I have practised buddhism for few years. It sometimes makes me really happy etc. But those are always just short phases, and most of all time there is...
This feeling of sadness, yearning, dissatisfaction on my heart. Also loneliness. Very much loneliness. Even if I'm not alone. Also I haven't found compassion that difficult to practise, I can feel deep compassion towards others and still feel lonely. And sad for them too.
I can't identify why I have these feelings, they just are always there and mind automatically struggles to find wordly happiness (especially love from other people). I think those feelings rules my behaviour most of the time...
What are those feelings, are they just the basic suffering of samsara that we all have? Does some people feel more often happy than not ?
happiness is a choice. I guarantee. I suffered all my life from very serious complex Post Traumatic Stress, and loneliness was a paramount feature in the experience of daily life, regardless of who I was "around"...
Loneliness is a symptom of being unable to connect to yourself in a way that fills you with relaxed acceptance.
Until I recently overcame some large hurdles, I felt not only alone, but a kind of continual despair around life's impermanence, loss, being always unable to hold onto anything. What shifted? Well, a lot, but lets start with the basics.
What do you associate happiness with? What do you expect in your interactions with other people? These are good places to start. Start spending time with yourself doing something productive, either helping someone else, or even just helping yourself, learn the anatomy of your feelings by spending 10 minutes with yourself every day and just use that time to look. Don't judge what you see (I know it's easier said than done), don't beat yourself up for what you see, we're all flawed with our own blindspots on our lens of awareness. Just breathe. Take that time to JUST breathe. And if you start to notice the chatter, the self-talk, shhhhhhhh it by just smiling and labeling it "thinking".
I used to feel anguish 24/7, have horrible flashbacks, it was very hard to stay in the present moment. And when I was present, I just wanted to get away from so much hurt, so even in staying present, I avoided the present... does that makes sense?
Here's what I did, I have no idea if it works for you, but it worked for me to the point I have re-integrated almost my whole mind into a sane, healthy ground for realization. It took not a little work, but years of patience. I made myself a promise to always notice what I think. So when I wake up in the morning, I say to myself, "Ogyen, may you notice what you do, and when you notice, may you change it."
We tend to not think much of what feelings arise, and thinking per se isn't much of a cure for sad feelings. But here's the thing, you cannot change a pattern that took years to establish itself overnight, so how do you change such a big pattern of suffering?
You must observe. Always observe, like if you were watching a match between two teams. You don't judge so much as you just take it in and let it become part of your knowledge of yourself, you are often sad. Yes, you are. Ok, so what am I doing when I am sad? Just give yourself the homework to notice, nothing more. Changes will occur naturally for your own well-being when you stop judging what's happening and stop putting a narrative to those feelings. So just observe. What I did, is I observed as much as I could, when my husband would irritate me, when things came up that were unpleasant, I just noticed my reactions. After a year of doing this (nothing really happened for a long time) I started to notice that I didn't WANT to react like I always did, so next time when something came up that would make me sad, I thought, let's think of this differently.
Ok, how? I didn't know that part either, so I just watched. The hardest thing in this is to let yourself just be without filling in the blanks of what you don't know, LIKE how else you could react. Your reactions will start to paint the picture of your own cure for you. You stay with them, and keep not judging, and when you notice you can change some way of acting, start reinforcing what you think you can do, and do your best.
That is the secret to curing any ill of self/mind. Do what YOU can to relax into your own being. Notice what you do, change when you can the negative habitual energy by noticing it first, and then notice where it rises, where it dies, and then feed it kindness.
So for me, I had a big big big hurdle on the dog pee in the house. I know it sounds really stupid, but it would literally make me feel like I was living in a sewer. Which played on my feelings of inadequacy of survival I experienced so often when i was a child. I would get angry just smelling dog pee near me, but it seemed kind of silly to say, "Dog pee angers me." Even I could see it was silly, but it was a real anger nonetheless.
So instead of trying to just put it away, I did something different every time I smelled dog pee and got angry. One time, I volunteered to do what I DIDN'T want to do, which was clean it myself. Another time, I changed the feeling mid-point by thinking, if I was a dog, it would be my job to mark my territory for my pack. So I started just noticing where my ache points were with this dog pee. Instead of driving me into a frenzied inner rage which always happened initially, where I would start this internal hate talk about how it wasn't my responsibility blah blah blah, I just made a promise to cut down the negative self-talk and just notice what was there.
Oh boy was it hard to get over the dog pee thing. But now when there's dog pee in the house, I still feel a twinge in my gut, but nothing like it was. It's been 2 years I have been making myself stay with it. I've gradually shifted the habitual negative energy into something useful.
Believe it or not, everytime I noticed a reaction, some were very very extreme and completely out of proportion to the dog pee itself, I just chose a different energy to indulge, like, "let's get it fixed" instead "let's bitch"... small tiny tiny changes transformed that rage into an annoyance at best. I have someone who loves dogs in the house and it helps to get the natural what-is perspective on why the dog pees, it helps dispel the ignorance childish and clinging that the dog is trying to piss me off. LOL. Even though I rationally know the dog is just a dog, the emotional betrayed habitual energy in me of wounds of many years. I remembered my father screaming at my baby brother when he was just 19 months old, and he'd had a pee accident, and my father flew into his rage of the day and grabbed my baby brother roughly and rubbed his face in his own pee. The words rang out clear... "He's a dog, he should be punished as such" and then I knew why rage emerged in response to the dog pee....
So see, nearly 3 years to get to the bottom of something so simple like hatred of urine in the house experienced only as a deep rage over the smell of my things being peed on... now I also realize my dad was just a young man, ignorant, in pain, frustrated, he didn't really know what he was doing either, and I doubt he even remembers it now. But my family does. And this kind of "hanging on" to the negative meanings life has given us tends to reinforce the negative tendencies our mind keeps perpetuating.
Your feelings of sadness and dissatisfaction didn't build over night, you won't fix them overnight. But start at least just noticing without putting a narrative to what's happening. It may not be as serious as the dog pee lesson, and I'm glad I've healed that part almost completely, the twinge is still there sometimes, but I know now to practice patience and mindfulness with it, and to use the momentum of negative energy to fuel change, and shift my attitude intentionally from less to more compassion for the dog who had an accident instead of feeling like I'm being attacked by my conditions of my piece-of-crap-life (which is what it feels like when this rage surfaces).
Does that make sense? Don't take lightly the negative habitual energy of sadness, it feeds itself. To stop feeding the darkness of negative emotions, you must shine a little light of noticing what composes the face of your own ignorance. It's not easy, though very simple. And it takes determination and dedication, it is something you must commit to in yourself, like if you were committing to college and completing a degree. Your degree is your realization.
I hope my dog pee story wasn't too gross.... Another thing that helps me at least, is knowing that everything else that lives and breathes feels the same pains I do, whether in words or just twinges, every living being suffers from lots and lots of karmic setups by our own ignorance...
Now I can honestly say, I am happy 85% of the time from, where I was in despair 99% of the time all before this gradual path... I'd say that's pretty successful, more than I'd ever dared hope for... where the only bits of joy I experienced were accidental, I was so scared of experiencing joy just to have it ripped away from me... that was the fear that made itself seem like the truth of life - loss. But loss is gain gain is loss, there is a circularity to non-duality which is just relieving. You don't have to have an opinion, because life is a flow, and that in itself gives you a lot less stress, because you know what you can effect and what is (for the moment) out of your control...
...top to bottom, even with life's crap thrown my way, I know now all my reactions are just clouds, the truth of the sky is a stable tranquil non-dual wisdom of life. And that is contained within the essence of being itself, you don't have to do anything for it to be, it's there, it's your lens of being you put all this other stuff over. You just have to slow down the child-mind and let yourself be more adult, take control of what you CAN notice. Noticing is half the battle, because once you start noticing, you start learning what you CAN change in your attitudes. And this process gives you the confidence you need to see that YOU can DO it. You can dispel your own ignorance, you are the artificer of your "fate"...
Sorry once again for the length... just a few thoughts in response to your problem. My brother always did say, I'm a terrible motivational speaker... I have to agree, I've never been good at convincing anyone but myself. This post is my attempt to share what little successes I've experienced with anyone who is seeking for answers where there seem to be none. The thing is the answers are already there inside you, you just need to clear off the debris of your own life's natural disasters. And that part takes love, kindness, patience, and the clear desire to not suffer anymore.