Ok, my "meditation" is physical exercise where I

  • concentrate on what I am doing
  • concentrate on my breath

If I exercise in morning, I feel violent anger.

When I confront why I feel such anger, I start to cry and talk to God Almighty (that is my believe system. I understand Buddhism doesn't believe in God, but rather, the awareness that we are living in illusion breaks you free. Similar belief in Hinduism except they believe in outer God and inner God and when those two reconcile, it gives awareness that we are living in illusion)

If I exercise in afternoon after I come home from office, I feel heavy sadness.

It's as if I want to cry, but the tears cannot come out, and the only comfort I can get is a nice hug from a big teddy bear, or I will feel comfort in wearing a warm sweater, even though it is summer.

How to deal with it without being ashamed of such feelings?

I know Buddha just looked these feelings straight in the eye, but were these feelings ever so bad for him?

Maybe Buddhism and Hinduism say those feelings come from actions in past life, i.e. we weren't humans, but rather animals in the jungle who has a "kill or be killed" mentality, which is really similar for many humans.

I considered posting this in fitness.stackexchange.com, but I believe this falls more in line with meditation and what Buddha teaches.


I believe the following is relevant.

When I was younger I had patellar sublaxation, where the knee patella would be unstable, come out of joint, and I would cry and scream in pain till the patella was put back in place. I would be traumatized rest of the day.

I was told to do exercises for patellar sublaxation, and to increase strength around knee.

When I jog (which is great for knee strength, and resistance), I have horrible flashbacks of that traumatic pain, and I keep trying to reassure myself that everything is ok, I am working towards a solution with exercise, but my thoughts keep going back to that dark place, and I keep thinking, what karmas must be worked out and resolved?

Thanks for any guidance!


4 Answers 4


How to deal with it without being ashamed of such feelings?

There's nothing wrong with feeling shame. How to deal with it? From a Buddhist point of view, you should practice meditation, and in my opinion, Vipassana meditation.

By doing so you will come to terms with these feelings as they arise and they will no longer effect you in such a way, and by the sound if it, you will also be able to come to terms with this aversion you've built up to the intense experiences of pain you had in the past, which may have had some role to play in leading to your present experiences of anger and depression.

Here is a brief article on pain and how meditation can help you come to terms with it: http://www.shinzen.org/Articles/artPain.pdf

And here is a good talk from a Buddhist point of view on the experience of pain and how it can be useful for us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BldDclolLCg

In any case, I would suggest you shift your focus from the healing of your knee, to the healing of your mind, as that is where both these negative emotions are arising, and the suffering from the pain in your knee. We dont always have a choice in experiencing pain, but suffering because of it is a choice. Best of luck.

  • I woke up early this morning and was afraid to exercise because of the anger that would arise. I've had this problem for as long as I could remember. I think I should bite the bullet, exercise in morning and if anger comes up, deal with it, talk it out, cry about it. Till I am aware of it and am no longer bothered......
    – Rhonda
    Jun 19, 2015 at 0:54

I read your question, and I think my opinion is that the Buddhist belief system is not exactly "awareness that we are living in illusion", and it is not like a "similar belief in Hinduism" ... but Buddhism actually has wisdom and practices to help with sorrow and anger (in fact, "to help with sorrow and anger" is virtually the main purpose of Buddhism, i.e. the reason why the Buddha invented it) and so to answer your question I want to write a summary to introduce or explain Buddhism.

The Buddhists' "Noble Eightfold Path" has three partitions

  • Virtue
  • Mindfulness
  • Wisdom

Any one of these can be helpful (and people are encouraged to make progress in all three):

  • I think that "virtue" improves your relationship with yourself and other people, and can be helpful no matter what you think of karma.

  • And "mindfulness" is to do with meditation, concentration, and insight.

  • The basis of wisdom is the four noble truths, which are, something like,

    1. Suffering exists
    2. The origin of suffering is craving and ignorance
    3. Suffering ceases with the cessation of craving
    4. The Eightfold Path is the way which leads to the end of suffering

I expect that both "virtue" and "mindfulness" can help with sadness (for example, one of the suttas says that "skillful virtues" leads to "freedom from remorse", which leads to "joy", etc.).

I want to say a bit about "wisdom", how knowledge of the four noble truths might help with sadness:

  1. "I am feel sad now: that's not surprising because things are well known to be unsatisfactory"
  2. "If I feel sad that is because I am craving something"
  3. "If I stop my ignorant craving then I will stop feeling sad"

In summary if I feel sad, then I recognize that I'm feeling sad; remember that sadness is associated with craving; wonder what craving is causing sadness; see that craving is or was ignorant (ignorant because it causes suffering); and intend for that craving to cease, and for the sadness which it originated to cease with it.

Another fundamental of Buddhist wisdom is that things are impermanent. If you're not feeling sad, and suddenly you feel sad, then maybe soon you'll feel not sad again (the sadness being impermanent).

As for dealing with "anger", the doctrine about three poisons suggest that anger is related to aversion ("I don't want that") which is again related to a type craving ("I want that not to be"); so anger too can be handled by non-craving ... or by advesa and metta.

If I sometimes (hopefully briefly) feel angry there's a verse I like to remember from the Dhammapada,

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.

Well, I hope the above can be a useful introduction to Buddhism.

I didn't mention karma. I suspect that karma may be more important in Hinduism than in Buddhism, because apparently (correct me if I'm wrong) Hindus believe that our current state is caused by past karma (which is why you might be wondering about actions in a past life), whereas Buddhism believes that karma is only one of the factors which affects our current state.

I don't know what to tell you about your individual state. I'm not a doctor or a teacher.

For physical exercise I personally like bicycling more than jogging. I can cycle for hours (can't jog for hours), and find the exercise increases my breathing (more than walking does, e.g. because I try to cycle fast or up-hill) and it's relatively easy on my knees and hips etc.

One answer like this can't solve your problem (perhaps only you can solve your problem) but I hope you discover how to maintain equanimity.

  • Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal. I've noticed when I want to do something to help the world, i.e study medicine to perform reconstruction surgery for unfortunate people, perhaps make some medical breakthroughs to streamline surgery process, I no longer feel angry. But I got to remember such life goals!
    – Rhonda
    Jun 19, 2015 at 0:56
  • I agree biking is easier on joints, but jogging also builds some resistance. I would like to be able to do both, hopefully once I find a nice stationary bike .....
    – Rhonda
    Jun 19, 2015 at 0:57

It seems that you feel that you've been dealt with a raw deal in this life.

Accept who you are, what you've got and remind yourself the countless blessing you've got in this life and shun those negative thoughts.

Start with the first blessing which is you are born human..

  • Well, we've all had unfair things happen to us, it depends on how one takes it in.
    – Rhonda
    Jun 19, 2015 at 0:54
  • Yes, they say best prayer is "Thank you" to God, Universe, etc
    – Rhonda
    Jun 19, 2015 at 0:57

concentrate on what I am doing

Concentration on what you do on its own right is not Insight Meditation. You have to be mindful of the arising and passing of sensations.

An acrobat, surgeon, ballerina, etc. must be concentrate on what they do, but this concentration does not make them less stressful. perhaps it makes them more stressful. This is what you are experiencing.

concentrate on my breath

This is very good. But when doing this release the tension in you body and mind by passing your mind in any areas there might be discomfort.

On emotional instability

Emotional instability is an offshoot of ill-will. In the case of being emotional equanimity.

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