Feelings of shame arising

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Hazel
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:15 pm

Feelings of shame arising

Post by Hazel » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:15 pm

Hello all,

I'm still early in my journey and one thing I am noticing is a rising feeling of shame. I'm seeing all my short comings in a new brighter light and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I am realizing how angry I get, how self destructive my lifestyle is, the effects my selfishness, how isolated I have made myself, and the toll from my lack of impulse control. I knew all these things before, but they are now a thousand times more obvious and intense. I went from thinking I was an over all good person at the start of this to thinking I'm a monster. :toilet:

What should I do?

:coffee:

tkp67
Posts: 595
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by tkp67 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:05 pm

Hazel wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:15 pm
Hello all,

I'm still early in my journey and one thing I am noticing is a rising feeling of shame. I'm seeing all my short comings in a new brighter light and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I am realizing how angry I get, how self destructive my lifestyle is, the effects my selfishness, how isolated I have made myself, and the toll from my lack of impulse control. I knew all these things before, but they are now a thousand times more obvious and intense. I went from thinking I was an over all good person at the start of this to thinking I'm a monster. :toilet:

What should I do?

:coffee:
Only a good person takes the time to reflect on their own mind and behaviors to understand if the good they feel is subjective to their own desire or if it truly benefits others as well.

Shame has no benefit in that reality check, adjusting behaviors and requires unrealistic foreknowledge of self. It is the delusion. Everything else sounds like growth. It might help to find a teacher in your tradition to validate your insight and help you continue on the path.

TrimePema
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:16 am

Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by TrimePema » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:52 pm

Hazel wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:15 pm
Hello all,

I'm still early in my journey and one thing I am noticing is a rising feeling of shame. I'm seeing all my short comings in a new brighter light and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I am realizing how angry I get, how self destructive my lifestyle is, the effects my selfishness, how isolated I have made myself, and the toll from my lack of impulse control. I knew all these things before, but they are now a thousand times more obvious and intense. I went from thinking I was an over all good person at the start of this to thinking I'm a monster. :toilet:

What should I do?

:coffee:
Instead of shaming and blaming myself, I try to work with generating strong positive regret for my actions and confident, dharmic determination to overcome any shortcomings from now on - even if it only lasts one second, the determination will grow until it's effortless.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:31 pm

Don't dwell on your faults or on the faults of others.
That's actually just another kind of ego thing.
Discipline, ethical conduct and mindfulness are tools for helping you to see the true nature of your mind
The point isn't to turn you into some kind of saint!
Do these thoughts arise during meditation?
If that's the case, then just let them go and don't indulge them.

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Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

Hazel
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Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:15 pm

Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by Hazel » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:57 pm

Thank you three for responding!
TrimePema wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:52 pm
Instead of shaming and blaming myself, I try to work with generating strong positive regret for my actions and confident, dharmic determination to overcome any shortcomings from now on - even if it only lasts one second, the determination will grow until it's effortless.
The idea of positive regret is interesting. How do you perform the transformation?
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:31 pm
Don't dwell on your faults or on the faults of others.
That's actually just another kind of ego thing.
Discipline, ethical conduct and mindfulness are tools for helping you to see the true nature of your mind
The point isn't to turn you into some kind of saint!
Do these thoughts arise during meditation?
If that's the case, then just let them go and don't indulge them.
The idea of this being ego rearing its ugly head is an insightful one. I definitely find myself wanting to be a saint. The goal of ethical conduct is one of the parts that matter most to me. It's strange to hear of it being a means to an end and not the end itself.
tkp67 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:05 pm
Shame has no benefit in that reality check, adjusting behaviors and requires unrealistic foreknowledge of self. It is the delusion. Everything else sounds like growth. It might help to find a teacher in your tradition to validate your insight and help you continue on the path.
"Shame requires unrealistic foreknowledge of self" (paraphrase) - wow. There's a lot of truth to that.

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LastLegend
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Location: Washington DC

Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by LastLegend » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:17 pm

Hazel wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:15 pm
Hello all,

I'm still early in my journey and one thing I am noticing is a rising feeling of shame. I'm seeing all my short comings in a new brighter light and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I am realizing how angry I get, how self destructive my lifestyle is, the effects my selfishness, how isolated I have made myself, and the toll from my lack of impulse control. I knew all these things before, but they are now a thousand times more obvious and intense. I went from thinking I was an over all good person at the start of this to thinking I'm a monster. :toilet:

What should I do?

:coffee:
Congratulations! You’ve learned more about yourself!
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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Queequeg
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Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by Queequeg » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:31 am

...a sutra notes: "Within the Buddha's Dharma, there are two types of healthy people: those who have committed no evil deeds whatsoever and those who, having committed them, have been able to repent of them."

Now, as for one seeking to repent, he must fulfill ten dharmas which assist the success of repentance:

First, develop a clear understanding and belief in cause-and-effect;
Second, give rise to profound fearfulness [of retribution];
Third, bring forth a deep sense of shame and dread of blame;
Fourth, seek out a method to extinguish offenses. This refers to the methods of practice explained in the Great Vehicle (Mahayana) sutras. One should cultivate them in accord with the Dharma;
Fifth, reveal and confess prior offenses;
Sixth, cut off the thought of continuing [the offenses];
Seventh, resolve to protect the Dharma;
Eighth, make the great vow to liberate beings;
Ninth, be ever mindful of all Buddhas of the ten directions;
Tenth, contemplate the nature of offenses as being unproduced.
Zhiyi, translated as "The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation" by Bhiksu Dharmamitra
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

TrimePema
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:16 am

Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by TrimePema » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:29 am

Hazel wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:57 pm
Thank you three for responding!
TrimePema wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:52 pm
Instead of shaming and blaming myself, I try to work with generating strong positive regret for my actions and confident, dharmic determination to overcome any shortcomings from now on - even if it only lasts one second, the determination will grow until it's effortless.
The idea of positive regret is interesting. How do you perform the transformation?
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:31 pm
Don't dwell on your faults or on the faults of others.
That's actually just another kind of ego thing.
Discipline, ethical conduct and mindfulness are tools for helping you to see the true nature of your mind
The point isn't to turn you into some kind of saint!
Do these thoughts arise during meditation?
If that's the case, then just let them go and don't indulge them.
The idea of this being ego rearing its ugly head is an insightful one. I definitely find myself wanting to be a saint. The goal of ethical conduct is one of the parts that matter most to me. It's strange to hear of it being a means to an end and not the end itself.
tkp67 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:05 pm
Shame has no benefit in that reality check, adjusting behaviors and requires unrealistic foreknowledge of self. It is the delusion. Everything else sounds like growth. It might help to find a teacher in your tradition to validate your insight and help you continue on the path.
"Shame requires unrealistic foreknowledge of self" (paraphrase) - wow. There's a lot of truth to that.
negative regret is shame blame and guilt. positive regret is regret with a strong motivation to discontinue negative patterns for the sake of others.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:43 am

Hazel wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:57 pm
The idea of this being ego rearing its ugly head is an insightful one. I definitely find myself wanting to be a saint. The goal of ethical conduct is one of the parts that matter most to me. It's strange to hear of it being a means to an end and not the end itself.
The purpose of Buddha's teachings is to cut through attachment to "me" and "mine".
Discipline and mindfuless serve a very useful function,
just as carefully chewing food and eating calmly is important to digestion.

The purpose of eating isn't to be good at chewing and swallowing.
The purpose of food is to satisfy hunger and nourish the body. But, if you learn to eat carefully, and not gulp food as quickly as possible,
you will digest it better, you won't accidentally choke, or bite your tongue, or burn your mouth, etc.

Likewise, everything Buddha taught was a method for eating and digesting our existence
so that we become free from the suffering that results from attachment to the illusions of this world.


.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

SteRo
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by SteRo » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:27 am

Hazel wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:15 pm
Hello all,

I'm still early in my journey and one thing I am noticing is a rising feeling of shame. I'm seeing all my short comings in a new brighter light and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I am realizing how angry I get, how self destructive my lifestyle is, the effects my selfishness, how isolated I have made myself, and the toll from my lack of impulse control. I knew all these things before, but they are now a thousand times more obvious and intense. I went from thinking I was an over all good person at the start of this to thinking I'm a monster. :toilet:

What should I do?

:coffee:
Be happy. Why? The Buddha called conscience and resulting feelings of shame due to wrong conduct a treasure:
"And what is the treasure of conscience? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones feels shame at [the thought of engaging in] bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct. This is called the treasure of conscience.

"And what is the treasure of concern? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones feels concern for [the suffering that results from] bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct. This is called the treasure of concern.
It is a good basis for practicing the path!

muni
Posts: 4761
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by muni » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:20 am

Hazel wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:15 pm
Hello all,

I'm still early in my journey and one thing I am noticing is a rising feeling of shame. I'm seeing all my short comings in a new brighter light and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I am realizing how angry I get, how self destructive my lifestyle is, the effects my selfishness, how isolated I have made myself, and the toll from my lack of impulse control. I knew all these things before, but they are now a thousand times more obvious and intense. I went from thinking I was an over all good person at the start of this to thinking I'm a monster.

What should I do?

:coffee:
Shame can be a ringing bell, for inquiry and see minds' impulsive or unwholesome actions by destructive emotions. Since these are not helpful. Shame is just that ringing bell, not you, us.... No any identification with wathever.
I rejoice for your inquiry. Change comes from "within" and so peace.

Prayer for guidance.
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Not to identify oneself with something, or to associate things with the 'me,' and to see that the idea that there is a 'me,' which is distinct from things, is a delusion. H H Dalai Lama.

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Queequeg
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Re: Feelings of shame arising

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:21 am

Reading commentary on Vasubandhu's 30 Verses, and I'm at the section on the good mental activities: faith, conscience, shame, non-craving (including non-hatred and non-delusion), vigor, serenity, vigilance.

Conscience is the inner motivated sense of self respect and respect for Dharma, while shame is an outer motivated sense of having done wrong.

What OP describes is really a sense of conscience. Shame would be a social phenomena feeling like one has let down or offended others. In the context of a sangha, this would be the feeling that one feels in having let down their fellows on the spiritual path. Conscience is a sense of knowing right and wanting to avoid wrong.

A general comment, in Western society, you don't really hear about a conscience or shame. If you look at popular culture, with its nihilistic tones of no right and wrong, only what you can and cannot get away with, and then the social aspect being the prevalence of shamelessness.

I sound like an old fashioned school marm.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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