Sadness

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Sadness

Postby Ayu » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:36 pm

From time to time there is parting in my life. Although i had it so often already - it still makes me deeply sad.

May i ask: what is your personal prescription or instrument against sadness?
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: Sadness

Postby Jikan » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:39 pm

I have also had intense periods of sadness, some of them long-lasting. Here are some of the things I find helpful in relating to this emotion:

*Walking meditation.

*Study of Dharma and discussion with others.

*Being in public places.

*Devotional practices.

*Physical exercise done mindfully.

Sitting meditation? Not so much.
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Re: Sadness

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:03 pm

Ayu wrote:From time to time there is parting in my life. Although i had it so often already - it still makes me deeply sad.

May i ask: what is your personal prescription or instrument against sadness?


I try to make grief into the grief of the renunciate rather than the grief of a householder as instructed. It doesn't make it any easier, but I guess you could say it at least makes the grief productive if you can transform it into a kind of compassion, see the universality of loss. Won't be any less crying or pain, still have to experience it fully - maybe even more so- but maybe your relationship to it can be different.

I don't think there is any easy answer, painful emotions are just painful, and whatever the case, i'm sorry for your loss Ayu.

I don't think there's any instrument against it, I think you shouldn't avoid feeling it.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Sadness

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:14 pm

From personal experience: loving-kindness mediation
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Sadness

Postby duckfiasco » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:14 pm

I think it depends on the intensity of the feeling. If you feel a little or moderately sad, you have rich soil with which to practice any number of things. You can practice just sitting and being with the emotion, noticing its qualities and how unfortunate other beings who feel the same way are to suffer like this. Really, most have no idea how to sit with it and develop compassion, they merely suffer from it. How unfortunate! Equanimity and compassion are very good practice when you have something specific to be equanimous and compassionate about :P

It can also be a good time for devotion to the Three Jewels, because it's samsara biting you in the butt in a very noticeable way :toilet:

When the big one hits, though, I'm totally allergic to anything that smells of practice. Sitting meditation is about one of the worst things you could do to yourself then. It's like putting a lid on a boiling pot.

In those cases, I find walking meditation or working meditation can take some of the edge off. Then just the simplest desire to even aspire to help puts you on the right track. "This blows, I hope someday I can help someone else not have to feel like this."

Or if you can find the humor in sadness, that's even better. Someone on here wrote a dedication for those days, but I can't remember who: "I dedicate this pathetic effort to all suffering beings. It's not much, but it's all I've got. May every single being make some small, pathetic effort to bring an inconsequential amount of satisfaction to themselves and others, and may they actually have some success."
I can't make it all the way through without laughing. It doesn't necessarily make the sadness go away, but it puts a different spin on it. You think, "Wow, this IS a big deal with all the trimmings, isn't it?" Sometimes we have to be sneaky in how we lighten up and stop torturing ourselves.

Another weird trick is writing the concern down on a note card and putting it on my altar before I practice. I sometimes don't let myself practice because the cynical sadness is saying, "You're just ignoring me, you won't actually help." But we need time to recover enough energy and perspective to DO anything. Sadness wants 100% of your attention and it wants it now. Putting our woes under the watchful eye of the Buddha and bodhisattvas for a moment may help get your mind on something else. You know they won't lose track of it :thumbsup:

Good luck! I just had a really terrible afternoon/night yesterday too. I really hope you can benefit from this thread and not have to dwell in the more unpleasant vagaries of samsara.
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: Sadness

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:56 pm

Ayu wrote:From time to time there is parting in my life. Although i had it so often already - it still makes me deeply sad.

May i ask: what is your personal prescription or instrument against sadness?


Is it wise to lose the capacity to cry?
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Re: Sadness

Postby steveb1 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:59 pm

Grieve your grief out, that's being human. But if chronic depression sets in, be proactive about acquiring medical help and anti-depressants. That is, if grief should become pathological, treat it as such. The very best to you.
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Re: Sadness

Postby Ayu » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:14 pm

Folks, you are merely wonderful. Thanks a lot. You made me cry and laugh nearly at the same time.

If i'm stuck inside, it's difficult to remember the advices i would give myself. Thank you for remembering :smile:

- it's no good to loose the capacity to cry. Crying helps, talking helps, listening helps.
- If you don't go in you can't find out.
- Compassion : means to widen the mind away from self-pity
- loosen the self-identification

Also the practical ideas i appreciate. :heart:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Sadness

Postby Anders » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:15 pm

Ayu wrote:From time to time there is parting in my life. Although i had it so often already - it still makes me deeply sad.

May i ask: what is your personal prescription or instrument against sadness?


I won't call my suggestion a prescription against sadness so much as a soothener and change of perspective. Personally, I find the five recollections the Buddha recommended for daily contemplation very powerful:

    There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?

    "I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging." This is the first fact that one should reflect on often...

    "I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness"...

    "I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death"...

    "I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me"...

    "I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir"...

    These are the five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.

    - AN 5.57


A lot of the suffering we experience in such situations is due to our resistance to it, the unspoken assumption that things could, or should, be otherwise. Reflecting on the inevitability of these laws, acknowledging that this is in fact a universal law that all living beings endure, is something that, while it may not take away the sadness, may provide some acceptance and peace about our sadness.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Sadness

Postby Ayu » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:12 am

This is a very good point. Thank you.
One has to practice this. So that wrong outlooks can be overcome.

My mistake was to think "Okay, everything is fading, but this friendship lasts!" :smile: To be blinded like this must lead to suffering further or later. That's natural. One has to be strong and calm to look at the facts of life like they are...
Better to practice this, then to wonder and suffer about the natural things at once.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Sadness

Postby lobster » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:11 am

Or if you can find the humor in sadness


Jewish humour has made an art form of this
Here is some combined with haiku . . .

Is one Nobel Prize
so much to ask from a child
after all I've done?

Left the door open
for the Prophet Elijah.
Now our cat is gone.

Wet moss on the old
stone path -- flat on my back, I
ponder whom to sue

A lovely nose ring --
excuse me while I put my
head in the oven
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Re: Sadness

Postby plwk » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:44 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration.
A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on.
Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
The Blessed One said,
"Gain arises for an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person.
He does not reflect, 'Gain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.'
He does not discern it as it actually is.

"Loss arises... Status arises... Disgrace arises... Censure arises... Praise arises... Pleasure arises...
"Pain arises. He does not reflect, 'Pain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.'
He does not discern it as it actually is.

"His mind remains consumed with the gain.
His mind remains consumed with the loss... with the status... the disgrace... the censure... the praise... the pleasure.
His mind remains consumed with the pain.

"He welcomes the arisen gain and rebels against the arisen loss.
He welcomes the arisen status and rebels against the arisen disgrace.
He welcomes the arisen praise and rebels against the arisen censure.
He welcomes the arisen pleasure and rebels against the arisen pain.

As he is thus engaged in welcoming & rebelling, he is not released from birth, aging, or death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, or despairs.
He is not released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"Now, gain arises for a well-instructed disciple of the Noble Ones.
He reflects, 'Gain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He discerns it as it actually is.
"Loss arises... Status arises... Disgrace arises... Censure arises... Praise arises... Pleasure arises...
"Pain arises. He reflects, 'Pain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He discerns it as it actually is.

"His mind does not remain consumed with the gain.
His mind does not remain consumed with the loss... with the status... the disgrace... the censure... the praise... the pleasure.
His mind does not remain consumed with the pain.

"He does not welcome the arisen gain, or rebel against the arisen loss.
He does not welcome the arisen status, or rebel against the arisen disgrace.
He does not welcome the arisen praise, or rebel against the arisen censure.
He does not welcome the arisen pleasure, or rebel against the arisen pain.
As he thus abandons welcoming & rebelling, he is released from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.
He is released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves?
There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling.'
When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.'
When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.'

"When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.'
When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.'
When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.'
When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'
When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh.'
When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves, or externally on feelings in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on feelings in & of themselves.
Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings.
Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.
And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world.
This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
'Come now, monks: Keep guarding the doors to your sense faculties.
On seeing a form with the eye, do not grasp at any theme or variations by which — if you were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail you. Practice with restraint. Guard the faculty of the eye. Achieve restraint with regard to the faculty of the eye.

"'On hearing a sound with the ear..."'On smelling an aroma with the nose..."'On tasting a flavor with the tongue..."'On feeling a tactile sensation with the body...

"'On cognizing an idea with the intellect, do not grasp at any theme or variations by which — if you were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail you. Practice with restraint. Guard the faculty of the intellect. Achieve restraint with regard to the faculty of the intellect.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nana.html
"And how, monks, does one trace back the past?
He thinks: 'I was of such form in the past' and brings delight to bear on it.
He thinks: 'I was of such feeling in the past' and brings delight to bear on it.
He thinks: 'I was of such perception in the past' and brings delight to bear on it.
He thinks: 'I was of such formations in the past' and brings delight to bear on them.
He thinks: 'I was of such consciousness in the past' and brings delight to bear on it.
That is how, monks, one traces back the past.

"And how, monks, does one not trace back the past?
He thinks: 'I was of such form in the past' but brings no delight to bear on it.
He thinks: 'I was of such feeling... of such perception... of such formations...'...
He thinks: 'I was of such consciousness in the past' but brings no delight to bear on it.
That is how, monks, one does not trace back the past.

"And how, monks, does one yearn for the future?
He thinks: 'I may have such form in the future' and brings delight to bear on it.
He thinks: 'I may have such feeling... such perception... such formations...'
He thinks: 'I may have such consciousness in the future' and brings delight to bear on it.
That is how, monks, one yearns for the future.

"And how, monks, does one not yearn for the future?
He thinks: 'I may have such form in the future' but brings no delight to bear on it.
He thinks: 'I may have such feeling... such perception... such formations...'
He thinks: 'I may have such consciousness in the future' but brings no delight to bear on it.
That is how, monks, one does not yearn for the future.

"And how is one drawn into present things?
Herein, monks, an uninstructed ordinary man who takes no account of the Noble Ones, is unskilled in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones, untrained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones, taking no account of the good men, unskilled in the Dhamma of the good men, untrained in the Dhamma of the good men, looks upon form as self, or self as possessed of form, or form as in self, or self as in form.
He looks upon feeling as self, or self as possessed of feeling, or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling.
He looks upon perception as self, or self as possessed of perception, or perception as in self, or self as in perception.
He looks upon formations as self, or self as possessed of formations, or formations as in self, or self as in formations.
He looks upon consciousness as self, or self as possessed of consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.
That is how, monks, one is drawn into present things.

"And how, monks, is one not drawn into present things?
Herein, monks, an instructed Noble disciple who takes into account the Noble Ones, skilled in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones, trained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones, taking into account the good men, skilled in the Dhamma of the good men, trained in the Dhamma of the good men, does not look upon form as self, or self as possessed of form, or form as in self, or self as in form.
He does not look upon feeling as self... He does not look upon perception as self... He does not look upon formations as self... He does not look upon consciousness as self, or self as possessed of consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. That is how, monks, one is not drawn into present things.

Let one not trace back the past
Or yearn for the future-yet-to-come.
That which is past is left behind
Unattained is the "yet-to-come."

But that which is present he discerns —
With insight as and when it comes.
The Immovable — the-non-irritable.
In that state should the wise one grow

Today itself should one bestir
Tomorrow death may come — who knows?
For no bargain can we strike
With Death who has his mighty hosts.

But one who dwells thus ardently
By day, by night, untiringly
Him the Tranquil Sage has called
The Ideal Lover of Solitude.

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Re: Sadness

Postby Ayu » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:50 pm

:smile:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Sadness

Postby Ayu » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:53 am

Also there is the technique " Transforming Adverse Circumstances into a Path to Enlightenment ".
It's "Point Three" in this text: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... ng_01.html

For me it is a tremendous help, because the sad-making issue seems to be in the outside.
So this helps not to wish "May the circumstances be better" but "May I grow with it, may this I-illusion fade, may i wash my karma".
It helps not only to disengage the pain but also to embrace the situation.
Like when i go to the dentist: the treatment hurts but my teeth get fixed.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Sadness

Postby Ayu » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:46 am

And edit : Yes, humor is important:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9w_FfM0ZgM :tongue:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Sadness

Postby Punya » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:11 pm

Ayu wrote:From time to time there is parting in my life. Although i had it so often already - it still makes me deeply sad.

May I ask: what is your personal prescription or instrument against sadness?


* loving kindness meditation with a focus on self
* exercise - not always mindfully
* stories of the bodhisattvas - both past and present

Also, there's a good article by Traleg Rinpoche at http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... Itemid=244 The article is headed "Depression’s Truth" but he seems to be mostly talking about sadness.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Sadness

Postby Ayu » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:54 am

Yes, it's a very good article - although i see, that depression and depression and sadness and sadness are not always the same. These names seem to be like a roof under which there are various forms of sadness and depression. It depends on the person and the situation.
But anyhow i appreciate this article very much.

Especially two very good and apposite sentences:

<<If depression is the state that we find ourselves in, we should not become alarmed and regard it as a sign of something terrible. We have to have the courage not to recoil from our experience but simply allow it to arise. It is not helpful to indulge in negative internal dialogues like, “How long is this depression going to last? Is it going to get worse? How am I going to be able to cope with myself? What will people think of me?” Approaching everything that we experience courageously will result in those experiences having no effect on us: on the contrary, we will become empowered by them.>>


<<Besides courage and awareness, we need to cultivate joy in order to work with depression. Joy here does not mean elation, which is always a bad sign. When we are feeling really high, we crash really hard. In this context, joy means a sense of physical and mental wellbeing. That is, if we have good experiences in meditation, we do not feel too excited, and if we have bad experiences, we do not feel too down and hopeless. Joy in Tibetan is called dga' ba; it means not being like a yo-yo, basically. In either elation or depression, according to the Buddhist teachings, there is no real joy—we are just being swept along by our emotional currents. When we are happy we are so happy—and we become completely overwhelmed by that—and when we are unhappy the emotion is so strong that we cannot bear it.>>

For me the magic words for lessening the suffering are 'acceptance' and 'understanding'. :thumbsup:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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