How to REALLY Relax

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
Tenma
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How to REALLY Relax

Post by Tenma » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:51 pm

Okay, unfortunately, AP Chemistry has just been a poison that has already changed my entire sleeping schedule to just 5 hours a day, increased stress by a million times, added on partial suicidal thoughts, and has grown an exaggerated "belief" in superstitions and dependence on mantras from the Buddha Nature website despite getting a tutor(and only having a teacher that is just rushing everything).

I have been trying shamatha, Ganges Mahamudra, Namkhai Norbu's Ah and rainbow breathings and Tun, thonglen, Chod, and Theravada suttas, but nothing has been helping! Yes, the suicidal thoughts have ceased, but I still am very, very stressed even and angry at everything even though I have reduced portions(or may have deluded myself to that idea) and I believe I may have deluded myself into thinking that life is boring and meaningless.

Any other suggestions? I have a feeling that I'm not doing anything right, but how do I know what is wrong? What can I do? :coffee: :toilet: :techproblem:

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Queequeg
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Queequeg » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:57 am

1. If you are really suicidal, get professional help, ASAP.
2. You're in high school and you're going through the super achiever meat grinder. Seems its common in your generation.
You're going to have to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Don't know? You're normal.
I would suggest talking to grown ups you find impressive and ask them about their lives and careers - how they like it and how they got there. If you can develop a life road map then short term hardships like getting through chem or calc or history or whatever falls into its place. It has context and connection to where you are going instead of just being some pointless torture.
You want to be a microbiologist? You need to know chemistry. On the other hand, if you want to be a civil engineer, you might be better served by putting your energy into math. If you want to be a graphic designer, chem and math might not matter, but art and music classes will.
Its all about getting a big picture of your life.
3. Just pick one simple practice and stick to it. This smorgasborg shit you're doing is not helpful. Instead, it sounds like its contributing to your stress.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Motova
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Motova » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:15 am

Recognize sensory desire is suffering. Lie down and close your eyes. Relax all of your muscles. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Let go of mental commentary. Focus on the breath. Focus on the pleasant sensation of the breath. Enjoy. Let go.

Start a daily stretching routine. Sleep, eat, and exercise well. Think positive virtuous optimistic thoughts.

Perform your daily routine with the aspiration of bringing all beings to Buddhahood while seeing everything as a dream.

Practicing Dharma should generate plenty of your body's happy feel good chemicals (Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin).

You need to cultivate contentment and compassion.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:59 am

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:57 am
1. If you are really suicidal, get professional help, ASAP.
2. You're in high school and you're going through the super achiever meat grinder. Seems its common in your generation.
You're going to have to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Don't know? You're normal.
I would suggest talking to grown ups you find impressive and ask them about their lives and careers - how they like it and how they got there. If you can develop a life road map then short term hardships like getting through chem or calc or history or whatever falls into its place. It has context and connection to where you are going instead of just being some pointless torture.
You want to be a microbiologist? You need to know chemistry. On the other hand, if you want to be a civil engineer, you might be better served by putting your energy into math. If you want to be a graphic designer, chem and math might not matter, but art and music classes will.
Its all about getting a big picture of your life.
3. Just pick one simple practice and stick to it. This smorgasborg shit you're doing is not helpful. Instead, it sounds like its contributing to your stress.
:good:
And the "one simple practice" should ideally be something you can do (nearly) every day, i.e. on your own at home or anywhere quiet, but which you can do with a real-life group on something like a weekly basis.
For me at this point it's yoga. For you it might be breathing-meditation instead - or yoga or tai chi. Having a group of real people to share experiences with is sometimes nearly as important as the nature of the practice.

:namaste:
Kim

Bristollad
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Bristollad » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:32 am

When I used to get really stressed at University, I would go hill-walking. The height of the hill or getting to the top wasn't too important but getting out under a big sky and sitting quietly for a while listening to the skylarks and lapwings used to allow me fully relax and then make the choice to go back down the hill and join the race again.

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kirtu
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by kirtu » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:07 pm

See if this helps. Don't worry about AP Chemistry too much. Just tackle it one main idea and problem set that goes with that idea at a time. The test is not until the end of the second semester.

If your suicide statement was not excessive teen hyperbole then get professional help immediately.

All of Mahayana Dharma is subsumed into Great Compassion. Great Compassion is subsumed into compassion. Compassion in the Mahayana specifically means the desire to free all beings from samsara (and Great Compassion is essentially engaging in liberation an example of which would be teaching beings). For compassion you need meditative concentration and other positive qualities. So consider primarily focusing on shamatha (esp. through following the breath) to develop concentration and cut discursive thoughts and lovingkindness meditation. You shouldn't be doing Chod or more "advanced" meditation or practice right now because you need a teacher and direct teaching. Read suttas/sutras maybe once a week when you can on the weekends (or maybe a little just before going to sleep). Ganges Mahamudra will unfold over time and anyway you need a strong foundation of shamatha and compassion. Ah meditation you can do after sitting shamatha for a few minutes and occasionally during the day, assuming that you have had some kind of teaching (perhaps through a webcast).

So lovingkindness is not compassion - lovingkindess is the intention that all beings be happy and compassion is the intention that all beings be free from suffering. They are the first two lines in the Four Immeasurables Prayer/Meditation:

May all beings be happy and have the causes of happiness, (lovingkindness)
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, (compassion)
May no being every be separated from sorrow-less bliss, (joy)
May all beings live in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion. (equanimity)
But compassion also needs a foundation of lovingkindness.

The shamatha will tend to cut the stress although that is not it's primary function. As shamatha develops, your concentration develops and you will cut your stress by seeing through it. It is true that we can be overwhelmed by life events. As qualities develop through practice and meditation you will become less overwhelmed over time.

And direct physical methods of relaxation involve sports and hot baths/showers but they vary based on the individual.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Queequeg
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Queequeg » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:07 pm

Tenma, you have some good, older, more experienced friends here. You are getting advice I wish I got when I was young. And not just in this thread. Please consider it.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

joy&peace
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by joy&peace » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:16 pm

Meditate. Take time out from the day to exercise... College is rough; we know on a studied level now that the way colleges work is harmful to the functioning of - well, humans - but, we haven't changed the curriculum yet.

So, the main thing is to understand the difficulty, and get through as best you can. (Or drop out.) Bill Gates, Tom Dwan, and many other successful people did not finish college. -- Just a side note.

Meditation meditation meditation. And - make sure in the time off you do not add to stresses.

Exercise is really important; and key. Also spend time away from phones and computers. Unplug those for like a week... You could be surprised.

You can make your life as you wish it. Don't fall into any traps... Best of luck..

With metta.
sincerely
your friend.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Kunga Lhadzom
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:32 pm

drop the class.
write poetry
take a bubble bath...

:heart:
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

https://drunklotus.blog

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mechashivaz
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by mechashivaz » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:08 pm

Tenma wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:51 pm
Okay, unfortunately, AP Chemistry has just been a poison that has already changed my entire sleeping schedule to just 5 hours a day, increased stress by a million times, added on partial suicidal thoughts, and has grown an exaggerated "belief" in superstitions and dependence on mantras from the Buddha Nature website despite getting a tutor(and only having a teacher that is just rushing everything).

I have been trying shamatha, Ganges Mahamudra, Namkhai Norbu's Ah and rainbow breathings and Tun, thonglen, Chod, and Theravada suttas, but nothing has been helping! Yes, the suicidal thoughts have ceased, but I still am very, very stressed even and angry at everything even though I have reduced portions(or may have deluded myself to that idea) and I believe I may have deluded myself into thinking that life is boring and meaningless.

Any other suggestions? I have a feeling that I'm not doing anything right, but how do I know what is wrong? What can I do? :coffee: :toilet: :techproblem:
Seems you're a student of ChNN, if so then there is a perfect text for you situation: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: THE PRACTICE IN DAILY LIFE.

The entire theme of the book is "How to REALLY Relax". If you keep jumping around with complex practices you will only cause friction and over stress, as others have said. When you have free time to do more complicated things set aside something like a month or so to really focus on one thing to learn it well in a focused manner.

Tenma
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Tenma » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:41 am

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:57 am
1. If you are really suicidal, get professional help, ASAP.
2. You're in high school and you're going through the super achiever meat grinder. Seems its common in your generation.
You're going to have to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Don't know? You're normal.
I would suggest talking to grown ups you find impressive and ask them about their lives and careers - how they like it and how they got there. If you can develop a life road map then short term hardships like getting through chem or calc or history or whatever falls into its place. It has context and connection to where you are going instead of just being some pointless torture.
You want to be a microbiologist? You need to know chemistry. On the other hand, if you want to be a civil engineer, you might be better served by putting your energy into math. If you want to be a graphic designer, chem and math might not matter, but art and music classes will.
Its all about getting a big picture of your life.
3. Just pick one simple practice and stick to it. This smorgasborg shit you're doing is not helpful. Instead, it sounds like its contributing to your stress.
1. This one, I've just quelled, but I'm afraid keeps coming up the very moment I forget about it.
2. Unfortunately, while surgery is my goal, I'm afraid chemistry isn't quite a new thing to me. I am very interested in Biology, but have taken Pre-AP so far and AP Biology isn't until 11th grade. So yeah. And the AP Psychology I will be taking doesn't count as a science, but rather a history course. So Chemistry is my only current choice for completing the sciences.
3. I did. I tried adding on a Thonglen first before beginning Theravada chants such as the Ratana Sutta, Karaniya Metta Sutta, and several other prayers before commencing then using Namkhai Norbu's starter practices(Ah meditation, 9 breaths, and Elemental Mantra) and then begin my daily Manjushri sadhana and then began mixing in the oral instructions to the Ganges Mahamudra Garchen Rinpoche gave when in the state of samadhi and then finally ending with an entire short Tun as a "protector practice"(well I can't do dharmapala sadhanas, so the wrathful yidams will be the substitute for me). Still, this thing is hard to keep up and individual ones aren't helping(I only managed to cut through my jealousy of my fellow school rivals with Thonglen).

Tenma
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Tenma » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:42 am

Motova wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:15 am
Practicing Dharma should generate plenty of your body's happy feel good chemicals (Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin).
LOL :tongue:

Tenma
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Tenma » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:43 am

Motova wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:15 am
Recognize sensory desire is suffering. Lie down and close your eyes. Relax all of your muscles. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Let go of mental commentary. Focus on the breath. Focus on the pleasant sensation of the breath. Enjoy. Let go.

Start a daily stretching routine. Sleep, eat, and exercise well. Think positive virtuous optimistic thoughts.

Perform your daily routine with the aspiration of bringing all beings to Buddhahood while seeing everything as a dream.

You need to cultivate contentment and compassion.
Yeah, these aren't easy things to do. And for the seeing everything as a dream, let's just say this only contributed to my suicidal thoughts more and more...

Tenma
Posts: 682
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:25 am

Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Tenma » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:45 am

kirtu wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:07 pm
See if this helps. Don't worry about AP Chemistry too much. Just tackle it one main idea and problem set that goes with that idea at a time. The test is not until the end of the second semester.

If your suicide statement was not excessive teen hyperbole then get professional help immediately.

All of Mahayana Dharma is subsumed into Great Compassion. Great Compassion is subsumed into compassion. Compassion in the Mahayana specifically means the desire to free all beings from samsara (and Great Compassion is essentially engaging in liberation an example of which would be teaching beings). For compassion you need meditative concentration and other positive qualities. So consider primarily focusing on shamatha (esp. through following the breath) to develop concentration and cut discursive thoughts and lovingkindness meditation. You shouldn't be doing Chod or more "advanced" meditation or practice right now because you need a teacher and direct teaching. Read suttas/sutras maybe once a week when you can on the weekends (or maybe a little just before going to sleep). Ganges Mahamudra will unfold over time and anyway you need a strong foundation of shamatha and compassion. Ah meditation you can do after sitting shamatha for a few minutes and occasionally during the day, assuming that you have had some kind of teaching (perhaps through a webcast).

So lovingkindness is not compassion - lovingkindess is the intention that all beings be happy and compassion is the intention that all beings be free from suffering. They are the first two lines in the Four Immeasurables Prayer/Meditation:

May all beings be happy and have the causes of happiness, (lovingkindness)
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, (compassion)
May no being every be separated from sorrow-less bliss, (joy)
May all beings live in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion. (equanimity)
But compassion also needs a foundation of lovingkindness.

The shamatha will tend to cut the stress although that is not it's primary function. As shamatha develops, your concentration develops and you will cut your stress by seeing through it. It is true that we can be overwhelmed by life events. As qualities develop through practice and meditation you will become less overwhelmed over time.

And direct physical methods of relaxation involve sports and hot baths/showers but they vary based on the individual.

Kirt
Thank you for the link!

By chod, I mean the one Lama Tsultrim gave publicly(not an intense demon offering of specific organs to certain demons and whatnot).

I shall see to the shamatha in that case first then.

Showers, I just do the Elemental Mantra practice of Namkhai Norbu.

Tenma
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Tenma » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:48 am

mechashivaz wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:08 pm
Tenma wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:51 pm
Okay, unfortunately, AP Chemistry has just been a poison that has already changed my entire sleeping schedule to just 5 hours a day, increased stress by a million times, added on partial suicidal thoughts, and has grown an exaggerated "belief" in superstitions and dependence on mantras from the Buddha Nature website despite getting a tutor(and only having a teacher that is just rushing everything).

I have been trying shamatha, Ganges Mahamudra, Namkhai Norbu's Ah and rainbow breathings and Tun, thonglen, Chod, and Theravada suttas, but nothing has been helping! Yes, the suicidal thoughts have ceased, but I still am very, very stressed even and angry at everything even though I have reduced portions(or may have deluded myself to that idea) and I believe I may have deluded myself into thinking that life is boring and meaningless.

Any other suggestions? I have a feeling that I'm not doing anything right, but how do I know what is wrong? What can I do? :coffee: :toilet: :techproblem:
Seems you're a student of ChNN, if so then there is a perfect text for you situation: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: THE PRACTICE IN DAILY LIFE.

The entire theme of the book is "How to REALLY Relax". If you keep jumping around with complex practices you will only cause friction and over stress, as others have said. When you have free time to do more complicated things set aside something like a month or so to really focus on one thing to learn it well in a focused manner.
I've tried that by reducing a Green Tara sadhana to once a month on her day, a Riwo Sangchod on Guru Rinpoche's day, a Chod on dakini day, a weekly 1,080 Vajrasattva recitation, and I have to keep up with my vows. Unfortunately, that still ain't enough.

Yeah, with anti-Dharma parents, not too sure if I can actually access that.

Miroku
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Miroku » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:32 am

When I got to the Uni I spent my first year just drinking all the time. I think it turned me into a borderline alcoholic sooo my advice is definetly do not use drugs. It is not worth it and after year of drinking I spent another year and sth getting out of depressions and anxiety and in general fixing my sh*t.

Meditation is supposed to help with anxiety and depression. Also exrecise as others pointed out. So maybe some yoga like yantra yoga could really help. Or see a doctor depends how severe it is. I used ot wake up with only wish to die every morning but got out of it ... that does not have to work for you. Dancing could also be a nice activity to take up.

Sometimes what I like to do when I just have had enough is say f*ck it and sit and drink my tea. Being present sure helps a lot to ease the pain. It is weird but diving into it and not running away and just being with it provides relief. At least for me that is.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Mantrik
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Mantrik » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:52 pm

Tenma wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:48 am
mechashivaz wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:08 pm
Tenma wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:51 pm
Okay, unfortunately, AP Chemistry has just been a poison that has already changed my entire sleeping schedule to just 5 hours a day, increased stress by a million times, added on partial suicidal thoughts, and has grown an exaggerated "belief" in superstitions and dependence on mantras from the Buddha Nature website despite getting a tutor(and only having a teacher that is just rushing everything).

I have been trying shamatha, Ganges Mahamudra, Namkhai Norbu's Ah and rainbow breathings and Tun, thonglen, Chod, and Theravada suttas, but nothing has been helping! Yes, the suicidal thoughts have ceased, but I still am very, very stressed even and angry at everything even though I have reduced portions(or may have deluded myself to that idea) and I believe I may have deluded myself into thinking that life is boring and meaningless.

Any other suggestions? I have a feeling that I'm not doing anything right, but how do I know what is wrong? What can I do? :coffee: :toilet: :techproblem:
Seems you're a student of ChNN, if so then there is a perfect text for you situation: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: THE PRACTICE IN DAILY LIFE.

The entire theme of the book is "How to REALLY Relax". If you keep jumping around with complex practices you will only cause friction and over stress, as others have said. When you have free time to do more complicated things set aside something like a month or so to really focus on one thing to learn it well in a focused manner.
I've tried that by reducing a Green Tara sadhana to once a month on her day, a Riwo Sangchod on Guru Rinpoche's day, a Chod on dakini day, a weekly 1,080 Vajrasattva recitation, and I have to keep up with my vows. Unfortunately, that still ain't enough.

Yeah, with anti-Dharma parents, not too sure if I can actually access that.
The book, which is excellent, is available as a download pdf file:
https://shop.shangshungfoundation.com/e ... &results=8
http://www.khyung.com

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Emmet
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Emmet » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm

Every day, priests minutely examine the Law
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind
and rain, the snow and moon.
Ikkyu

Different strokes; but if I were you, I'd avoid getting too tangled up in "exaggerated belief in superstitions and dependence on mantras". Instead, I'd work on developing a solid practice of zazen & shinrin yoku, and discover what peace there is in silence.

If you absolutely must have a mantra, try this one;

"May I be well.
May I be happy.
May I be free of suffering,
And at peace."


No matter how bad a state of mind you may get into, if you keep strong and hold out, eventually the floating clouds must vanish and the withering wind must cease.
Eihei Dogen
May all beings plagued with sufferings of the body or mind be quickly freed of their illnesses.
May the frightened cease to be afraid, and may the bound go free.
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of befriending each other.

Tenma
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Tenma » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:29 pm

Emmet wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm
Every day, priests minutely examine the Law
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind
and rain, the snow and moon.
Ikkyu

Different strokes; but if I were you, I'd avoid getting too tangled up in "exaggerated belief in superstitions and dependence on mantras". Instead, I'd work on developing a solid practice of zazen & shinrin yoku, and discover what peace there is in silence.

If you absolutely must have a mantra, try this one;

"May I be well.
May I be happy.
May I be free of suffering,
And at peace."


No matter how bad a state of mind you may get into, if you keep strong and hold out, eventually the floating clouds must vanish and the withering wind must cease.
Eihei Dogen
Well, it's worth the try.

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Mantrik
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Re: How to REALLY Relax

Post by Mantrik » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:05 pm

Emmet wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm
Every day, priests minutely examine the Law
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind
and rain, the snow and moon.
Ikkyu
Lovely and so true. In Vajrayana we have practices working with the 5 Elements. I begin each day this way, and use any opportunity I have to engage in this way.
http://www.khyung.com

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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