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About StephenK

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  1. @dflores321 I had the same problem as you. Loads of meditation without much traction. Once I understood the difference between awareness and attention, I was able to hold my attention on the breath for a lot longer. This video helped me tremendously:
  2. Yeah, I got pretty deep (too deep in fact) into this whole recent tic-tac UFO phenomenon with the US military. My conclusion is that it is a massive disinformation campaign to create a false 'outside threat / boogeyman' which in turn could allow for greater funding, as @Heart of Space pointed out.
  3. And some of us with elderly parents that have comorbidities are concerned since they are at a high risk. This is not simply a common flu. That being said, I am concerned largely with the effect on the global economy. This virus may lead to massive geopolitical and social instability. Yes, fear is causing this situation to be far worse than it needs to be.
  4. The comment that girl made at the end about there being a fundamental disagreement on first principals is an astute observation. This video is just an example of the chaos that emerges when we debate issues 'down stream' from the source.
  5. @28 cm unbuffed This is good advice.
  6. Can you give some examples of topics that you as a teacher feel unqualified to speak on but have a great interest in?
  7. @Chumbimba Yes. I had appendicitis a few years back and remember lying on the floor, reeling in pain. At some point, the pain remained (that is, the sensation of pain was still there) but there was no suffering -- just stillness. This only lasted for a minute or so, and I was back to suffering. @eputkonen Yes, the subconscious/unconscious aversions are really hard to catch as they come and go quickly, like shadows formed from a flickering light. @Lento Yeah, and I find that patterns that you thought you had unwired can rewire themselves when you assume you've 'overcome' them. I find that I often have to come back to the same issue over and over again and every time, the insight gets a little deeper. The ego structure is very much a malleable, adapting structure -- once you think you've got it pinned down, it slips away. This is my experience at least.
  8. I was meditating on my back-pain earlier, and noticed that once I dropped all desire to move away or towards the sensation of pain, it stopped being pain and became something else entirely: a neutral feeling -- just kind of floating there. In fact, I could see how I could learn to desire that neutral feeling of pain and turn it into pleasure. It was a really weird experience and contextualized suffering as merely the desire to move away from something, regardless of what it may be: a sound, sensation, thought, insight, pain etc. The experience has left me feeling a bit perplexed. Please share any of your insights on this topic! Thanks.
  9. I've killed my share of insects/pests to keep my veggies alive and thriving. Even the compost one enriches the soil with is made of the remains of once thriving, living organisms -- now long-dead decomposed microorganisms, insects, feces, plants etc. Even the veggies you do end up eating get turned into shit inside your bowels. A vegetable garden is truly a marvelous example of life and death on grand display. Life growing out of death.
  10. 10000 years ago when the first guy discovered that shells could be used as money:
  11. @Serotoninluv @Bno I'm enjoying the conversation between you two, but I'd like to offer my two cents. @Serotoninluv You seem to be doing a lot of redirecting of direct questions into your own conceptual frameworks. You've also argued for a narrative that is unfalsifiable which is naturally going to lead to a stagnation in the discussion. Are you wrong? Are you right? I don't know, but you definitely have your own narrative style -- as do we all.
  12. @28 cm unbuffed Yes, all of that. But most important of all in my opinion, is getting to the bottom of the mental rumination that comes along with social anxiety -- that is, the false stories you tell yourself. Your thoughts and nervous system are interrelated and can create negative feedback loops, with thoughts driving anxiety, driving thoughts, driving anxiety ... Some very important questions to ask yourself are: "What do I want out of this social situation? Do I want to be accepted? Why do I need to be accepted? Do I really need to be accepted? Do I want to find friends? Do I simply want to challenge myself and get stronger and be calmer? What am I afraid of? Who am I afraid of? Why am I afraid? What is the worst that can happen if someone doesn't like you?" Sometimes by just going through these questions, I can prepare myself effectively for a social event and know I can deal with the ruminating mind when it rocks up. These are deep existential questions and it will take you time to get to the bottom of it, and many of them will boil down to childhood traumas, at least in my experience. So things like meditation, self-inquiry, etc can be used to calm the mental rumination, or at the very least, understand why/how it is occurring. There is no quick fix, and I personally still struggle with it. If I had to condense it down to one sentence, it is this: "You've got to simply learn to love yourself as you are." Easier said than done, but I see that as my main challenge in life.
  13. Yes, but with fewer people than before. My ultimate goal is to work as a freelancer from home. Yes, I think a lot of people that don't experience social anxiety just say, "Just face your fear directly". However, what they don't understand is that for some people with social anxiety, going into certain social situations can wreck havoc on their body: shallow breathing, elevated heart rate, chills, manic thoughts, feelings of being a prey animal, a sense of impending doom, insomnia -- this can stay with you for days after the event and instead of healing occurring, retraumatization occurs as well. I also acknowledge the need for some form of social interaction however, but this social interaction needs to be voluntary in my opinion. Find a hobby and join some sort of club where you're not expected to be social if you don't want to, nor are you expected to attend often. Go home after and reflect on the experience. Take it in. Go back when you're ready again. There has to be a forward drive to have some form of social interaction, however on your own terms. I should also add that I find that helping people in a meaningful way is a great way to have social interaction, as it is about them, rather than you -- I also find that when doing so, I tend to have less mental rumination after the event.
  14. @youngshinzen I can relate. I started a programming job a few years back, soon finding out that I'd be in an office with about 10 other people. Constant small-talk, people coming in and out, stand-up, etc. Long story short: I hated it. I couldn't focus on my work or tune out other people's chatter. Felt like there was constant electricity flowing through by body, putting me on edge. Quit after about 4 months and seriously thought about living in the forest for the rest of my life. I luckily had the support structures in place to get through that part of my life. A lot of introspection and meditation was necessary, as still is. I find letting go to be the most powerful tool to overcome social anxiety, and not forcing yourself to socialize when your nervous system is not ready for it. But I am naturally a very introverted person and get energy out of being alone.
  15. Because when the ego realizes it's not real, the only card it has left in its deck is the one that says: "Without me, you have nothing." Like a Girlfriend that won't accept a breakup 😂