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Lets say for example I was trapped in pain before for a long time with no way out for long time and the pain kept torturing me. Now I feel better and not anymore in a no way out situation because I found out about Buddhism that says "You are not your feelings", "There is no self that feels" This new knowledge helped me to stop identifying as much as a helpless victim trapped in pain with no way out and also now I knew I am not in a situation without a chance anymore as I was before when I had no teaching like Buddhism. (Trust me just the teachings I mentioned above was enormously important for me and it took me from the situation where "i was trapped in pain with no way out" to "I am trapped in pain but I know there is a way out" with Buddhism because I am not my feeling ultimately. The scarry part and what kept my really trapped was that I saw no solution and it was just torturing me. But even if that has helped and can help me to stop identification for some moments when I am enquiring like I am not my feelings, nor is there any self i imagine as the feeler of my feelings I still cant really be free totally because if the enquiry goes well I find my self in a more peaceful state but when the vision or clear seeing of "i am not my feelings" or "there is no self that feels" stops or is not as clear anymore it brings me back automatically without my free will or volition to the situation that I am trapped in pain (it has become my automatic state). Now what is happening right there is it the job of ignorance to keep me in this situation or is the Sankharas doing it and what are they doing to keep me in this state. If I knew what happen then I would stop it immediately i know it my mind just wants to see clearly what is happening and then it stops it but until I dont know what is happening and what is doing what I cant stop it and being trapped in pain is automatic.

I am sorry if a similar question has been asked and answered but I read it and it was not really the answer to my question, many thanks to all of you for your time to help.

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The word "pain" is very broad, therefore the question needs to be more specific.

There are two types of "pain":

  1. Physical pain, which is a "feeling" or "vedana".

  2. Emotional pain, which is a "sankhara" or "mental formation" or "mental proliferation".

Note: The meaning of the word "sankhara" ("mental proliferation") above does not have the same meaning as in Dependent Origination (where "sankhara" means "conditioner"). This said, "conditioners" can be "mental proliferations" from the past that re-emerge.

I still cant really be free totally because if the enquiry goes well I find my self in a more peaceful state but when the vision or clear seeing of "i am not my feelings" or "there is no self that feels" it brings me back automatically without my free will or volition to the situation that I am trapped in pain (it has become my automatic state).

"Emotional pain", being "mental proliferation", itself is something created by "identification".

Assuming the "pain" is "emotional pain", yes, non-identification will find some temporary relief but the underlying "pain" will remain until it is dissolved. Therefore, the practise of non-identification must be continuous & courageous.

The above said, generally "emotional pain" does not require "non-identification" to be free of it. Instead, generally "emotional pain" requires to development of wisdom and often sorting out behavioral attitudes, i.e., sorting out one's "moral perspective".

Now what is happening right there is it the job of ignorance to keep me in this situation

Yes. Ignorance certainly maintains such situations.

or is the Sankharas doing it and what are they doing to keep me in this state.

Its ignorance. The "sankharas" of dependent origination are merely symptoms of ignorance. It is ignorance that must be addressed & overcome.

While breath meditation can calm sankharas, the most conclusive outcome is addressing ignorance.

If I knew what happen then I would stop it immediately i know it my mind just wants to see clearly what is happening and then it stops it but until I dont know what is happening and what is doing what I cant stop it and being trapped in pain is automatic.

As I originally said, the type of "pain" experienced needs to be specified. Is it "physical pain" or "emotional pain" or "chronic biological pain from a neurological or brain disorder"?

If the pain is a type of "emotional pain", it can be addressed with wisdom and changing moral perspective.

But if the pain has a biological basis (physical or neurological/brain disorder) then a more non-attachment or acceptance approach is required.

  • "Ignorance" means here insight into the three characteristics or mundane 'thought wisdom'? – Val Jul 26 at 13:36
  • Ok so Sankhara in dependent origination is conditioners, while emotional pain is mental formation Sankhara (does these type of sankhara include my situation "I am trapped in pain" Then you wrote " This said, "conditioners" can be "mental proliferations" from the past that re-emerge. " Which I think is what happend with me, beacuse the same thoughts and feelings accomponied with them are following me in everything I do, For example my mind can prevent me from doing things "that it feels as a threat to me" logically I know it is not a threat but if I do it then a painful feeling will arise. – Buddhism7 Jul 27 at 0:42
  • Also there is a tendency of my mind beacuse I am not in control of my emotions and my automatic state is that I am trapped in pain , I must avoid anything that is a threat to me and has the potential to activate the pain again because these feelings is arising automatically and I cannot avoid, so if I do something that triggers it I cant control the feeling that will automatically arise, I know deep inside my self that this must not be so, and if I knew what am I doing to make this situation a must I would be able to stop it but until now it is a must for me to live like this. – Buddhism7 Jul 27 at 1:00
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    the "pain" you are referring to is mental proliferation or dukkha (suffering). It is not "vedana". therefore, you need to work on your "view". the problem is ignorance. kind regards – Dhammadhatu Jul 27 at 3:32
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    "Vedana" is the subtle sensation of sense experiences (such as the pleasant feeling of the warm sun on the skin on a cool morning). Arahants, fully enlightened beings, without suffering, still experience vedana. Where as mental proliferation is thinking. This thinking can produced vedana or pain, such as in the stomach area, but this pain is the product of thinking. Therefore with emotional pain or suffering, what needs to be addressed is the personal views that create unskillful thinking mental proliferation & suffering. Regards – Dhammadhatu Jul 28 at 2:09
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when the vision or clear seeing of "i am not my feelings" or "there is no self that feels" it brings me back automatically without my free will or volition to the situation that I am trapped in pain

I sympathise, I hope someone gives you a good answer.

I think my experience and the Dhamma includes something like,

  • Feelings arise, and cease (and arise again later, etc.)
  • Whether they arise depends on whether you "feed" them

    I'm not sure how to explain feeding, it might include "delighting in" a feeling -- but "delight" doesn't seem a good description when it's a "negative" feeling like fear -- instead of "delight" maybe feeding a feeling also includes developing a "view" like "this is me" and "this is my feeling"

    See also an answer to How are 'conceit' and 'identity-view' not the same? for a further description of the difference between a "view" and a more transient conceit.

  • When they arise and cease (which might be frequently), there may be other feelings and thoughts (perceptions) and so on come to mind -- even including for example awareness of breathing, remembering Dhamma

  • Some changes happen quickly, and some slowly, the arising-and-cessation of a feeling may be a pattern which repeats itself -- and (perhaps if you don't feed it) changes gradually, by which I mean over the course of even a couple of years or more
  • I think we're taught that feelings arise from "contact" -- perhaps that means contact with a perception, a thought-object or memory -- one of the "slow changes" which might happen is that the contact (or trigger) continues to arise, but the feeling about it changes (or plural, the feelings about it change)
  • We're also taught that craving arises from feeling -- including for example the craving for cessation, the craving that a feeling might cease -- and that it's the craving (not just the feeling) which is dukkha -- so that's another point on the wheel at which to affect the cycle, i.e. to recognise that it's with craving that dukkha arises and ceases, recognise dukkha, let "craving" cease

that would mean that my mind,mind object and mind conciousness are contacting at the moment

Yes I think so from my experience -- some kind of "memory".

I'm not sure how exactly fits into the Dhamma of the 12 nidanas -- perhaps memory is a sankhara; and/or perhaps "memory" is simply our name for the re-arising of something, whether that's the re-arising of a view (perhaps a view of self), or a feeling, or situation (a memorable event).

I inexpertly classify those as, generally and simply, mind-objects (then there's contact between mind-object, mind-organ, and mind-consciousness).

How would I be able to stop it

My experience it you can't, contact just happens. But your reaction to it might change, become less painful, when you begin to see it from the perspective of the dhamma (non-self, uncontrollable, impermanent) and to identify components (e.g. craving and attachment) which are what make it painful.

Also if the mind is like a pool of water you might not control the waves which peak and drop, arise and disappear, each moment on the surface -- even so you might affect how agitated the water is, so it might become more or less troubled.

In other words is the feeling inside the mind object. or is it something different that arises after

I think the doctrine of the 12 nidanas says that contact causes feeling causes craving (which is suffering).

I'm not sure that's helpful since by the time you're suffering it has all already happened, so it might be more useful to think of them as "co-arising" or "arising together" -- and as beginning to cease when any of it weakens.

As those (suffering) thought-moments begin to pass or weaken, other moments arise, for example maybe contact with breathing or with memory-of-dhamma.

I'm not sure whether those other contact cause the cessation of suffering or merely co-arise with the cessation, it's probably true to say they at least don't "feed" the suffering nor serve to prolong it (which i.e. "not feeding" is kind of what I was trying to get at in the original answer above).

This seems to be a big confusion for me that would help me to understand

There's a famous story of a "Gordian knot" I heard as a child. It was a famous knot made of rope, a puzzle, and the two ends (beginning and end) of the knot were hidden away within the knot, and nobody could figure out how to undo it -- until someone (who was a Greek equivalent of a world-conquering hero) arrived and, looked at it and, took his sword and just sliced right though it and it fell apart into pieces.

I think that "knot" might be like a "thicket" -- A thicket of wrong views -- and possibly specifically related to any kind of self-view.

Maybe though, I don't know, the Abhidhamma tries to analyse or inspect that kind of detail.

Honestly just by doing this analysis I feel better inside my body beacuse I feel I understand better what I am doing to my self :D

Glad to hear that. Awareness of breath -- tension and non-breathing may co-arise too.


You might also consider doing something else -- being generous, acquiring "merit", doing (ethical) things you don't regret -- maybe that kind of thing results in a different (better) kind of contact.

  • Thank you very much for your answer Chris, When you wrote there may be other feelings and thoughts (perceptions) that come to mind, This could be what is happening in my case, Is a feeling arising from contact between sense organ , sense object , sense conciousness, does it mean that if I have a problem of being trapped in pain now it means that there is contacts going on that I am not aware of beacuse feelings arises through contact, that would mean that my mind,mind object and mind conciousness are contacting at the moment without my awareness of it happening, How would I be able to stop it – Buddhism7 Jul 27 at 1:08
  • Maybe I should be aware of what is really happening and how I am "creating this false person trapped in pain" but how should I see that, please correct me if I am wrong , as you said previously the feeling is coming from contact, this means it is something arising dependently, now the contact that activated the feeling needed a mind object to contact with the mind and mind conciousness, this means that the feeling is not a "must" as it seems to be for me and is happening beacuse a prior cause "the contact" Is the mind object that is contacted and the feeling 2 separate things, – Buddhism7 Jul 27 at 1:13
  • In other words is the feeling inside the mind object. or is it something different that arises after , This seems to be a big confusion for me that would help me to understand. In my case after some analysis this seems to happen correct me if this is a ilusion, First the contact between mind, mind conciousness and mind object is activating the feeling, and instead of understanding it this way I know believe that the feeling belongs to me and I have aversion against it, this way I am feeding the feeling, and now it starts to influence new mind objects that is contacted and this activates new – Buddhism7 Jul 27 at 1:18
  • painful feelings which again influences mind objects and new contacts and I am caught in a loop, Honestly just by doing this analysis I feel better inside my body beacuse I feel I understand better what I am doing to my self :D please come with more comments your comments and Dhammadhatus comments are helping me really much , thank you !! – Buddhism7 Jul 27 at 1:19
  • I added to the answer to try to answer your comments. – ChrisW Jul 27 at 12:50
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As I was taught, this kind of pain comes from attachment, from some sort of idea you are stuck on. This idea became so close, you're used to it so much, that you no longer notice it, you take it for granted.

I was taught to focus on the physical component of emotional pain, without trying to analyze anything, and keep touching that pain, until the root idea (the one you hold on to and take for granted) becomes obvious in your mind.

Then you have to stop holding on, whatever that is.

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    There was a lot of fear in my life starting at young age my dad and mom used to argue with each especially when my dad was drunk , and dad said "I am leaving" he packed his stuff as a child I was terrified my hearth start beating 1000000x/s I loved my dad really much and this was really fearful and painful to experience. Dont get me wrong my dad was the best possible dad you could have but he witnessed the same kind of thing from his parents they fought really much and his parents threatened to leave the house to. So it was a program that he unconciously repeated. – Buddhism7 Jul 28 at 0:05
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    Later on in life everywhere I had fear beacuse of this thing that happend when I was young also no confidence I felt ugly and fear everywhere and anxiety. I trie to cope with building up a fake strong identity and it worked partially to cover up my "weaknesses" but there was certain things that happen that made me loose that coping skill, and now I was in enormous fear beacuse I had lost that coping skill I grieved, had fear, anger, all possible emotions and it got worse and worse until the fear and pain was so big that I couldnt cope anymore so this is a pattern that I am doing my whooe life – Buddhism7 Jul 28 at 0:08
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    Yes I had no clue how to deal with the painful feeling and when it became to big to be able to either avoid by a defensive mechanism I used to avoid it or to try to avoid it with building a fake "strong identity" when these coping mechanism didnt work anymore beacuse the pain was to big I started constantly hating that pain, why me , this is to painful to live with, its impossible to live with pain, etc , This is torturing me how painful it is and there is no way out i will have to live like this until the rest of life , it is not fair i cant imagined that I must live with this pain and fear – Buddhism7 Jul 28 at 0:08
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    This pain and fear is not possible to cope with it is bigger than what you even can imagine as the worst possible torturing – Buddhism7 Jul 28 at 0:11
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    I will tell you what helped me in a similar situation. I learned to be myself. This was the only way to stop that constant fear and pain. To learn to accept my own choices, my own steps, to slow down or even pause, and to start living my own life. I have no idea if what I do now will be right long term, and I don't know what else I'm missing, but every moment I do what I think is best right now, I trust myself and just go like this. All pain I had disappeared when I started to live how I can, not how I should. Does this make any sense to you? – Andrei Volkov Jul 28 at 1:32

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