    May the force be with you

  6. #6

    Re: Growing pains

    Thanks to those who posted. I think a lot of what I needed was just to post something (hopefully not too much of a rant) and the rest was provided by the thoughtful responses.

    Z is absolutely right; I am afraid of letting go. To use my river analogy, all I've decided is to head upstream and am confident that's the right choice. But that doesn't mean it's easy, rather the reverse, and that's the point.

    The night I posted I had terrible nightmares that I don't remember and my wife had to suffer through, but since then it's been more settled. Everyone suggested that I just keep sitting and that's what I intend to do. I have a lot of crap in my past that there's no reason to go into here and it's going to take awhile (perhaps the rest of my life) to sort it out.

    I've got time...thanks again.


    P.S. Thanks for that image about water getting clean Lora, which really helped a lot. The "poopy pants" image is good too, but as a stay at home dad trying to potty train a 3 year old, I'll stick to the water one.

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