I've been practicing for about a year and a half, mostly half-assed. For about the last two months, I've really delved into practice. I've meditated daily, studied a few books, started to apply the lojong slogans, and attended a local center weekly. Monkey mind and I are still close friends, but I'm trying to be patient
I've cut down on old habits that I gauged were time wasters, like refreshing Twitter and Facebook, playing lots of computer games, aimlessly using the internet.
There have been two opposite kinds of results, and I was hoping for some input on what may be going on.
On the one hand, I'm finding peace and joy more readily. Getting a filling done today was fascinating. When I was angry and frustrated last night, not even one ounce of bodhicitta available, I found I could at least take refuge while trying to go to sleep. Then I found I could at least recite the Medicine Buddha mantra some. Then there was a little bodhicitta there to work with after all. I was able to fall asleep with metta, thanks to the precious Three Jewels getting me there. It's becoming far easier in general not to respond to the anger or despair of others with more of the same, but instead try to help.
But on the other hand, and this is what's distressing, it seems like everyone in my life around me is getting progressively more and more miserable. My husband of seven years asks me if I'm mad at him all the time. I found out another friend thinks I'm disapproving of her lifestyle (smoking marijuana), partly because I decline to participate. Another friend told me it seemed like I had a lot on my plate, that I seemed stressed.
Now, from my perspective, I'm neither mad, judgmental, nor stressed. When I feel a negative thought or klesha coming on, I try to apply the appropriate antidote or use it as a steppingstone to compassion for other people feeling the same. I can't remember the last time I spent more than a short while in the throes of anger or sadness.
So I have this apparently internal climate of deepening peace and joy, and an external one of people seeming more miserable and telling me I
seem more miserable lately, too.
I'm extremely confused. It sort of feels like I'm going crazy. Am I possibly acting unskillfully and not realizing it? Is it that by calming down, I'm gaining perspective on the sort of atmosphere I was unwittingly a part of before? Am I just in denial and repressing everything?
I do know my husband is worried that I "don't seem interested in anything anymore" since I cut down on some activities that were just to fritter away time.
Have any of you had this experience?
Thank you very much.