Stress and Awareness of Fear

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msagansk
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Stress and Awareness of Fear

Post by msagansk »

So it's been about 5 years since I've come across MBT so I'd like to recap how it has changed me so far to help give some perspective to others. I'd also like to discuss some of the things I am struggling with, to maybe garner some helpful advice.
  • I've read the book 3 time from cover to cover, plus listened to the audio book once. Some sections of the book have been read many more times than that. I've probably read the section on meditation at least a dozen times, as I have found meditation to be difficult for me. I've also watched almost every YouTube video by Tom.
  • MBT has completely satiated my quest in learning how reality works at a theoretical level. I feel like I have enough of a "map" of reality that goes well beyond my current capability to explore it. I used to read all kinds of non-fiction books about reality, from hard physics to new age, trying to piece things together. Now all of those books fall completely flat for me because I am much more interested in exploring the map for myself. It's exciting because I don't need any physical tools or gifted abilities - just my mind and my will.
  • I've had some interesting and random "paranormal" events here and there. Some lucid dreams, sleep paralysis, very simplistic communication with the non-physical/guides/higher-self/LCS/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, auras, pre-cognition, and intuition. I find that I am getting pre-cognitive data from the LCS fairly often (probably every day from what I am aware of) but struggle to make use of it. Usually it ends up being "OH, that's why I felt that" or "Wow I was just thinking about this" - but for some reason I have a huge tendency to dismiss the data! It happens at a level just below my conscious control, but I think my increasing awareness is allowing me to even realize this in the first place.
  • I have achieved point consciousness but generally fail at maintaining it for the recommended 20-30 minutes as Tom prescribes. I am also inconsistent in being able to achieve it each meditation session. Sometimes I am too excited or worked up about life that it takes me a long time to settle down and calm the mind. Sometimes I can't even maintain concentration for 30 seconds, and I have been practicing almost every day for years now! So I haven't done much exploring of the non-physical beyond that. I don't know what else to "do" to improve my concentration ability, and I'm not supposed to have any expectations about my meditation anyway, so I just keep trying. I feel like a bit of a slow learner with this, and it has hurt my motivation.
  • Most of the time, I leave my meditation feeling at peace... but not all of the time. One session I had a week or two ago had me burst into tears.
  • I am much more aware of how much fear I have. I am in an almost perpetual state of fear and it mostly manifests itself as stress. The stress is so bad that I am starting to become aware of how it is affecting my physical health as I get older (I'm turning 30 this year). I know I'm still young but I feel how unhealthy the stress is, and it is just going to snowball worse and worse until some breaking point. What's interesting is that I feel at peace and calm when I am first getting up in the morning, but as my system is "booting up" I feel the inner tension of stress just build up. It feels like my heart is wound up in a knot. The only times I get relief is after what I consider to be a "good" meditation session, or perhaps through physical exhaustion when exercising. There is also the technique of escaping the stress (I would classify it differently from "relief") which includes things like mindless entertainment, eating sugary foods, caffeine, alcohol, etc. I keep coming back to these mind drugs over and over again everyday to escape the stress, and yet I KNOW how bad this is for me!
  • I don't drink much alcohol (maybe one beer a week on average) but I do eat terribly high amounts of processed sugar. I've tried cutting it out but always find myself coming back to it. I usually end up giving myself an excuse through social pressure to have some cake/chocolate/whatever and it just turns into a positive feedback loop of binge eating until I crash with a stomach ache for the rest of the day.
  • I turned vegetarian a couple years ago. Mainly for moral reasons, but also for health. I have tried going vegan but I find it to be too difficult to achieve with my current set of friends/family/culture. My parents still scold me pretty much every time I visit with them. I find I'm able to participate in social interactions (which almost always involve food) with more grace by just being vegetarian. I'm introverted and stressed out of enough as it is being with other people.
  • Becoming more aware of my fear has made my life harder in a way, because it's painful! I wouldn't go so far to say that ignorance is bliss, but ignorance is easier. It's something I've come to learn in a more general way. Lowering entropy, becoming love, or being constructive generally takes more effort than the destructive path. It's easier to ignore things, to not care, to blend into your culture, to have a smaller decision space, etc.
  • Facing fear generally results in a spike in stress beforehand, but good feelings afterward. While this may be obvious, it can be hard to face that spike in stress, especially when I am so stressed out all of the time to begin with. Sometimes I just can't muster the extra effort and take the easier path. This is part of the reason why progress is slow. And it's not like the fear is gone the first time you face it! Oh no, the fear/stress spike will only be a little bit duller the next time.
  • I have greatly decreased my ego attachments, although I still have plenty of ego. As an example, I am much less materialistic. I live simpler and am less swayed by the currents of my culture, keeping up the with Joneses, etc.
  • I used to think technology was the answer to all of our problems but now I just see it as a double-edged sword. The QoC of our conscious intent determines how well we wield it.
  • I used to take a Vulcan-like stance on emotional control. Now I see emotions as another source of useful data and expression.
  • I struggle between "going-with-the-flow" and exerting my control over things. I used to think control was always the answer, but I find it leads to a lot of the stress I mentioned before. I'm learning to lean more towards easing into the flow.
That's all I can think of for now!
Mike
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Re: Stress and Awareness of Fear

Post by EventHorizon »

Thanks for sharing your experience so far Mike, I really resonated with a lot that you said. It is really tough to take this path on and face our egos and fears. I was just thinking about how painful it can be at times, and how it would be easier forgetting this stuff and going back to the way I was. But then I realize how much richer and meaningful my life is now, and how far I have come. It really seems to come in cycles, the periods of painful chipping at ego/fear block, followed by appreciation of that discarded weight, then at some point getting hit in the head with that block again. My experiences have left no doubt in my mind that even though this path can be incredibly difficult, we just gotta keep on truckin in the general right direction despite the occasional potholes.
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Re: Stress and Awareness of Fear

Post by Sainbury »

The thing that helps me is to bring the quiet mind of meditation to my everyday life. I work on stopping the monkey chatter all the time. I used to feel afraid a lot and worry about almost everything. I really don't most of the time now.
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Re: Stress and Awareness of Fear

Post by msagansk »

Sainbury wrote:The thing that helps me is to bring the quiet mind of meditation to my everyday life. I work on stopping the monkey chatter all the time. I used to feel afraid a lot and worry about almost everything. I really don't most of the time now.
Yeah I can see that and have tried, but I tend to forget throughout the day. :) It's sort of like trying to meditate all day, periodically reminding yourself.
Mike
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Re: Stress and Awareness of Fear

Post by Sainbury »

The other thing I really try to take to heart and incorporate every day is Tom's saying, "Learn to live gracefully with uncertainty." If you can do that it erases a lot of stress and worry.
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Re: Stress and Awareness of Fear

Post by msagansk »

Yes, that is good advice. Intellectually I get it, but over time I have learned that deep down I have a hard time with it. That also shows me why Tom makes the distinction between the intellectual and being level.
Mike
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Re: Stress and Awareness of Fear

Post by Sainbury »

Start small. Take one fear and work on that. Then expand a little. You can't tackle everything at once. Know that whatever changes that come, they are all learning opportunities. And I have found that the LCS will help you out if you really need it.
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