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Mon Jun 10, 2013, 12:32 AM

Aversion, suffering and breathing it in.

The economy has caused me tremendous stress for the last six years along with millions of my fellow Americans and I don't see any relief in the near future. I sometimes get a pain in my stomach just getting the mail by dreading more bills. I almost freeze up with dread when I check my bank balance online. I wake up on most days with a fear that something unplanned will happen, like my old car breaking down and I will not have the funds to fix it. You get the point.

I try very hard to stay in the present moment, but I've been having difficulties because the present moment is so stressful. I was reading a book by Pema Chodron (Comfortable with Uncertainty) and she was talking about a goal of not going to the top of the mountain to escape suffering, but a goal of going down the mountain... to the nitty gritty of life. Suffering.

I've been causing myself more suffering by having such an aversion to it. I've been trying a new technique that has really helped me and I wanted to share. I am now looking directly at my aversion, in the present moment, and mentally "breathing" it in several times. It helps me to accept it and it helps to take the panic and fear away. By acknowledging and accepting my aversion, I help to dissipate it. It has worked very well for me and I will continue, as I am a beginner




Peace and love to all.

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Reply Aversion, suffering and breathing it in. (Original post)
onestepforward Jun 2013 OP
Amaril Jun 2013 #1
onestepforward Jun 2013 #2
upaloopa Jun 2013 #3
onestepforward Jun 2013 #4
onestepforward Jun 2013 #5

Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:43 AM

1. Thank you for this post.

I too have been suffering due to financial woes -- I recently took on a part-time job (in addition to the VERY stressful full-time job I already have) and while this will eventually have a positive effect on my financial situation, it is causing additional stress because my full time job is so demanding (it's not unusual for me to put in 70 hours a week) and I don't have as much time to devote to it now, so my caseload isn't as well managed / organized as I like it to be. Aversion is no longer working. I wake up in a full on panic most mornings, if I've even managed to sleep through the night to begin with. I am terrified, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm exhausted. My hair is falling out. If I don't find a way to alleviate some of this stress soon, it is going to -- literally -- kill me.

Just reading your post & taking a moment to do as you suggest -- allowing myself to be in the present moment, immersing myself in the situation that is causing me so much anguish & fear instead of trying to run from it as fast & as far as I can -- I felt at least one of the kinks in my neck give way.

I really needed this today.



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Response to Amaril (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 12:55 PM

2. I can totally relate to your post.

I too was at a point where I felt the stress was going to kill me and I understand.

It's a daily challenge, but more tolerable by accepting the current situation vs. pushing it away.

Being compassionate to others has always been easy for me, but I've had to learn to include myself in that compassion. I've been trying to eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, go for walks and give myself mental hugs when needed, just like I would for a dear friend. It's still a work-in-progress, but it does help me to feel a little better

Always know that you're not alone.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 05:24 PM

3. I was in your position even went to live in a safe house

to prevent my suicide.
I was afraid of the future. I was sure it would be intolerable. I was in clinical depression and full of anxiety. I could not sleep. My mind burned for lack of sleep. Finally I realized that I had no control over the future. I decided to let it happen what ever it would be. I had a vision that I would go through what ever needed to be and that I would survive. That vision and positive thinking got me to a better place. I still have it.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:25 PM

4. That's a remarkable story.

Giving up the need for control is a hard thing for humans to do, but we don't really control anything except our own reactions to situations. I have heard a wise teacher say to not worry about the future. The future is just a fantasy because no one knows for sure what will happen. By taking care of the present moment and being aware of it, you will be taking care of your future.

I'm sorry you went through such a tough time, but very happy for your outcome

Wishing you peace and love.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Wed Jun 19, 2013, 02:53 AM

5. The Three Poisons

from the book, Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron

In the Buddhist teachings, the messy emotional stuff is called Klesha, which means poison. There are three main poisons: passion, aggression and ignorance. We could talk about these in different ways---for example, we could also call them craving, aversion and couldn't care less. Additions of all kinds come under the category of craving, which is wanting, wanting, wanting---feeling that we have to have some kind of resolution. Aversion encompasses violence, rage, hatred and negativity of all kinds, as well as garden-variety irritation. And ignorance? Nowadays, it's usually called denial.

The three poisons are always trapping you in one way or another, imprisoning you and making your world really small. When you feel craving, you could be sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon, but all you can see is this piece of chocolate cake that you're craving. With aversion, you're sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon, and all you can hear is the angry words you said to someone ten years ago. With ignorance, you're sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon with a paper bag over your head. Each of the three poisons has the power to capture you so completely that you don't even perceive what's in front of you.

The pith instruction is, whatever you do, don't try and make the poisons go away. When you're trying to make them go away, you're losing your wealth along with your neurosis. The irony is that what we most want to avoid in our lives is crucial to awakening bodhichitta. These juicy emotional spots are where a warrior gains wisdom and compassion. Of course, we'll want to get out of those spots far more often than we'll want to stay. That's why self-compassion and courage are vital. Without loving-kindness, staying with pain is just warfare.




Peace and love to all.

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