5

Hello to all of you and thank you for your time in answering the questions here. I have a big problem with my feelings. I have a huge emotional lack, which means I've never moved on with my old girlfriends. My last three girlfriends, two that I loved a little bit, and one with whom I had a long relationship and thought she was my soul mate. As a result, I suffer and often come back to them again and again and again and again... in a never-ending loop. I look needy and pathetic.

How can I get better, please?

Thank you very much.

12

As my teacher explained, the reason we are needy and clingy is because we have not discovered how to be our own source of "energy". We are like babies depending on mothers' tits for nutrition, in this case emotional/psychosomatic nutrition.

In order to become independent, we must learn to obtain energy by ourselves. The entire Buddhist path can be seen as a method for gaining complete independence from external circumstances as far as energy. Once we learn to be completely independent, we are free (call that Enlightenment, Nirvana or anything you want).

In order to understand energy we must understand the principle of this/that conditionality and 2nd/3rd Noble Truths. In brief summary: when "is" and "should" match, we feel gratified, we gain energy. When "is" and "should" mismatch, we feel miserable, we lose energy. When we clearly see this principle at work in our own lives we can extract all kinds of tricks from it.

Famous Buddhist trick is to let go of "should" (aka attachment) in order to liberate oneself from the mismatch and thereby cease suffering. A more advanced trick is to transcend any and all "is" and thereby make oneself immune to any future suffering.

But there is other side to this equation, and it involves taking advantage of matching "is" and "should" in a positive way. If you frame your goals and values, and your achievements in such way that "is" and "should" match, you can extract energy from the same mechanism that normally generates suffering. Buddha described it gloriously in many suttas on Jhanas.

In fact, generation of energy is one of the most important practices in Buddhism, but not all practitioners realize that. And how do we generate energy? We generate it by setting up clear criteria for success, achieving them, and congratulating ourselves on the achievement.

Traditionally in Buddhism this is practiced as Sila. We vow to uphold the precepts, then we uphold them, then we examine ourselves, congratulate ourselves, and extract energy from the achievement, energy we can then reinvest back into practice. But it does not have to stop with Sila. Every and all action can be a source of energy. Starting with simple daily tasks. We can set our own standards of perfection for tidiness and cleanness in our household. Then we can slowdown and put some determination into implementing our standards. Then we can observe ourselves having achieved it, congratulate and extract energy. Makes sense?

This works even at the level of day to day actions. If we set our own standards for dressing comfortably and looking the way we want, and then stay true to our own standards every time we dress, the daily ritual of dressing becomes a source of energy.

In general, being consistently perfect by your own standards minute after minute, hour after hour every day - is an incredible source of energy. It is a nuclear station we always carry with us.

Achieving this level of satisfaction requires developing a perfect connection with ourselves. We must be in deep touch with our inner core, with our true nature, so we can always stay true to ourselves, never rushing, never compromising with our truth.

When we are like this, we don't depend on any external source of energy, we don't even depend on favorable circumstances anymore, and not even on success. We get a kick from the very process of knowing that we always stay true to ourselves and always do our (optimum) best, given the multifactor/multidimmensional limitations of the circumstances.

This in itself is a path to Enlightenment, if you follow it through to the very end. But it can also serve more mundane purpose, like making you free from dependency on a girlfriend. Dharma is a very powerful tool when one puts it to actual use.

Good luck with your problem and let us know if you have further questions.

3

In Buddhism, it is taught a successful lasting relationship requires two people to share the same qualities, which would include the same life goals. Therefore, in Buddhism, before two people get romantically, sexually & emotionally involved, they determine whether they share the same life goals for a lasting relationship. Today, while women often attempt to give the impression otherwise, generally, most women still want what they are biologically designed to want, which is financial security, marriage, children, family, etc.

If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present time but also in the future, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present time but also in the future.

Samajivina Sutta: Living in Tune

3

Did the relationship fall apart because there was something lacking within yourself? If so you can cultivate that piece and try to win her back (lots of guides on the internet for techniques on this because women often validate in non one-on-one interaction)... or if you determine what was lacking is not worth it to you... it is not part of your life mission... then you need to look for the woman that values what you have/will have. For example, some of the women that my reptilian brain finds beautiful, wonderful and warm, I know are horrible choices for a partner because all they care about is alcohol, money, and novelty. Straight up, there are a lot of nice women like that, even within the Buddhist circle.

Sometimes it is also self-sabotage... and you are not even aware of it. My first long-term relationship, I withdrew emotionally because I saw that she did not care much for my spiritual conversations. She lit up at everything else but when I talked about Buddhism, Taoism, etc., due to her childhood experiences, she did not care much for it. Eventually I withdrew emotionally, going through the motions but not feeling the emotions any longer. I was already disconnected but did not know it. When she could not find the appreciation/love from me, she broke it off with me and I suffered. Only many years later did I realize that I was clinging to her out of habit and not because I actually liked her any more. I FELT for her out of habit--something I could not let go of because I kept revisiting her in mind and conversation. Despite her nice physical features, I should have ended the relationship the moment I realized our values were so horribly misaligned. All the past, all the pleasure: empty dreams. Maybe a lesson but not the right person either of each other. Are you in the midst of something like that and you just don't know it because the chronic emotions are there (emotions are a chemical addiction)? Do you two have a meaningful QUEST together?

Buddhism teaches that everything is causes and conditions including yourself, and including other women. Think objectively and measure out what kind of person you are really looking for. What kind of person will be happy with you and you with her? Don't attach to the story (high school lovers, etc.). The story does not matter. Shared values, ideals, and practices matter a lot.

That's the end of my rambling but here are so other important, obvious tips to your main question:

  • Exclude them entirely from your life (mentally and conversationally) for at least 6 months. It will take at least this time for the emotional circuits in your brain to clear out.
  • Involve yourself in healthy activities, common and personal.
  • Do some vipassana meditation every day (which means practicing the four foundations of mindfulness and five faculties)
  • Do the corpse meditation. Do this with your own body and your exes.
  • Work on your goals. Find out who you are again and what is special to you.

In the end you gotta trust the woman's decision. Women know better than men what is right/wrong (when it comes to social/sexual dynamics). They are extremely intuitive (they have to be, nature made them the Mother and live longer on average). In Tibetan Buddhism it is even said that women are closer to Enlightenment than men. Many years later when you have found your untrammeled, independent happiness, you will be happy that they initiated that strong decision instead of languoring in a stale, de-potentiated relationship.

(P.S.: And in the case that this woman is the right person in every way, and you really do deserve her--her intuition is just confused or wrong--there are other women with those qualities and with a fresher story-line, anyway. You don't want this woman who is so easily confused and can't recognize what is good.)

1

Meditate on the repulsiveness of the body. Do Patikulamanasikara meditation until your mind gives up on the notion that there's anything attractive or valuable in the female body. Also do the same on your body until you realize that the body is just a sack of repulsive parts bound together that you have to regularly clean and feed and the idea of going through so much trouble to put it next to another sack of filth becomes ridiculous.

1

This is a great question. According to Buddhism, suffering comes from our attachment to things whose nature is actually impermanence.

Our goal as Buddhists is to understand the true nature of things, and to accept it and flow with it. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Emptiness is none other than form, form is none other than emptiness. Following Nagarjuna's explanations, we should not fall to either nihilism (nothing matters), nor to eternalism (attachment to things as if they are solid and real).

Just because the world is illusory, doesn't mean we give up...we should strive to evolve ourselves and be of benefit to the world around us. There are different practices for working with neurotic emotions. In some of them we run from the emotions to seek peace. In others, we confront the emotions to understand their true nature.

Take this experience into your practice. It can be a very rich source for energy for your practice. Find the true source of the emotions you are feeling, try to go all the way to the core.

1

Just as, monks, this body lives on nourishment, lives dependent on nourishment, does not live without nourishment — in the same way, monks, the five hindrances live on nourishment, depend on nourishment, do not live without nourishment.

— SN 46:2

A. Nourishment of Sensual Desire

There are beautiful objects; frequently giving unwise attention to them — this is the nourishment for the arising of sensual desire that has not arisen, and the nourishment for the increase and strengthening of sensual desire that has already arisen.

— SN 46:51

B. Denourishing of Sensual Desire

There are impure objects (used for meditation); frequently giving wise attention to them — this is the denourishing of the arising of sensual desire that has not yet arisen, and the denourishing of the increase and strengthening of sensual desire that has already arisen.

— SN 46:51

Six things are conducive to the abandonment of sensual desire:

  • Learning how to meditate on impure objects;
  • Devoting oneself to the meditation on the impure;
  • Guarding the sense doors [especialy thoughts];
  • Moderation in eating;
  • Noble friendship;
  • Suitable conversation. — Commentary to the Satipatthana Sutta
  • [Reflecting the backwards]

The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest


Piyavagga: Dear Ones

From what's dear is born grief, from what's dear is born fear. For one freed from what's dear there's no grief — so how fear?

From what's loved is born grief, from what's loved is born fear. For one freed from what's loved there's no grief — so how fear?

From delight is born grief, from delight is born fear. For one freed from delight there's no grief — so how fear?

From sensuality is born grief, from sensuality is born fear. For one freed from sensuality there's no grief — so how fear?

From craving is born grief, from craving is born fear. For one freed from craving there's no grief — so how fear?

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, given for release, not meant for commercial use or other lower wordily gains by ways of exchange or trade.]

0

Please try to understand the reality of things around you. You cant even stop you are getting old. We cannot even stop being ill. Die. How can we controll someone else in this world when we are in a situation of cannot control us.

0

One could say a lot on how to deal with this, however it is a welcome insight.

It seems to me that according to you; there is suffering.

A good start. You have identified some suffering, go from here. It is definitely conditioned, has orgin in something and is not your fault at very least, you did not know better.

The Tathagata s teach the cause and the path to cessation of all suffering by means of knowing better!

Development of Four Frames of Reference, Five Strenghts, Five Faculties and bringing the Seven Factors of Enlightenment to Culmination.

According to yours truly, your primary weapon will be training Satipatthana according to either Mahasi or similar Sati oriented method, secondary weapons will be these three texts, id learn them by heart: skip to end if tl;dr: Relaxation of Thoughts Sutta, Two Types of Thinking, Verbalizations of Craving.

When evil unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate, and delusion arise in a bhikkhu through reflection on an adventitious object, he should, (in order to get rid of that), reflect on a different object which is connected with skill. Then the evil unskillful thoughts are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).

...

If the evil unskillful thoughts continue to arise in a bhikkhu, who in order to get rid of an adventitious object reflects on a different object which is connected with skill, he should ponder on the disadvantages of unskillful thoughts thus: Truly these thoughts of mine are unskillful, blameworthy, and productive of misery. Then the evil unskillful thoughts are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).

...

If evil, unskillful thoughts continue to arise in a bhikkhu who ponders on their disadvantageousness, he should in regard to them, endeavor to be without attention and reflection. Then the evil unskillful thoughts are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).

...

If evil, unskillful thoughts continue to arise in a bhikkhu in spite of his endeavor to be without attention and reflection as regards evil, unskillful thoughts, he should reflect on the removal of the (thought) source of those unskillful thoughts. Then the evil, unskillful thoughts are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).

...

If evil, unskillful thoughts continue to arise in a bhikkhu in spite of his reflection on the removal of a source of unskillful thoughts, he should with clenched teeth and the tongue pressing on the palate, restrain, subdue and beat down the (evil) mind by the (good) mind. Then the evil, unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate and delusion are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.soma.html

I was still just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me: 'Why don't I keep dividing my thinking into two sorts?' So I made thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness one sort, and thinking imbued with renunciation, thinking imbued with non-ill will, & thinking imbued with harmlessness another sort.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with ill will arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with ill will has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with ill will had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmfulness arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with harmfulness has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with harmfulness had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.019.than.html

"And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal? There being 'I am,' there comes to be 'I am here,' there comes to be 'I am like this' ... 'I am otherwise' ... 'I am bad' ... 'I am good' ... 'I might be' ... 'I might be here' ... 'I might be like this' ... 'I might be otherwise' ... 'May I be' ... 'May I be here' ... 'May I be like this' ... 'May I be otherwise' ... 'I will be' ... 'I will be here' ... 'I will be like this' ... 'I will be otherwise.' These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal.

"And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external? There being 'I am because of this (or: by means of this),' there comes to be 'I am here because of this,' there comes to be 'I am like this because of this' ... 'I am otherwise because of this' ... 'I am bad because of this' ... 'I am good because of this' ... 'I might be because of this' ... 'I might be here because of this' ... 'I might be like this because of this' ... 'I might be otherwise because of this' ... 'May I be because of this' ... 'May I be here because of this' ... 'May I be like this because of this' ... 'May I be otherwise because of this' ... 'I will be because of this' ... 'I will be here because of this' ... 'I will be like this because of this' ... 'I will be otherwise because of this.' These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.199.than.html

You will also need to support yourself by calming the mind by non-regret and thinking delightful themes, ie friendly thoughts, your virtues, virtues of moral behavior, heavenly realms, good-will, reflecting on greatness of the teacher, those in training and those who have completed the training, on the goal, on the non-attractiveness, the repulsiveness, non-delight & Death.

Biggest support you could arrange for yourself is to put yourself in a group where people are also training same things and run away from people who dont.

If you live with people who are learned, follow same regiment, dont engage in chatter, hold same views and restrain eachother from falling away it will be a huge support.

This kind of training will make you see straight. Thinking patterns will become progresively more pleasant and controlled, behavior will be based on that very thinking and thus of pleasant result.

Even if you know your thiking is unpleasant now, the "pathways" to put it in wordly terms, the neural pathways are irrational because feelings are given higher value than their real value. It takes active "work", to weaken those "structures" and build a healthy world view to as a foundation for a happy life and healthy behavior.

I guarantee if you do these things even for one day and one night you will have more or less solved your problem.

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